Pittsburg Alleghenys

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1 2 Pedro Alvarez 3B Vanderbilt Tenn. $6,000,000
Alvarez entered the season as the top prospect in this year's draft class, and even after missing the first half of the season with a hamate bone injury, he maintains that status. The New York high school player of the year in 2005, Alvarez was ranked as a top 100 player as a senior and was drafted by the Red Sox in the 14th round that year. He elected to go to Vanderbilt instead, and he hit 22 home runs and drove in 64 runs, earning Freshman of the Year honors from BA. The trend continued into his sophomore year when Alvarez was named a first team All-American after hitting .386 with 18 home runs. He also spent two standout summers with Team USA. Alvarez has been one of the most feared college hitters for all three years he has been in school. Blessed with plus raw power, he is also an advanced hitter with a professional approach. At third base, his defensive skills and footwork have improved since he arrived at Vanderbilt. His arm is plenty for the corner and his athleticism is a plus. He is also known to be a great teammate with strong makeup. His bonus demands and status as a Boras Corp. client could affect his draft stock, however.
2 48 Tanner Scheppers RHP Fresno State Calif.
An unsigned pick of the Orioles in 2005 (29th round), Scheppers struggled in his first two years at Fresno State, but showed significant improvement near the end of his sophomore season and has built on that as a consistent starter for the Bulldogs, getting the first chink in his armor in May when he missed a start with a tender shoulder. That came after Scheppers relieved on Friday (touching 99 mph) and then started on Sunday in the same series. Since then he's been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his pitching shoulder. Before the injury, Scheppers' lanky build and spindly legs draw comparisons to former big leaguer Rick Rhoden, and he holds his fastball velocity like a frontline starter, sitting at 92-96 mph at his best with good movement and command. In the past, Scheppers had difficulty commanding his curveball, which has evolved into a power 74-78 mph offering. Generally solid mechanically and athletic, Scheppers will rush his delivery occasionally and fight his command, becoming wild high. With his workable mechanics and terrific stuff, Scheppers has the stuff to be a top of the rotation starter, but it all now depends on his recovery from the stress fracture. He's now the wild card of the 2008 draft.
3 79 Jordy Mercer SS Oklahoma State Okla. $508,000
There aren't many all-around shortstops in this draft, and after Tim and Gordon Beckham go off the board at the top of the first round, Mercer might be the best bet to both hit and stay at the position. He has recovered from early season arthroscopic knee surgery in 2007 to display solid-average tools across the board. Though he's big for a shortstop at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, he has smooth actions. His range and hands are fine, and he enhances his defensive package with a plus arm. Mercer doubles as Oklahoma State's closer, powering through a rough delivery with 91-94 mph fastballs, hard sliders and grit. He has room to get better as a hitter, as he can add strength and tighten his strike zone. He has improved each year, hitting .345 with 10 homers with a week to go in the regular season after batting a combined .284 with 11 homers in his first two seasons. Mercer's speed is slightly above-average, and he's an instinctive runner if not a basestealer.
4 114 Chase d'Arnaud SS Pepperdine Calif. $293,000
Pepperdine moved d'Arnaud to shortstop from this base this spring to replace Danny Worth, and d'Arnaud increased his draft stock by showing he could handle short. His arm and range profile better at third base, where he's an above-average defender, but he's solid-average at short. He lacks the raw power potential of his younger brother Travis, who was a second-round pick last year of the Phillies, but improved with the bat and showed solid gap power. He's also an average runner and a tick above underway.
5 144 Justin Wilson LHP Fresno State Calif. $195,000
Wilson projects as a possible sixth- to 10th-round pick, and he was at his best in a regional, beating Long Beach State. His fastball has average velocity, peaking at 93 mph, and exceptional life, so much so that he struggles to command the pitch. When he throws strikes with his heater and big-breaking curveball, he's tough to beat. He added a short, sharp slider late in the season that he commands better than the curve, and it made a difference.
6 174 Robbie Grossman OF Cypress-Fairbanks HS, Cypress, Texas Texas $1,000,000
Grossman had an outstanding 2007, carrying Cy-Fair High to the Texas state 5-A title, tearing up the showcase circuit and leading the U.S. junior national team in hitting (.450). He further helped his cause by drilling three homers in a doubleheader while several national scouts were in the area to catch the Minute Maid Park Baseball Classic. But Grossman hasn't sustained that performance, sliding him out of the first round. Scouts have clocked the 6-foot-1, 200-pounder as an average runner this spring after he showed plus speed in the past, meaning they have to bet more on his bat. A Texas recruit, Grossman is a switch-hitter with raw power from both sides of the plate, but his below-average arm means he'll have to play left field if he can't handle center.
7 204 Benji Gonzalez SS Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Gurabo, P.R. P.R. $130,000
A glove-first shortstop with a commitment to Oklahoma State, Benjie Gonzalez is a switch-hitter now but may just hit from the right side as a pro. His 6.6-second 60 time was the second-fastest at the Excellence Tournament. Gonzalez , 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, has excellent hands a plus arm, but there are significant questions about whether the bat will play in pro ball.
8 234 Jeremy Farrell 3B Virginia Va. $105,000
Beyond David Adams and Jacob Thompson, Virginia's best prospect is first baseman Jeremy Farrell, who led the Cavaliers with 11 home runs. After injury-riddled freshman and sophomore seasons, Farrell started 60 games this year. He does not have plus bat speed but has shown the ability to hit for power. He is strong and athletic both at the plate and in the field but lacks projection. First base is his best position because he is a below-average runner with an average arm, though he might be athletic enough to play a corner outfield position. Farrell's father is Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell.
9 264 Matt Hague 3B Oklahoma State Okla. $25,000
Hague, who spent his first three seasons at Washington, planned on transferring to Clemson before eligibility issues arose. He has hit throughout his college career, including a .299 performance in the Cape Cod League last summer. He has an unconventional set-up and a big bat wrap in back, but he's so quick and strong (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) that he has no problems producing. Most of Hague's value lies in his offense, and he fits much better defensively in right field than at first base. Some scouts are intrigued by his pitching because he has flashed a 94 mph fastball in brief relief stints, but he'll be drafted as a hitter. He turned down the Indians as an 11th-rounder last year.
10 294 Drew Gagnon RHP Liberty HS, Brentwood, Calif. Calif.
11 324 David Rubinstein OF Appalachian State N.C.
12 354 Calvin Anderson 1B Southern La.
13 384 Seth Gardner OF Highland Park HS, Dallas Texas
14 414 Mike Colla RHP Arizona Ariz.
The physical Colla has a 90-92 mph fastball with fringy secondary stuff and a lack of pitchability.
15 444 Chris Aure LHP North Pole (Alaska) HS Alaska
16 474 Wes Freeman OF All Saints Academy, Lakeland, Fla. Fla. $150,000
A full package of five raw tools, Freeman is the prototypical well-built high school prospect who scouts can dream on. At 6-feet-4, 210 pounds, he's a physical specimen blessed with strength and speed. He shows plus speed, an above-average arm and athleticism in the outfield and projects to be an average defender at worst. At the plate, Freeman's ability is still raw and he has an aggressive approach in need of refinement. Swinging with a natural uppercut, he has leverage in his swing and pure bat speed, leading to plus raw power to all fields. His swing concerns scouts, however, because he has a straight arm hitch in his load, which would affect his ability to hit quality pitching if it's not corrected. But teams won't be able to ignore his raw tools. An Aflac All-American last fall, Freeman is committed to Central Florida.
17 504 Jaron Shepherd OF Navarro (Texas) JC Texas
18 534 Jarek Cunningham SS Mount Spokane HS, Spokane, Wash. Wash. $100,000
19 564 Jason Haniger C Georgia Tech Ga.
20 594 Quinton Miller RHP Shawnee HS, Medford, N.J. N.J. $900,000
A shoulder impingement in his junior year made Miller tough for scouts to see last summer and fall, and his velocity has been up and down this spring. His injury history, slight build (he's generously listed at 6-foot-3) and a delivery that has some effort raise questions about his long-term durability, but at his best he's a top-three-rounds talent. Depending on what day you see him, Miller can show an average or better fastball in the low 90s that reaches 93-94, or he can work in the 86-90 range. The pitch is straight, though, and his arm slot is inconsistent. He flashes a plus hard slider and an average change. He is aggressive and has a good feel for pitching, though he still needs to refine his command. Unless a team makes a run at him in the first three rounds, Miller figures to wind up at North Carolina, where he should be a high-impact pitcher immediately.
21 624 Brent Klinger RHP Glendale (Ariz.) JC Ariz.
Brent Klinger has a fastball that has touched 94 and a projectable, 6-foot-4, 185-pound body.
22 654 Patrick Palmeiro 3B Heritage HS, Colleyville, Texas Texas
23 684 Austin Wright LHP Conant HS, Hoffman Estates, Ill. Ill.
After pitching in the 2007 Aflac Classic and winning the finale of the World Wood Bat Association Fall Championship, lefthander Austin Wright entered the year as the state's top pitching prospect. But his stock has slipped as his command has deteriorated. While the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder can throw his fastball at 88-93 mph, his delivery is stiff and he leaves his heater up in the zone. He struggled to throw his curveball for strikes as well. Some scouts wonder if he'd fare better in pro ball as a lefty power hitter at first base or an outfield corner. Though he has a scholarship to attend Arkansas, he's not expected to be a tough sign.
24 714 Brian Litwin 3B St. Stephens HS, Hickory, N.C. N.C.
25 744 Brian Leach RHP Southern Mississippi Miss.
26 774 Zach Wilson 3B Wilson HS, Long Beach Calif.
Long in the shadow of Wilson stars Ryan Dent and Aaron Hicks, Wilson is a legitimate prospect on his own merit. He has a prototypical, athletic 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame, and his 6.8-second speed in the 60 is rare for a third-base prospect. His primary tool is his bat. During the summer showcase season, Wilson began his swing from a dead start, with no hand movement or load. He now employs an inward leg kick, which led to dramatic improvement. Wilson's picturesque cut, which combines a short backswing with a long and level follow through, produces screaming line drives to all fields. He demonstrated his bat in a mid-April game when he drilled a 410-foot shot directly over the center-field fence at Redondo Union High. While his arm is adequate for the hot corner, Wilson will need to improve his glovework and footwork. Some organizations may be scared off by his Scott Boras Corp. representation and Arizona State commitment, but a lot of clubs are intrigued by Wilson's potential.
27 804 Edwin Roman OF Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Gurabo, P.R. P.R.
Edwin Roman offers plus-plus speed as the fastest player in Puerto Rico, clocking 60 times in the 6.4- to 6.5-second range. He's athletic and a good defender in center field, but his bat is questionable and lacks any real approach at the plate. A team that likes his speed and athleticism might snag him in rounds 10-15, though he's more likely to go in the 15 to 20 range.
28 834 Kyle Saukko RHP Sierra (Calif.) JC Calif.
29 864 Kevin Komstadius 1B East Valley HS, Yakima, Wash. Wash.
A Washington State recruit to note is Kevin Komstadius, a slugging first baseman who may be athletic enough to play outfield.
30 894 Daniel Martin RHP Panola (Texas) JC Texas
31 924 Ryan Hinson LHP Clemson S.C.
32 954 T.J. Forrest RHP Bossier Parish (La.) JC La.
33 984 Mark Carver 1B UNC Wilmington N.C.
Carver broke out this season by batting .353 with 21 home runs in the regular season. At 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, Carver is athletic and isn't limited to first base if he isn't able to stay behind the plate. He has an average arm but below-average receiving and transfer ability. His bat should play anywhere, though, and he has more projection in his body.
34 1014 Matt Payne 3B North Carolina State N.C.
35 1044 Tyler Cox LHP Illinois State Ill.
36 1074 Kyle Morgan OF San Francisco Calif.
37 1104 Matt Curry 1B Howard (Texas) JC Texas
38 1134 Alan Knotts RHP Louisiana Tech La.
39 1164 Albert Fagan RHP Yonkers, N.Y. N.Y.
40 1194 Beau Didier 3B Bellarmine Prep, Tacoma, Wash. Wash.
A famous name in Washington state Beau Didier, grandson of longtime scout Mel and son of Bob Didier, who spent parts of six seasons in the majors and finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in the National League in 1969. The third generation Didier has arm strength, athletic ability and a feel for hitting but lacks strength or present power and isn't considered ready to sign yet. He's expected to attend Louisiana State.
41 1224 Chris Simmons C Army N.Y.
42 1254 Cole White OF Army N.Y.
43 1284 Johnny Gunter RHP Chattahoochee Valley (Ala.) JC Ala.
44 1314 Mike Williams LHP Mount Olive (N.C.) JC N.C.
45 1343 Allen Ponder RHP Auburn-Montgomery Ala.
46 1371 Scott McGough SS Plum HS, Pittsburgh Pa.
47 1398 Jordan Craft OF Kennesaw Mountain HS, Kennesaw, Ga. Ga.
48 1425 Owen Brolsma RHP Texas Tech Texas
49 1452 Zach Foster RHP Pittsburgh-Bradford Pa.
50 1479 Craig Parry OF South Dakota State S.D.
Craig Parry generates lefthanded power with an uppercut swing, and he has enough arm strength and athleticism that a team could consider making him a full-time catcher in pro ball.