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Jeremy Bonderman, rhp
Pasco (Wash.) HS

Despite being the most inexperienced pitcher on the staff, Bonderman was the ace of the U.S. team that finished second at the World Junior Championship last summer. His performance there set the wheels in motion for the 6-foot, 195-pound righthander to get into the draft a year earlier than normal. North Carolina high school catcher Landon Powell exposed a little-known draft rule last year that allows juniors to be eligible if they're 18 and obtain a general equivalency diploma, so Bonderman elected to travel the same path--even though Powell ended up in college rather than signing. At 18 years, seven months, Bonderman still is one of the older high school pitchers in the draft. His raw stuff matches up with almost any high school pitcher in the draft. His fastball has been clocked up to 96 mph and he has a hammer curve at 81-84 that acts much like a slider. His size and stuff reminds area scouts of Gerik Baxter, the first of the bevy of Washington draft picks in 1999. When it became apparent Bonderman would declare for this year's draft, he was considered a solid first-round pick. A hamstring problem and the pressure of trying to live up to enormous expectations combined to stunt his development this spring. He was shaky in a number of starts, including one in which he gave up seven runs and didn't make it out of the first inning. He'll still go in the first round if teams can look past his performance this spring and go off what they saw last year.

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