2007 Top 200 Draft Prospects: 21-40

2007 DraftThis is Baseball America's comprehensive review of the top prospects for this year's draft, based on discussions with high school and college coaches and professional scouts and executives. Our list is based on the overall professional potential of the players, not necessarily on where we expect them to get drafted. Capsules were written by Jim Callis, Aaron Fitt, John Manuel and Alan Matthews.

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 Joe Savery 21. Joe Savery, lhp
School: Rice. Class: Jr.
B-T: . Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 11/4/85.
Scouting Report: Area scouts have projected Savery as a 2007 first-rounder since he came out of Lamar High in Houston three years ago. He was the top two-way player in the state, but it would have taken a $1 million bonus to dissuade him from following Jeff Niemann's path from Lamar to Rice. As with Niemann in 2004, Savery hasn't been 100 percent in his draft year following offseason surgery. He didn't pitch for the Owls last June, then had minor surgery to shave down a bone growth in the back of his shoulder that was causing some fraying in his labrum. Savery has taken a regular turn in the Rice rotation this spring, but he has been less than dominant, as his 44-30 K-BB ratio through 68 innings would attest. Savery's velocity was improving in early May, as he was showing a 90-94 mph fastball for a couple of innings and still touched 90 after 100 pitches. In his initial starts this season, he worked more often at 85-89 mph. His changeup is a plus pitch, and his hard, slurvy curveball can get strikeouts when it's on, though he hasn't used it as much as in the past. Savery has continued to pull double duty for the Owls, playing first base and leading the club with a .353 average and 43 RBIs through 52 games. Once he regains full health, he could take off after he focuses his energy and efforts on pitching. The recent litany of Rice pitching prospects who have needed surgery after turning pro concerns scouts, but Savery could be a steal if he slides into the second half of the first round.

7 1 2.38 14 0 68 57 30 44

 Casey Weathers 22. Casey Weathers, rhp
School: Vanderbilt. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 6/10/85.
Scouting Report: Weathers was a light-hitting junior-college outfielder when he and a teammate climbed atop a mound one day after practice to see how hard they could throw. Weathers hit 92 mph, and his days in the outfield were over. He transferred to Vanderbilt and has flourished in the back of the bullpen for college baseball's best team, routinely blowing 96-97 mph gas. He was summoned from the Alaska League last year and joined USA Baseball's college national team's bullpen. He establishes his fastball early in counts, will elevate it late in counts and pitches to both sides of the plate. His delivery is generally fine, though his arm action occasionally gets long, which prevents him from getting on top of his pitches and leads to erratic command and hanging sliders. His slider has touched 91, and when he stays through the pitch upon release, it has hard, three-quarter tilt with power. He's been durable in his brief pitching career, and his two-pitch mix (he also has a changeup) could allow him to close in the majors. As a senior, he should sign quickly and won't make it out of the first round.

10 2 2.31 25 5 39 18 18 58

 Michael Main 23. Michael Main, rhp/of
School: Deland (Fla.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 171. Birthdate: 12/14/88.
Scouting Report: Baseball America's top 15-year-old in the nation in 2004, Main looked like a can't-miss prospect even before he could drive. Tendinitis in his rotator cuff cost him most of his junior season, but he recovered to lead DeLand High to the state final four and did so again this year. He has a lightning-quick arm that generates 97 mph heat, but more importantly he has learned how to pitch this spring. Even Main's jaw-dropping velocity wasn't enough to get outs when he got knocked around in a start at the Aflac Classic and other high-profile events last summer. This year, he has kept his fastball down in the zone, where it has lots of late movement. Main shows solid-average command presently, as well as the ability to spot this two-plane breaking ball where he wants it. His changeup has above-average run and sink. Main's slight build and lively repertoire make him comparable to Tim Hudson, but some teams see him as a safer pick as an outfielder. He's a 70 runner with good bat speed, and has even shown an ability to make contact from both sides of the plate. He's more likely to be drafted in the first round as a pitcher, however.

10 1 1.03 11 0 68 38 12 103

24. Devin Mesoraco, c
School: Punxsutawney (Pa.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 6/19/88.
Scouting Report: As strong as this year's high school class was considered at the outset of the season, it got even better when high school righthanders Jarrod Parker and Nevin Griffith and Mesoraco came out of the gate showing better tools and ability than they had last summer and fall. Griffith and Mesoraco appeared in showcases, but they didn't show impact potential until this spring, and Mesoraco has been the biggest riser of them all. An arm injury led to Tommy John surgery when he was a sophomore, and he was relegated to DH duties as a junior. His arm strength has slowly returned, and this spring he has shown a 70 arm with quick, efficient releases. Defensively, Mesoraco compares favorably to 2001 Angels first-rounder Jeff Mathis, with athleticism serving as the foundation of an agile, quick-twitch player who receives and blocks exceptionally well. He shows above-average bat speed and 50-55 power at the plate. He's a solid-average runner, too, rounding out a legitimate five-tool package that probably won't make it out of the first round.

.500 36 23 18 5 1 4 15 3

 Brett Cecil 25. Brett Cecil, lhp
School: Maryland. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-L. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 225. Birthdate: 7/2/86.
Scouting Report: Cecil's delivery and stuff have improved significantly since his days at DeMatha High (Hyattsville, Md.), where he was a one-and-a-half-pitch, soft-bodied lefty. His draft stock climbed significantly last year when he nearly doubled Maryland's previous saves record with 13 as a sophomore. He then ranked among the top 10 prospects in the Cape Cod League, posting a 40-9 strikeout-walk ratio in 29 innings. Cecil's body, arm action and stuff have all improved significantly during his college career. While Cecil was used primarily in relief during college, he took a turn in the Terrapins rotation late this season and his future figures to be as a starter. He has four pitches, solid-average command and durability. His fastball has been up to 94 mph and sits near 91. His slider can touch 86 with good tilt and depth. His repertoire includes a a curveball, changeup and split-finger fastball, and the changeup has enough fade and deception to become a usable third offering, especially against righthanded hitters. He should find a spot safely in the back end of the first round.

5 5 2.88 29 8 56 50 17 59

 Nick Schmidt 26. Nick Schmidt, lhp
School: Arkansas. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 230. Birthdate: 10/10/85.
Scouting Report: Schmidt was a second-team Preseason All-American, but he has since bypassed such pitchers as Jake Arrieta and Wes Roemer who rated ahead of him. He doesn't have wow stuff, but he's a big, durable lefthander who has been a No. 1 starter in the rugged Southeastern Conference since he was a freshman. His stock took a mild hit last summer, when his stuff was down a notch with Team USA. That was mostly the result of being tired after working 117 innings as a sophomore at Arkansas, but it didn't stop Schmidt from winning the championship game at the World University Games in Cuba--a tribute to his competitive nature. He was a workhorse again this spring, exceeding 100 innings before the end of the regular season. Schmidt pitches off an 88-92 mph fastball and backs it up with a solid changeup and curveball. While he doesn't have a swing-and-miss pitch, he does a fine job of using his 6-foot-5, 230-pound frame to drive his pitches down in the strike zone. He won't be a No. 1 starter but should become a good No. 3 for the club that gets him toward the end of the first round.

9 2 2.95 15 0 101 74 43 97

 Jack McGeary 27. Jack McGeary, lhp/1b
School: Roxbury Latin HS, West Roxbury, Mass. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 3/18/89.
Scouting Report: McGeary had separated his non-throwing shoulder playing basketball during the winter, and he did it again while diving for a ball at first base just 48 hours before he was scheduled to make his 2007 pitching debut, but he showed no signs of injury this spring. As polished and steady a prep lefty as there is in the nation, McGeary sits consistently in the 87-90 mph range with his fastball, touching 91, and he figures to add velocity as he fills out his tall frame, which invites comparisons to Andy Pettitte's. McGeary can spot the pitch to all four quadrants of the zone, and his above-average 76-78 mph curveball is a legitimate out pitch that he commands very well. McGeary also flashes an average changeup that he rarely has to use. He has a smooth, easy delivery, though he breaks his hands really low near his knees during his windup. McGeary could also be a power-hitting first baseman should he wind up at Stanford, but he might be signable if he goes in the first round. As a Massachusetts native, he's a Red Sox fan and has already been interviewed by a Red Sox fan blog.

5 1 0.88 7 0 40 11 21 80

28. Kevin Ahrens, 3b
School: Memorial HS, Houston. Class: Sr.
B-T: B-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 4/26/88.
Scouting Report: The best high school hitter in another strong year in Texas, Ahrens repeatedly draws comparisons to Chipper Jones. That holds up on several levels, as Ahrens is a switch-hitter with power and a high school shortstop who will have to move to third base at the next level, whether that's at Texas A&M or in pro ball. More of a gap-to-gap hitter in the past, Ahrens has gotten stronger and started to turn on his power at the World Wood Bat Championship last fall, hitting a game-winning triple in the quarterfinals and a game-winning homer in the semis before his Houston Heat lost in the championship game. He's proficient from both sides of the plate, with a sound approach and little effort in his swing. The only thing lacking in Ahrens' game is speed, as he's a below-average runner. Though he still sees himself as a shortstop, he'll definitely have to shift to the hot corner, where his plus arm and soft hands will be assets. In a tremendous year for high school third basemen, Ahrens could be a bit of a steal in the late first round or early supplemental first round.

.426 101 45 43 9 1 10 41 7

 Corey Brown 29. Corey Brown, of
School: Oklahoma State. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 210. Birthdate: 11/26/85.
Scouting Report: Teammate Matt Mangini came into 2007 with more buzz, but Brown has surpassed him as the best prospect at Oklahoma State. He's a more well-rounded player, showing all five tools and the athleticism that made him the target of football recruiting offers as a wide receiver out of high school. Brown shows power and speed, and he was on pace for a 20-20 season with the Cowboys. He has a quick bat and the patience to rank among the NCAA Division I leaders with 53 walks through 50 games. He has the range to play center field and more arm strength than most players at that position. While Brown has been productive at the plate, he doesn't always make consistent contact. He has 51 strikeouts this spring, and he batted just .192 with 57 whiffs in 41 games in the Cape Cod League. His makeup raised red flags in high school, when he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of battery and was placed on probation. According to police, Brown--who was 17 at the time--and three other boys were drinking alcohol and had consensual sex with a 14-year-old girl, a violation of Florida state law. That incident cost him a scholarship to Virginia. Whether it lingers in the minds of some teams remains to be seen, but he still figures to go no later than the sandwich round. Brown's younger brother Dylan, a freshman at Oklahoma State, should be a top prospect in the 2009 draft.

.361 180 72 65 14 5 18 60 17

 Michael Burgess 30. Michael Burgess, of
School: Hillsborough HS, Tampa. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 10/20/88.
Scouting Report: With huge raw power, inconsistent performance and the legacy of Hillsborough High (the alma mater of Gary Sheffield, Dwight Gooden and Elijah Dukes, among other big leaguers) as a backdrop, Burgess has become one of this draft's most debated prospects. He was a third-team All-American after batting .512 with 12 home runs as a junior, and the power translated with a wood bat last summer. Although his bat speed, strength and leveraged swing remain, Burgess' approach and set-up at the plate have puzzled scouts this spring, and he hasn't made consistent hard contact. He seems to lack focus, perhaps due in part to constant solicitation from hopeful advisers and receiving hitting lessons from former Georgia Tech star Ty Griffin and big leaguer Derek Bell. Late in the season, his timing was better and he showed glimpses of the 40-homer-hitting right fielder he could become. He's an average defender with a plus arm and below-average speed. Burgess could slip into the supplemental round, but the team that weighs his history over his senior year could pop him in the first round.

.340 68 33 23 7 1 3 22 11

31. Chris Carpenter, rhp
School: Kent State. Class: So.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 210. Birthdate: 12/26/85.
Scouting Report: In a draft short on attractive college righthanders, Carpenter was surging up draft boards. The highest-drafted pitcher (seventh round, Tigers) from the 2004 draft who's still in college baseball, he has made a strong comeback from a pair of elbow operations. He blew out his elbow throwing a 93 mph fastball as a freshman, requiring Tommy John surgery in May 2005, and had scar tissue cleaned out of the joint last June after missing the 2006 season. He sat out the fall and eased back into the Kent State rotation this spring, delivering his two strongest outings in his last two starts of the regular season. Carpenter pitched from 93-97 mph with a lively fastball and hit 96 mph as late as the sixth inning. He also flashed a quality curveball and showed feel for a changeup. His command and secondary pitches are inconsistent, though that's to be expected from someone who has pitched 30 innings over the last two seasons. The effort required to come back from Tommy John surgery has brought out the best in Carpenter, who previously cruised on his natural talent. He works harder and is in much better shape than he was as a freshman, tightening up his 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame. Carpenter had pitched his way into the sandwich round and could sneak into the first round, with the Giants (who have multiple early picks) showing the most interest in him. Though he's a draft-eligible sophomore, he shouldn't be difficult to sign.

3 0 3.56 9 0 30 20 21 23

32. Matt Latos, rhp
School: Broward (Fla.) CC. Class: Fr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 210. Birthdate: 12/9/87.
Scouting Report: After big bonus demands and makeup questions drove Latos down draft boards a year ago as a high school senior, he's in the position of being one of Florida's most electric amateur pitchers two years running. The Padres drafted the tall, thin Latos in the 11th round last year and resumed negotiations with him after his junior college season ended in mid-May. They reportedly had offered him a bonus near $1 million, only to have Latos' adviser ask for as much as $3 million, so they were not expected to sign him. Telling were the comments of a scout based in Florida who said, "I hope they sign him so we don't have to deal with it." His stuff--mid-90s fastball, hard, sharp breaking ball, solid-average changeup--profiles in the middle of a rotation or perhaps in a set-up role in the big leagues. His command is at least average, though he struggles at times to spot his breaking ball. His arm action is long and he lacks deception. His fastball lacks life when it's up in the zone. Latos is a premium talent, but if he's adamant about receiving top-of-the-draft money, he might take a tumble again this year.

10 3 2.03 13 0 75 58 17 102

33. Tim Alderson, rhp
School: Horizon HS, Scottsdale, Ariz. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-7. Wt.: 208. Birthdate: 11/3/88.
Scouting Report: Alderson has had a high profile for awhile, and he has handled pressure well throughout his career. He was on the mound when USA Baseball's junior national team lost to Korea in the gold-medal game of the World Junior Championship last September, but he thrived with the team, striking out 12 in eight innings without allowing an earned run. In mid-May, he threw a complete game to help Horizon High win the Arizona 5-A championship, as he allowed 13 hits in a 9-6 victory but still struck out 13. (It was the second state-title victory of his career, as he also went five innings for a victory as a sophomore.) Pitching exclusively out of the stretch, Alderson repeats his mechanics, and they allow him to fill up the strike zone, to the tune of a 34-inning streak without a walk this season. It's unheard-of command for a 6-foot-7 prep pitcher. In one May start, he threw 61 strikes out of 72 pitches. However, Alderson goes full tilt on pretty much every pitch, lands hard on his front leg and gets little extension in his delivery. Scouts are split on his future role, but most consider him a reliever even though he already has two plus pitches and throws both for strikes in routine fashion. Most contend he would not hold up physically or mechanically as a starter over 200 innings, yet his stuff is so good at present--90-92 mph fastball that touches 94, 78-80 mph curveball and the makings of an average changeup--that they hesitate to recommend changing what makes him so attractive now. His stuff and track record say

11 0 0.64 13 2 65 34 4 111

34. Bradley Suttle, 3b
School: Texas. Class: So.
B-T: B-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 213. Birthdate: 1/24/86.
Scouting Report: There's a debate among scouts about who's better, Suttle or his Longhorns teammate, Kyle Russell. Suttle doesn't have Russell's power ceiling, but he's a better bet to hit in the major leagues. He's a pure hitter and switch-hitter to boot, with scouts preferring his stroke from the left side. He has a strong 6-foot-2, 213-pound frame, though his inside-out swing doesn't have much lift and somewhat limits his power. He drives more balls into the gaps than over the fence. The biggest knocks on Suttle are his heavy legs and lack of speed. That limits his range at third base, though he has a strong arm (clocked up to 92 mph when he was a high school pitcher) and soft hands. Some teams may be wary of him because he's a Type 1 diabetic, but he hasn't let if affect his career. The Hendricks brothers, his advisers, have put a $1 million price tag on Suttle, and he does have extra leverage as a draft-eligible sophomore. But clubs expect he'll sign if he's taken in the upper half of the sandwich round.

.359 198 41 71 13 2 10 54 2

35. Kyle Russell, of
School: Texas. Class: So.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 185. Birthdate: 6/27/86.
Scouting Report: No potential first-rounder creates as much divergent opinion as Russell, whom some teams rate as no more than a fourth- or fifth-round talent. He plays in a tough hitter's park and against quality competition in the Big 12 Conference, and he led NCAA Division I with 26 homers with a week remaining in the regular season. That total obliterated the Longhorns record of 20, and he also led the nation in slugging percentage (.877). He has a quick bat and lefthanded power to all fields, and he also offers solid athleticism, speed and arm strength. Yet a lot of scouts aren't sold on his stroke and approach. They say it's a grooved swing with too much uppercut, and pitchers can get him out by working up in the zone or coming inside. They also wonder how he'll handle quality lefthanders. Russell has performed poorly on national stages in front of scouting directors and crosscheckers in the past, going 0-for-19 with 12 strikeouts at the 2004 Area Code Games and batting .206 with a league-record 64 strikeouts in 126 at-bats in the Cape Cod League last summer. But he still has a big ceiling, and as one scout who likes him says, "I defy any lefthanded hitter to hit 26 home runs in that ballpark against the competition they face. At some point you have to give him credit for that." Another draft-eligible sophomore at Texas, Russell like Brad Suttle is advised by the Hendricks brothers and could seek a seven-figure bonus. He could get that in the first round, and the asking price could be a ploy to steer him to a club that will pay him in the sandwich round.

.358 187 59 67 11 4 26 67 9

36. Will Middlebrooks, 3b/rhp
School: Liberty-Eylau HS, Texarkana, Texas. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 9/9/88.
Scouting Report: Kevin Ahrens isn't the only blue-chip third-base recruit Texas A&M could lose to the draft. Where Ahrens gets compared with Chipper Jones, the more athletic Middlebrooks draws Cal Ripken Jr. and Scott Rolen comparisons. Selected to play in a Texas high school football all-star game, Middlebrooks drew college interest as a quarterback and punter. He's also a 6-foot-4, 215-pound righthander with a low-90s fastball and an occasional plus curveball. But his future is at the hot corner. He's not quite as polished a hitter as Ahrens, but he's not far off and his size gives him leverage that will produce power. He's an athletic third baseman with good range and a strong arm, and he runs well for his size. Middlebrooks is a consensus supplemental first-rounder, but he could sneak into the first round with the right club.

.581 74 38 43 16 1 5 35 17

37. Aaron Poreda, lhp
School: San Francisco. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 240. Birthdate: 10/1/86.
Scouting Report: Poreda wasn't on the radar screen in high school; he focused more on football as a defensive end/tight end. He did pitch a bit, even tossing a no-hitter, but was awkward and had suspect arm action. In three seasons at San Francisco working with pitching coach Greg Moore, however, he has developed into a first-round candidate and one of the nation's hardest-throwing lefthanders. Poreda works off the fastball almost as much as UC Riverside's James Simmons (No. 47), and like Simmons, it's his only above-average pitch. While his fastball was flat and 89-90 mph in his 2007 opener, he has been consistently in the low 90s since then, touching 96-97 and regularly hitting 94. He throws plenty of strikes (though he lacks true command), and with his 6-foot-6, 240-pound frame, he should prove durable. He doesn't pitch as downhill as he should at his size, in part because of his low three-quarters arm slot. Poreda's arm action and lower slot make his breaking ball a fringe-average pitch at best, though it has improved. He has the makings of a changeup but hasn't thrown it much, sticking to his fastball. He had experimented with a higher slot to aid his breaking ball, but the move cost his fastball some of its late life and was back to his old slot.

7 6 2.89 14 0 100 93 18 66

38. Drew Cumberland, ss
School: Pace HS, Milton, Fla. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 170. Birthdate: 1/13/89.
Scouting Report: Separating this year's crop of prep middle-infield prospects hasn't been easy for scouts. Cumberland is one of five high school shortstops who could be drafted in the supplemental round. He has a slight advantage because of premium quickness, speed and athleticism. He was an all-state selection as a defensive back and running back in football and consistently turns in 4.0-second home-to-first times from the left side of the plate, making him a 70 runner. His game is similar to that of Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts. Cumberland is an above-average hitter who has enough strength and bat speed to drive balls from gap to gap, though his swing and approach have holes. He's a high-energy player who makes spectacular plays on defense but botches the routine ones. His brother Shaun is in the Devil Rays organization, and he's expected to join him in pro ball soon.

.505 89 40 45 10 1 3 20 17

39. Pete Kozma, ss
School: Owasso (Okla.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 4/11/88.
Scouting Report: There may not be a true middle infielder drafted in the first round this year, but Kozma is as good a candidate as any. He impressed scouting directors when his team made a swing through Florida in late March, and he had a three-homer game in an Oklahoma 6-A playoff contest. Kozma has no true standout tool, but he also has no glaring weakness. He grades out as average to slightly above-average in every tool except power, and he does have pop. His instincts help him play above his physical ability at bat, on the bases and in the field. He has good plate coverage and uses the entire field, projecting as a future No. 2 hitter in a big league lineup. Coming into the spring, some scouts questioned whether he'd be a long-term shortstop, but he has no doubters now. A Wichita State recruit, Kozma draws raves for his consistency and energy as well.

.519 104 49 54 20 6 7 48 13

40. Wendell Fairley, of
School: George County-Lucedale (Miss.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 190. Birthdate: 3/17/88.
Scouting Report: Although Fairley's athletic ability and talent were recognized early, he has been somewhat of a mystery to most scouts because he split time between football (as a wide receiver) and baseball in high school. He also never showed interest in playing in showcases. Fairley's tools are unquestioned. He shows ability to hit for average as well as plus power, and his quick lefthanded stroke allows him to pull balls out of the park or line them to left field. He's a plus runner with solid-average arm strength and defensive ability that play perfectly in center field. He's just scratching the surface of his potential, and could develop into a player in the mold of Carl Crawford. As a 19-year-old father, his makeup has been analyzed closely, and he faced charges this season--which were later dropped--for his part in a school-bus prank on a 16-year-old teammate. Because of his limited baseball experience, he's somewhat of a wild card, but because of his tools he could be taken as early as the back of the first round.

.538 91 26 49 13 3 9 36 13

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