2007 Top 200 Draft Prospects: 141-160

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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141. Denny Almonte, of
School: Florida Christian HS, Miami. Class: Sr.
B-T: B-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 173. Birthdate: 9/24/88.
Scouting Report: Not to be confused with the infamous Danny, this switch-hitting Dominican transferred to Florida Christian prior to his senior season. A toolsy, premium athlete, Almonte made an early push this spring, flashing plus speed, power and center-field skills to grab lots of attention. But each time his name comes up, "boom or bust," "Jekyll and Hyde" and "risk and reward" seem to precede the conversation. At his best, Almonte flies around the outfield with a quick first step and good body control. Balls jump off his bat and he drives them out of the park, evoking Devon White comparisons. He's a 6.8 runner in the 60-yard dash, and while that tool always shows, there have been games when none of the others do. He has strong wrists and forearms, but a rigid swing littered with holes. His swing plane tends to be up the zone rather than through it from the left side, and he swings and misses often. Because of some good performances in front of the right audiences, Almonte could be drafted as high as the supplemental round. Teams less optimistic about his projection would consider taking him in the fifth.

.418 67 34 28 6 0 10 31 24

142. Wynn Pelzer, rhp
School: South Carolina. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 6/23/86.
Scouting Report: Pelzer appeared to have a bright college future when he was ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Coastal Plain League in 2005, the summer before his sophomore season. He's something of an enigma, though, as he hasn't had the success his stuff would indicate. He's been used primarily as a reliever for the Gamecocks this season. He works off two hard pitches: a fastball that ranges from 88-95 mph and a slider that shows occasional depth and late snap. A popular comparison is Tom Gordon, and if Pelzer can improve his command, he could profile as a potential set-up man. He tends to leave pitches up in the zone and works behind in counts. Pelzer's upside is intriguing, but because of his modest performance he'll probably be drafted in the third- to fifth-round range.

2 2 4.91 21 1 37 38 14 44

143. Anthony Ranaudo, rhp
School: St. Rose HS, Ocean Township, N.J. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-8. Wt.: 230. Birthdate: 9/9/89.
Scouting Report: It's a banner year for pitching in the Garden State, and Ranaudo is one of a handful of the state's projectable arms who could be drafted in the top five rounds. Relatively inexperienced as a pitcher, Ranaudo is raw in all phases of the craft. He split time between basketball and baseball and was gradually showing improvement with his delivery and pitches. His fastball sits at 88-91 mph and shows fair life with occasional late movement. He spins a hard, downer curveball that could be a serious weapon if he learned how to command it better. He tends to bury it for a chase pitch. He shows some feel for a changeup, and if he fills out his 6-foot-8 frame he could be a three-pitch workhorse starter. Some scouts don't believe he has the dexterity and athleticism to do that, however, and there was not a consensus on where he would be drafted. Some scouts thought he could go as early as the second round, with others saying they'd prefer to see him head to Louisiana State for more experience and polish.

5 0 0.84 6 0 33 13 10 56

144. Marc Rzepcynski, lhp
School: UC Riverside. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 205. Birthdate: 8/8/85.
Scouting Report: Rzepczynski joins Gonzaga's Clayton Mortensen as two seniors who would be first-five-round picks based solely on talent. That they are seniors (and presumably easier, less expensive signs) will push them up draft boards. Rzepczynski had elbow soreness early in the season but has shown plus stuff since then, making that less of a concern. He was unavailable to the Highlanders in May for their showdown series against Long Beach State and UC Irvine, with first place in the Big West on the line, due to a broken knuckle on his pitching hand. He may have done enough to impress scouts last summer, when he was the No. 4 prospect in the West Coast Collegiate League, and again this spring, particularly in a three-hit shutout of Cal State Fullerton. When he's right, his fastball sits at 88-91 mph and touches 93, and he throws three other pitches for strikes: a low-80s power curveball, a slider that at times touches 84 mph, and a changeup he keeps down in the zone. He had not allowed a home run through 73 innings and was throwing more quality strikes than ever before, as command always had been a major problem. His four-pitch mix profiles him as a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

6 2 2.72 12 0 73 63 25 84

145. David Duncan, lhp
School: Georgia Tech. Class: So.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-8. Wt.: 205. Birthdate: 6/1/86.
Scouting Report: A year after Andrew Brackman came out of Cincinnati's Moeller High, Duncan created a buzz in the Buckeye State with low-90s heat from a similarly tall, athletic frame, but from the left side. He was drafted in the 14th round out of New Richmond (Ohio) High by the Twins in 2005 and turned down about $500,000 to attend Georgia Tech, where he has shown glimpses of his potential but not consistency. While Yellow Jackets pitching coach Bobby Moranda has streamlined Duncan's delivery, it's more of a herky-jerky motion as opposed to a clean, fluid one. His command is erratic, and when he's behind in the count he's unable to take advantage of his best pitch: a tumbling split-finger fastball that gets lots of swings and misses. Duncan's fastball ranges from 88-92 mph. His circle changeup is ahead of his slider, showing good armside run with the ability to turn it over. A draft-eligible sophomore, Duncan could be taken as early as the third round, but could elect to return to school if he slides past the fourth.

6 3 3.34 14 0 92 93 22 81

146. Ryan Miller, lhp
School: Blinn (Texas) JC. Class: So.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 12/14/86.
Scouting Report: The top lefthanded pitching prospect on the Texas junior college scene this spring, Miller went 9-0, 2.05 and ranked among the national juco leaders with 115 strikeouts in 92 innings. He's not big at 6 feet and 195 pounds, but he has big-time stuff for a southpaw. Miller attacks hitters with a 91-93 mph fastball and a hard 78-81 mph breaking ball. He's still making the transition from thrower to pitcher, as he telegraphs his marginal changeup by slowing down his arm speed. He'll have to improve his location at the next level as well. The Indians control Miller's rights after selecting him in the 36th round last June, and he's expected to sign as a prime draft-and-follow. Should he unexpectedly return for his junior year, he'll attend Arkansas.

9 0 2.05 15 0 92 65 48 115

147. Cory Gearrin, rhp
School: Mercer. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 210. Birthdate: 4/14/86.
Scouting Report: After one year at Young Harris (Ga.) Junior College, Gearrin talked his way into a tryout in Cape Cod last summer and pitched his way into prospect status. He recorded 41 strikeouts in 27 innings for Cotuit and ranked as the Cape Cod League's No. 29 prospect. A sidearmer who uses a low-90s fastball and a sweeping slider that he can start at righthanders' back pocket and sweep back across the plate, Gearrin allowed just five hits in his first 30 innings of work at Mercer this spring and didn't allow a run until March 20. Though he allowed six earned runs over 1 2/3 innings in an April 6 loss to Lipscomb, he bolted down back-to-back saves against Miami to start the season. A high school middle infielder, Gearrin dropped his arm slot, moved to the mound and has gradually grown into his delivery. His fastball has late movement and deception at 88-91 mph, and he leans on his 76-79 mph slider for swings and misses. He profiles as a situational reliever and could be drafted as high as the third round.

3 2 1.91 23 12 38 12 24 62

148. Jonathan Holt, rhp
School: Tampa. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 210. Birthdate: 3/10/86.
Scouting Report: Tampa's closer, Holt may have quietly pitched his way into the top three rounds of the draft. His fastball command is among the best in the draft. He had not carved out a defined role with Tampa before this season, but he compiled a 60-4 strikeout-walk ratio and was dependable out of the bullpen all season. He tops out at 91 mph and pitches at 88, but his fastball has heavy sink and armside run. He alters his arm slot, working from a three-quarters release point down to almost sidearm, but he pounds the outer half of the plate no matter which angle he throws from. His changeup and slider are fringy pitches, though his changeup has enough deception to serve as a usable offering against lefthanded hitters.

2 2 1.99 25 16 45 29 4 60

149. Daniel Schlereth, lhp
School: Arizona. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 210. Birthdate: 3/5/85.
Scouting Report: The son of former NFL lineman Mark Schlereth--now an ESPN football and, at times, college baseball analyst--bears little physical resemblance to his behemoth father. While Daniel was a good prep quarterback who broke his school's rushing record and was Colorado's offensive player of the year in 2003, he chose baseball as his primary sport, perhaps in reaction to the 20 surgeries his father had. At 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, the younger Schlereth is an athletic, shorter lefty with a quick arm, good velocity and a football demeanor that helps him excel as a college reliever. Schlereth began his college career at Nevada-Las Vegas and sat out his freshman season after having Tommy John surgery. His velocity has come back since his surgery, as he hits 94 mph regularly and has touched higher with his heater, which also has some life. Schlereth's breaking ball is short, but he's shown feel for a changeup, which should help him get righties out when he becomes a pro closer. His biggest issues are fastball command (he had 24 walks in 29 innings this spring) and health (he'd missed some time with biceps tendinitis).

2 0 2.92 18 8 25 19 20 38

150. Phillips Orta, rhp
School: Western Nebraska CC. Class: So.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 5/9/86.
Scouting Report: It has been a year of firsts for Western Nebraska Community College. Last May, Orta became the first player ever drafted out of Western Nebraska in the six-year history of the program. Then this year, the Cougars won their first regional championship, though they fell short of the Junior College World Series. Orta went to the Mets as a 10th-rounder in 2006, and he's the best prospect produced by the Cougars, surpassing outfielder Francisco Leandro, who reached Double-A in the Devil Rays system. Western Nebraska has a pipeline of talent from Venezuela that has yielded both Orta (who pitched for his nation at the 2004 World Junior Championship) and Leandro, as well as three other Venezuelans on its current roster. Orta is athletic and uses an efficient delivery to pitch at 88-94 mph. At times he'll show a plus slider, and he also has a changeup. The Mets signed him as a draft-and-follow within a week of Western Nebraska's season coming to an end.

2 7 2.61 13 0 62 62 26 25

151. Tommy Toledo, rhp
School: Alonso HS, Tampa. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 165. Birthdate: 12/13/88.
Scouting Report: Toledo was long regarded as a high school righthander who was a growth spurt away from becoming a top prospect, but he enters the draft at 6-foot-3, 165 pounds and more of a third- to fifth-round type. At his best, Toledo pitches between 90-93 mph with a fastball that shows good sink and late life. He has drawn comparisons to former Miami first-rounder Cesar Carillo for his ability to spot his fastball to both sides of the plate, as well as his rail-thin frame, which doesn't lend considerable room for growth, making it difficult to project significant improvement. His slider and changeup are fringe-average offerings that he shows some feel for. His slingy arm action is tough to repeat and he tends to drop his elbow, making his slider flatten out. He's committed to Florida, but there could be a team willing to pay him slot money in the third or fourth round. If he falls past the fifth, he'll probably elect to go to school.

9 1 1.01 12 0 69 41 20 78

152. Thad Griffen, c
School: Barbe HS, Lake Charles, La. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 8/8/88.
Scouting Report: Louisiana-Lafayette expects to lose catcher Jonathan Lucroy in the early rounds of the draft this spring but hopes to replace him with Griffen. However, one scout described Griffen as the best signable high school player in Louisiana this spring, and he should go in the first five rounds. He stood out more as a pitcher in 2006, when he helped lead Barbe to a state 5-A championship, but showed this spring that his future is behind the plate. Tall and rangy at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, he's much more advanced defensively than Lucroy was coming out of high school. Griffen has plenty of arm strength, as evidenced by the 90-mph fastball he shows on the mound, and he's a clean receiver as well. He also has more raw power than Lucroy had at the same stage, though he's not as polished a hitter. Griffen's swing can get long at times. He's more athletic than most catchers and scouts like his bulldog attitude.

.367 109 48 40 10 1 12 44 0

153. Chad Robinson, rhp
School: CC of Southern Nevada. Class:
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 210. Birthdate: 11/13/87.
Scouting Report: Rumors of Robinson's signing were swirling soon after his Community College of Southern Nevada team was eliminated in a regional playoff series by Western Nevada. Scouts crowded in to see the series thanks to Robinson's teammate, righthander Colby Shreve, who was not under control to any clubs, giving them an excuse to evaluate Robinson and Braves draft-and-follow Cole Rohrbough. However, if they wanted to see Robinson, they went away disappointed, as he didn't pitch in the entire three-game series. That's despite a low-90s fastball fastball that has reached 95 mph this spring as Robinson showed he was healthy following labrum surgery he had as a high school junior. Robinson has a loose arm and good size (6-foot-5, 200 pounds), but his labrum surgery isn't the only red flag. His best secondary pitch is a split-finger fastball; scouts would rather see him use his changeup and curveball more, and his secondary stuff was better early in the spring than it was late. He also didn't perform as well this spring, averaging more than 4.5 walks/9 IP and posting a 3.30 ERA in a wood-bat league (the team ERA was 2.59). The Brewers signed Robinson to a reported six-figure bonus in late May.

2 3 3.30 14 3 46 46 24 48

154. Rick Hague, ss
School: Klein Collins HS, Spring, Texas. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 185. Birthdate: 9/18/88.
Scouting Report: Preparing for the expected loss of Brian Friday to the draft, Rice got commitments from not one, but two blue-chip shortstop recruits in Hague and Louisiana high schooler Carmen Angelini. Scouts like Hague's potential both offensively and defensively, as well as the intangibles he brings to the table. He currently uses a line-drive approach and could grow into power as he adds strength to his 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame. He plays under control and shows smooth action at shortstop. His speed and arm strength are average tools. Some teams might consider Hague as early as the second or third round if not for the fact that he's considered to be virtually unsignable. After three years at Rice, he could become a premium pick in the 2010 draft.

.409 110 46 45 14 0 6 28 14

155. Carmen Angelini, ss
School: Barbe HS, Lake Charles, La. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 185. Birthdate: 9/22/88.
Scouting Report: Angelini played third base as a high school junior in deference to Josh Prince (now starting at the University of Texas), and he'll face tough competition with Texas high schooler Rick Hague for Rice's shortstop job next spring if he attends college. Scouts have no question that Angelini can handle the position, as he has a plus arm and solid range. He has no glaring weakness in his game. He's more ready than Hague to contribute offensively at the college level, with superior speed and raw power. As much as scouts like Angelini, some question whether he's going to be more than just a good college player--though that seems to be selling him short. He's not considered as tough to sign as Hague, but it will be difficult to lure Angelini away from the Owls.

.433 150 58 65 14 8 6 52 38

156. Mitch Harris, rhp
School: Navy. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 11/7/85.
Scouting Report: Because Naval Academy students are required to serve five years in active duty once they begin classes their junior year, Harris is somewhat of an untouchable commodity. Based on talent alone, the tall, durable, athletic righthander could be drafted as high as the third round, but was not expected to break his commitment unless he was taken in the first. He has a solid-average fastball that has been up to 94 mph. He uses it to get ahead of hitters and shows some ability to spot it on both corners, though his command is fringy overall. He throws a hard breaking ball that has some late tilt, but he also has a cutter, and the two pitches tend to morph into one, lacking true shape and depth. He has some feel for a changeup. He does not hold runners on base well. Harris also is Navy's top hitter, leading the Patriot League with eight home runs this spring and ranking second in OPS. Scouts laud Harris for his competitiveness and are generally intrigued in him as a prospect on the mound. He could be 23 before he ever gets to pitch professionally, however.

8 5 2.14 14 0 88 58 36 119

157. Evan Danieli, rhp
School: Seton Hall Prep, West Orange, N.J. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-8. Wt.: 225. Birthdate: 8/2/89.
Scouting Report: It isn't often pitchers who are the No. 3 starter on their high school teams, as late as their junior season, are considered top-five round draft choices, but that's the case for Danieli. He's pitched behind the No. 1 pitcher in this year's high school class, Rick Porello, and last year was also behind Michael Ness, who went on to pitch at Duke, when Seton Hall Prep won a state title. As a sophomore, Danieli was limited to DH duty because of an arm injury. His father, Steve, played baseball and lacrosse at Alfred ( N.Y.) University, and his mother, Janet, swam in high school. An avid chess player, Danieli won his eighth-grade chess championship. At 6-foot-8, 225 pounds, Danieli has a well-built body but lacks fluidity in his delivery. He tends to drop his back shoulder, which causes him to pitch uphill and lose velocity on his fastball. He's been up to 93 mph, but at times this season has pitched closer to 88. His low-80s slider can be a legitimate weapon, but like his velocity it's inconsistent, as is his command. The ingredients are all there with Danieli, but he's considered a tough sign and with all likelihood will honor his commitment to Notre Dame.

8 0 0.65 8 0 43 18 20 50

158. Austin Krum, of
School: Dallas Baptist. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 185. Birthdate: 1/19/86.
Scouting Report: Krum offers an intriguing package of tools, and when he came out of high school, his athleticism afforded him a football scholarship offer from Northern Colorado and recruited walk-on opportunities at Colorado and Colorado State. He has no better than average size (6 feet, 185 pounds) or speed, yet he has been able to play center field and steal bases in college thanks to his impressive instincts. At the plate, Krum has bat speed and an aggressive swing, yet he drew more walks than strikeouts this spring. His arm strength is average. While he has solid tools across the board, some scouts wonder how his game will translate to pro ball. He doesn't have a true plus tool, will have to tone down his approach and may be a 'tweener more than a true center fielder or corner outfielder. There are teams that are sold on Krum's package, and they could take him as early as the third round.

.348 227 60 79 16 7 9 47 18

159. Justin Miller, rhp
School: Johnson County (Kan.) CC. Class: Fr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 8/2/87.
Scouting Report: One of the nation's best junior college players who's not under control to a big league team from the 2006 draft, Miller offers high risk and a potential high reward. He's a risk because teams didn't get to see him pitch much this spring, just 18 innings because he doubled as Johnson County's right fielder and he came down with a tender arm in mid-April. Miller pitched just once afterward, a two-inning stint in which his fastball parked at 90 mph and he didn't throw a slider. Yet he's intriguing because he's a projectable 6-foot-3, 180-pound athlete whose fastball went from 86-87 mph as a high school senior to 88-90 last summer to regularly touching 92-94 earlier this spring. He also showed a mid-80s slider that was inconsistent yet promising. He's not polished and looks like a position player trying to pitch, but the raw material obviously is there. Miller committed to attend Wichita State, but a snafu with his core classes in high school prevented him from joining the Shockers. As a nonqualifier, he can't go to a four-year school until he receives his juco degree, and thus is considered very signable. Few teams got enough good looks to feel comfortable taking Miller as high as his ceiling would warrant, but he still could go in the first five rounds.

0 2 0.43 13 6 16 9 8 16

160. Jake Smolinski, 3b
School: Boylan Catholic HS, Rockford, Ill. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 2/9/89.
Scouting Report: A number of third basemen made strong impressions at the Area Code Games last summer. Californians Josh Vitters and Matt Dominguez should be first-round picks in June, while Iowan Jon Gilmore should go in the second or third round. Smolinski also has maintained his status as the best position-player prospect in Illinois. He stands out most for his feel for hitting and for the strength in his 6-foot, 195-pound build. He's also a good athlete--he doubles as Boylan Catholic's quarterback and finished 14th in SPARQ testing at the Area Codes--and has good arm strength. While scouts agree that he'll be a star at Clemson if he attends college, they aren't as sold on his pro future. Some believe he's maxed out physically already and will become a below-average runner as he fills out, limiting his defensive options. Currently a shortstop, Smolinski will have to move to third base or an outfield corner. Some clubs are intrigued with the idea of making him a catcher, where his arm and leadership skills would work to his advantage. His signability is uncertain, so he may not be drafted as high as his talent would warrant.

.522 67 39 35 10 0 5 31 13

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