The talent in Pennsylvania is a little thin this year, with one obvious exception. Righthander Scott Tyler pitched through his share of snow, rain and 40-degree weather to solidify his spot as the state's top prospect. He has an outside chance of going in the first round.
Projected First-Round Picks
Scott Tyler. At 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, Tyler is one of the most imposing pitchers in this year's draft. He has a tall, athletic body with a smooth, loose arm action. He challenges hitters with a fastball that sits at 91 mph and tops out at 93, and he projects to throw 94-96. He also has an excellent spike curve. He was slow getting out of the gates this year because of the weather that plagued eastern Pennsylvania, but he often pitched through it. Tyler has committed to Clemson.
Projected Second-Fifth Round
Donald Kelly. Kelly never got his due as a prospect playing on a state championship team at Pittsburgh's Mount Lebanon High because he played second base with Marlins prospect Josh Wilson, the team's best talent, at shortstop. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Kelly made up for the slight in college, where he has become one of the East Coast's best shortstop prospects. He has above-average hands, range, arm strength, quickness and aptitude for the position. His bat is more of a concern as he hasn't shown much power.
Others to watch:
At 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds, LHP Zach Jackson has the classic projectable body. He was the state's second-best high school prospect after Tyler at the start of the season, but he could fall as low as the 10th round after a mediocre senior year. His fastball was generally in the 83-86 mph range and topped out at 87 . . . LHP Kevin McDowell, the nephew of former big league fireballer Sam McDowell, looked like a solid pick a year ago but Tommy John surgery in March 2000 killed his season and his draft hopes. While he didn't perform effectively this season, going only 2-4, 5.94 for Bucknell, his velocity returned to the 90-91 mph range and touched 93. He complemented his fastball with a hard-breaking curve and challenged hitters inside . . . RHP/OF Paul Abraham was a solid two-way player in college, but a 90-91 mph fastball that peaked at 94 and a solid 78-79 mph slider make him a more attractive prospect on the mound . . . RHP Brian Melnyk made a solid impression in his only season at Point Park after transferring from Garrett (Md.) JC. His 88-89 mph fastball appeared faster because of its movement . . . Like a number of other Pennsylvania high schoolers, RHP Mike Andreas didn't pitch up to expectations. Scouts remain intrigued with his 89-90 mph fastball and upside. He has committed to Georgia Tech, clouding his signability . . . RHP Patrick Sadler was clocked at 93 mph last fall but scouts didn't see that kind of arm strength this spring. A debate remains whether his future is on the mound or at third base. He's 6 feet and 200 pounds, so there's not a lot of projectability on the mound . . . RHP Jeff Archer, the son of Steelers assistant coach and former Louisiana State head coach Mike Archer, made an early move by throwing 90 mph. He was sidelined by a sore arm, and a commitment to Kentucky will probably take him out of the mix altogether . . . RHP Justin Nash stirred a lot of early interest when his fastball was clocked at 94 mph. Attention subsided as his velocity fell off.
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