Scout's View: Pedro Alvarez And Justin Smoak

When next year's draft rolls around, Pedro Alvarez and Justin Smoak will be two of the names mentioned as top five picks. Alan Matthews talked to a pair of crosscheckers about the similarities and differences of the pair of polished college bats.

"These two guys have a lot of similarities, and even though the team has had its share of struggles, I think you can head home convinced they remain among, if not the best prospects in next year's draft," the first crosschecker said.

"They're 1 and 1-A," said the second. "If you need a third baseman, you go with Alvarez, but they're both first-round picks and probably both high first-round picks. They're on an equal basis. They're both going to have power. Alvarez might be a better hitter, Smoak might have more power. He has bat speed, leverage and strength, and it's from both sides, so that's going to give him the nod in some people's minds. They're both going to be above-average defenders. Alvarez has a touch better arm, but that's going to be a non-factor because they're both fine on defense and you're buying premium bats here."

"One thing Alvarez didn't do (in the series against Japan), he had trouble with lefthanded pitching. That's something he's going to have to adjust to," the first crosschecker said.

"If you polled 10 scouting directors, you might get 10 different answers. Everyone has their own ideas, and nobody's right and nobody's wrong. They're two of the best players in the country."