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Analyzing Amateur Baseball Talent as it pertains to the MLB Draft

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2011 Draft Eligibles - Note Archives

In this notes edition I am compiling all of the past comments on 2011 draft-eligible college players (and some 2012 draft eliglbles) all in one place. As you will see below, some of the notes on 2011 draft eligibles are very brief, while others are more descriptive, depending how many times I have seen the players in question.

Additional notes on 2011 draft-eligible players can be found in the 2011 archives as listed on the right-hand side of this page. The more prominent players profiles will be listed next to the date as shown.

Also be sure to check out my first-hand reports (Sonny Gray vs. Logan Darnell and Jack Armstrong vs. Alex Meyer) on a series I covered between Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky in 2010.

Anthony Rendon - 3B, Rice

From 5-31-10
Rendon is as smooth and natural as they come, a modest athlete that is quite simply a great natural hitter. He has a short strike and is short to the ball, but the ball explodes off of his bat. He has exceptional hand-eye coordination, and should continue to hit for both average and power at the next level. He also makes the hot corner look easy, and is a premium defender that could handle second base, and could even manage shortstop in a pinch.

From 4-26-10
The first thing you notice when watching Rendon play is how much fun he has on the field. He is very animated, and is quick to flash a smile. That energy is evident in the way he plays the game, as he’s a natural both at the plate and in the field at third base. He’s a shorter athlete, but rangy, and I’m sure he could play second base if given the chance. He plays third base now, and made a really nice bare-handed play on a weak infield chopper, showing good balance to pick the ball and make the throw to first to gun down the runner all in one motion.

At the plate his bat speed is just as evident. He only had one hit on this day, which just happened to be a three-run home run on a hanging curveball in the bottom of the eighth inning that allowed Rice to rise ahead of East Carolina, previously down 2-0. In every at-bat prior to that Rendon hit the ball hard, three consecutive line drive outs to the outfield. While he is a very patient hitter, as evidenced by the 48 walks he has drawn this year (currently second-best in the nation), he has an aggressive swing. He allows the ball to travel deep into the zone before striking, and has excellent plate coverage, rarely missing the ball when the bat leaves his shoulder.

Given how hard he hits the ball in seemingly every at-bat and his near MLB ready defense, he reminds me an awful lot of Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman coming out of Virginia a few years ago.

Matt Purke - LHP, TCU

From 5-27-10
Purke adds character and personality to the game of baseball, rocking a mohawk, cocking his cap to one side of his head and wearing sports goggles a la Eric Gagne. He runs off of the field when he has finished an inning, and could even be seen laughing with his infielders after he took a line drive to his backside.

He was an unsigned first-rounder last June by the Rangers, and will be eligible for the draft again next year as a sophomore. He was one of my favorite prospects for the 2009 draft, as I had him rated higher than Tyler Matzek, whom many believed was the best prep prospect available last year. I had him ranked higher because I felt he did a lot of the little things better, and that his stuff was more unhittable than Matzek’s, doing a better job upsetting hitter’s timing and having more deception on his electric arm speed.

His fastball hovered around 90 mph in his start in the Mountain West Conference against Utah. He was up to 92 in the middle-innings, and actually seemed to get stronger and pitch more effectively as the game wore on. After allowing the first two batters he faced in the fourth inning to reach on base hits, he struck out the side, pumping his fist as he left the mound.

He can change speeds on his breaking ball, throwing both a curve and a slider, but his wicked slider is his swing and miss offering. It sits right at 80, and falls off the table, even more difficult to hit since it is thrown with the same arm speed and action as his fastball. He did a nice job hitting the corner on the arm-side of the plate with his fastball, and overall I love the personality he brings to the game. He certainly will remain one of my favorite draft prospects over the next year, and currently with a 12-0 record as a freshman, he has proven that he has no problem pitching at the college level, and that success should continue for him as a pro.

Kyle Winkler - RHP, TCU

From 5-10-10
TCU’s weekend rotation, prior to last weekend, was collectively undefeated. Freshman Matt Purke has recently supplanted sophomore Kyle Winkler as the Friday starter. Junior Steven Maxwell holds the Sunday job, and the three currently at 24-1 with a 3.44 ERA, pitching more than half of the team’s overall innings.

Winkler is known more the stuff on his movement than the actual velocity readings, although he was up to 94 on this day, and was still throwing 92 in the seventh. I really like the way he established his fastball early, which made his mid-80s slider that much more difficult to hit. Later in the game he started to throw more changeups as he started to lose the touch on his slider as his arm wore down.

For a well-known sinkerballer, he elevates his fastball quite a bit, and isn’t afraid to challenge hitters upstairs. There is some herky-jerkiness to his delivery, which creates some natural deception, and he shows the ability to hit the corners with his fastball. He has a modest frame, and reminded me quite a bit of a young Tim Hudson.

Taylor Featherston - SS, TCU

From 5-10-10
TCU has some promising bats in their lineup as well. Fellow sophomore Taylor Featherston is a slick fielding middle infielder with a strong arm that should be selected in the early rounds a year from now.

Jason Coats - OF, TCU

From 5-10-10
And the Horned Frogs could get hit hard by the draft next year, as corner outfielder Jason Coats is also a sophomore, and is enjoying a big year this spring. He’s a solid overall player with some pop at the plate as a right-handed hitter. His upside is limited, but if he keeps hitting he’s going to push his name into the early rounds.

Brooks Pinckard - OF/RHP, Baylor

From 5-10-10
I covered Pinckard for the last two summers covering the Northwoods League, and he continues to be a very enigmatic talent. He can flash a mid-90s fastball, and has interesting power and speed as a positional prospect, but he hasn’t been able to put the whole package together. As a pitcher he has a smallish/skinny but athletic frame. There is a lot of effort to his low three-quarters delivery as he lands almost completely upright, and likely will remain a reliever at the next level. He has a strong lower half, and a very quick arm. His arm slows down when throwing his breaking ball, of which he does a good job to change speeds between a true curve and slider.

Cody Asche - 3B/1B, Nebraska

From 4-26-10
Cody Asche isn’t draft-eligible until next year, but he started at third base for Nebraska in this game against Kansas. He has a modest build, built like a pole with not much difference from his upper body to his lower body. He shows a very good eye at the plate and a natural sense for the batter’s box. Like Thompson, he didn’t do much in this game, but you could tell he’s a very good natural hitter from the left-side of the plate. He likely will max out around 20 home runs per year, but I could see him hitting 30-35 doubles per year, and defensively he looked very natural at third base, with good instincts and a strong arm. Like Rendon above, I’m guessing Asche could handle second base as well.

Sean Yost - RHP, Nebraska

From 3-22-10
Tall, lanky, projectable righty with room to add strength. Exaggerated delivery. Good FB/SL combo. Slider shows very good bite, and can also take a little off of it for more of a true curveball break. Allowed quite a few runs, but didn’t give up anything hit hard and showed good stuff. I ranked Yost as the 29th best prospect in the Northwoods League last summer where he received support for his projectable build and budding stuff, as he was up to 95. A draft-eligible sophomore, control still seems to be Yost’s biggest problem, although he does attack hitters and likely won’t be hit as hard by those using a wood bat.

Zach Cone - OF, Georgia

From 4-18-10
As with Grimm, here’s my weekly Cone update...there isn’t much to add, as he is a great overall athlete, with a strong muscular build that somewhat resembles Albert Pujols. Cone has great speed, and as I noted previously, playing centerfield and tracking fly balls seems to come extremely natural to him. He even swiped a pair of bases in the first inning after getting on base with an RBI single off of Drew Smyly.

He still needs to work on his plate discipline, as he’s an aggressive swinger that needs to learn the value of working the count better than he does. With great strength and bat speed, as well as good foot speed, he’s a rare five-tool talent that could put his name in the conversation for the top five to 10 overall picks next year.

From 4-11-10
The Bulldogs do have some exciting talent despite their struggling record, with centerfielder Zach Cone standing out. He really stood out for me last summer on the Cape, as I remember thinking just how much it looked like he belonged when I first saw him.

He’s a great looking athlete with perfect proportions and sloped shoulders. He didn’t do much in this game, or the one the week before, but he’s posting good numbers this season and has an exciting blend of power and speed. I really like the way he has taken to center, as he glides easily to where the ball is projected to land, puts himself into position and makes the catch. He plays the position the way it is supposed to be played by running to the spot instead of running to the ball. It’s pretty obvious he has good, natural instincts out there, and I already know he has a strong throwing arm, so this is a nice boost to his overall value.

And he carries himself with the usual confident swagger that some of the best possess. He has great bat speed and is showing off his talents this spring with six doubles, five triples and seven home runs. He’s a sophomore now, one of several sophomores in the Bulldogs’ lineup, and is potential first rounder for the 2011 draft.

Cecil Tanner - RHP, Georgia

From 4-10-10
Tanner is a big fella, with a body somewhat similar to Georgia Tech’s Deck McGuire in that he has good size and overall measurables, but isn’t exactly what I would call projectable. Like Grimm, he really struggles with his control. He pitched in the low-90s in this game and got himself into some trouble. He has been clocked in the upper 90s in the past, as it appears to be clear that his role will continue to be in short relief at the next level. I hope to see him again this season to see how his fastball (and breaking ball) look. He’s a sophomore and isn’t draft-eligible until next year.

Matt Skole - 3B/1B, Georgia Tech

From 4-18-10
Georgia Tech boasts a powerful overall lineup with several hitters posting some Nintendo-like numbers this spring. Dietrich, Matt Skole, Tony Plagman and Chase Burnette are all hitting better than .350 with at least 11 home runs. Plagman and Burnette should be drafted in the mid-rounds this year, while Skole should be an early round pick next year. He has a large, muscular build and an equally big left-handed stroke. He’s currently leading the team in slugging percentage and walks, putting his power/patience approach on display. He has also committed 10 errors at the hot corner, and may have to slide across the diamond at the next level. Think Chris Davis of the Rangers.

Buck Farmer - RHP, Georgia Tech (2012)

From 4-18-10
Farmer came on in relief of Cumpton in the eighth. He is a freshman and is a potential first-round pick for the 2012 draft. He certainly doesn’t look like a freshman, with a thick, mature build, barrel chest and a strong lower half. He has a couple of starts under his belt this year, but is currently serving in relief for the Yellow Jackets, a role he may continue to be used in at the next level.

And that’s not a knock on his stuff, as he throws a good, heavy fastball that sits in the 92-93 range and a potentially nasty low-80s slider. The problem is his delivery, as he throws across his body and there is a visible head snap. That has got to be a concern for his future health, and the reason why I believe it may be best to keep him in the bullpen. However, he likely will be asked to fill one of the weekend spots expected to be vacated by Deck McGuire and Brandon Cumpton.

B.A. Vollmuth - SS, Southern Miss

From 5-31-10
Vollmuth is more of an athlete, with very good size that I have previously compared to Troy Tulowitzki. He gets great extension on balls and shows a patient eye at the plate. His power numbers continue to get better, although his swing remains long, and he also is prone to errors at the shortstop position. He may have to slide over to third, but has the bat to thrive there as well. He hit the ball well with wood on the Cape last summer, and should enter this summer as one of the more intriguing players eligible for next year’s draft.

From 5-10-10
Southern Miss’ shortstop opened quite a few eyes last summer on the Cape, and is one of the top prospects available for the 2011 draft. He is a very good athlete with perfect athletic proportions. He’s a bigger shortstop, not unlike Troy Tulowitzki, and has similar grace playing the position despite being built more like a third baseman, where some believe he will eventually end up. He didn’t have a hit in this game, but did draw three walks, and will be one of the more interesting players to follow over the next year.

Brett Mooneyham - LHP, Stanford

From 5-16-10
Stanford’s ace is a tough prospect to get a good read on. He has great stuff for a lefty, with a big, strong build and the ability to miss bats. His fastball sits in the low-90s with the ability to reach higher than that frequently. I’ve seen his stuff work for him better than it did on this day. His changeup wasn’t doing much for him and he struggled to find the grip on his curveball. His arm noticeably slowed down when he wasn’t throwing his fastball, and he frequently sped up his arm and overthrew his fastball.

For such pitchers you always try to figure out what is holding them back from putting it all together when they are so immensely talent. Mooneyham’s former Cardinal teammate Jeff Inman was similar given his own talents yet inability to pitch up to his stuff. The only thing I can think of that may be holding Mooneyham back is patience. It seems as though he’s trying to strike out the side with one pitch instead of recognizing the importance of setting pitchers up and setting them down. I don’t know if that is necessarily true, and I look forward to seeing him pitch a few more times between now and a year from now, as he’s a projected first-round pick for the 2011 draft.

From 4-19-09
Evidently cocky on mound. Big guy strong upper body, broad shoulders. Started off game with pair of walks but got into rhythm after that. Good arm speed. FB velocity. Command is a little wild, but he has power stuff to make it effective. FB has running life away from RH batters. Two runs he allowed came on 2-run HR in the 3rd. Mostly FBs. Big sweeping/breaking slow curveball. Doesn’t throw too many, could be sharpened up. Showed a few tighter ones, but still is clearly his second best pitch. Kevin Stocker (announcer) noted that his FB was 93-95 in the 6th, but I’m not sure I buy that. CB has the potential to be a great second pitch, didn’t see any changeups. Scott Boras advisee if I remember correctly, and is going to be a huge draft prospect for the 2011 draft. Really glad I got to see him pitch -- he’ll be the team’s Friday starter the next two years.

Kenny Diekroeger - SS, Stanford (2012)

From 5-16-10
Diekroeger, like Brian Goodwin, is enjoying a solid freshman campaign and could be among the candidates as discussed for the top five to 10 overall picks. He’s a well built athlete, well-proportioned and strong similar to Troy Tulowitzki in stature. He only had one hit in this game, a two-run triple when he yanked a curveball down the left field line for a two-run triple late in the game. He did show good bat speed and very good extension. I think similar to college players in recent years such as Pedro Alvarez and Anthony Rendon, Diekroeger could very well put up great numbers three consecutive years before becoming draft eligible for 2012.

Harold Martinez - 3B, Miami

From 4-11-10
Miami is loaded with young, exciting, athletic talent. Third baseman Harold Martinez, shortstop Stephen Perez and outfielder Nathan Melendres all have exciting pro potential. Martinez has the most offensive upside, with a well-proportioned wiry strong build. He was an Aflac All-American in high school, and at one point was considered a premium, mid-first-round talent. He has great bat speed and gets great extension. While that makes him prone to strikeouts, it also gives him great power potential. I like that he’s playing third base on an everyday basis this year, and I think it’s a position he can stay at long-term.

From 4-21-09
Third baseman Harold Martinez reminds me of Ryan Braun as a Miami Hurricane in that he was recruited to play shortstop, has already move to third, and may end up in the outfield some day. He is a loose and rangy athlete whose bat is a very exciting tool. He is aggressively patient, just as Braun is, in that he often goes 0-2 in counts, but is always a threat to go deep.

Nathan Melendres - OF, Miami

From 4-11-10
Melendres doesn’t have the upside of Perez or Martinez, but he’s a solid prospect with some bat speed, foot speed, and good range in the outfield. He’s another player I covered in the Northwoods League last summer, with a few managers calling him the best defensive player in the league. He played in right field in this game by necessity, but he has very good natural instincts and a pretty good arm despite his smallish stature. Melendres, like Martinez, isn't draft-eligible until next year.

Stephen Perez - SS, Miami (2012)

From 4-11-10
To his (Harold Martinez) left at shortstop is Stephen Perez, another talented player coming out of high school that was once considered a potential first-round pick. He doesn’t have the size of Martinez, or Grandal for that matter, but he’s a good looking athlete and shows good bat speed. He didn’t do much in this game, and is only a freshman, but his talent is evident.

Andy Burns - IF, Kentucky

From 5-20-09
Good, not great athlete. Mark Loretta-esque, but looked bigger when standing next to runner on 3B. Good bat, approach, bat speed, some power potential. Versatile -- can play all over the IF. Will need to find a home to maximize his value. If not SS, 2B.

From 4-16-09
Kentucky doesn't have a lot of premium draft-eligible talent, but keep an eye on freshman infielder Andy Burns. He was an Aflac All-American the summer before his senior year in high school, and participated in the Northwoods League last summer before stepping foot onto Kentucky's campus. He has a polished approach, is short to the ball and a line drive swing with a fair amount of home run power. Mark DeRosa would be a good comparison for Burns who can play anywhere on the infield and may make his mark for his versatility and above average tool-set.

Austin Dicharry - RHP, Texas

From 5-20-09
Fellow Longhorn freshman Austin Dicharry came in relief for Jungmann in the fifth inning after the Aggies mounted a comeback. Dicharry promptly got out of the jam he was left with, relying primarily on his changeup, a great pitch that may be one of the better “trick” pitches in the college game.

It’s a true floater, the type of changeup of which it literally looks like the pitcher pulls a string on it right before it gets to the plate. It is thrown with the exact same arm angle and action as his fastball.

And he also has a pretty good curveball that completely fools batters when he pulls it out of the arsenal. He didn’t throw too many, as he was throwing a lot of changeups. His fastball reportedly hits 90-91, but he needs to start throwing it more often to succeed at the next level, where fastball command is so important. When he does throw his fastball he throws it up in the zone, again, not a good idea for a pitcher that doesn’t light up radar guns. It’s hard to argue with his results, and while he is only a freshman enjoying a huge year for the impressive Longhorns, he will need to make some key adjustments if he is going to eventually succeed at the next level.

Cole Green - RHP, Texas

From 5-10-10
I’ve seen Green plenty of times before, and think he’s a good, not great pitching prospect. He’s enjoying a good year for the Longhorn, as is a big part of why Texas is leading the nation with a 2.14 ERA, nearly a run better than the next best pitching staff. His best pitch is a slider, which he commands very well. His fastball sits in the upper-80s to low-90s, and he can also throw a slow curve with the ability to cut his fastball. He repeats his delivery well, and similar to Bolsinger I could see Green settling in as a short reliever or swing man at the next level.

From 5-20-09
The first time I saw Green this spring I wasn’t overly impressed. His stuff didn’t look very good, and his delivery wasn’t particularly loose. He looked better the second time around, showing command of a pretty good fastball-slider combo. However, I do still believe that his potential is limited, and may not have much more room for improvement.

Taylor Jungmann - RHP, Texas

From 4-10-10
Jungmann, a sophomore, is one of the top prospects available for the 2011 draft and a candidate to go first overall. He is already the Texas Longhorns’ staff ace and is off to another strong start this year. I got to see him take the ball against Texas Tech, in which he got roughed up a little bit by a patient Red Raiders lineup.

He has good size with long, strong limbs and continues to add strength to his frame. His fastball on this day looked a little straighter than I remembered it, but he did a good job keeping it down in the zone. He also threw more of a true curveball in this contest, as well as the slider I have seen him throw in the past. The slider continues to be the better of the two breaking balls, with very good two-plane break. His curveball may not be as sharp, but it’s a nice complement to his slider (and fastball), and gives the batters another pitch they have to recognize. On this day, several of his strikeouts came swinging on his curveball.

There is good deception out of his hand as the ball is released, and he commands the strike zone very well. He threw a lot of pitches in the first and gave up a two-run home run, a ball that never would have left the park if the batter had been swinging a wood bat. He is very cool and composed on the mound, and never seemed to get rattled.

He did a nice job giving batters something different to look at as he worked through the batting order, throwing a lot of breaking balls in the third inning before going back to his fastball in the fourth. He settled in nicely after the first and started to induce weak contact earlier in the count. His fastball also started to show more sinking life as the game went on, particularly in the fifth inning.

From 5-20-09
Texas’ sensation freshman tandem of Jungmann and Austin Dicharry have provided excellent depth to an already strong staff led by the sophomore trio of Cole Green, Chance Ruffin and Brandon Workman. Jungmann and Dicharry serve as piggy-back starters of sorts, with only five starts a piece, but with 56 and 46 innings respectively.

Jungmann was one of my favorite pitches after watching the 2007 Aflac All-American Classic, and his style somewhat reminded me of Tim Alderson. Built tall and lanky with a sturdy middle-half, he has a fastball-slider combo that are both hard to hit. His slider is similar to a changeup in that he throws it exactly the same as his fastball, and its trajectory starts like a fastball only to sharpy break away from right-handed batters, almost too late to react to. While he was always around the zone, he was just missing quite a bit, and is going to have to work on catching the zone, especially earlier in the count, to prevent his pitch counts from rising too quickly early in games.

Not only is he hard to hit, but he’s even more hard to hit hard, having given up only five extra base hits this year. He’s going to be one of the bigger names to watch for the 2011 draft.

Jonathan Walsh - OF/IF/C, Texas (2012)

From 3-22-10
I didn’t spend too much time watching any of the Longhorns hitters, although I was happy to see freshman Jonathan Walsh in the lineup. Checking the stat books to open the year, Walsh’s name was a little slow to appear. An anemic offense caused Augie Garrido to insert Walsh hoping he would instill some much needed run production, and the move so far has paid off well. In his first seven games (six starts) he’s hitting .476, and already looks to be the team’s best overall hitter.

A versatile overall player that played catcher in high school, Walsh played the weekend in left field, which I think is a good move to get his bat in the lineup. I haven’t been shy about sharing praise for Walsh in the past, who I believe could be a similar player to Jayson Werth, who also began his career as a catcher before taking off as a corner outfielder when he was able to focus on his hitting.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. - OF, South Carolina

From 4-10-10
This was the first time I had a chance to see Bradley play, who improve his draft stock last summer playing in the Cape Cod League. He is a sophomore and is expected to be a premium draft pick in the 2011 draft.

A left-handed hitter, he is a great looking athlete with the tools to profile as a prototypical leadoff hitting centerfielder. In the batter’s box he reminded me of Jared Mitchell, although not quite as sculpted. Mitchell had always reminded me of Ruben Sierra (the pre-massive bulked up Ruben Sierra from the late 80s and early 90s). He has good bat speed although he doesn’t have the smoothest of swings. He swings the bat somewhat similar to Ichiro in that he puts his lower half into his swing more than most professional hitters. There isn’t much pop right now, but that isn’t his strength, as he’s best off putting the ball in play and using his premium speed to get on base and wreck havoc on the basepaths.

Bradley did exhibit a solid eye at the plate and seems to recognize the value of working the count and getting on base, which is always a good sign for a player with his profile.

Danny Hultzen - LHP, Virginia

From 5-31-10
Virginia ace Danny Hultzen, who was named the ACC pitcher of the year, will enter next spring as a potential top 10 overall pick. I’ve profiled him before, and while he is known more for his command, polish and overall repertoire, he still can dial his fastball up to 94 on a regular basis. He throws his entire four-pitch mix for strikes, and could probably get away tossing his fastball and changeup exclusively if he had to. He was one of the toughest pitchers in all of college baseball to hit this past year.

From 5-16-10
Hultzen wasn’t particularly sharp in this contest, at least not with his command, but his stuff still looked good. He is a tall and lanky left with long, strong legs pitching from a wide base. For as good as his command is, his fastball touched 93 more than a handful of times, and sat in the 90-92 range during his five innings of work. He caught both the inside and outside corner with this pitch a few times, and also threw it by a pair of Tar Heels for punchouts.

His slider is just as good, a pitch that doesn’t have wicked two-plane break, but shows late life and dives out of the strike zone at the last moment. He throws the pitch 80-81. By the third inning he also started to mix in a curveball that he intentionally kept in his back pocket to give hitters something else to look at and think about the second and third time through the lineup. The pitch lacks tight break, but it’s serves the purpose given the way he uses it. He can also throws a solid changeup, giving him a well-rounded four-pitch arsenal.

Hultzen was removed after five innings, tossing 116 innings since as noted above he did not have his best command on this day and tossed a few long innings. I got to catch Hultzen several times a year ago, especially towards the end of the year as he was a big part of Virginia’s surge towards Omaha. His poise and his command have always been impressive, and I was reminded that his fastball and slider are two really good pitches, as he will be talked about quite a bit between now and a year from now amongst the candidates for the top 10 overall picks.

From 5-25-09
The ACC Freshman of the year, Danny Hultzen, started opposite White. Hultzen managed his arsenal very efficiently and effectively, keeping the Tar Heels batters off balance all day. North Carolina’s lineup is rather left-handed heavy, so that worked in Hultzen’s favor as well.

He sat at 87-88, touching as high as 91 and not dropping below 86. He also threw a decent changeup and a slow, sweeping curveball. He has a good pitching frame and an easy delivery. He also bats and serves as the team’s DH on days he pitches, but his future seems to be brighter on the mound (although I thought the same about former Cavalier Sean Doolittle a couple of years ago).

Steven Proscia - 3B, Virginia

From 5-31-10
Steven Proscia is Virginia’s third baseman, and again as noted in previous notes columns, is a run-producing machine. He really knows how to handle the bat, and I envision him adding more power to his game next spring. He’s a big, strong bodied young man that really knows how to put a charge into a ball.

From 3-19-10
Sophomore third baseman Steven Proscia is the most impressive pure hitter in the Virginia lineup, with a knack for driving in runs, as he is among the national leaders in RBI. He has a big upper body with broad shoulders, and he hit a line drive home run in the third inning against Florida State showing his bat speed and easy power potential. He added an RBI double in the fifth, showing good pitch recognition by driving a hanging curveball to left field.

Branden Kline - RHP, Virginia (2012)

From 5-16-10
Kline is a freshman, similar to fellow bullpen mate Tyler Wilson in size and stuff. He has a lithe, wiry strong build, smooth delivery and a loose, live arm. His fastball peaked at 93 and didn’t drop below 88, and he also threw a sharp low-80s slider. I definitely see Kline, who has made a few starts this year, settling into the weekend rotation next year.

Erik Johnson - RHP, California

From 5-26-09
As for other starters on Cal, keep an eye on freshman Erik Johnson, who has a thick build and a solid three-pitch repertoire. His fastball sits in the low-90s, and his curveball is his second best pitch.

Ricky Oropesa - 1B, USC

From 3-19-10
Sophomore first baseman Ricky Oropesa has the best shot to go early a year from now as eligible for the 2011 draft. Oropesa was an Aflac All-American in high school, and has a large, chiseled NFL-type body that reminds me a lot of former Louisville Cardinal Chris Dominguez.

Like Dominguez, Oropesa moves well for his size, and offers an intimidating presence at the plate with great raw power potential. A left-handed hitter, he had 13 dingers as a freshman, and already has four home runs this year. He is prone to strikeouts, whiffing three times against UCLA, including being retired on three straight changeups in the first inning against left-handed starter Rob Rasmussen (profiled below).

With a strong arm, Oropesa also appeared in nine games a year ago out of the Trojans bullpen, but his pitching days are likely behind him as his value is clearly greater as a slugging first baseman.

From 5-26-09
First baseman Ricky Oropesa continues to impress me with his size and his swing. He could be an impact first rounder in 2011.

From 3-30-09
Fellow USC slugger Ricky Oropesa, a freshman first baseman/outfielder, is a picture-perfect athlete. He had a big spring leading up to last year’s draft coming out of high school, and is a former Aflac All-American. He has big-time power potential, but he also has a big swing, and despite his impressive stature, he’s probably limited to either first base or left field. He has the power potential to play those positions, but is going to need to shrink a few holes in his swing.

Taylor Wrenn - SS, USC

From 3-19-10
Sophomore shortstop Taylor Wrenn has the honor of replacing Grant Green on the diamond, and he shows very good infield actions defensively. His arm strength is below average, as he really has to put his whole body into his throws to first base. He has a smaller, skinny and almost frail body type that overall reminded me of a David Eckstein/Craig Counsell type of player.

A left-handed hitter, there isn’t much power to his swing, as he needs to hit for contact, use the opposite field and work the count to get on base to maximize his value. He also needs to add more strength so he has some power potential, even if it is minimal. He’s a good enough athlete with solid baseball instincts that should enjoy some success at the next level.

Sean Gilmartin - LHP, Florida State

From 3-19-10
Sophomore lefty Sean Gilmartin serves as the team’s Friday ace, and he took the ball in the first game of the season for the ‘Noles against Georgia State.

Gilmartin isn’t draft-eligible until 2011, where he should be taken in the top three rounds. He led the ACC in wins during his freshman year with 12, going 12-3, and this year has added a slider to his fastball-changeup repertoire and has also worked to improve the velocity on his fastball. What he lacks in pure stuff he makes up for in his feel for pitching.

The first thing you notice in watching Gilmartin pitch is his body type. He looks more like an outfielder (and he is) than a pitcher, with a good, loose, athletic frame and long, strong limbs. His fastball has late sinking movement, and he also throws a very refined changeup that is thrown with the exact arm speed and delivery as his fastball, making it a very difficult pitch to identify out of the hand.

He isn’t afraid to elevate his fastball to get batters swinging after he has lured them with soft stuff low and away. Since he changes speeds so well, he can get away with this even if he doesn’t throw particularly hard. Batters continually had difficulty making hard contact off of any of his pitches.

His slider was an average pitch, as it is clear he needs to continue to tighten it up. It has enough break to complement his fastball and changeup. It acts somewhat like a cutter, once again playing off of the success of his two better, more refined offerings.

Jayce Boyd - 1B, Florida State (2012)

From 3-19-10
First baseman Jayce Boyd is another player to watch in the future, currently a freshman eligible for the 2012 draft.

Boyd’s polish at the plate has allowed him to handle himself well, receiving regular playing time at first base. The FSU coaching staff is wisely hitting him in the lower third of the batting order to take some pressure off of him, but given the success he has already enjoyed this year I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hitting in the middle of the order by the end of the year.

With a tall and skinny build, there is plenty of room for him to add strength as he continues to mature. He employs an upright stance, and got better in each of the three early games I got to see him play. He has very good bat speed and extension, and with strong hands, wrists and forearms he is able to allow the ball to travel deep into the strike zone before driving it to all parts of the field. His swing is level, and is comfortable going with pitches the other way as well as turning on inside heat.

He also displays a keen eye and already has a good understanding of which pitches to wait on and which pitches to swing at. In the game against Virginia, he drove a low fastball the opposite way to right field that bounced high off of the screen, bouncing away from rightfielder Dan Grovatt allowing Boyd to cruise into third base. The ball could have been played better, meaning it should have only gone for a double, but in some parks that hit would have easily cleared the outfield fence.

I also wouldn’t be surprised to see him play either third base or a corner outfield spot next spring depending on who departs from the current team. He’s a good enough athlete to play a position other than first, although his bat clearly is his strong point. His confidence serves him well, and he seems to recognize the importance of making adjustments not only from one at-bat to another, but also during the at-bats themselves.

Cody Keefer - OF, UCLA (2012)

From 3-19-10
Freshman Cody Keefer is a left-handed hitter that exudes confidence in the batter’s box. He has a great, relaxed approach for such a young player, and even hit .292 with a wood bat last summer in the West Coast Collegiate League before his college career at UCLA began.

He is the best looking athlete among the UCLA players, with perfect proportions and sloped shoulders. He uses a short, compact yet powerful swing to lace line drives to all parts of the park, and while he is more of a gap-to-gap doubles hitter, he will eventually surprise people with home run power as he starts to learn how to drive the ball.

In the game against USC, he even gunned down a runner at home at a crucial part in the ballgame with a good, not great, accurate throw from left field.

Gabriel Shaw - RHP, Louisville

From 4-12-09
Gabriel Shaw impressed me when I had the chance to see him pitch last summer at the Northwoods League all-star game. He has such a nice and easy arm action. On this night he threw mostly curveballs, and they continued to get better the more he threw him. I wanted to see more of his fastball, but for whatever reason he didn’t have much confidence in it. His breaking ball is a curve/slider hybrid that has sharp, late-breaking movement. Keep an eye on this young man next spring.

Ryan Wright - IF, Louisville

From 5-26-10
Wright is the most exciting prospect of this group, a middle infielder with good athleticism and bat speed that is enjoying a big year. As a sophomore, he will definitely be a name to watch as the 2011 draft approaches.

Tony Zych - RHP, Louisville

From 5-26-10
Zych relieved Royse in the ninth, and came out firing 93-94 fastballs. He’s altered his delivery since being inserted as a short reliever at the college level, as his delivery is very violent, and unless he changes it he will continue to be used in that role. He also threw a very nice low-80s slider with a quick arm and some deception.

Jack Armstrong - RHP, Vanderbilt

From 4-10-10
Similar to (Navery) Moore, it was nice to see Armstrong start again after seeing his previous appearance. I’m not sure if it was because he was pitching a day job in sunny 80-degree weather in Florida, but he appeared to be throwing both harder and better than he was his previous start. He definitely was much harder to hit, and overall looked more crisp on the mound. His control and overall command was still inconsistent, but it didn’t burn him in this game.

He cruised through four innings, and was still throwing hard in the sixth. His curveball continued to show more break, and he was also throwing his changeup more in this game. With a great, projectable build, Armstrong is one of the better overall prospects to watch as eligible for the 2011 draft.

Jason Esposito - 3B, Vanderbilt

From 4-10-10
Another 2011 draft-eligible Vanderbilt player, Esposito’s best tool is his bat. He has a very defined, muscular build, and made some nice plays at third base that made me re-think my comments after seeing him play the week before about his future ability to stick at third base. He showed smooth movements, soft hands and a strong arm from the hot corner.

He turned on an inside fastball in the sixth inning of the Sunday contest against Florida for a line-drive home run. With that aggressive but controlled swing he reminded me why he has previously caused me to slap a Ryan Braun comparison on him. He has the same type of cocky, confident swagger to him that some of the best sluggers in the game possess.

In the seventh he launched a hanging curveball for another solo shot to left field, showing the ability to wait back on the breaking pitch and drive it where it’s pitched. Vanderbilt could very well have three players selected in the first round of the 2011 draft, including Esposito, Armstrong and Sonny Gray. Moore may put himself in the same conversation as long as he continues to progress between now and then.

From 4-6-09
Freshman third baseman Jason Esposito is a name to watch the next few years. He arrived at Vanderbilt with some pretty big shoes to fill, those of Pedro Alvarez, the second overall pick in last year's draft. While he is raw and needs to work on all facets of his game, he is an exciting athlete with exciting potential. He hit a home run in Friday's game, and looked an awful lot like Ryan Braun in doing so, with a big swing and extension and a high level of cockiness in doing so (he definitely took him time to start his trot to first base to admire his handiwork).

Taylor Hill - RHP, Vanderbilt

From 4-10-10
Hill took the mound opposite Johnson in the second game of the Florida-Vanderbilt series, and was the one starter I didn’t see in my recent trip to Nashville. he has a good build and broad shoulders and is tapered through the waist. He doesn’t appear to throw particularly hard, which is consistent with other scouting reports I have read. He threw mostly fastballs in the first inning, but later starter to throw a pretty good breaking ball that he is able to add and subtract off of for a difference between break and velocity. He lands a little upright, and ended up getting knocked around a little by the Gators’ lineup. He is a good, not great prospect that should be off the board somewhere in rounds three through six of this year’s draft.

Navery Moore - RHP, Vanderbilt

From 4-10-10
I saw Moore pitch to one batter in my aforementioned recent trip to Nashville, and that appearance was enough for me to want to see more. Fortunately I didn’t have to wait long.

Moore is a power pitcher, with a fast arm and good fastball velocity. Batters had a hard time catching up to this pitch, which was in the 92-93 range when I saw him the week before. He also throws a power breaking ball that is on the slurvy side, and while he had a hard time dropping it in the strike zone he at least missed low with the pitch. He can be wild, and he has the tendency to overthrow. He has a great arm and may be a good fit for the late innings at the next level, and I expect him to be used more and more for Vanderbilt as the season progresses.

Nick Ramirez - 1B/LHP, Cal State Fullerton

From 4-6-09
Freshman Nick Ramirez rounds out the top two-thirds of the Titans lineup. He has a big body that will need to focus on conditioning moving forward, but he also has a very nice approach and swing at the plate. He runs pretty well for his size, and reminded me of Nick Johnson.

Matty Ott - RHP, LSU

From 3-30-09
Closer Matty Ott has been sensational this year, with a 34-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 21 innings of work. He has five saves and a 2-1 record in 13 appearances.

Ott’s best pitch is also an absolutely nasty slider. He looked as though he was going to come in the ninth inning and absolutely shut down the Rebels, but the Rebels came out swinging, and while no ball was hit particularly hard, they managed to put together a nice little rally to come within one run of the Tigers.

Will Piwnica-Worms - OF, Duke

From 3-30-09
The hitter I was most impressed with was freshman center-fielder Will Piwnica-Worms. His last name isn’t a typo, and I remember being bummed that I didn’t have the chance to see him a year ago at the Perfect Game Indoor Showcase.

He’s a good looking athlete, built thin and lithe, but with long and strong limbs. His bat is his best tool, with very good bat speed and a line drive approach. He carries a confidence with him into the batters box, and exhibits a very good eye. He has good, not great speed, and will need to develop more over-the-fence power if he doesn’t have enough speed and range for center-field.

Adam Morgan - LHP, Alabama

From 3-30-09
Alabama also started a freshman lefty, Adam Morgan, on Saturday. Morgan has a more projectable build than Maronde, with a good delivery and overall proportions. He needs to throw more fastballs, as he relied almost entirely on his curveball in the early innings. His curve is a good pitch, but you just can't throw that many breaking balls and have success (or good health). He was sharp through nine innings before the Crimson Tide fell apart in the ninth inning.

Will Lamb - LHP/OF, Clemson

From 4-18-10
Lamb is a talented young hitter that didn’t do much in this game, but you can see plenty of room for improvement. He too is considered a potential first-round pick for next year’s draft, but a lot is going to have to come together for him in the next 12-15 months for that to happen. He is very tall and built rail-thin, but he has a great, smooth swing with evident bat speed from the left-side of the plate.

From 3-25-09
Finally, freshman LHP Will Lamb is really a name to keep an eye on. I think he likely will be a member of the Tigers' starting rotation a year from now, along with Casey Harman. He was the most projectable pitcher that I saw pitch over the weekend, with a lanky, athletic body and an easy arm action. He has a good fastball-changeup combo, something Clemson must preach, as both pitches showed good, late movement and complemented each other perfectly. I didn't see a breaking pitch, but he didn't need one during his short stint.

Brad Miller - IF, Clemson

From 4-18-10
Miller played for Team USA after his freshman year last summer, and is considered a potential first-round pick for the 2011 draft. He is a very good athlete with a slender but strong build. He’s a left-handed hitter with a level swing that is more content hitting for contact than power at this stage in his career. He has some speed and flashes a nice glove at the shortstop position. The few times I have seen him, he seems like a good, not great all-around player in which none of his tools really stand out from another.

Scott Weismann - RHP, Clemson

From 4-18-10
Weismann has one of the more interesting deliveries I’ve seen this year. He has a really slow and deliberate delivery and windup but a quick arm that whips through in his delivery. There is some pause to his delivery and he turns his foot as part of his drive to the plate. That herky-jerkiness and his low three-quarters arm slot gives him natural deception and makes him that much more difficult to time.

He works in the high-80s and can touch 92-93 with a fastball that shows natural late sinking life. He knows how to take advantage of that sink, working down in the strike zone and mixing in a really nice, sharp curveball that he can reach the low-80s with. I could see him settling into a short relief role down the road, although there is no reason for him not to start at this stage in his career.

Brian Johnson - LHP/OF, Florida (2012)

From 4-10-10
Johnson is a very talented freshman that is making an impact for the Gators both as a starter and as a hitter in their powerful lineup.

As a left-handed pitcher, he doesn’t overpower batters with stuff, but he shows a very mature approach on the mound. He has an easy delivery and shows very good fastball command. I would guess that he works consistently in the mid-to-upper 80s, and he mixes in an average curveball that he uses well with his fastball to change speed.

As a left-handed hitter, I really liked his approach, and he also showed a nice, easy swing. At this point in time, I was more impressed with Johnson’s bat, and I could see him making an impact at the next level with a swing that appears to be tailor-made for both contact and power. He isn’t much of a runner, and likely would be limited to first base or left field at the next level if that is how he is developed. That won’t be an issue for a few more years, as he isn’t draft eligible until 2012.

Austin Maddox - C/1B/3B, Florida (2012)

From 3-22-10
Maddox is put together a lot better than Tucker with a hulking, chiseled frame. Physically he reminds me of an Adam Dunn/Austin Kearns type of athlete, and I do think he eventually settles in as a corner outfielder, as his arm, at least in high school, was a plus attribute and shouldn’t go to waste. He could be a first-round pick in 2012.

Nick Maronde - LHP, Florida

From 4-10-10
I’ve seen quite a bit of Maronde in recent years, who continues to be used out of the bullpen. He has a low waist and a low-three-quarters delivery. There is some effort to that delivery, as he appears to throw the ball much harder knowing that he doesn’t have to pace himself. He throws a lot of fastballs, a pitch that is hard for opposing hitters to catch up with, something not exactly easy to find when it comes to left-handed pitchers. His fastball also shows a little late dip to it. In this game, he only threw one curveball, which didn’t appear to be anything more than a show-me pitch. That is similar to the report I wrote the first time I saw him pitch this year, although I have seen him throw his breaking ball more in the past.

He is one of the more talented players available for next year’s draft, but will need to return to the rotation to maximize that potential. He would still have value in the bullpen, but doesn’t have the raw one-two punch to be considered a prototypical closer.

From 3-22-10
I also had the chance to see talented sophomore Nick Maronde pitch a few innings. I have found it interesting the way Florida Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan handles his pitching staff, dating back to last year. Maronde is pitching out of the bullpen this year despite being one of the more promising starting prospects eligible for the 2011 draft.

And coming out of the bullpen he threw almost all fastballs. His delivery was a little more max effort than I remember, although he doesn’t have to worry about pacing himself. He had some trouble spotting his heater, but he was still effectively wild, as batters had a hard time hitting him. In one inning against Florida State he walked two batters and also struck out the side, pretty much a microcosm of what I saw of him over two appearances.

He did throw three breaking balls from what I could tell in his appearance against FSU: Two sliders and a curveball. His arm noticeably slowed down when he threw these pitches, although two of the three were effectively thrown. He pitches to his arm side, outside to right-handed batters and inside to left-handed batters, no uncommon for any left-handed pitcher.

From 3-30-09
Freshman lefty Nick Maronde took the mound for the Gators, and similar to the last time I saw him, he looked very sharp early before falling apart in the mid-innings, roughly the third time he faced the batting order.

His fastball is his best pitch, a true power offering that he can get away with elevating it in the strike zone. He was getting the outside strike and took advantage of it. He threw a few changeups, which looked to be show-me pitches, but didn't see him throw any breaking balls. Overall his season numbers are very good, and has been a big part of the Gatros' success this spring.

From 3-9-09
Maronde was one of the top high school prospects from a year ago, hailing from Lexington, Kentucky, and was considered the Gators prized recruit of an overall impressive class. A polished and mature pitcher even in high school, having him work in the weekend rotation of a perennially tough SEC team was something he was expected to be able to handle from day one.

And he did just that, performing very well in his first start against Louisville Cardinals. He also did very well over the first three innings against a very tough Hurricanes lineup, commanding his fastball to all parts of the strike zone and putting batters away with his slurvy curveball. He definitely knows how to work the outer half of the plate against right-handed hitters.

And he works away from right-handed batters even more with runners on base, trying to avoid the big inning, and noticeably slows down his pace, trying to lull the opposing batter to sleep. Unfortunately in the fourth inning he wasn't catching the outside corner as well as he did over the first three frames, as the Miami hitters did a good job laying off that pitch the second time through the batting order. This caused him to walk a few batters, and also forced him to come over the plate. His stuff is hittable when he is put in situations like that, placing a greater emphasis on his command. The Gators defense behind him didn't help his cause, as a missed infield pop-up in the fourth with two outs caused him to work a little longer than he needed to, but much of the damage that inning had already taken place.

Justin Poovey - RHP, Florida

From 3-9-09
Poovey came in the fourth inning to record the final out, and stayed in to work the fifth and started the sixth. I'm sure the Gators staff had hoped he could have lasted longer in this game, but he too really struggled with his command and got hit hard when he was forced to come over the plate. He was lucky to get out of the fifth inning allowing only one run, and his luck ran out in the sixth, when he was pulled before he recorded a single out.

However, his stuff really impressed me. He works down in the zone for the most part, only elevating his four-seam fastball when he needed to throw a strike. His best pitch is a two-seamer that is going to induce a ton of groundballs once he proves he can throw strikes on a more consistent basis, and he also has a swing-and-miss curveball. He's a redshirt freshman that missed his true freshman season due to injury.

Preston Tucker - 1B, Florida

From 3-22-10
One player defines their lineup and appears to have really stepped forward this year: Sophomore first baseman Preston Tucker.

Tucker has a great, patient approach and a nice, left-handed swing. A big boy with a soft lower half, he resembles left-handed sluggers such as Brett Wallace and Jaff Decker, and he is really going to have to watch his weight. He has a baby face which doesn’t seem to match his physique.

He and Maddox form one of the most deadly three-four hitter combos in the nation. The two went back-to-back in the sixth inning in the first game against Mississippi State, Tucker hitting a booming shot to left-centerfield, with Maddox hitting a laser over the left-field fence.

In a game earlier in the week against Florida State he went 2-for-3 with 4 RBI. He had an RBI single, a sac fly, a bases loaded walk and a solo shot, and eventually ran out of at-bats to try and find a new way to drive in a run. He lost a few points with me as a paused to watch his home run, but that’s not uncommon at any level these days, and FSU-Florida is a big rivalry for any sport.

As noted, he really has to watch his weight, and he would do himself and his future a lot of good if he hit the weight room hard and worked to trim up his body preparing for the 2011 draft. He still should get drafted early, and already is enjoying a good season at the plate as a sophomore.

Michael Zunino - C, Florida (2012)

From 3-22-10
Zunino’s presence in particular is interesting, as he’s always been known as a defensive stalwart behind the plate, and has allowed the Gators to use Maddox as their designate hitter where he can focus on hitting. Opposite to Zunino, to whom Maddox was a teammate of as part of the 2008 Aflac All-American Classic, Maddox is known for his bat, and I’ve long believed that he likely wouldn’t be able to stay behind the plate, with a corner outfield spot or first base more likely.

John Stilson - RHP, Texas A&M

From 5-31-10
Stilson has been one of the stingiest pitchers in the nation. He’s currently second in the nation in earned runs against him (seven) and is third in batting average against (.172). He gets it done with a good fastball and an even better slider, easily the best one I have seen all season. He has a short armed delivery and lands almost completely upright, meaning his future lies in short relief. That’s not a knock, since he’s already really good in that role, and possesses arguably the best “trick” pitch in the nation. He’ll enter next year as potential first-round pick and one of the top college closers available.

Brian Dupra - RHP, Notre Dame

From 5-26-10
Right-hander Brian Dupra (Notre Dame) faced fellow righty Thomas Royse (Louisville) on national TV last Thursday, and looked pretty good doing so through 8.2 innings of work. He was consistently 91-94, still hitting the low-90s in the ninth hitting, while doing a nice job mixing in both his slider and curveball. His slider sat around 80, throwing his curve in the 72-75 range. Both pitches show good break, and he played off of the two pitches very well. I was impressed how well he commanded all three pitches since that is the one aspect of his game that he hasn’t consistently mastered.

He’s a big fella, built tall and strong with a high waist. He reminds me of Kyle Heckathorn, a high pick a year ago, and like Heckathorn there is some effort to his delivery with some believing his future will be in short relief. The way he commanded his three pitches in this game is reason enough to keep him in a starting role.

Unfortunately with only one out to go, he allowed a three-run bomb to pinch hitter J.J. Ethel and then a solo shot to Jeff Arnold. Prior to that he had only allowed two earned runs, and was poised to win the game for the Irish. He entered the ninth have already thrown 109 pitches, but the way he was throwing there was no competitive reason to remove him from the game.

Jay Johnson - LHP, Texas Tech

From 4-10-10
Johnson is a left-handed pitcher that I had the opportunity to follow last summer in the Northwoods League. He received some rave reviews from scouts that had seen him pitch in the 93-95 range. His biggest problem is his control, and himself, as he carries an animated, quirky-cocky attitude on the mound.

He is definitely a reliever to me at the next level, throwing from a low three-quarters delivery that was almost side-arm. There is some effort to his delivery, as well as a noticeable head-snap. He also possesses a really sharp slider that is a nasty pitch, but again, he has a hard time harnessing both his breaking ball and his fastball leading to him throwing more pitches than he should. He’s definitely an exciting prospect at the next level as a big-bodied lefty with the ability to pitch in the low-90s, reaching higher than that on occasion, with the potential for two really good pitches.

Johnny Ruettiger - OF, Arizona State

From 5-26-10
Ruettiger is an intriguing athlete that hails from the Chicago area. He has very good athletic proportions and has yet to fully tap into his potential. He has very good speed underway, and can stretch the bases, ripping his sixth triple of the season in this contest. He follows a recent string of talented Arizona State outfielders that includes Travis Buck, Jason Kipnis and Andre Ethier, and profiles similarly to Buck. He’s a sophomore and won’t be draft-eligible until next year, where he is currently projected to go somewhere in the top two to four rounds.

Deven Marrero - SS, Arizona State (2012)

From 5-26-10
One of the more talented freshman in the nation, Marrero is a rangy athlete that shows very quick hands at the plate. He had a couple of hits in this game, driving a curveball up the middle for a single in the first, while ripping a 94 mph fastball through the left sdie for another single in the eighth. Currently leading the team in hitting with a .409 average, I expect we’ll be seeing and hearing more and more of Marrero over the next two years.

Brian Goodwin - OF, North Carolina (2012)

From 5-16-10
I was a big fan of Goodwin’s a year ago coming out of high school. He made his strong, in-state commitment to North Carolina pretty clear, and he flourished on the showcase circuit during the summer of 2008, excelling at both the Aflac game in PETCO Park, and the Under Amour game in Wrigley Field.

For as good as all of his tools were, it seemed as though he had difficult hitting left-handed pitching. And for as good as his freshman year has been going this year, it seems as though he continues to struggle to make the proper adjustments against lefties. Between Wake Forest starter Austin Stadler and Virginia ace Danny Hultzen, Goodwin had difficult catching up to their fastballs and making the proper adjustments to their timing. He did drive a fastball off of Wake Forest reliever Eli Robins, also a southpaw.

Goodwin is hitting .284 this weekend, with 22 extra-base hits that include six triples and six home runs. His 53 RBI lead the team, and while he has drawn 41 walks this season, he also has whiffed 43 times. For as much speed as he has, he only has five stolen bases, although I expect that to change in future years at UNC as he likely will move up the batting order. He’s only a freshman, and isn’t draft eligible until 2012, when I fully expect him to be a first-round pick.

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Dandy Dozen

SP
Andrew Gagnon Well rounded RHP w/ good size, repertoire
SP
Erik Johnson Big bodied RHP with good FB/CB combo
SP
Deshorn Lake Live-armed RHP with sharp breaking ball
CL
Nick Maronde Lived-armed LHP tough to catch up to
C
Nick Delmonico May not be C long-term, big body, LH bat
1B
Zach Wilson Aggressive hitter can put sting in ball
IF
Sean Trent Well built hitter with pop, speed, arm
3B
Dante Bichette, Jr. Clone of father with big build, power
SS
Austin Nola Steady D' at shortstop, improving strength
OF
Nick Martini Good all around player with patient eye
OF
Shon Carson Shorter, well built 2-sport speedster
OF
Granden Goetzman Fast riser w/ exciting power/speed combo

more

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