Special Assignment Scout

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2011 DRAFT- Top 50 Prospects

With the 2010 draft complete, it's time to take a VERY early look at the top 50 prospects for the 2011 draft. I have seen nearly all these players play in person, at the National Showcase, on the Cape, or in past AFLAC games. it is!!

1. Anthony Rendon- 3B, Rice University

2. Matthew Purke- LHP, TCU

3. Daniel Norris- LHP, Science Hill HS

4. Gerrit Cole- RHP, UCLA

5. Taylor Jungmann- RHP, Texas

6. Dylan Bundy- RHP, Owasso HS

7. Archie Bradley- RHP, Muskogee HS

8. Jackie Bradley Jr.- OF, South Carolina

9. Travis Harrison- OF, Tustin HS

10. Sonny Gray- RHP, Vanderbilt

11. Michael Kelly- RHP, West Boca HS

12. Dillon Howard- RHP, Searcy HS

13. Danny Hultzen- LHP, Virginia

14. Joshua Tobias- 2B, Southeast Guilford HS

15. Blake Swihart- C, Cleveland HS

16. Trevor Bauer- RHP, UCLA

17. Mike Mahtook- OF, LSU

18. Alex Dickerson- OF, Indiana

19. George Springer- OF, Connecticut

20. Tyler Beede- RHP, Lawrence Academy

21. Henry Owens- LHP, Edison HS

22. Christian Lopes- SS, Edison HS

23. Logan Verrett- RHP, Baylor

24. Dillon Maples- RHP, Pinecrest HS

25. Jose Fernandez- RHP, Alonso HS

26. Noe Ramirez- RHP, Cal State Fullerton

27. Brett Mooneyham- LHP, Stanford

28. Francisco Lindor- SS, Montverde HS

29. Tyler Greene- SS, Roswell HS

30. John Stilson- RHP, Texas AM

31. Dwight Smith- OF, Mcintosh HS

32. Zach Cone - OF, Georgia

33. Christian Montgomery- RHP, Lawrence HS

34. Ryan Carpenter- LHP, Gonzaga

35. Bubba Starling- OF/RHP, Gardner Edgerton

36. Larry Greene- OF, Barrien County HS

37. Phillip Evans- SS, LaCosta Canyon HS

38. Matt Barnes- RHP, Connecticut

39. Mitch Lambson- LHP, Arizona State

40. Philip Pfeifer- LHP, Farragut HS

41. Taylor Dugas- OF, Alabama

42. Deshorn Lake- RHP, Menchville HS

43. BA Vollmuth- SS, Southern Miss

44. Austin Hedges- C, J Serra HS

45. CJ Cron- C, Utah

46. Jack Armstrong- RHP, Vanderbilt

47. Alex Meyer- RHP, Kentucky

48. Preston Tucker- 1B, Florida

49. Daniel Mengden- RHP/C, Westside HS

50. John Magliozzi- RHP, Dexter HS

feel free to comment on what you think! email me at

2011 Top 50 Draft Prospects

Tonight I will have my top 50 draft prospects for next year. Be sure to check it out!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sneak Peak: 2012 High School Top Ten

After watching the Junior National Showcase at Tropicana Field. Here is my top ten list for the class of 2012.

1. Lance McCullers- RHP/SS, Jesuit HS (FL)

2. Addison Russell- SS, Pace HS (FL)

3. Courtney Hawkins- RHP, CC Carroll HS

4. Stryker Trahan- C, Acadiana HS

5. Joey Gallo- 3B/RHP, Bishop Gorman HS

6. Jesse Winker- OF/LHP, Olympia HS

7. Zak Wasilewski- LHP, Tazewell HS

8. Albert Almora- OF, Mater Academy

9. Matthew Crownover- LHP, Ringold HS

10. Rio Ruiz- 3B, Bishop Amat HS

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

National Showcase Update

I checked out the National Showcase over the weekend. Just wanted to throw out a couple of HS names that were impressive at Tropicana. I will have new rankings up for the HS and College classes of 2011. One year and counting and a lot will change!

Daniel Norris - definite best pitcher in the class at this point. Low 90s fastball with potential plus secondary offerings.

Travis Harrison- plus power. easy swing. One of the top hitters in the nation.

Joshua Tobias- The most exciting player to watch at this event. He can flat out fly and also comes with potential plus power. Fun player to watch play the game.

Christian Lopes- One of the top players in the country for some time. Makes it look easy. Also has power in his bat.

Wallace Gonzalez- 6-5, 235. Has some excellent raw power. Could develop into a middle of the order type hitter.

John Magliozzi- very live arm. Sat low 90's with a plus change.

Daniel Mengden- good two-way player who looked great with the stick and on the mound.

Deshorn Lake- Low 90s arm. Top ten pitcher for sure.

Henry Owens- Big, lanky lefty who touched low 90s. In the top ten for me in the nation.

National Showcase

Well, I just got back from Florida checking out the National Showcase. I was able to see most of the best players in the country play against each other in this four day event. I was also able to catch a day of the Junior National Showcase. I will have player updates and rankings of the top players from both events within the week. Be sure to check it out!

2011 DRAFT

This blog will be covering the 2011 MLB Draft. It is a year away and I will be covering events such as The National Showcase, Under-Armour All-American Game, Cape Cod League and other events leading up to the draft. Be sure to check in frequently to see player profiles, mock drafts, rankings, and interviews with the top prospects in the country.

Top Prospect Q and A: Chevez Clarke

Interview with Top Prospect Chevez Clarke. Clarke is a highly ranked outfielder that attends Marietta High School in Georgia. He currently checks in at 13 in the nation by Baseball America.

Jeff Sullivan: Hey Chevez, thanks a lot for taking the time. First off, congrats on signing with Georgia Tech. What made you choose GT, and what other schools were in the running?

Chevez Clarke :I chose GT because I felt like I still wanted my parents to come watch me play for another 3 years and also even if baseball doesn't work out, I have an excellent plan B I can look forward to. I had Georgia, LSU, Florida State, North Carolina, and Miami in the running.

You are ranked 13 by Baseball America, and 17 by PG. Do you look at these rankings, and how do they have an effect on your day to day life?

I don't really read my own press or look at rankings. I hardly know anything about that. It really doesn't have an effect on my everyday life because I just take it one day at a time and get ready for June.

Between now and the Draft in June, what is one thing you trying to improve on?

I am really working on my bunting. I have taken several days out of the month and did nothing but bunt.

Last question, what is your favorite team, and who is your favorite player?

My favorite team is the Philadelphia Phillies and my favorite player is Jimmy Rollins

Top Prospect Q and A: Josh Sale

Interview with Top Prospect Josh Sale. Sale is currently the number 5 ranked player in the nation, and the number 1 outfielder in the nation, according to Baseball America. Sale has all the tools to be a power hitting corner outfielder at the Major League level. Look for a big spring from him, as he will have no problem with the pitching he faces in Washington.

Jeff Sullivan:Thanks for taking the time Josh. Congrats on signing with Gonzaga. What made you choose Gonzaga over other top schools in the country?

Josh Sale: I chose Gonzaga over other schools because first, it felt very comfortable. Second, I wanted to play somewhere where my parents would be able to see me play, they haven't missed a game in my life. Third, Gonzaga's team was young and having success and still is. Also they offered me a starting spot right away as a freshman. Lastly, they also gave me a great offer, which a lot of other places did at the same time, but Gonzaga fit the criteria I was looking for.

You come into the year ranked as the #1 HS Outfielder in the draft, how does that have an effect on your day to day life?

Getting the news, and seeing my name listed as the #1 HS OF in the draft was fun and exciting. Although, when it come's to my everyday life/school or personal life, it doesn't effect me too much. Sure there are my friends/acquaintances that bring it up in conversation, but when they do I give them an honest answer and try to be humble. (Being cocky is not a good way to make/keep friends). But probably the biggest effect it's had in my day to day life is scouts calling, and trying to schedule in-house visits around all my school work and training.

What is the transition like after playing summer ball against top pitchers in the nation on the biggest stage, and then facing high school pitchers in Washington?

Let me tell you, everything I did last summer and even the summer before that, regarding showcase's and prospect showing's was the time of my life. But what does Washington have to offer? Does it compare at all? Simply, no. I love the big time pitching, it's faster, and the game is much more advanced, which is what I love. Washington's pitching in high school is...well, terrible. It's slow, people can't throw strikes...I just don't like it. But, that said, I have to deal with it. I have to make adjustments, that's what the game is about. So for now, I live with it, and do what I can.

Between now and the draft in June, what are you trying to improve on?

Like everyone, I have my own little things that need work. Personally I believe I need to improve my entire game. I'm working on infield skills, running for my outfield game, and I'm always trying to be more consistent with hitting to be able to drive the ball anywhere with authority. Also, I'm in the gym with my workout partner's working on getting stronger and quicker to help improve my all around game.

Last question, what is your favorite team, and who is your favorite player?

Haha. Some people might hate me for this but that's ok, I don't care. But, honestly, my favorite team is the NY Yankees. Why? Because of the legacy, the dynasty, and the history that has filled that team's rosters over the years. I find it amazing! I've changed my view of my favorite player over and over because there's a lot out there that I like. That said, I'll give someone who I think is a great player, but also a great person. The attitude on and off the field, coupled with his work ethic makes this guy a great model for the game. I won't say he's my favorite but definitely someone that I look up to, and that's Derek Jeter.

Top Prospect Q and A: Dylan Covey

Interview with Top Prospect Dylan Covey. Covey is the #6 HS prospect in the nation, according to Baseball America.
Q:First off, congrats on signing with San Diego. What made you choose the school, and what other schools interested you?

Covey: San Diego is probably my favorite city. After going to visit the coaches and the campus I was in awe. I visited USC, which was another one of my top choices along with UCLA, Fullerton, and Long beach St., but I decided that I would have no regrets with committing to USD if another school was to show interest later on.

You are one of the top ranked HS pitchers in the nation. Describe how that feels, and how it has an effect on your day to day life.

Covey: Being ranked so high really doesn't have any effect on my day to day life. Going to a small private school probably has a lot to do with it mainly because it's not a school that is historically known for baseball. It doesn't bother me though, I'd rather not be in the spotlight.

What pitches do you throw? Where do they usually sit?

Covey: I throw a fastball that sits in the low to mid 90's, a curveball that's anywhere from high 70's to mid 80's, a slider that sits mid 80's with bumps to the uppers occasionally. A change up that is a work in progress. I also have a cutter but rarely throw it and don't know how hard I throw it.

If there was one thing to improve on between now and the draft in June, what would that be?

Covey: If I could improve on something right now it would definately be consistancy. Throwing hard and throwing strikes is what separates players in the next level.

Last question. Who is your favorite player and what is your favorite team?

Covey: I have a lot of players I like to watch but I'm not sure who my favorite would be. And of course being a southern californian I'm a dodger fan

Thanks a lot for the time Dylan. Good luck this season

2010 MLB DRAFT: Mock Draft

Here is my first look at the 2010 draft. The draft is just about 7 months away, so I'm sure this will change a lot throughout those months.

1. Washington Nationals- Bryce Harper, C, CC of Southern Nevada

Although it is nearly impossible for Harper to live up to ALL the hype surrounding him, he is still the clear number one talent in the draft. Unless something catastrophic happens between now and June, Harper will be the first player taken in the draft.

2. Pittsburgh Pirates- Jameson Taillon, RHP, The Woodlands HS (TX)

The Pirates almost always lean on the college side with their first pick. However, Taillon has established himself as the front runner for this pick. Pittsburgh saved money with their first pick last year in Tony Sanchez, but signed some good HS players late. When drafted, Taillon would immediately become the number one pitcher in the system.

3. Baltimore Orioles- Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton

Colon is the best position player in the draft. The Orioles are pitching heavy, and Colon would be a nice fit in the system. He does everything well, and the Orioles are in need of an impact position player in the system.

4. Kansas City Royals- Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, LSU

Ranaudo comes into the year as the best college pitcher. He is represented by Scott Boras, so that always has an effect on where a player is drafted. When it comes to draft day, the Royals will take the best player available. That is Ranaudo.

5.Cleveland Indians- Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Ole Miss

The Indians are lacking a power LHP in the system, and Pomeranz would change that. At 6'5, Pomeranz sits low 90's with a curveball that is a legitimate swing and miss pitch. Cleveland will not pass that up.

6. Arizona Diamondbacks- AJ Cole, RHP, Oviedo HS (FL)

Cole might be the most projectable pitcher in the draft. At 6'4, 180 pounds, he still has a lot of room to get stronger. He has two plus pitches and when he fills out they should both improve. He is a top of the line starter.

7. New York Mets- Chris Sale, LHP, Florida Gulf Coast

Sale came out of nowhere this summer on the cape to become one of the top LHPs in the draft. The Mets would love to add a 6'6 lefty who is always around the plate into their system. Sale still has room to fill out too, as he is only 175 pounds.

8.Houston Astros- Brandon Workman, RHP, Texas

Armed with a solid fastball and above average curveball, Workman will be on Houston's radar all spring long. A safe pick who should be able to eat up innings.

9.San Diego Padres- Stetson Allie, RHP, St. Edward HS(OH)

The hardest thrower in the draft, Allie has already flashed up to 99 mph. Usually a safe picking team, the Padres have showed recently that they are not afraid to spend the money to sign the best player available. The only negative about Allie is that due to his high effort delivery, he might just be a reliever. At worst case, Allie should be able to develop into a power closer, but he will be given his shot in the rotation.

10.Oakland Athletics- James Paxton, LHP, Kentucky

Paxton was taken in the first round last year, but didn't sign. A power lefty who can hit upper 90s, Paxton will be the first senior taken on draft day. However, Paxton will still be 21 by the signing deadline, and he still has yet to open his true potential. He has a good fastball/slider mix that he uses well, and a developing change up as well.

11.Toronto Blue Jays- Zach Cox, 3B, Arkansas

Cox, a draft eligible sophomore, might just be the best hitter in the draft after Harper. He is a power left handed bat that the Blue Jays need in the system. Some have questions about the defense, but Cox should be able to stay at third base.

12. Cincinnati Reds- Bryce Brentz, OF, MTSU

Shuffled a lot on this pick, but ultimately settled on Brentz. All he has done since he entered college was mash. A true power hitter, Brentz has the ability to hit for power to all fields. With another big year at Middle Tennessee, Brentz will land himself in the middle of the first round.

13. Chicago White Sox- Matt Harvey, RHP, UNC

Harvey was viewed as a top 5 pick, if not the top pick in the draft for quite some time. That was before Harper entered the draft, and before Harvey has a disapointing season at UNC. If Harvey bounces back to form, he could find himself near the top of the draft again.

14. Milwaukee Brewers- Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley HS(FL)

Whitson is a personal favorite of mine, who doesn't get enough love from the scouts. I feel he is right there with Cole as the number two pitcher in the class. He has a live arm, and a good feel for his slider. Look for Whitson to have a big spring.

15. Texas Rangers- Deck McGuire, RHP, Georgia Tech

McGuire is a guy with an impressive repetoire. He throws all his pitches well, and at 6'6, he is a very intriguing pick. This pick is the compensation pick for not signing Matthew Purke, so the Rangers have to make sure they pick a player that they know is signable. Look for McGuire to have a big spring in the ACC.

16. Chicago Cubs- DeAndre Smelter, RHP, Tattnall Square Academy(GA)

Smelter is a great athlete. The Cubs have been known to love athletes. Smelter mixes his pitches very well, while hiding the ball effectively. He still has yet to tap into his full potential as a pitcher, and when he does he could sneak his way even higher into the first round.

17. Tampa Bay Rays- Nick Castellanos, 3B, Archbishop McCarthy HS(FL)

Castellanos had a big summer to put himself into the mix. He is a pure hitter, and has solid power to all fields. He is a good athlete, and runs well for being 6'4.

18. Seattle Mariners- Austin Wilson, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS(CA)

The best high school outfielder in the draft. Wilson is a good athlete with an absolute cannon from the outfield. Wilson already has a major league ready outfield arm. He has some good power, and those balls he hits in the gaps should turn into home runs down the road.

19. Detroit Tigers- LeVon Washington, OF, Chipola JC
A first round pick from last year, Washington decided to take the JUCO route. He is represented by Boras, and the Tigers never shy away from the Boras client. Washington will be on most teams radars as we reach the mid to late first round.

20. Atlanta Braves- Cameron Bedrosian, RHP, East Coweta HS(GA)
The Braves love the local pick, and Bedrosian could be their guy. He has been around the game for a while, as he is the son of Cy Young Award Winner Steve Bedrosian. Bedrosian has a solid fastball, and a breaking ball that made even Bryce Harper look foolish in the AFLAC game.

21. Minnesota Twins- Manny Machado, INF, Brito Private HS(FL)
Machado has some questions on his bat, and if he can stay at shortstop. In both cases, I trust that he can stay at shortstop even if he is already 6'2. He takes good routes to the ball and is relatively smooth. He hits the ball hard, and can handle fastballs well.

22. Texas Rangers- Kevin Keyes, OF, Texas
Another first round pick for Texas. I see the Rangers staying local, and selecting the power hitting Keyes. They have been on Keyes for a while, since selecting him in the 2007 draft before he attended UT.

23. Florida Marlins- Josh Sale, OF, Bishop Blanchet HS(WA)
Possibly the best pure hitter in the whole 2010 HS class. Sale is a left handed power bat that could be a middle of the order hitter for a long time. He is destined for either left field or right field, and he is not that athletic, but the bat is a special one.

24. San Francisco Giants- Kris Bryant, 3B, Bonanza HS(NV)
Bryant is a true power hitter. The giants are lacking the big bat in the lower levels, and Bryant would quickly become the best option. He is a fantastic hitter, but the defense is a question. Some think his ultimate destination might be first base.

25.St. Louis Cardinals- Brett Eibner, OF/RHP, Arkansas
Eibner might just be the best two way college player. I'm still 50/50 with him right now. Either way, this season should decide that.

26. Colorado Rockies- Kevin Gausman,RHP,Grandview HS(CO)
Gausman is intriguing. He still has a lot of room for him to fill out, as he is 6'4, 180 pounds. He is ultra projectable, and the home state Rockies would love for him to fall to them.

27.Philadelphia Phillies- Yordy Cabrera, SS, Lakeland HS(FL)
One of the best power displays I've seen from a HS player. During the week of the AFLAC game Cabrera put on a show in the first round at the University of San Diego. He is big, so he might outgrow SS, but either way, his bat is special.

28.Los Angeles Dodgers- Victor Sanchez, 3B, San Diego
Sanchez was a top prospect in HS too, but he has only improved since going to USD. With a big year, Sanchez will move right up the draft boards.

29.Boston Red Sox-Dylan Covey, RHP, Marantha HS(CA)
Covey had a great summer. Some like Covey up with Cole, as the 2-3 behind Taillon. He's in that next level down for me, with Whitson, Smelter, Allie and Bedrosian. The Sox would love to add an arm like this into the lower levels.

30.Los Angeles Angels- Stefan Sabol, C, Aliso Niguel HS(CA)
Sabol has a lot riding on this season. A lot of questions about him staying behind the plate. Sabol is a blazer though, and he has the ability to hit to all fields.

31. Tampa Bay Rays- AJ Vanegas, RHP, Redwood Christian HS(CA)
Vanegas has some great stuff. A solid fastball, and a power curveball. He is committed to Stanford and that could come into play. If not, his talent is deserving of a late first round pick.

32. New York Yankees- Garin Cecchini, SS, Barbe HS(LA)
Cecchini has been flying up the boards. The Yankees have to start thinking of a long term replacement for Derek Jeter. Cecchini will need time to develop in the minors, and by the time he's ready, Jeter might be done.

Top Prospect Q and A : Jameson Taillon

Interview with Top Prospect Jameson Taillon. Taillon is the #1 High School Prospect in the nation, according to Baseball America.

Jameson Taillon- RHP, Woodlands HS
Hey Jameson, congrats on signing with Rice. Was this the school you had hoped to attend from the start? Were there any other colleges that were in the mix?

I gave my verbal committment at the very end of my sophmore summer going into my Junior year. People ask if I regret committing so early, my answer is always the same "No Way, I have always wanted to go to Rice, so if they were ready to give their word, I was ready to give mine!". I have always had a twinkle in my eye for Rice. Rice University is 45 minutes from my house, they have a great baseball program with a winning tradition, first class coaches, facilities that are second to none, and incredible academics.. What else could anyone ask for! I got a lot of letters and invitations to attend practices and games from schools like Texas, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, and LSU. However, there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to be a Rice Owl.

As of right now, you are one of the top RHP prospects in the country. Describe how that feels, and how it has changed your life on a day to day basis.

It's a good feeling knowing that I had a great summer and put myself in position to possibly be a high draft pick. I accomplished all of my goals for the summer (Team USA, Aflac, and Under Armour). However, what matters is being a top RHP come draft day. I realize I have a target on my back and I work hard to try to separate myself from others. This fall I have gotten with Texas Sports Medicine and they have me on a great training program. They work with guys like Adam Dunn, Kyle Russell, Taylor Grote, Jorge Cantu, Chad Qualls, etc. It hasn't changed my life too much. However, I get magazines, baseball cards, and baseballs in the mail to sign which is pretty neat and rewarding!

If there was one thing that you would like to improve on from now until the draft in June, what would it be?

I am working extremely hard this fall on my physical condition, and when I pick up throwing again (I have taken a nice 6 week break from throwing since returning from Venezuela with Team USA) I will be refining my mechanics. However, this season I am really focused on just having the proper mindset. I am working on focusing on what I can control. On the mound there will always be adversity (crowds, umpires, weather, fields, opposing teams, etc.). I know this is a huge spring for me, but I want to work on just having fun playing with my teammates one last time. If I have fun and we focus on the team, then the draft and everything will fall into place.

Last question, what is your favorite team, and who is your favorite player?

Hmm tough question. Being from Houston I follow the Astros a lot. I really don't have one favorite team. I love the way the Angels play the game, I also admire the Red Sox tradition and approach towards the game. Favorite player is Josh Beckett by far. He pitched at Spring High School which is just about 10 miles down the highway. Our high school actually scrimmages Spring our first game every season! I really look up to the way he pitches. He has a fearless approach with dominating stuff. He embodies that big, hard-throwing Texan. We also garner a lot of comparisons.

MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects

This is my first official Top 50 Draft Prospect list. I'm sure a lot will change between this ranking list and the next one that comes out.

1- Bryce Harper- Catcher, Southern Nevada
2- Jameson Taillon- RHP, The Woodlands HS
3- Anthony Ranaudo- RHP, LSU
4- Drew Pomeranz- LHP, Ole Miss
5- AJ Cole- RHP, Oviedo HS
6- Christian Colon- SS, Cal St. Fullerton
7- Stetson Allie- RHP, St. Edward HS
8- Matt Harvey- RHP, UNC
9-Brandon Workman- RHP, Texas
10- DeAndre Smelter- RHP, Tattnall Academy
11- Nick Castellanos- SS, Archbishop McCarthy HS
12- Chris Sale- LHP, Florida Gulf Coast University
13-Bryce Brentz- OF, MTSU
14-LeVon Washington-2B, Chipola JC
15- Karsten Whitson-RHP, Chipley HS
16- Manny Machado- SS, Brito Miami Private HS
17-Kevin Keyes- OF, Texas
18- Zack Cox- 3B, Arkansas
19- Cameron Bedrosian- RHP, East Coweta HS
20- Yordy Cabrera- SS/RHP, Lakeland HS
21-Jedd Gyorko- 3B, West Virginia
22-Austin Wilson- OF, Harvard-Westlake HS
23-Dylan Covey- RHP, Marantha HS
24-James Paxton-LHP, Kentucky
25- Vic Sanchez- 3B, San Diego
26- Deck MaGuire- RHP, Georgia Tech
27-Josh Sale- OF, Bishop Blanchet HS
28-Yasmani Grandal- C, Miami
29-Brett Eibner- RHP/OF, Arkansas
30- Stefan Sabol-C, Aliso Niguel HS
31-Jesse Hahn- RHP, Virginia Tech
32-Garin Cecchini- SS, Barbe HS
33- Kevin Gausman- RHP, Grandview HS
34-Jake Eliopoulos- LHP
35- Kevin Ziomek- LHP, Amherst HS
36- Brian Ragira- OF, Martin HS
37-AJ Vanegas- RHP, Redwood Christian School
38-Seth Blair- RHP, Arizona State
39-Andy Wilkins- 1B, Arkansas
40- Chad Bettis- RHP, Texas Tech
41- Zach Alvord- SS, South Forsyth HS
42- Sam Dyson- RHP, South Carolina
43- Kris Bryant- 3B, Bonanza HS
44-Justin O'Conner- RHP/ SS, Cowan HS
45- Tyler Holt- OF, Florida State
46-Micah Gibbs- C, LSU
47- Josh Osich- LHP, Oregon State
48- Alex Wimmers- RHP, Ohio State
49-Sammy Solis- LHP, San Diego
50- Trey Griffin- OF, MLK HS

2009 AFLAC All-American Game- Top 15 Prospects

I was able to fly out to San Diego for three days of watching the 2009 Aflac All Americans. I was able to see them perform infield/outfield, batting practice, scrimmages, and finally the game that took place on Sunday. The pitchers are definitely ahead of the hitters at this point. This is how I ranked the top 15 players in attendance. This was a combination of the players performance during the week, and what their future performance will be.

1- Bryce Harper, C, Las Vegas High School, Las Vegas, NV Although he had a disappointing game at the plate, Harper still showed why he is the number one talent in high school, and possibly, the number one talent in the 2010 draft. He went 0-5 with three strikeouts in the game, including getting completely fooled by Cameron Bedrosian, on a nasty breaking ball. During the week he showcased his power in batting practice and it is truly amazing what he can do with the bat. Harper also showed off his power arm from behind the dish, and even if he struggled in the game, he is still the number one prospect from the game.

2- Jameson Taillon, RHP, The Woodlands High School, The Woodlands, TX This big right hander dominated in the game, striking out four, including striking out the side in the second. He is in a class by himself as far as pitchers go this year. He ran his fastball up to 97, and his breaking ball was also very sharp. In the second, he struck out Reggie Golden and Stetson Allie with the fastball, then got Connor Narron looking on his sharp breaking ball. For me, he is a definite top 5 pick in the draft at this point.

3- Yordy Cabrera, INF/RHP, Lakeland Senior High School, Lakeland, FL A physically imposing high schooler, Cabrera is listed at 6’4, 190 pounds. His body looks pro ready already, although he is much older than the other players at the event. Cabrera showed off his power all week long, including hitting eight homers during the first round of the home run derby at the University of San Diego, then hitting five out at PETCO. He hit some monster shots at USD and he makes it look easy. He was dead pull all week and it will be interesting to see how he handles the outside pitch, and if he is able to go the other way with it. He has good bloodlines, as his father is a coach in the Detroit Tigers system.

4- DeAndre Smelter, RHP, Tattnall Square Academy, Macon,GA To me, the next group of five right handers is relatively close at this point. It will be very interesting to see who separates themselves in the upcoming year as they all have first round arms. Smelter was the most impressive to me, striking out the side in the 8th inning. He made easy work of phenom Bryce Harper, Krey Bratsen, and Austin Wilson. His fastball ran up to 95 and sat in the low to mid 90’s the entire inning. His splitter was also very impressive, and this one could be a great one!

5- Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley High School, Chipley, FL Whitson was a personal favorite of mine, the way he handled himself on and off the mound. He has a good work ethic and a great arm to boot. His fastball was around 93-95 during the game, and his slider could be a great out pitch at the upper levels. Whitson struck out Harper with a nice fastball, and forced MVP Tony Wolters to ground into a double play. Look for Whitson to have a huge year and find himself in the middle of the first round.

6- AJ Cole, RHP, Oviedo High School, Winter Springs, FL Cole came into the weekend as my second ranked right hander, but struggled a bit on the mound. He was battling an eye problem the whole week but it was still easy to see why he is ranked so high. His fastball ran up to the mid 90’s and his breaking ball is up there with the best off speed pitches in the country. Cole struck out Stefan Sabol in the game, while letting up a double to outfielder Brian Ragira. Cole still fits himself in the middle of the first round

7- Stetson Allie, RHP, St. Edward High School, Olmsted Falls,OH Allie has an outstanding arm, and is the hardest thrower in the 2010 class. He usually sits around 96-97 mph, and at this event touched 97 also. He is a big RHP, listed at 6’4, 225 and he showed why is ranked so high in the class. He allowed a walk to Kris Bryant, but struck out Bratsen, then recorded two straight groundouts to end the inning. Definite first round arm at this point!

8- Cameron Bedrosian, RHP, East Coweta High School, Senoia, GA Bedrosian had a busy inning in the first, allowing two runs after allowing a single and walk, but also showed his plus stuff. His curveball is outstanding, and it made Bryce Harper look foolish. He also got power hitter Kris Bryant to strike out on the curve. Good bloodlines here, as his father is Cy Young Award Winner Steve Bedrosian. All five of these RHP have great stuff, and any one of them could emerge as the number two guy, behind Jameson Taillon.

9- Justin O’Conner, INF/RHP, Cowan Junior/Senior High School, Muncie IN O’Conner had a rough game, going 0-2 with 2 strikeouts, but I was able to see him all week and he is a great player with some pop in his bat. He had some great BP sessions and is able to generate a lot of power with his 6’1,190 pound frame. He has smooth actions in the middle infield and has a solid arm. He also threw an inning in the game, reaching the low 90’s. He is a great two-way talent, who to me is better as a position player.

10- Tony Wolters, SS, Rancho Buena Vista High School, Vista, CA Wolters was the game’s Most Valuable Player, going 2-4 with an RBI triple to tie the game late. He is a fun player to watch because he is very undersized at 5-10, 165. He does all the small things well, and he has a cannon for an arm across the diamond. Very solid defensive player and can handle the fastball well at the plate. It will be very interesting to see where he ends up in the draft, or if he heads to college next season. He is going to be a special player.

11- Kris Bryant, INF, Bonanza High School, Las Vegas, NV Power is his calling card. He is a giant at the plate, at 6’5,205 and he generates a ton of power in his swing. Bryant went 0-2 with a walk in the game, but the days before is where he shined. It was great to watch him during BP as he makes it look almost too easy to hit for that much power. He has a solid arm across the diamond and should be able to stay at third base as he moves up during his career.

12- Zach Alvord, INF, South Forsyth High School, Alpharetta, GA Alvord is a great shortstop prospect who can really hit the ball. During the week he put on some of the best BP sessions in San Diego. Alvord has a lot of pop in his bat and is one of the best power hitters in the country. He is also a smooth defensive shortstop and it was great to see him taking tips from Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith during the week. Alvord went 0-2 with a walk, but hit the ball hard and far in his second at bat against Peter Tago.

13- Stefan Sabol, C/OF, Aliso Niguel High School, Aliso Viejo, CA Sabol is an outstanding athlete who is a blast to see play. He is athletic enough to play almost anywhere on the diamond, but if he is able to stick at catcher, it will greatly improve his draft stock. He has blazing speed and is a very exciting player. Sabol went hitless in the game, but he is a fantastic athlete who has committed to play for Oregon.

14- Josh Sale, OF/1B, Bishop Blanchet High School, Seattle, WA Sale is one of the top hitters in the country. It is unsure where he will play defensively but his bat should play anywhere. He went 0-1 with a walk during the game. I wouldn’t be surprised if by draft time, he is the top high school hitter in the draft.

15- AJ Vanegas, RHP, Redwood Christian High School, Alameda, CA Vanegas was a pleasant surprise during the weekend. He was in the 91-92 range in the game, touching 93 and he coasted through an easy third inning. He has a good breaking ball, that will improve if he adds a little velocity to it. He struck out two in his inning. He could emerge as a top pitcher in the country and put himself in the upper class of RHP’s with a good year. Personal favorite of mine.