Thursday, May 7, 2009

2009 Amateur Draft Top 50 – May 07, 2009

Is he the best college pitching prospect ever?

With a little more than five weeks before the annual amateur draft, here is the current breakdown of the top fifty players available, by position.

College Right-Handed Pitchers –

1) Stephen Strasburg, San Diego St – In 11 starts on the year, Strasburg is 10-0 with a 1.38 ERA and has a 147:15 K:BB ratio in 78 IP. He is unquestionably the best college pitcher since Mark Prior.
2) Alex White, North Carolina – In his last five starts he is 3-1, 2.51 ERA and a 0.991 WHIP, including a one-hit, 10k performance against Miami.
3) Tanner Scheppers, Independent – With the Northern League getting going, Scheppers is showing that he is once again healthy.
4) Kyle Gibson, Missouri – The differences between #2 - #5 on this list are very small.
5) Aaron Crowe, Independent – Showing a little rust…It will be interesting to see if he goes higher than #9 this time around.
6) Mike Leake , Arizona St– Not as much upside as the guys in front of him, but has been as steady as anyone not named Strasburg this year.
7) Kyle Heckathorn, Kennesaw St – Not as solid of a season as he had hoped, but still has great raw stuff.
8) Alex Wilson, Texas A&M – While most of the closer candidates this year have been disappointing, Wilson has come on and put himself in position to be a supplemental pick.
9) Kendal Volz, Baylor – Began the season as one of the top 4 RHPs available.
10) Chad Jenkins, Kennesaw St – Still in Heckathorn’s shadow, but could be drafted before him.

High School Right-Handed Pitchers –

1) Shelby Miller, Brownswood H.S. TX – A 97mph heater gets you noticed.
2) Zack Wheeler, East Paulding High School, Dallas – The most polished high school arm available
3) Jacob Turner, Westminster Academy, St. Louis – Hitting 99mph in a recent start has made Turner the fastest rising pitcher in the draft
4) Matt Hobgood, Norco H.S., CA – 6’4, 245 with a low 90’s fastball has scouts drooling.
5) Mychal Givens, Plant H.S., Tampa – The best prep two-way player will likely end up on the mound.

College Left-Handed Pitchers –

Rex Brothers, Lipscomb – Only Strasburg has fanned more batters than Brothers this year.
2) Andrew Oliver, Oklahoma St – Overcame early distractions to pitch well recently. I am higher on him than most.
3) Mike Minor, Vanderbilt – Has faded a bit as of late.
4) James Paxton, Kentucky – Hits 97mph but has been getting torched
5) Brooks Raley, Texas A&M – Sophomore eligible is college’s best two-way player.

High School Left-Handed Pitchers –

1) Tyler Matzek, Capistrano Valley-Mission Viejo H.S. – Has put distance between himself and the other prep lefties.
2) Matt Purke, Klein, TX – Purke and his low 90’s fastball entered the season neck-and-neck with Matzek.
3) Tyler Skaggs, Santa Monica H.S., CA – Non-arm injuries have slowed him down this year.
4) Chad James, Yukon H.S., OK – Rising up draft boards quickly.

College Catchers –

1) Tony Sanchez, Boston College – Complete package…1.145 OPS on the year.
2) Josh Phlegley, Indiana – Defensive question marks will leave him out of the first round.

High School Catchers –

1) Wil Myers, Wesley Academy, NC – Great bat, but may outgrow the position.
2) Max Stassi, Yuba City, CA – Some offensive questions, but has a great make-up and excellent catch and throw skills.
3) Luke Bailey, Troup H.S. LaGrange, GA – Was the top prep receiver and a possible top 10 pick in a very strong class before undergoing Tommy John surgery last week. Now it will be interesting to see who is willing to take a gamble.

College Outfielders –

1) Dustin Ackley, North Carolina – Top college bat could be a premium player if he can stick in CF.
2) Tim Wheeler, Sacramento State – Somewhat unheralded player, he has an excellent power/speed combo. Currently one of my personal favorites.
3) Brett Jackson, California – Excellent Power, but he will need to improve on the one strikeout per every 3 ABs.
4) A.J. Pollock, Notre Dame – Does everything well, but I am not sure his ceiling is more than a 4th OF type.
5) Jared Mitchell, LSU – Speedy, athletic, player who has yet to transfer skills into production.
6) Angelo Songco, Loyola-Marymount – May be the West Coast’s best all-around hitter.
7) Kentrail Davis – Has been a disappointment this season.

High School Outfielders –

1) Donovan Tate, Cartersville H.S., GA – Son of former college FB standout Lars. Phenomenal athlete. Could go top 5 if signability concerns are taken care of.
2) Michael Trout, Millsville H.S., OK – Fastest rising prep player may sneak into top 10. The type of toolsy, athletic player scouts love.
3) Everett Williams, McCallum H.S. Austin, TX – A pure CF who will have to overcome size concerns.
4) Brian Goodwin, High Point H.S., NC – A bit too ‘toolsy’ for my liking, but will be high on a lot of boards.
5) Jake Marisnick, Poly H.S. Riverside, CA – May be the most athletic prepster in the draft.

College Corner Infielders –

1) Rich Poythress, Georgia – Arguably the most productive offensive season in college. Not a lot of options with the glove.
2) Ben Paulsen, Clemson – Has put together a solid (1.100 OPS) season in the ACC.

High School Corner Infielders –

1) Bobby Borchering, Bishop Verot H.S. Ft. Myers, FL – Hitting a HR every 7 ABs this season.
2) Matt Davidson, Yucaipa, H.S. CA – Arguably the best prep Power hitter.

College Middle Infielders –

1) Grant Green, USC – The most difficult player to place on the board. His offensive numbers have improved as the season has gone on, but he may not have the power to be useful if he can’t stay at SS. Color me contrarian on this one as I think if players like JJ Hardy can make it there than there is no reason to not like Green…Offensively I see him being Rickie Weeks like.
2) D.J. Lemaheiu, LSU – Already moved to 2B, Lemaheiu doesn’t provide enough offense to go higher than round two.
3) Ryan Jackson, Miami – A glove that will play at the next level, but will have to answer huge bat questions.

High School Middle Infielders –

1) Jiovanni Mier, Bonita H.S. LaVerne, CA – Best combination of offense/defense among middle infielders.
2) LeVon Washington, Buhholz H.S. Gainsville, FL – Prep speedster who may end up in CF.

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