2011 MLB Draft – Instant Analysis

1. Pittsburgh PiratesGerrit Cole – RHP – UCLA. 6’4″ 220. Last Drafted: New York Yankees – ’08 (1st Round).

Instant Analysis: Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon and Stetson Alie. Don’t look now but the Pirates are stock piling pitching. Is this the same team that took Daniel Moskos over Matt Weiters 4th overall in 2007?

2. Seattle MarinersDanny Hultzen – LHP – Virginia. 6’2″ 195. Last Drafted: Arizona Diamondbacks – ’08 (10th Round)

Instant Analysis: Count me among the many that didn’t see this one happening. I say this as a Hultzen fan, but I don’t believe he has the ceiling of other arms such as Cole, Trevor Bauer or Dylan Bundy, but he’s more likely to get to his ceiling than any of them. I view him as a solid #2/3 who may make an All Star Game or two and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

3. Arizona Diamondbacks – Trevor Bauer – RHP – UCLA. 6’1″ 175. Last Drafted: Never.

Instant Analysis: I had Hultzen here in most of my mocks, with Bauer landing here in my most recent post. The two time NCAA strikeout leader has over 200 in 136 innings this season.

4. Baltimore OriolesDylan Bundy – RHP – Owasso HS (OK). 6’1″ 200. College Commitment: Texas.

Instant Analysis: Best High School RHP prospect ever? I’ve had Bundy to Baltimore, who selected Dylan’s brother Bobby in 2008, since my May 6th Mock Draft. 100 MPH fastball, plus curve, plus cutter and an above average change up.

5. Kansas City RoyalsBubba Starling – OF – Gardner Edgerton HS (KS). Bats: R Throws: R. 6’4″ 180. College Commitment: Nebraska (Football/Baseball)

Instant Analysis: Royals really wanted one of the 4 pitchers already selected and by most indications, they weren’t going to take Starling, the hometown hero with the Paul Bunyan reputation. Exciting for the best farm system in baseball to add a name like Starling. I’d still love to see him play for Nebraska in their first Big Ten season.

6. Washington NationalsAnthony Rendon – 3B – Rice. Bats: R Throws: R. 6’0″ 190. Last Drafted: Atlanta Braves – ’08 (27th Round).

Instant Analysis: The Nats wanted to make a splash and I thought they might do just that by taking Starling. They couldn’t have anticipated they’d land Rendon, who spent about 24 months atop the 2011 Draft Board. There has never been three more hyped first round picks to any club than Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon.

7. Arizona Diamondbacks (for failure to sign Barret Loux) – Archie Bradley – RHP – Broken Arrow HS (OK). 6’4″ 210. College Commitment: Oklahoma (Football).

Instant Analysis: This pick was bit of a surprise to me and I’m sure it wasn’t well received by the Indians who were on deck. This is an interesting pick as Arizona needs to sign this pick and Bradley won’t come cheap. The good news for Arizona is that they can spread Bradley’s bonus over 5 years as a two sport athlete. Allegedly hit 101 mph in his state championship game.

8. Cleveland IndiansFrancisco Lindor – SS – Montverde Academy (FL). Bats: B Throws: R. 5’11” 175. College Commitment: Florida State.

Instant Analysis: Lindor is the closest thing to Manny Machado in this draft but he’s a safer bet to stay at SS. I believe the Indians were set to take Archie Bradley with this pick, but Lindor is a pleasant consolation prize.

9. Chicago CubsJavier Baez – SS/3B – Arlington Country Day HS (FL). 6’1″ 205. College Commitment: Chipola JC.

Instant Analysis: The first real wildcard in this draft, most prognosticators were all over the board on the Cubs. Baez is likely a 3B longterm but his stick is his strength. With arm strength to spare, catcher is another possibility, though that’s unlikely as it would delay his arrival. My guess is he’ll start his career at shortstop until it’s shown he can’t handle it.

10. San Diego Padres (for failure to sign Karsten Whitson) – Cory Spangenberg – 3B/OF – Indian River State College. 6’0″ 185. Bats: L Throws: R. Last Drafted: Never

Instant Analysis: My comment from yesterday’s mock draft where I had Spandenberg going to San Diego at #25 “I wouldn’t rule out the Pads using the 10th overall pick on Spandenberg, so they’d love it if he fell here.” Though he’s the lowest ceiling player taken thus far, he’s no slouch. I don’t think he has enough power to play a corner infield spot and I question the glove to play 2B. But hey, Jason Kipnis is doing alright.

11. Houston Astros – George Springer – OF – Connecticut. Bats: R Throws: R. 6’3″ 205. Last Drafted: Minnesota Twins ’08 (48th Round)

Instant Analysis: Springer is a true five tool outfielder entered the season as a top 5 pick but both he and UConn started slow. He’ll have to hear about where he was selected second hand as he’s playing in his NCAA Regional Final as we speak.

12. Milwaukee Brewers – Taylor Jungmann – RHP – Texas. 6’6″ 195. Last Drafted: Los Angeles Angles – ’08 (24th Round)

Instant Analysis: The Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, Jungmann has been one of NCAA baseball’s best pitchers three years running. He flashes a fastball, slider, changeup mix that collectively grades out as above average and at 6’6″, he throws downhill to generate natural sink and subsequent ground balls.

13. New York MetsBrandon Nimmo – OF – Cheyenne (WY). 6’3″ 185. Bats: L Throws: R. College Commitment: Arkansas

Instant Analysis: One of the bigger shocks at this stage in the draft. No one had Nimmo going to the Mets but with his skill set, this is by no means a reach. A Wyoming prep product, Nimmo doesn’t even have High School baseball, so his tools in summer ball have captured the attention of local scouts.

14. Florida Marlins – Jose Fernandez – RHP – Alonso HS (FL). 6’3″ 235. College Commitment: South Florida.

Instant Analysis: I really thought Mikie Mahtook would land here, but instead the Fish take the the Cuban born Fernandez defected when he was in high school. This is one of those picks that makes sense now that it’s happened, but we were too stupid to see it coming.

15. Milwaukee Brewers (for failure to sign Dylan Covey) – Jed Bradley – LHP – Georgia Tech. 6’3″ 205. Last Drafted: Never.

Instant Analysis: Brewers college arms a plenty. First Taylor Jungmann at #12, now Jed Bradley at #15. My final mock yesterday had Bradley going to Milwaukee with the 12th pick, so it couldn’t have worked out better for the Brewers.

16. Los Angeles Dodgers – Chris Reed – LHP – Standford. 6’4″ 195. Last Drafted: Never.

Instant Analysis: Not surprised that the Dodgers reached a little bit given that they have no money to spend. Reed is a legit prospect and while he serves as Stanford’s closer, he has three pitches (FB, SL, CH) so he’ll likely be given the chance to start as a professional. Though he was relatively unknown entering the season, Reed will play a huge role for the Cardinal this post season, and I’d love to see him lead this young team (8 underclassman regulars) to Omaha.

17. Los Angeles Angels – C.J. Cron – 1B – Utah – Jr. Bats: R Throws: R. 6’4″ 230. Last Drafted: Chicago White Sox ’08 (44th Round).

Instant Analysis: Doesn’t fit the recent Halos M.O. but Cron is a legit college bat as he maintained his numbers with the new bats. He has plus power potential and should be a plus hitter overall. A former catcher, the arm is solid but he has no future behind the dish as a pro. Reminds me of a slightly bigger Matt LaPorta. Take that for what it’s worth.

18. Oakland AthleticsSonny Gray – RHP – Vanderbilt. 5’11” 180. Last Drafted: Chicago Cubs – ’08 (27th Round).

Instant Analysis: The A’s would have loved Springer here and may have even jumped on Cron, but they hit the lottery with Sonny Gray. I love this pick for Oakland. There has been a lot of talk about Gray

19. Boston Red Sox (from Tigers for Victor Martinez) – Matt Barnes – RHP – Connecticut. 6’3″ 180. Last Drafted: Never.

Instant Analysis: While I’m not as high on Barnes as others, he was dangerously close to coming off the board at #5 overall to the Royals so when you look at it that way, the Red Sox got a little bit of a steal.

20. Colorado RockiesTyler Anderson – LHP – Oregon. 6’3″ 195. Last Drafted: Never.

Instant Analysis: Proud to say that my first mock draft, from January 17th had Tyler Anderson to the Rockies. (http://bit.ly/hKWYMG) Not so proud that I moved him all around the first round since then.

21. Toronto Blue Jays – Tyler Beede – RHP – Lawrence Academy (MA). 6’4″ 200. College Commitment: Vanderbilt.

Instant Analysis: A rare Northeastern top prep pitching prospect, Beede sent out a letter asking clubs not to draft him because he will be honoring his commitment to Vanderbilt. Perhaps the Jays have something in place but they have a recent history of failing to sign high picks.

22. St. Louis CardinalsKolten Wong – 2B – Hawaii. Bats: L Throws: R. 5’8″ 175. Last Drafted: Minnesota Twins – ’08 (16th Round)

Instant Analysis: Odd to say that at 5’8″, he’s one of the best hitters in the draft but he is. He won’t hit for plus power but he’s also not a slap hitter as he makes solid contact to all fields.

23. Washington Nationals (from White Sox for Adam Dunn) – Alex Meyer – RHP – Kentucky. 6’9″ 210. Last Drafted: Boston Red Sox. ’08 (20th Round).

Instant Analysis: My comment from my final mock draft “If Alex Meyer were to slip, the Nats would select him before the Cardinals left the podium“. You can read about my thoughts on Meyer in my scouting report here.

24. Tampa Bay Rays (from Red Sox for Carl Crawford) Taylor Guerrieri – RHP – Spring Valley HS (SC). 6’3″ 180. College Commitment: South Carolina.

Instant Analysis: Guerrieri came out of no where this year and was a potential top 10 pick two weeks ago. Tampa has a ton of picks (12 in the first 60) and they took the best player available. He has some makeup issues that may have caused the minor slide.

25. San Diego Padres – Joe Ross – RHP – Bishop O’Dowd HS (CA). 6’2″ 180. College Commitment: UCLA.

Instant Analysis: The younger brother of Oakland A’s pitcher, Tyson Ross, Joe has a nice three pitch mix (FB, CB, CH). He tops out at 95 with the fastball but works at 91. He’s considered a tough sign away from UCLA.

26. Boston Red Sox (from Rangers for Adrian Beltre) – Blake Swihart – C – Cleveland HS (NM). Bats: B Throws: R. 6’0″ 175. College Commitment: Texas.

Instant Analysis: One of my favorite prospects in this draft, the switch hitting catcher has an advanced bat and the ability to stick behind the plate. Though he’s raw as a receiver, his premire athleticism tells me he has the tools to develop behind the dish. His advanced bat may force a position change as catchers typically develop slower.

27. Cincinnati Reds – Robert Stephenson – RHP – Alhambra HS (CA). 6’2″ 185. College Commitment: Washington.

Instant Analysis: Plus Fastball, Plus Curve but that’s about it right now. I thought he’d go to the Dodgers at #16 which would suggest he’s signable.

28. Atlanta Braves Sean Gilmartin – LHP – Florida State. 6’2″ 195. Last Drafted: San Diego Padres – ’08 (31st Round).

Instant Analysis: Not the highest ceiling, but he’s a safe bet to make it to the show. Possible comp would be Mike Minor who these Braves took #7 overall in 2009.

29. San Francisco Giants Joe Panik – SS – St. John’s. 6’2″ 195. Last Drafted: Never.

Instant Analysis: As much love watching them play, I’m always skeptical of guys that are described as gritty, hard nosed, and plays the game the right way. I think he’ll hit, but he’s not a shortstop.

30. Minnesota Twins – Levi Michael – SS – North Carolina. 5’10” 180. Bats: B Throws: R. Last Drafted: Never.

Instant Analysis: Safe, sturdy and reliable. Minnesota Twins at their finest. Michael left high school early to get a jump start on his college career where he started at 2B for an Omaha bound Tar Heel team. He played 3B as a sophomore and is now playing SS. Probably profiles best as a 2B as a pro.

31. Tampa Bay Rays – (From Yankees for Raphael Soriano) – Mikie Mahtook – OF – LSU. 6’1″ 205. Bats: R Throws: R. Last Drafted: Florida Marlins ’08 (39th Round).

Instant Analysis: After taking Taylor Guerrieri at #24, the Rays stick to the script and take the best player on the board. Mahtook could have gone as high as #14 to Florida. There are some comparisons to Rocky Baldeli and the Rays will take that.

32. Tampa Bay Rays – Jake Hager – SS – Sierra Vista HS (NV). 6’1″ 175. College Commitment: Arizona State

Instant Analysis: So much for sticking to script. Hager is a 3rd round talent who would have benefited from going to school. He’ll now likely sign for slot. Can’t blame the Rays for budgeting with a few of these picks.

33. Texas Rangers (From Phillies for Cliff Lee) – Kevin Matthews – LHP – Richmond Hill (GA). 5’10 160. College Commitment: Virginia

Instant Analysis: Small squirrelly looking kid who happens to throw 90 MPH. I think he’s a future left handed specialist out of the bullpen which would make him an unusual first round pick out of high school.

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2011 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Alex Meyer – RHP – Kentucky

2011 MLB Draft Prospect: Alex Meyer – RHP – Kentucky. 6’9″ 220. Class: Junior. DOB: 1.3.90. Last Drafted: 2008 – Red Sox (20th Round).

Scouted: Niagara Purple Eagles @ Kentucky Wildcats 3.12.11 (In Person)

Regarded as the 25th best draft prospect in the 2008 draft by Baseball America as a prep star in Indiana, Meyer’s strong commitment to Kentucky and the fact that he was advised by the Boras Corp caused him to slide to Boston in the 20th round. Meyer would later pass on an alleged $2 Million signing bonus to go to school.

During his time in Lexington, Meyer has been less than spectacular. Though he’s posted K/9 ratios of 12.1 and 11.1 in his first two years in college, he also posted BB/9 ratios of 6.8 and 6.4 during that same span.

I had hoped that Meyer could be the Matt Harvey of this year’s class, another highly regarded prep star who struggled through his first two years of school. Harvey turned into an ace and top 10 pick in 2010 (Mets 7th overall) and while Meyer has not been as bad as he was in ’09 and ’10, he’s been madly inconsistent.

Though I may have witnessed the best outing of his career, a complete game shutout where he yielded just 5 hits, 2 walks while posting a career high 13 strikeouts, I didn’t come away overly impressed as Meyer lacks the polish of his draft class peers.

Statistics *through 4.17.11

Year

Class

W-L

ERA

G

S

IP

H

K

BB

2008

Fr.

1-4

5.73

13

1

59.2

53

80

45

2009

So.

5-3

7.06

12

0

51.0

59

63

36

2010

Jr.

3-5

3.59

9

0

62.2

54

71

32

It’s important to note that getting one live look at a player doesn’t provide nearly enough information to produce a true scouting report, but that’s not going to stop me from giving you my report anyway.

REPERTOIRE:

Fastball: Meyer made a name for himself with his fastball and it’s still a power pitch. He sits in the low 90s and he can run it as high as 96. Meyer lacks command of this, and any pitch.

Curveball: The curveball possesses the potential to develop into a plus pitch and Meyer has the confidence to throw it in any count, confidence that he has not earned. He started several hitters off with a weaker get me over offering up in the zone then later he’d finish off the same hitter with a tighter swing and miss version of the pitch in the dirt.

Changeup: Meyer didn’t throw, nor did he need many changeups ageist Niagara and the times he did throw it he held the pitch too long missing his release point and causing the pitch to skip.

DELIVERY

Though he possess rare athleticism for a big man, Meyer doesn’t follow through on any pitch. When you’re 6 foot 9 and you don’t bend your back your ball is going to sail up and out of the strike zone and Meyer’s balls have so much sailing experience he could actually tell you the difference between starboard and port. Wow, that was bad. Though his high finish turns me off of his delivery, he does a decent job of repeating said delivery which is encouraging. Because of this, a good professional pitching coach may be able to turn him into a strike thrower. When throwing from the stretch, he’s a little too deliberate to home plate consistently posting times in the 1.4-1.6 second range making him someone that teams will run on unless he can cut that down.

FUTURE

When Meyer opted not to sign in 2008 he looked like a possible #1 overall pick in the 2011 draft. That’s clearly out of the question now as his warts have been exposed during his collegiate career, but on God given talent alone he still could find himself off the board in the first round.

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College Baseball Preview 2011

The wait is over folks! The college baseball season is upon us and it couldn’t come soon enough. If you’re sick of hearing about a possible NFL work stoppage or a contract extension may make Albert Pujols the richest old man in baseball by the time the deal matures, then belly up to the computer this weekend and follow some collegiate athletics in it’s purest form.

As you prepare for the glorious event that is opening weekend, perhaps it would be beneficial to bone up on the College Preview information that we’ve been providing to you over the past several weeks.

You can check out our Preseason All-American Teams here, including our Preseason Freshman All-American Team here.

For a detailed look at our preseason top 25, look here

Finally you can check out our Top Freshmen and Top Sophomore lists.

Weekend Preview

Though I’ve outlined what to expect this weekend from our top 25 below, I wanted to take a second to highlight the #9 Stanford @ #17 Rice matchup.

Stanford: Filled with highly regarded unsigned draft choices, watching Stanford is the prospectors dream. While I love the Cardinal, the Pac 10 is the best conference in college baseball and Stanford is young. They’ll have to contend with #3 UCLA, #11 Arizona State, #12 Oregon, #18 Arizona and # 21 California.

Key Players:

Kenny Diekroeger – SS – So. The unsigned Rays 2009 2rd round pick hit .356/.391/.491 with 5 HR and 41 RBI as a freshman.

Austin Wilson – RF – Fr. Could have been a top 10 pick last year but for his college commitment. Now that he’s a scholar athlete it’s time for us to enjoy.

Brian Ragira – 3B – Fr. Baseball America regarded Ragira as the #139th best draft prospect last season. The Rangers eventually made him their 30th round pick but failed to sign him.

Jake Stewart – OF – So. Stewart hit just .209 as a freshman but his defense allowed him to see significant playing time. I’m looking for a big bounce back.

Brett Mooneyham – LHP – Jr. – Mooneyham was highly regarded out of high school but disappointed last season. He’ll look to regain his elite prospect status this season. **Update – Mooneyham will be limited to relief duty this weekend due to having stitches removed form a finger on this throwing hand.

A.J. Vanegas – RHP – Fr. – Pretty advanced for a freshman, Vanegas could end the season as the Friday starter if Mooneyham can’t throw strikes.

Jordan Pries – RHP – Jr. Though Pries lacks the star potential of Mooneyham or Vanegas, he’s the stability between the inconsistent ace and the newcomer.

Mark Appel – RHP – So. Appel is one of the most talented arms in college baseball and could be this year’s John Stilson. Is it to early to compare people to John Stilson if Stilson is still in school? **Update – Appel has been named the Friday starter for this series.

Rice: Rice is once again be the Conference USA favorite but they will have to contend with a talented Tulane squadron. Wayne Graham’s team is light on pitching experience but the talent is there. The Owls will need contributions from their freshmen class on the mound while Anthony Rendon carries the offense.

Key Players:

Anthony Rendon – 3B – Jr. He’s not just the best hitter in college baseball, he’s a plus defender and the possible #1 overall pick in the 2011 draft. You know what, if you’re reading this and you don’t know who Anthony Rendon is, you probably stumbled upon this site erroneously.

Michael Ratteree – 2B – So. Ratteree was a 45th round pick in 2009 (Nationals). Coming off a good freshman season he’ll attempt to provide some protection to Rendon.

Jeremy Rathjen – CF – Jr. Coming off of a 13 HR 69 RBI season.

Michael Fuda – LF – Jr. Hit .346 with 45 RBI last season.

Chase McDowell – RHP – So. Had a great summer and may be the Owls ace.

John Simms – RHP – Fr. Baseball America ranked him as the #118th best draft prospect in 2010. Washington used a 39th round pick on him. ** Update Simms will start Friday for the Owls

Austin Kubiza – RHP -Fr. Unsigned 7th Round Pick (Pirates). **Update – Kubiza will be the Sunday starter this weekend, giving the Owls a weekend rotation that is 2/3 freshmen.

** The updates above were provided based on information in Aaron Fitt’s Baseball America Weekend Preview

Rank

Team

W-L

Upcoming

Comments

1

Florida

0-0

Feb. 18-20: South Florida

Friday’s Game will be televised in my area on Fox College Sports Atlantic.

2

TCU

0-0

Feb. 18-20: Kansas

Kansas Sr. RHP T.J. Walz has won 20 games in his career but I don’t expect #21 to come this weekend.

3

UCLA

0-0

Feb. 18-20: San Francisco

Dons Seniors Stephen Yarrow (3B) and Pete Lavin (OF) should make San Francisco formidable this season, but they’ll be no match for Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer.

4

Vanderbilt

0-0

Feb 18, 20 @ San Diego, Feb 19 @ San Diego State

Vanderbilt may have the toughest opening weekend among the other top 5 teams. I’m anxious to see how San Diego freshman Dylan Covey will debut.

5

Texas

0-0

Feb. 18-20: Maryland (4 games)

Taylor Jungmann and Cole Green pale only to Cole and Bauer far as 1-2 punches go.

6

Clemson

0-0

Feb. 18-20: Eastern Michigan

Clemson will hit this year.

7

Cal State Fullerton

0-0

Feb. 18-20 @ Long Beach State, Feb 19: North Carolina (4 games)

Dirtbag Andrew Gagnon is good enough to steal a game but Titan ace Noe Ramirez is better.

8

Oklahoma

0-0

Feb. 18-20: William & Mary (4 games)

Many have Oklahoma ahead of Texas as the Big 12 favorite.

9

Stanford

0-0

Feb. 18-20: @ #17 Rice

Series of the weekend!

10

Connecticut

0-0

Feb. 18: Purdue, Feb 19: Minnesota, Feb 20: Michigan

Big Ten/Big East Challenge: Clearwater, FL

11

Arizona State

0-0

Feb. 18-20: New Mexico

I have New Mexico as a regional sleeper but they’ll get off to a rough stretch this weekend.

12

Oregon

0-0

Feb. 18-20: @ Hawaii (4 games)

I’m pretty high on the Pac-10.

13

South Carolina

0-0

Feb. 18-20: Santa Clara

Santa Clara is no slouch this season but they shouldn’t pose a real threat to the defending national champions.

14

Florida State

0-0

Feb. 18-20: Virginia Military Institute

FSU 3-0.

15

Texas A&M

0-0

Feb. 18-20: LeMoyne

Tom Browning was a LeMoyne Dolphin.

16

Virginia

0-0

Feb. 18: UAB, Feb. 19: Auburn, Feb. 20: Arkansas State

Auburn Tournament: Auburn, AL

17

Rice

0-0

Feb. 18-20: #9 Stanford

A strong weekend performance could shoot the Owls up this list.

18

Arizona

0-0

Feb. 18-20: North Dakota State

Looking for a big start by sophomore RHP Kurt Heyer.

19

Baylor

0-0

Feb. 18-20: Oral Roberts

Although Summit League champion Oral Roberts as a Regional team last year, first round talent RHP Logan Verrett will be too much to handle.

20

Coastal Carolina

0-0

Feb. 18: Boston College, Feb. 19: Tennessee Tech, Feb. 20: Indiana, Feb. 20: Virginia Tech

Caravelle Resort Tournament, Conway, SC

21

California

0-0

Feb. 18-20: Utah

On the week when Cal learns that donations weren’t enough to save the baseball program, they can take their aggression out on Utah.

22

LSU

0-0

Feb. 18-20: Wake Forest (4 games)

While Wake isn’t an ACC contender, I’m still intrigued by this series. LSU should sweep or take 3 of 4.

23

Miami

0-0

Feb. 18-20: Rutgers

Miami lacks pitching depth but it shouldn’t be an issue this weekend.

24

College of Charleston

0-0

Feb. 18: Kentucky, Feb. 19: Miami (OH), Feb: 20: Marshall

College of Charleston Invitational, Charleston, SC

25

Georgia Tech

0-0

Feb. 18-20: Kent State

Kent State can prove they belong with the big boys.

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College Baseball: 2011 Preseason Freshman All-American Team

Predicting a Freshman All-American team is about as premature as a Mock Draft at this point in the year but hey, they’re fun. I’m really excited about this year’s freshman class, thanks in large part to the two unsigned first round picks (Karsten Whitson and Dylan Covey). Austin Wilson was also a clear first round talent who slid for signability reasons due to his strong college commitment.

What I find most interesting about this class is the impact that each newcomer will play on Omaha contending teams. Whitson could end the season as the Friday starter on the #1 team in the nation. There are three Stanford Cardinal on my list, and they came in at #9 on my Preseason Top 25. UCLA is a consensus top 5 team and they’ll likely have Adam Plutko in the anchor leg of the weekend rotation behind near certain first rounders Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, while Pat Valaika (brother of Reds prospect Chris) will play a crucial up the middle role.

Position

Player

Class

School

Height

Weight

Last Drafted (Round)

RHP

Karsten Whitson

FR

Florida

6’4″

215

SD ’10 (1)

RHP

Dylan Covey

FR

San Diego

6’2″

200

MIL ’10 (1)

RHP

Ryne Stanek

FR

Arkansas

6’4″

180

SEA ’10 (3)

RHP

Kevin Gausman

FR

LSU

6’4″

185

LAD ’10 (6)

RHP

A.J. Vanegas

FR

Stanford

6’3″

200

SD ’10 (7)

RHP

Adam Plutko

FR

UCLA

6’3″

190

HOU ’10 (6)

UTL

DeAndre Smelter

FR

Georgia Tech

6’3″

225

MIN ’10 (14)

Position

Player

Class

School

Height

Weight

Last Drafted (Round)

C

Stefan Sabol

FR

Oregon

6’2″

210

ATL ’10 (17)

1B

Kris Bryant

FR

San Diego

6’5″

215

TOR ’10 (18)

2B

Zach Alvord

FR

Auburn

6’0″

175

ATL ’10 (18)

SS

Pat Valaika

FR

UCLA

5’11”

195

STL ’10 (24)

3B

Brian Ragira

FR

Stanford

6’2″

205

TEX ’10 (30)

OF

Austin Wilson

FR

Stanford

6’4″

235

STL ’10 (12)

OF

Michael Lorenzen

FR

Cal State Fullerton

6’3″

180

TB ’10 (7)

OF

Krey Bratsen

FR

Texas A&M

6’0″

160

OAK ’10 (45)

DH

Dominic Ficociello

FR

Arkansas

6’4″

185

DET ’10 (23)

UTL

DeAndre Smelter

FR

Georgia Tech

6’3″

225

MIN ’10 (14)


Top 100 Baseball Prospects 2011


Rank

Player

Position

Team

1.

Bryce Harper

OF

Nationals

2.

Mike Trout

OF

Angels

3.

Jesus Montero

C

Yankees

4.

Julio Teheran

RHP

Braves

5.

Jeremy Hellickson

RHP

Rays

6.

Mike Moustakas

3B

Royals

7.

Aroldis Chapman

LHP

Reds

8.

Will Myers

OF/C

Royals

9.

Desmond Jennings

OF

Rays

10.

Domonic Brown

OF

Phillies

11.

Dustin Ackley

2B

Mariners

12.

Freddie Freeman

1B

Braves

13.

Eric Hosmer

1B

Royals

14.

Michael Pineda

RHP

Mariners

15.

Jameson Taillon

RHP

Pirates

16.

Matt Moore

LHP

Rays

17.

Zach Britton

LHP

Orioles

18.

Shelby Miller

RHP

Cardinals

19.

Manny Machado

SS

Orioles

20.

Jarrod Parker

RHP

Diamondbacks

21.

Jacob Turner

RHP

Tigers

22.

Martin Perez

LHP

Rangers

23.

Kyle Drabek

RHP

Blue Jays

24.

Aaron Hicks

OF

Twins

25.

Brandon Belt

1B

Giants

26.

Lonnie Chisenhall

3B

Indians

27.

Chris Sale

LHP

White Sox

28.

Randall Delgado

RHP

Braves

29.

Mike Montgomery

LHP

Royals

30.

Tyler Matzek

LHP

Rockies

31.

Kyle Gibson

RHP

Twins

32.

Brett Lawrie

2B

Blue Jays

33.

Jonathan Singleton

1B/OF

Phillies

34.

Simon Castro

RHP

Padres

35.

Zach Wheeler

RHP

Giants

36.

Mike Minor

LHP

Braves

37.

Wilin Rosario

C

Rockies

38.

Brett Jackson

OF

Cubs

39.

Gary Sanchez

C

Yankees

40.

Jordan Lyles

RHP

Astros

41.

Chris Archer

RHP

Rays

42.

Jenrry Mejia

RHP

Mets

43.

Casey Kelly

RHP

Padres

44.

Jake Odorizzi

RHP

Royals

45.

Yonder Alonso

1B

Reds

46.

Chris Carter

1B/OF

Athletics

47.

Jason Kipnis

2B

Indians

48.

Billy Hamilton

2B

Reds

49.

Miguel Sano

3B

Twins

50.

Alex White

RHP

Indians

51.

Jean Segura

2B

Angles

52.

Grant Green

SS

Athletics

53.

Zack Cox

3B

Cardinals

54.

Anthony Rizzo

1B

Padres

55.

Jose Iglesias

SS

Red Sox

56.

Dellin Betances

RHP

Yankees

57.

Nick Franklin

SS

Mariners

58.

Drew Pomeranz

LHP

Indians

59.

John Lamb

LHP

Royals

60.

Jurickson Profar

SS

Rangers

61.

Anthony Ranaudo

RHP

Red Sox

62.

Yasmani Grandal

C

Reds

63.

Tyler Skaggs

LHP

Diamondbacks

64.

Dee Gordon

SS

Dodgers

65.

Manny Banuelos

LHP

Yankees

66.

Devin Mesoraco

C

Reds

67.

Wilmer Flores

SS

Mets

68.

Nolan Arenado

3B

Rockies

69.

Derek Norris

C

Nationals

70.

Tony Sanchez

C

Pirates

71.

Matt Dominguez

3B

Marlins

72.

Nick Weglarz

OF

Indians

73.

Hank Conger

C

Angels

74.

Nick Castellanos

3B

Tigers

75.

Travis d’Arnaud

C

Blue Jays

76.

Tanner Scheppers

RHP

Rangers

77.

Jarred Cosart

RHP

Phillies

78.

Cesar Puello

OF

Mets

79.

A.J. Cole

RHP

Nationals

80.

Zach Lee

RHP

Dodgers

81.

Engel Beltre

OF

Rangers

82.

Chris Dwyer

LHP

Royals

83.

Jaff Decker

OF

Padres

84.

Brent Morel

3B

White Sox

85.

Drake Britton

LHP

Red Sox

86.

Christian Colon

SS

Royals

87.

Ben Revere

OF

Twins

88.

Yorman Rodriguez

OF

Reds

89.

Stetson Allie

RHP

Pirates

90.

Christian Friedrich

LHP

Rockies

91.

Trey McNutt

RHP

Cubs

92.

Trayvon Robinson

OF

Dodgers

93.

Jared Mitchell

OF

White Sox

94.

Arodys Vizcaino

RHP

Braves

95.

Matt Harvey

RHP

Mets

96.

Michael Choice

OF

Athletics

97.

Deck McGuire

RHP

Blue Jays

98.

Guillermo Pimentel

OF

Seattle

99.

Kaleb Cowart

3B

Angles

100.

Tyrell Jenkins

RHP

Cardinals

Number of players in each MLB organization in the top 100:

Arizona Diamondbacks – 2

Atlanta Braves – 5

Baltimore Orioles – 2

Boston Red Sox – 3

Chicago Cubs – 2

Chicago White Sox – 3

Cincinnati Reds – 6

Cleveland Indians – 5

Colorado Rockies – 4

Detroit Tigers – 2

Florida Marlins – 1

Houston Astros – 1

Kansas City Royals – 8

Los Angeles Angles – 4

Los Angeles Dodgers – 3

Milwaukee Brewers – 0

Minnesota Twins – 4

New York Mets – 4

New York Yankees – 4

Oakland Athletics – 3

Philadelphia Phillies – 3

Pittsburgh Pirates – 3

St. Louis Cardinals – 3

San Diego Padres – 4

San Francisco Giants – 2

Seattle Mariners – 4

Tampa Bay Rays – 4

Texas Rangers – 4

Toronto Blue Jays – 4

Washington Nationals – 3

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Scouting Report: Aroldis Chapman – LHP – CIN

Aroldis Chapman – LHP – Cincinnati Reds. 6’4″ 185. DOB: 2.28.88. Signed: Cuba 6 Year $30.25MM.

Scouted: Louisville Bats @ Columbus Clippers 6.1.10 (In Person)

I got my first look at Aroldis Chapman on TV during the 2009 World Baseball Classic. While pitching for the Cuban National Team, Chapman elevated his international prospect status with a 4IP 3H 1ER 1BB 7K performance against Australia. The following outing against Japan however, Chapman struggled with his control. He often had trouble with his release point and when things were not going well, he stomped and pouted on the mound. He took the loss against the eventual champions and left with a line of 2.1IP 3H 3ER 3BB 1K. After defecting in 2010, Chapman shocked baseball pundits by signing with the low budget Reds.

Cuban National Series Statistics

Year

LG

W-L

ERA

G

GS

S

IP

H

BB

K

2005-06

CUBA

3-5

4.33

15

15

0

54

48

54

56

2006-07

CUBA

4-3

2.77

23

12

7

81

59

50

100

2007-08

CUBA

6-7

3.89

16

16

0

74

55

37

79

2008-09

CUBA

11-4

4.03

22

20

0

118

109

62

130

TOTAL

24-19

3.74

76

63

7

328

271

203

365

Minor League Statistics

Year

LG

Level

W-L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SHO

S

IP

H

BB

SO

WHIP

2010

IL

AAA

9-6

3.57

39

13

1

0

8

95.2

77

52

125

1.348

Major League Statistics

Year

LG

Level

W-L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SHO

S

IP

H

BB

SO

WHIP

2010

NL

MLB

2-2

2.03

15

0

0

0

0

13.1

9

5

19

1.050

It’s important to note that getting one live look doesn’t provide nearly enough information to produce a true scouting report, but that’s not going to stop me from giving you my report anyway. On the day Chapman produced a line of 7IP 4H 2ER 3BB 5K in a no decision.

REPERTOIRE:

Fastball: On sheer velocity, Chapman breaks the 80-20 scale. That’s what happens when you can hit 105 MPH on the radar gun. While he doesn’t get much actual movement at that velocity, his 3/4 delivery causes the ball to cross the plane at a boring angle to right handed hitters.

Slider: Chapman can hit 90 MPH with this pitch on a good day, and it has sharp but sizable break.

Changeup: His changeup is a below average offering and it’s simply not needed out of the pen. His eventual success as a starter will depend heavily on the development of this pitch.

DELIVERY

Chapman has improved his delivery as a professional as the lengthy lefty used to have trouble repeating his delivery. On occasion Chapman will depart from his 3/4 delivery and come over the top to throw his sliders. More experienced hitters will exploit this if Chapman doesn’t maintain a consistent release point.

FUTURE

The question on Chapman’s future is whether he’ll start or relieve. Chapman, like any premium pitching prospect, is more valuable as a front line starter than as a reliever. However, Chapman is so filthy out of the pen on a contending team that his immediate future is to resume his 8th inning role in Cincinnati and possibly take over for Francisco Cordero if he falters.

Scouting Report: Yonder Alonso – 1B – CIN

Yonder Alonso – 1B – Cincinnati Reds. Bats: L Throws: R 6’2″ 210. DOB: 1.8.87. College: Miami (FL) Drafted: 1st Round (7th Overall) 2008.


Scouted: Louisville Bats @ Columbus Clippers 6.1.10 (In Person)


The Twins selected Alonso as a catcher in the 16th round of the 2005 draft, but he opted to go to Miami where he had a prolific college career as a first baseman. After leading the Canes to Omaha as a junior, the Reds used the 7th overall pick on Alonso and signed him to big league contract at the deadline.

Stuck behind NL MVP Joey Votto at first base, the Reds experimented with Alonso in left field in both AA and AAA last season to the tune of 30 total games. Alonso made one error and had an impressive 4 assists as an outfielder, but he’s just not fast enough to play out there at the MLB level.


College Stats

Year

Age

Class

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2006

19

FR

66

244

48

72

18

0

10

69

4

1

32

37

.295

.373

.492

2007

20

SO

61

210

57

79

13

1

18

74

13

3

64

31

.376

.519

.705

2008

21

JR

64

211

80

78

12

1

24

72

9

6

76

35

.370

.534

.777


Minor League Stats

Year

Age

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2008

21

A+

6

25

1

6

1

0

0

2

0

0

5

5

.316

.440

.368

2009

22

A+/AA

84

295

33

86

24

0

9

52

1

1

41

46

.292

.374

.464

2010

23

AA/AAA

132

507

69

147

36

2

15

69

13

3

56

92

.290

.362

.458

TOT

222

821

103

239

61

2

24

123

14

4

102

143

.291

.368

.458

Major League Stats

Year

Age

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

23

MLB

22

29

2

6

2

0

0

3

0

0

0

10

.207

.207

.276

It’s important to note that getting one live look doesn’t provide nearly enough information to produce a true scouting report, but that’s not going to stop me from giving you my report anyway.

HITTING: Alonso is a patient hitter who knows the strike zone well. His appeal is his above average BB% and his relatively low K% for a slugger. My big concern with Alonso has always been his ability to hit LHP, as he struggled in that area in college and in his first full year as a professional. Last year, however, Alonso hit a respectable .269 v. LHP in AAA and .273 v. LHP in AA.

POWER: Alonso has plus power to all fields and uses his patience to punish pitches in the zone.

SPEED: Alonso has well below average speed.

ARM: The arm is average and adequate at first base.

DEFENSE: The Reds have tried Alonso at third base and left field and there’s no denying that he’s a first baseman and nothing more. While he’s not fast, he’s athletic enough that he could develop into an above average defender at first base.

FUTURE: Though he received a late season promotion during Cincinnati’s pennate race, Yonder is clearly blocked by one of the National League’s best players. I anticipated that the Reds would have attempted to use an Alonso headlined package to secure a left fielder this off season but that hasn’t happened. Alonso will almost certainly start the season in AAA to garner consistent playing time and baring a Joey Votto injury, he’ll stay in Louisville until the contending Reds want to buy at at the deadline.