Looking ahead: Top prospects for 2010 draft in College World Series

Last week was about as big of a week as we get at Baseball America: Major League Baseball's first-year player draft and the College World Series. Talk about worlds colliding.

The eight-team CWS field features several 2009 first-round picks, such as No. 8 overall pick Mike Leake of Arizona State (drafted by the Reds), Louisiana State outfielder Jared Mitchell (the White Sox's top pick) and North Carolina's Dustin Ackley and Alex White (drafted second and 15th overall, respectively).

But the field also is full of underclassmen who should make an impact in next year's draft, which is only 358 days away. Here are the top 10 prospects for the 2010 draft who were involved in this year's CWS, in alphabetical order:

Seth Blair, RHP, Arizona State: An Illinois native, Blair pitched well in the Cape Cod League last summer, posting a 1.55 ERA to save a difficult freshman season. He carried that confidence over this spring to Arizona State, going 7-2 with a 3.16 ERA as the Sun Devils' No. 3 starter. He has average velocity on his fastball, in the 88-92 mph range, and has touched 95 at times thanks to a quick arm. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder also has a second average-to-plus pitch in his slider.

Gary Brown, OF/3B, Cal State Fullerton: Brown's speed tantalizes scouts, who would love to see him perform at a more consistent level. He's bounced between the outfield corners and third base for the Titans and may profile best at second. His well-above-average speed would play anywhere in the middle of the diamond, or at the top of the lineup as his bat develops.

Zack Cox, 3B, Arkansas: A freshman this season, Cox will be draft-eligible as a sophomore in 2010. He has battled a bad back this spring, but seemed to be loosening up and getting into a hitting rhythm as the Razorbacks tore through the postseason. Cox has third-base tools with plenty of bat speed to profile him to produce above-average power down the road. He's shown the ability to catch up to good fastballs and needs to learn to trust his hands to handle offspeed stuff.

Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton: Colon has special hands defensively and is one of the steadiest defenders in college baseball, making only 11 errors as a sophomore. Some scouts have expressed a desire to move him behind the plate as a pro because his range is fringy at the pro level, and he has a squat body and plenty of arm strength. But Colon has middle-infield actions that are increasingly hard to find at the college level, and handles the bat well, with enough power to demand respect.

Brett Eibner, OF/RHP, Arkansas: Eibner is a true prospect both as a hitter and as a pitcher. Offensively, he profiles as a center fielder with long, graceful strides and average-to-plus range. His arm would fit in right field, because he has hit 95 mph off the mound. He struggled handling both roles this season as Arkansas went to Omaha, moving into the weekend rotation in the second half. He has an ideal pro body at 6-4 with fast-twitch athleticism and wiry strength.

Matt Harvey, RHP, North Carolina: Harvey turned down $1 million from the Angels as a third-round pick out of high school, and the Connecticut product is pitching in his second straight CWS with the Tar Heels. He'll become the undisputed staff ace next year when White and senior Adam Warren (a fourth-round pick of the Yankees this year) move on, using a low-90s fastball that reaches 95 at times and a true hammer curveball that is his best pitch. Harvey can lose control of the strike zone due to a long arm action and some effort in his delivery, so he's not a finished product. But he was the best pitching prospect in the Cape last summer and may be again in 2009.

Kevin Keyes, OF, Texas: Keyes has physicality that can't be ignored at 6-4, 225 pounds. He has bat speed and strength that plays even in Texas' spacious Disch-Falk Field, as he ranks second on the team in home runs and doubles. He profiles as a right fielder with an average arm and enough speed for the position. His draft status will depend on how well he taps into his raw power.

Jarrett Parker, OF, Virginia: Few hitters in the Class of 2010 can match Parker's combination of size, speed, power and defense. Parker worked hard in the offseason to add about 20 pounds of muscle to his athletic 6-4, 205-pound frame, and as a result he pounded 16 homers this year after hitting none in 50 games as a freshman. But he did not lose his speed or agility, and his range, instincts and arm strength are all assets in center field. The biggest thing Parker must improve is his contact rate; he has struck out 76 times in 259 at-bats this spring.

Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Louisiana State: After pitching just six innings as a freshman, Ranaudo became LSU's ace as a sophomore, emerging as one of the Southeastern Conference's best pitchers. At 6-7, 231 pounds, he has the athleticism to repeat his delivery and pump his fastball into the 92-94 mph range. He pitched as if he had some fatigue in his CWS opener, with his velocity sitting more 89-91 mph. At his best, his curveball also is a power offering, and he's shown a decent feel for a changeup. Ranaudo's competitiveness combined with his stuff puts him at the front of the group of 2010 pitchers.

Brandon Workman, RHP, Texas: At 6-5 and 220 pounds, Workman stands above his Longhorns teammates such as Chance Ruffin (son of Bruce) and Cole Green, though those are Texas' top two starters. All three are sophomores. Workman has the best pro body and best fastball, sitting at 89-92 mph and reaching higher. He pitches off the fastball and adds a hard curveball. He'll rocket up lists if he masters something offspeed.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.