Cole's raw stuff is similar to 2009 first pick Stephen Strasburg: a 94-96 fastball that tops out at 97-99, a biting 87 slider and a hard 86 changeup. Unfortunately for Cole, his results are not similar and he has struggled through a vastly disappointing 2011 season. Cole's mechanics are poor and inconsistent. His backwards and forwards arm stroke is a nightmare, causing him to throw too many pitches and leave an inordinate number of hittable balls up in the strike zone. Cole will need a technical makeover as a pro but his arm is that of a staff ace.
Hultzen is the top left-handed pitcher in a good but not sensational 2011 lefty crop. He begins his windup positioned on the edge of the third base side of the rubber, squatting down in an awkward crouch. As he delivers a pitch, Hultzen cuts himself off and throws across his body, failing to use his lower half. That move, combined with a truncated arm stroke, raise serious injury concerns with Hultzen. His basic stuff is of high quality. Tossing the ball from a low three-quarters slot, Hultzen shows a low 90's fastball with nice movement, a change which darts to his arm side, and a late breaking curve which he can locate to either side of the plate. Older baseball fans will notice similarities between Hultzen's motion and that of former Twins star Jim Kaat.
To the relief of scouts, Bauer has toned down his wacky antics in 2011. Serious and focused, Bauer has enjoyed a phenomenal 2011 campaign, leading the nation in strikeouts and recording eye-popping numbers in all other categories. Bauer features a rising 93-95 fastball and a near "12-to-6" old fashioned curve. Bauer does not have the same confidence in his 83 slider, 87 split or sideways 86 change, but they project as excellent big leagues pitches as well. Scouts are concerned with Bauer's violent, maximum effort delivery, which may lead to a physical breakdown in the future.
Bundy reminds scouts of a shorter version of Roger Clemens. A broad shouldered and powerfully built 6'1", 205-pounder, Bundy has a nearly ideal compact and efficient delivery. He fires a mid 90's fastball and adds a 78 curve and 84 change. Bundy relishes working inside on hitters with his fastball or high 80's cutter. Reportedly, Bundy has a high bonus demand, but he may be worth the money. His aggressive approach, outstanding repertoire and tight mechanics are remarkable for a high school hurler.
Gardner Edgerton HS (Kan.)
Starling is a tall and rangy OF prospect who reminds observers of former big league star Dale Murphy. Blessed with a powerful arm and outstanding speed (6.56 in the 60 yard dash, well above big league average), Starling is an unusually gifted athlete. Scouts are not certain that Starling will hit. He has an easy, whippy swing but must utilize greater "separation", permitting him to use hands and arms more freely and achieve fuller extension. Starling reportedly has a lofty price tag and the option of playing football at Nebraska, so he figures to be an extremely tough prospect to sign.
In the past year, Rendon has battled injuries. A broken ankle has healed, but a bum shoulder has limited him to 1B and DH duties in 2011. The stratospheric stats he posted in 2009 and 2010 are less gaudy this season. When healthy, Rendon exhibits a smooth, mechanically sound swing which will enable him to hit for power and average as a pro. As a defensive 3B, Rendon is a quality fielder, but his body type indicates he will need to work hard to maintain his fitness and mobility.
A top notch quarterback prospect who has signed with Oklahoma, Bradley was impressive at last summer's Aflac All American game in San Diego. He breezed through two perfect innings, striking out four of the six hitters he faced. Physically imposing at 6-4 and 225 pounds, Bradley fires a mid 90's fastball and adds a nasty low 80's breaking ball. Bradley is relatively sound mechanically and, unlike most high school pitchers, does a nice job of finishing his delivery. Industry insiders claim Bradley will ask for a hefty, if not record, signing bonus.
Montverde Academy (Fla.)
Lindor is a dazzling defensive shortstop with a strong arm, excellent range and terrific play-making ability. Lithe, athletic and wiry, he does not have blazing speed but compensates with a quick first step and fine anticipation, both in the field and on the bases. A switchhitter, Lindor flashes bat speed and surprising power. In a major upset, he won the home run derby at last year's Aflac game. Lindor profiles as a top of the order hitter with Gold Glove fielding skills, the type of player who can from the cornerstone of a franchise.
A well-constructed 6-1 185-pounder, Baez does not possess the tools to stay at SS. His arm, speed and fielding tools project to big league average, fine for 2B, LF or 3B but not SS. Some scouts have floated the idea of turning Baez into a catcher. Wherever he winds up, Baez' primary feature will always be his bat. A right-handed hitter, Baez combines terrific bat speed with hitting fundamentals that are exceptionally advanced for a high schooler. His stance and swing are reminiscent of Manny Ramirez. Baez loads well, has a short stride and gets into an ideal pre swing position. He then keeps his swing on plane, achieves full extension and employs a high, powerful finish.
Indian River JC (Fla.)
The well-traveled Spangenberg has been a superlative hitter at every stop he has made in his brief career. He began at VMI, then starred last summer in the college-level Valley League. Spangenberg dropped down to Indian River in 2011, where he was the finest junior college hitter in the nation. Blessed with terrific speed, Spangenberg is a proficient line drive hitter who makes consistent hard contact and sprays drives to all fields. He does not show the arm or power to stay at 3B, but his fielding skills, arm and speed fit nicely at 2B. Spangenberg profiles as a top of the order hitter -- probably a number 2 -- who can hit for average, steal bases and score runs. He'll be a solid, athletic defender.
A devotee of the "grip it and rip it" style of hitting, Springer slumped early in the season as he attempted to hit two home runs with each swing. He has since cut back on his wild hack and the results have been productive. Springer is a terrific athlete and an aggressive, energetic player who can run, field and throw with abandon. As he and his teammates were horsing around prior to a game in San Diego this March, Springer leapt up and touched his palm to the dugout roof -- a height of about 11 feet.
The strength of this draft is right-handed pitching, and Jungmann adds to an exceptionally deep class. Staff ace of the Longhorns since he arrived in Austin, Jungmann has plenty of big-game NCAA tourney experience. His sinking fastball clocks in between 91-93 and can peak at 95. Jungmann adds an excellent late breaking, sweeping 80-83 slider. Scouts are alarmed by Jungmann's delivery, in which he cuts off his front side severely and slingshots the ball across his body. As a pro, Jungmann fits as either a starter or reliever and with mechanical fine-tuning, could emerge as a No. 2 starter.
Cheyenne East HS (Wyo.)
Finding Nimmo last fall and this spring has required scouts to be diligent. Wyoming high schools do not play baseball, so to see Nimmo in person scouts had to travel to showcases in Florida or Arizona. Lately he has been playing American Legion ball in Southern Wyoming, about an hour's drive from Denver. The trip is worth it. Nimmo is a talented all-around player, with fine speed, a good arm and a picturesque left-handed swing. He is fully recovered from a serious knee injury suffered two years ago. Athletic and projectable at 6-3 and 180 pounds, Nimmo is perhaps the best player to hail from Wyoming since Dick Ellsworth, a 22-game winning pitcher with the Cubs in 1963.
Fernandez and his family escaped Cuba several years ago via a makeshift boat which capsized, nearly resulting in the deaths of all on board. Since arriving in the U.S., Fernandez has established himself as one of the nation's top HS pitchers after a summer and fall in which he was a regular on the vast showcase circuit. Built like a right-handed Sid Fernandez, Jose fires a blistering mid-to-high 90's fastball. His secondary offerings -- a 75 change and 80 curve -- are weak and will need development. Considered signable, Fernandez projects as a shutdown closer in pro ball.
Sporting a full name which is rich in U.S. historical imagery -- Jedidiah Custer Bradley -- the Georgia Tech star is a lefty in the mold of Phillies star Cole Hamels. Bradley uses his body extremely well in his delivery by driving with his lower half and staying closed with his front shoulder as his lead foot lands. His arm action is a bit short of full extension on both ends and Bradley appears at times to aim or place the ball. Bradley's stuff is solid. His fastball sits in the low 90's and he adds an 80 to 83 slider and 79-81 change. Relatively close to big league ready, Bradley projects as a No. 2 or 3 starting pitcher.
In high school, Reed pitched in a LA City championship game against Royals 2007 first rounder Mike Moustakas and Marlins first-rounder Matt Dominguez. Undrafted three years ago, Reed has progressed steadily at Stanford. He sports a powerful, mature build and is sound mechanically, using a compact, efficient delivery. Reed tosses a low 90's fastball and adds a fair slider and changeup. At Stanford, Reed has not logged a great deal of innings, which, in the long run, may work to his advantage.
Son of former big leaguer Chris Cron, C.J. Cron is a massive, powerfully built 1B along the lines of an Adam Dunn. Cron is a slow runner and his throwing and fielding tools all indicate a future as a DH or 1B. Perhaps the premier power hitter in the 2011 draft, the right-handed hitting Cron has enjoyed a spectacular 2011 season despite the mandated usage of the dreaded BBCOR bats. One dimensional players with tremendous power can hang on in the majors for a long time (i.e. Matt Stairs), so look for Cron to be a big league power hitter for many years.
Gray is distinctly cast against type for a first-round right-handed pitching candidate. Not tall, lanky or projectable, Gray is under 6 feet tall but powerfully built. Physically, he resembles Tom Seaver. Gray's fastball often reaches the mid 90's, and he has a wonderful curveball which starts out at shoulder height and drops down to a hitter's ankles. At the finish of his delivery, Gray lands on the outside ridge of his left foot and falls off to his left, toward first base. That flaw leads to inconsistent command and a tendency to leave the ball up in the strike zone. Gray may make the majors as a short reliever, but will probably begin as a starter in the minors.
Barnes is a tall and lanky right-hander with decent but not overwhelming natural stuff. His low 90's fastball peaks at 94, but his 82-84 change shows little drop or deception and he offers a loopy 73-78 curve which needs to be tighter. Barnes shows an easy arm action and delivery, but he wraps his arm behind his body, opens his front hip and shoulder too soon and will lurch forward at the end of his delivery. Despite the need for mechanical adjustments, Barnes comfortably profiles as a mid-rotation starting pitcher.
Anderson reminds scouts of Steve Avery, a star LHP with the Braves 20 years ago. Tall and angular, Anderson's delivery is a bit funky. He uses a high, not-quite Dontrelle Willis leg kick, then flicks his front ankle at the hitter just prior to releasing the ball. Anderson displays fair mechanics, using his body to drive toward his target. His arm action is a tad short of full extension on either end, but Anderson's stuff is admirable. He tosses a 90-94 fastball and adds a slider and curve. All lefties need a change and Anderson's is outstanding. Oregon's catchers and pitchers do not call their own games, so Anderson will need to think for himself at the next level.
Lawrence Academny (Mass.)
Beede is a surprise pick at this point, going ahead of two outstanding high school Northern California righties, Joe Ross and Robert Stephenson. Beede is a project, but he is lanky and projectable and shows interesting upside. He will need to develop a breaking ptich, but Beede's fastball sits in the 91-93 range and he adds a nice changeup at 78. Considered a tough sign, Beede is a Vanderbilt signee who, if he does go pro, will probably do so right at the signing deadline in August.
When attending amateur games, scouts rarely find prospects playing 2B or LF. Wong is a welcome exception. At 5-9 and 175 pounds, Wong is undersized for any other position, but he fits 2B perfectly. An exceptionally smart and heady player, Wong does not possess huge tools but he does profile as a Gold Glove level defensive player. A left-handed hitter, Wong can sting the ball to all fields and shows unusual pop for his size. Of all the college position players in the 2011 draft, Wong may be closest to the big leagues.
Meyer is a towering 6-9 righty who physically resembles Angels star Jered Weaver. In 2008, Meyer was drafted by the Red Sox in the 20th round. Command issues affected Meyer during his first two seasons in Lexington and while his control is still not sterling, it has improved. Meyer has a discus-like arm action which delivers a low to mid 90's fastball, a low 80's slider and a burgeoning mid-80's change. Pitching mechanics purists may be alarmed by Meyer's motion, in which he rotates and contorts his arm far behind his right leg and finishes by toppling over a stiff front landing leg. Meyer could develop into a mid-rotation starter should he adopt some technical alterations.
One of the most exciting aspects of scouting is the sudden emergence of a prospect who was not a star -- or even a participant -- in the major showcases during the previous summer or fall. Such a player is Guerrieri, a powerfully built 6-3 210-pound righty who has progressed from bland high 80's limbo to a first-round candidate. Guerrieri fires a low to mid 90's fastball with late, veering movement and adds two intriguing secondary pitches: a low 80's curve which he grips by tucking his middle finger under his index finger, and a "Mordecai Brown" three-fingered change. Guerrieri's mechanics are advanced, for he shows a near ideal arm stroke in his delivery. His body is a bit robotic and Guerrieri lands on a stiff front leg, but those are minor technical issues.
Bishop O'Dowd HS (Calif.)
Ross is the younger brother of Tyson Ross of the A's. At 6-2 and 180 pounds, Joe is not as tall or physical as his older sibling, but he reminds observers of Ken Hill, an excellent RHP in the 90's with the Cards, Expos and Rangers. Arm tenderness and understandable caution kept Ross out of many showcase events last summer, but he appears healthy this spring. He fires a heavy 91-93 fastball at a pronounced downward angle and shows the knack for moving that pitch inside or outside. Ross adds a tempting 78-81 curve and a fair changeup. Utilizing a straight up-and-down delivery, Ross may need some additional extension in his arm stroke but the ball leaves his hand easily. A UCLA signee, Ross may spurn all but the most generous bonus offers, since he projects as a possible top 10 pick in 2014.
Timing is everything in baseball. With fellow high school catcher Austin Hedges considered nearly impossible to sign and a dismal college catching class, Swihart moves to the top of the 2011 draft catching corps. Swihart is not a physical beast, but he is athletic for a catcher. His receiving and throwing skills are nowhere near those of Hedges, but Swihart projects as a solid average defensive backstop. A switch hitter, Swihart's hitting mechanics require vast improvement but his bat speed is unique for a catcher. Swihart is a promising hitter who profiles as a solid if not spectacular defender.
Alhambra H.S. (Calif.)
Martinez, near Oakland, first gained fame as Joe DiMaggio's birthplace and Stephenson aims to continue the baseball tradition in the East Bay town. Stephenson first drew the attention of local scouts during last summer's Area Code games tryouts and he has steadily progressed. His loose, fluid delivery produces a 92-94 mph fastball, which exhibits both sink and arm side movement. Advanced for a high schooler, Stephenson's 79-81 change shows excellent deception and late drop, but he will need to tighten his 77-78 curve. Not as highly publicized as Dylan Bundy or Archie Bradley, Stephenson's frame contains substantially more physical projection than either Oklahoman.
Gilmartin prepped at a Catholic high school in Southern California, where he was a prospect as an OF and LHP. For college, the 6-3 195-pounder went across the country to Florida State, where he has concentrated on pitching. Gilmartin has a wonderfully smooth and easy delivery, featuring a low 90's fastball, sharp curve and advanced change. Polished and mechanically sound, Gilmartin is a smart and mature hulrer who fits best as a No. 3 or No. 4 starter.
Panik is an excellent left-handed hitter who has recovered from a serious shoulder injury suffered as a freshman at St. John's. His non hitting tools -- run, throw and field -- are not outstanding, so he'll have to hit and hit well. The Giants have several top notch hitters in their system -- Gary Brown, Thomas Neal, etc., so Panik adds to an impressive array of bats in the world champs' organization.
Michael is a well-rounded college middle infielder who does everything well but does not have enormous tools. Similar to Brandon Crawford of the Giants, Michael has decent speed and is a smooth fielder with a good arm and a quick release. He'll start his career as an SS but could easily transition to 3B or 2B. A lefty hitter, Michael exhibits a trace of an Adam Kennedy uppercut, but he makes solid contact and his stroke is compact and efficient. He will drift into stretches where his stride is too long, but when he uses an old fashioned inward front knee kick as a timing device that flaw is eliminated.
Mahtook was one of the few college hitters in the nation who flourished with the new BBCOR bats in 2011. His swing is compact and quick. Mahtook clobbers mistakes left high and out over the plate. Hitting purists may look askance at Mahtook's unusual setup. He hits out of a wide crouch, with his left leg open and his weight perched upon a severely bent back leg. Mahtook sports an athletic big league type body at 6'1" and 192 pounds. A college CF, Mahtook does not possess blazing speed or a cannon arm, so LF may be his professional home. With a few adjustments at bat, Mahtook has the ability to be a valuable long term professional hitter.
Sierra Vista HS (Nev.)
The majority of scouts don't expect to see big league level hitting mechanics from a high school player. Hager is an exception. His short stride, compact "on plane" swing and quick, relaxed hands have enabled Hager to enjoy a senior season which has been mind boggling from a statistical standpoint. Currently a SS, Hager profiles as a 3B with smooth fielding actions, average speed and an acceptable arm.
Richmond Hill HS (Ga.)
Only 5-11 and 180 pounds, Matthews is a shocking first-round pick. He has fine "pitchability" and an advanced breaking ball, but as late as last summer his fastball topped out in the high 80's. Matthews has since added about three-to-five miles velocity, but most observers would rate igh school lefties Henry Owens and Daniel Norris ahead of Matthews. Matthews may not throw hard enough to pitchout of the bullpen, so he profiles as a No. 3 to 5 starter.
Goodwin is an athletic outfield prospect with fine speed. A transfer from North Carolina, he shows promise as a line drive, top of the order left handed hitter.
Chino HS (Calif.)
Tall, rangy and projectable, Anderson has above average speed (6.81) and profiles easily as a corner OF. He has made vast strides as a hitter in 2011. Anderson has a fluid swing which could produce power in the future.
Edison HS (Calif.)
A baseball version of Sesame Street's "Big Bird", Owens is a towering but skinny left-handed pitcher who usually sports a distinctive mop of shaggy blond hair underneath his cap. Exceptionally projectable, Owens delivers his 88 to 92 fastball plateward in a buggy whip fashion, but his best pitch is his low to mid 70's curveball. As a pro, Owens will need to sharpen the command of his pitches and develop a changeup. He does not show tremendous raw velocity, so Owens will have to obtain most of his outs down, not up, in the strike zone. As with most high school pitchers, Owens will require some mechanical tweaking but his current technical flaws should be easily correctable.
Cone slumped in 2011, but not enough to drop far down in the draft. He is a slightly above average runner and thrower with a strong frame. Despite his struggles, Cone displays a sweet swing and has the promise to hit for power and average.
Santiago HS (Calif.)
Martin drew tiny numbers of scouts early in the year, but that changed as the draft neared. Supple and wiry, he runs well and has outstanding fielding ability. Martin has a quick bat, but will need to make more consistent hard contact to succeed.
Berrien Co. HS (Ga.)
Compact and strong, Greene offers tantalizing potential in his left-handed bat. One East Coast scout insisted Greene does not run well (he has short, choppy strides), shows a weak arm and while he may put on an impressive BP display, Greene's power is only average. He has struggled against elite pitching. Currently a corner OF, Greene may transition to 1B or DH as a pro. Any player with below average run, field and throw tools must have a huge bat to be drafted high, so the Phillies must have faith in his ability to hit and drive the ball.
Jackie Bradley, Jr.
Bradley led South Carolina to the CWS championship in 2010. He began the season as an early first-round candidate, but injuries derailed that bid. When fit, Bradley shows speed, athletic tools and a quick bat despite some awkwardness in the lower half of his body during his swing.
St. Francis HS (Calif.)
Tall but unusually thin, Goedell is a terrific athlete with outstanding speed and a highly projectable frame. Considered difficult to sign, Goeddel may not have enough physical strength to hit effectively at this stage. Those factors may cause him to attend UCLA.
Lower Columbia C.C. (Wash.)
Drafted twice previously, Ames is a tall, powerful righty with a low- to mid-90's fastball. He will need to improve his secondary pitches. Ames profiles as a durable, innings-eating sort of late rotation starter. He has signed with Oregon State, but his unexpectedly high draft position should sway him away from Corvallis.
Chafin did not pitch in 2010 as he recovered from Tommy John elbow surgery. Physically mature, Chafin returned to the hill this spring and flashed a low 90's fastball. His best pitch is a low 80's slider. Chafin may profile best as a short reliever.
Deer Creek HS (Okla.)
An Oklahoma righty but not quite in the class of Bundy or Bradley, Fullmer fires a low 90's fastball which he complements with a hard low 80's slider. He has velocity has jumped since last year.
Story has excellent speed (6.74) and a powerful arm which will permit him to play any number of defensive positions if the need arises. For now he'll probably stay at SS. Story exhibits quickness and bat speed at the plate, but that's a segment of his game will take time to develop.
Grossmont HS (Calif.)
Musgrove is a big bodied righty, similar to Orioles 2009 first-round pick Matt Hobgood. Unremarkable in last season's showcase circuit, Musgrove's velocity jumped into the mid 90's this spring. He has the advantage of profiling as either a starter or short reliever.
Central Arizona C.C. (Ariz.)
Walker is an exceptionally athletic player, with a strong arm and terrific speed. Finally finding a defensive home in the OF, he has always struggled as a hitter. That portion of Walker's game progressed this spring and may be able to use his speed as a top of the order offensive threat.
West Boca Raton HS (Fla.)
A righty with terrific upside, Kelly is highly projectable and is gifted with an easy arm action. His low 90's fastball is complemented by an inconsistent but promising curve. Several scouts feel that Kelly needs to be more aggressive in his approach.
A relative newcomer to pitching, the fullback-sized Crick has a power arm, firing a 92-94 fastball. He attempts a slew of secondary pitches, but those are crude and need improvement. A project, Crick's mechanics and command are raw, but he could develop into a mid rotation starter.
Tustin HS (Calif.)
At showcase events, scouts are not impressed by Harrison's speed. Nor are they impressed by his glove or arm. Just as scouts are about to dismiss him as a prospect, he takes BP. Harrison has ridiculous power, maximized this spring by adding more separation to his hitting style.
Dante Bichette Jr.
Orangewood Christian HS (Fla.)
Son of a former big league star, Bichette has played 3B in showcases but has no aptitude for the infield. Profiling best as a corner OF, Bichette does not run gracefully but he does exhibit promise as a hitter. Florida scouts have long been familiar with Bichette and his ability to hit the ball extremely hard.
Shorewood HS (Wash.)
Tall, angular and long-legged, Snell delivers a high 80's to low 90's fastball. He adds a provocative 80 changeup, but his curve is slow and needs tightening. Snell has a loose arm action but will drag his arm behind his body, a trait he'll need to alter.
McIntosh HS (Ga.)
Another big league legacy, Smith has a textbook left-handed swing which contains bat speed, power and should enable him to hit for average as well. His run, throw and field tools are solid but not spectacular. Smith fits easily as a corner OF, probably a LF.
Providence HS (N.C.)
Austin is a switch hitting catcher who has improved immensely in the past year. His catching skills need refinement but he possesses a strong arm and quick release. At bat, Austin has recently exhibited excellent power and his left-handed hitting is beginning to catch up with his natural right-handed side.
Bishop Verot HS
Boyd is a baby faced, stoutly built right-hander with two plus pitches: a low 90's fastball and high 70's to low 80's curve. His body type indicates that fitness and weight control will be a constant challenge for him. Boyd could fit as a reliever or as a mid rotation starter.
Carter is gifted with one of the best left-handed bats in this years draft, and his buttery smooth stroke promises to provide power and average. A CF in college, his non hitting tools will likely move him to a corner OF spot as a pro.
Seneca HS (N.J.)
A bit of a surprise this high in the draft, Comer is a big bodied but not highly projectable high school righty. He tosses a low 90's fastball and adds a sinker, sharp curve and quality change. The Vanderbilt signee will need to work to avoid short arming the ball in his delivery.
Peterson doubles as a college defensive back. A speedy SS with a strong arm, he is unrefined defensively but has the tools to play in the middle of the diamond. Peterson has a compact and quick left-handed stroke but does not project to hit for significant power.
Grayson increased his fastball velocity into the low 90's this spring. He adds a low 80's slider and mid 70's curve. Mechanically sound, Garvin must correct an occasional tendency to push the ball in his delivery.
James Harris, Jr.
Oakland Tech HS (Calif.)
Harris is a sensational athlete, recording a 6.58 60-yard dash time and 35.5-inch vertical leap at a major showcase last summer. His swing is smooth and effortless, but he will need to add physical strength to his frame in order to drive the ball with authority. Harris projects as a speedy CF and top-of-the-order base-stealing threat.
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