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2009 Draft Thread, Summer Showcases and Leagues


If you think scouts have a chance to catch their breath now that the 2008 draft is done, think again. They turn around immediately and start scouting the talent eligible for next year's draft. Between the summer college wood bat leagues and the number of high profile showcase and tournament events at the high school level, the summer season is a very busy one for scouts.

 

This weekend is the Perfect Game National Showcase, this year held at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Perfect Game has a nice story looking back at last year's participants, and where they were drafted this year:

 

http://www.perfectgame.org/stories/08_06_08_pg_national_and_the_draft/index.aspx

 

As you can see, a ton of talent attended this event. Many of the very best of the best from this event are selected to participate in the Aflac All-American Classic in August (of which I still don't believe the site has been announced, which is very late).

 

Over the course of the summer feel free to share your thoughts on some of the best prospects looking forward and how they are faring in their respective summer leagues and tourneys. I'll be covering the Northwoods League once again for PG Crosschecker.

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The Area Code Games will be August 5-10 at Blair Field (home of the Dirtbags) in Long Beach. Here is the list of tryouts the Brewers will be conducting to assemble the talent for the two teams they host:

 

Wednesday, July 2: Delta College, Stockton, California

Monday, July 7: Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California

Tuesday, July 8: Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California

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Colby do you travel at to the Northwoods games or do you just catch the teams when they are in the area?

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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No, I don't travel to games in the NWL. I usually hit a game or two a summer, going to Madison, because it's the closest, are trying to hit an Express game in Eau Claire when I'm visiting the in-laws. Most of my work with that is done over the phone, talking to the coaches and scouts that cover the league to gather information, but I do plan on going to the all-star game this year, which is in Madison.

 

I think the Area Code Games are open to the public, but you may want to contact them first to make sure. Here's the website:

 

http://www.areacodebaseball.com/

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I see, if you came up this way I was going to hook you up with food and beverages for all your hardwork. On a related note, Jason Dovel, who's brother Sean played for the Bull Frogs last year and was hosted by one of my very good friends is coming up here and will be hosted by the same family. I heard some rumors that he throws 95 but looking at his freshman numbers at CSF he was pretty average, do you know anything about him?

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Well, that might just be enough incentive for me to make the trip to GB this summer http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif.

 

I can't tell you any specifics about Dovel regarding what he throws, but I think his performance as a freshmen, pitching the third most innings of any Titan reliever, one of the best programs in all of college baseball, speaks loud enough. His ERA was higher than his peripheral numbers suggest, and I appreciate you bringing up his name, as I have a feeling he's going to find himself in the mix for the top prospect list that I compile.

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If you're going to find yourself in this neck of the woods and interested drop me a PM. I was hoping you had something Jason, I really liked his brother Sean. Apparently Sean's advisor told him he'd be drafted in the teens last year and I know he was really disappointed when that didn't happen, so I was just curious how projectable Jason was in comparison to his older brother.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Colbyjack are there any prospects in the northwestern part of Iowa that I should go out and see? Living here in Algona, I know that a few players have gone on to play for perfectgame and have appreciated your responses in the past. So was just curious about this season and your knowledge about the area.
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Players to watch in NW Iowa include RHP Dean McArdle from Sioux City, a shorter (5'10") RHP that throws in the 88-90 range with a very good curve, RHP Matt Koch from Cherokee that has good size and an improving 88-91 FB, and RHP/IF Rick Sandquist from Fort Dodge. If RHP Chase Hentges ends up at Iowa Western CC instead of signing with the Royals as a 14th round pick, he's another guy to keep an eye on.

 

PGCrosschecker last week unveiled their top 10 HS prospects for 2009 as part of their top 10 lists. Here is the archive for those lists from last week (free):

 

http://www.pgcrosschecker.com/2008/toptenlists/june/week22.aspx

 

David Rawnsley chimes in with his top 10 prospects from last weekend's PG National which was held at the Metrodome. The list is currently on the homepage:

 

http://www.pgcrosschecker.com/Default.aspx

 

As for the Green Bay Bullfrogs, I may try to get up there to see them if I can't catch them in Madison. I just noticed Tulane SS Josh Prince was recently added to their roster, who will definitely be one of the top prospects in the league. He didn't get as much playing time this spring, but looked extremely well in fall practices last year.

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Check out this thread for some nice, detailed results from the PG National last weekend, which includes velocities, POP times and dash times, as well as top prospect lists:

 

http://www.perfectgame.org/stories/08_06_18_national_showcase/index.aspx

 

The top prospect list will give you a good idea of the players that will be participating in the Aflac All-American Classic, as they're usually participants at this event.

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Opinions on Brad Schreiber, Phil's brother?

 

Not really important correction, bk: Phil and Brad are first cousins.

 

The FVA finally has their 2008 stats available. Here's the hitting portion, note that it's just the regular season. Brad actually hit three more homers in the playoffs, including two at Fox Cities Stadium where the Mariner's low A Timber Rattlers play. I'm not sure on the final batting average number, but it was higher than .534 once the playoffs are factored in as well, I think it was over .600.

 

Then, here are the FVA pitching leaders. Brad led the conference with a .93 ERA, about a half a run ahead of Phil, who was third (Bryce Bellin is second, he's only going to be a junior next year). He had a 4-1 record... the only loss was a pitcher's duel against Phil and Kaukauna, I think the final was 2-1. Brad's other numbers were 32 Ks and 11 walks in 30 innings with 22 hits allowed. He was throwing in the high 80s at the State tournament.

 

By the way, I am a student at Kimberly and I know Brad well, so I'm obviously biased, but he's good and the numbers above will back that up. He doesn't have any college plans in store as of yet, so it should be an interesting year next year.

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The 2008 Team USA National Team has been announced. Here's the story:

 

http://mlb.mlb.com/usa_baseball/article.jsp?story=20080624_nt_roster_announced

 

And here's the roster:

 

http://mlb.mlb.com/usa_baseball/article.jsp?story=nt_roster_2008

 

Here's the stats so far to get a taste for how all the players fared during the trials. San Diego State RHP Stephen Strasburg and Tennessee CF Kentrail Davis highlight the team with very impressive performances so far:

 

http://mlb.mlb.com/usa_baseball/downloads/y2008/nt_teamcume.htm

 

On a sidenote given the conversations about the Northwoods League, OF Aaron Senne and LHP Bryan Morgado did not make the cut, and are expected to report to Rochester and La Crosse respectively.

 

Speaking of the Northwoods, keep an eye on C Carlos Ramirez (Mankato Moondogs), who is currently leading the league in BA, OBP & SLG. He played with Chandler-Gilbert CC the past two years, but is transferring to ASU in the fall.

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On the subject of Team USA, the annual high school version of the National Team trials, the Tournament of Stars, took place last week at Team USA's training facility in Cary, NC. PGCC currently has a top 10 list of the most impressive prospects at this event on their homepage, courtesy of Jeff Simpson:

 

http://www.pgcrosschecker.com/

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I asked this in another post but thought this thread would be the better place for it. I am in Winter Park Florida, just outside of Orlando, for the summer and I was wondering what the quality of the The Florida Collegiate Summer League was. I am will probably catch a couple games just for the fun of it, but I thought some of you might have some insight into any players in the league who might be worth watching specifically.
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Sorry I missed your post before jjfanec. The Florida league isn't the best when it comes to talent, although Jonathan Lucroy was named the top prospect of this league two years ago. Aaron Tullo, another former Brewers draftee, was one of the top prospects in this league a year ago.

 

Andy Mee of Belleview is having a great summer, among the league leaders in several offensive categories while also leading the league in saves. Jose Jimenez of Leesburg is a powerful left-handed hitter but is somewhat without a position, as he's not quick enough to catch and he's on the short side for 1B. Bryan Valencia of Clermont is a shorter, high energy outfielder that I've heard is fun to watch.

 

I'm sure there are more, but those are the names I somewhat recognized by taking a quick glance at the rosters.

 

PGCC has released their top 10 '09 prospects on their homepage yesterday as part of their daily top 10 lists. If you're a subscriber, you can check out the top 30 here:

 

http://www.pgcrosschecker.com/draft/2009/top_prospects/top30_61508.aspx

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I know it's almost a year away, but it's never too early to discuss top prospects for the 2009 draft. I don't have much of a handle on the high school scene, but here are who I think are the top ten pitchers and top ten position players. At this point I think the pitching crop is deeper than the hitters. Would love to hear your comments/opinions.....

 

Top Ten Pitchers:

 

1) Alex White -- North Carolina --> Mixes a mid-90's fastball with sharp slider. Great size and stamina. Profiles as no worse than a #2 in the majors.

2) Stephen Strasburg -- San Diego State --> Throws even harder than White, but needs to further refine his secondary stuff. At 6'05" 220 lbs is built like a workhorse.

3) Kyle Gibson -- Missouri --> Low 90's fastball with solid secondary stuff. Also offers plenty of projectability with his 6'07" 210 lbs frame.

4) Jeff Inman -- Stanford --> His stats were not awe inspiring, but offers a 93-95 mph fastball, solid curveball and, like most Stanford hurlers, is cerebral.

5) A.J. Griffin -- San Diego --> Profiles as the best closer in the '09 draft class. Best pitch is a mid-90's fastball with plenty of movement. Great size.

6) Andy Oliver -- Oklahoma State --> Lefties with 93 mph fastball and excellent curveballs don't grow on trees.

7) Kendall Volz -- Baylor --> Has the size and stuff; however needs to improve command and control.

8) Mike Minor -- Vanderbilt --> Has better size and throws a bit harder than former Vandy southpaw Jeremy Sowers.

9) Jason Stoffel -- Arizona --> It should say something that despite the presence of 1st rounders Ryan Perry and Daniel Schlereth, Perry was the Wildcats' closer in '08.

** Brett Hunter** -- Pepperdine --> If this rising senior decides to return to school and is healthy, his high-90's heater should catapult him up this list.

 

Top 10 Hitters:

 

1) Grant Green, SS -- USC --> Has enjoyed unbelievable success with wood on the Cape a la Evan Longoria a few years ago. At 6'03" he might outgrow SS.

2) Dustin Ackley, OF-1B -- North Carolina --> Should eventually wind up in CF where he'll evoke Darin Erstad comparisons. Clocked at 3.9 seconds home to 1B.

3) Blake Dean, OF -- LSU --> His CWS heroics have given him almost legendary status in the Bayou. Tremendous power from the left side.

4) Kentrail Davis, OF -- Tennessee --> Despite being just 5'09" Davis has the most pop on Team USA. An above average outfielder.

5) Robert Stock, C -- USC --> From a statistical persepctive he has disappointed, but this 18-year-old rising junior has displayed a cannon arm, discerning eye and plenty of power potential.

6) Connor Powers, 3B -- Mississippi --> Missed some time in '08 due to iunjury, but still displayed crazy power. Might eventually have to run across the diamond to 1B.

7) Trevor Coleman, C -- Missouri --> Defensive wizard with a great eye at the plate and improving power.

8) Aaron Senne, OF -- Missouri --> Minnesota native has a coveted power stroke from teh left side but is still raw.

9) Matt den Dekker, OF -- Florida --> Might end up as a "tweener" with not enough power for the corners and not enough speed for CF.

10) Brent Milleville, C-1B -- Stanford --> Might end up as the Ryan Garko of 2009; a senior catcher who hits his way to the top of the draft.

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HF29 - I definitely respect any list that does not have Strasburg as the No. 1 pitcher. That is not to say that I agree, but I think that what you highlight, namely his lack of a third pitch, will be something to watch going forward. Alex White, Kyle Gibson, and Strasburg will all have the chance to cement themselves as the No. 1 pitcher in the draft, if not No. 1 overall. Two guys not mentioned in your pitchers' list, but are still intriguing, are Gavin Brooks (LHP) and Jorge Reyes (RHP). Brooks throws pretty hard for a lefty, and Reyes is just a gamer.

 

I'd like to add that the HS crop appears pretty deep in pitchers and (surprisingly) catchers. Matthew Purke and Tyler Matzek are the top two pitchers in the class thus far, and are both lefties that can hit 94. Jacob Turner is a righty with a quick arm that has also hit 94 this summer.

 

As for your hitters, I think Dustin Ackley is the class of this group -- great hitting and on base skills. While his power is suspect, he has been playing the outfield in the Cape this summer, which should make his bat all the more valuable. I've got Kentrail Davis as the #2 hitter, as his team USA play has been pretty awesome thus far. Grant Green is my No. 3, but, as you mentioned, he is tearing up the Cape.

 

As mentioned above, the HS catchers are pretty deep -- Austin Maddox, Max Stassi, and Luke Bailey are all very good defenders with potentially plus power. SS Mychel Givens and OF Donovon Tate both have the potential to go Top 10 based on their tools.

 

I have to be honest, I've not heard much about Blake Dean and Connor Powers -- care to type up a few lines about them?

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CW11--

 

Thanks for the kind words. I'll try to give you as much as I know on both Dean and Powers. I've seen Dean a bunch and like him plenty. In terms of his body type and hitting style, he reminds me the most of the Mariners' Raul Ibanez. He's a big kid -- at least 6'01" maybe 6'02" and in the neighborhood of 200 lbs, well proportioned with broad shoulders and muscular arms. He's got a compact swing with plenty of juice. He's very quick to the ball with not much of a load. He can square up the best fastballs while having no problems sitting back and locking on to the offspeed stuff. He has good plate discipline. As I alluded to above, he really made his mark in the regionals and CWS, which is further proof he can hit good pitching. He only has one hit in 13 AB on the Cape this summer (he was a late arrival), but has struck out only once. I have no doubt he'll hit as he put up very respectable numbers there last summer. The only puzzling thing about Dean is that he has logged a lot of time at DH for such a young kid and I don't understand why. He has at least average speed and a decent arm. While LSU always has a very athletic outfield -- led by mega-athletic CF Jared Mitchell -- I still don't know why Dean has not gotten in the field more. Maybe one of the people on the message board has the answer to this riddle.

 

I don't know as much about Powers. He's a VERY big kid -- I'd have to say about 6'2" and 220, or so....kind of like Matt LaPorta. His approach is also similar to LaPorta in that he loads up big time before every pitch. But once in motion, his swing is so quick he can get away with it. No park is too big for him. The biggest question for him is whether he'll be able to hit the high hard stuff. On defense, Powers has plenty of arm, but the jury's still out whether his mobility (or lack thereof) will allow him to stick at the hot corner.

 

I love Dustin Ackley. I agree that he could wake up Christmas morning a slap a single up the middle or work a walk. The big issue with him, however, is whether he'll ever develop enough power. If he does, then we're talking about Darin Erstad circa 1998-2001. If not, we've got ourselves a speedy Jeremy Reed. I love the fact, by the way, that Ackley is slated to play CF next season for UNC. It should greatly enhance his draft status.

 

I have to admit, my knowledge of HS draft prospects for 2009 is currently poor at best, though I've heard through the grapevine it could be a banner crop. What can you tell me about the following up-the-middle prospects:

 

-- Chad Kettler

-- Drew Steckenrider

-- Jake Morris

-- Connor Harrell

-- Deven Marrero

 

Finally, funny you mentioned Gavin Brooks. He was 11th on my list. I know almost nothing about Reyes.

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Deven Marrero is a very good defensive shortstop (excellent arm), but his bat is the question with him at the moment.

 

Steckenrider and Jacob Morris both has 5 Tool potential, but both outfielders have been passed by Donovon Tate this summer.

 

Don't know too much about Kettler and Harrell.

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Colby,

Nice call on Josh Prince, .341/.398/.561 so far with 7 Errors and no HRs.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Prince also just got named to the All-Star Game in Madison on Monday. I'll be there and will provide my insight in my column next week.

 

Nice banter on some of the top prospects for next year, thanks for chiming in.

 

The two guys I like and have liked for some time are Jeff Inman of Stanford and Kentrail Davis of Tennessee. Davis should have never made it to college, as he was one of the best hitting prospects available for the 2007 draft. His affiliation with Scott Boras and a smallish frame didn't help him there, but it will be interesting to see where he goes next year as a draft-eligible sophomore.

 

Inman knows how to pitch, but struggles with consistency. He's almost too loosey-goosey on the mound, which seems to lead to some mental lapses. If he puts it all together next year he could have a huge, huge year. I've likened him to Ben Sheets in the past with a 93-94 FB and hammer curve.

 

Mike Minor is another one of my faves, not because of how hard he throws, but because it's clear he knows how to pitch. He has a great changeup, and commands his repertoire, which is all based off of the success of his fastball, extremely well. I've never met a Vanderbilt lefty that I didn't like http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif.

 

The only guy I would quibble with being on the top prospect list is Brent Milleville. He has big-time power, as I saw him hit some of the longest HRs at the college level this year, but there are some major holes in his swing, and I really question his ability to stick behind the plate.

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