recently completed Perfect Game World Showcase in Fort Myers featured one of
the most talented groups of players ever to play in this long running event,
which dates back to 1997 and was the original Perfect Game showcase.
World Showcase featured at least 15 players who have since played in the Major
Leagues, while the 2003 event has graduated 11 participants to baseball’s
highest level. It’s safe to say that
when we look back in 10 years or so, the 2011 World Showcase will feature at
least somewhere in that 10-15 area and perhaps more.
able to watch and evaluate all the drills and batting practice for the six
teams of players last weekend and scout all but two of the World Showcase games
(I’ve read the notes for the other two games).
The “official” top prospect list will come out after all the reports
have been written and PG grades assigned, but here’s one person’s take on a Top
25 list from the event.
Note: The World Showcase included a couple of top
2012 prospects, along with a number of players eligible to sign immediately,
including an impressive group of players from Panama. Players are 2011 prospects unless otherwise
1. SS Carlos Correa
(2012/Santa Isabel, PR): The 6-3, 185 lb
Puerto Rican has the chance to be the best prospect from the island in at least
a decade, if not longer. He’s a
potential 5-tool player right now, with present bat speed, power, defensive
ability, 6.79 speed and one of the best throwing arms anywhere.
2. 1B Dan Vogelbach (Fort Myers, FL): The ball makes a different sound when it
comes off the big first baseman’s wood bat.
His 400’ opposite field blast in batting practice was fun to watch.
3. C Tyler Marlette (Oviedo, PR): A little bit of rest has done Marlette’s body
wonders, as the all out gamer looked loose, strong and quick behind the plate
and in the batter’s box.
4. SS Julius Gaines (Locust Grove, GA): Gaines is one of the handful of best
defensive prospects in the 2011 class and has big league actions and tools at
shortstop right now.
5. CF Tanner English (Murrels Inlet, SC): English was one of the keys to the Diamond
Devils WWBA 17U World Championship team last summer but we had no idea he had
this kind of raw tools. The 5-9 right
handed hitter ran 6.37 and threw 97 mph from the outfield while also showing
plus bat speed.
6. C Eric Haase (Westland, MI): Haase, a Michigan native signed with Ohio
State, was the big surprise of the event.
He ran 6.81, threw just as well as Aflac All-American Marlette and
pounded the ball both in batting practice and in games.
7. OF/RHP Ryan Harris (Jupiter, FL): Harris hasn’t pitched at a PG event since
2009 (when he threw 93 mph) but his athletic tools and hitting ability make him
an upper round prospect as an outfielder as well.
8. MIF Jesmuel Valentin Diaz (Manati, PR): Diaz is the son of long-time big league
infielder Jose Valentin and has Major League tools himself. He’s a switch-hitter with some serious pop in
his bat from both sides of the plate.
9. SS Nico Slater (Jupiter, FL): The 6-0, 200 lb Slater stood out defensively
at shortstop, which makes his strong right handed bat all the more impressive.
10. RHP Jace Herrera (Apopka, FL): The Miami signee has improved significantly
over the past year and hasn’t reached his physical ceiling yet. He threw in the upper 80’s and his 81 mph
slider is a very good upper level pitch.
11. OF/LHP Javier Reynoso (Odessa, FL): The 90 mph lefty didn’t pitch in Fort Myers
but his switch-hitting ability and arm strength from right field make him a
legit 2-way player at the college level should he make it to Coastal Carolina.
12. 3B Vicente Conde (Oviedo, FL): Conde has got much stronger from last summer
and that added muscle shows in his bat speed and power. His blast off the right field wall on a 90
mph Jorge Lopez fastball was impressive.
13. SS Avery Romero (2012/St. Augustine, FL): Romero continued to show he is one of the top
bats in the 2012 class. The Florida commit took an excellent BP and the ball
jumps off his bat.
14. RHP Jorge Lopez (Cayey, PR): The slender 6-4, 175 lb Puerto Rican was the
event’s hardest thrower, topping out at 91 mph.
He has an effortless, loose arm and should continue to gain velocity as
he gets stronger.
15. OF Jesse Winker (2012/Windemere, FL): Winker’s left handed bat plays high and he
has the classic strong armed right field tools to go with it.
16. C Skyler Ewing (Arlington, TX) :The 6-2, 215
lb Rice signee reminds me a bit of former LSU catcher Micah Gibbs (3rd
round/2010/Cubs) without the switch-hitting ability but with more juice in his
17. RHP/3B Alex Santana (Cape Coral, FL): Santana has long been considered an upper
level third base prospect but we saw him for the first time on the mound and he
might have a higher ceiling there. The
6-4 righthander threw 88-89 mph consistently with an easy, loose arm.
18. SS Rafael Aries-Medina (FA/Bronx, NY): Aries-Medina was an eye opener and will
hopefully be signed by a Major League team soon, as most teams had scouts at
the World Showcase. He’s a 6.77 runner
with quick shortstop actions and a cannon for a throwing arm.
19. C Brian Olson (Black Diamond, WA): Olson’s bat still has some work to do to get
to prospect level but he can flat catch and throw with the best receivers in
20. C J.C. Coban (Boca Raton, FL): Coban would definitely be on the very short
list of the strongest players at this or any other event, but he is still loose
and agile in his athletic actions and swung the bat very well in game
21. 1B/LHP Michael Gunn (Wilson, AR): Gunn isn’t a big, physical 1st
base type slugger but has a very quick bat and packs plenty of power in his
6-1, 195 lb frame. He also throws in the
mid 80’s from the left side off the mound.
22. 3B Dalton DiNatale (2012/Parkland, FL): DiNatale has a nice projectable 6-4, 195 lb
build, enough athleticism to stay at third base and a left handed bat that
projects very nice power in the future.
23. RHP Robert Michael Garcia Quiroz (Mexico
City): The loose and athletic Mexico
native topped out at 86 at the California Underclass Showcase a year ago but
was up to 90 mph at a time when most pitchers are at less than full
velocity. That’s a good sign there’s still
more to come.
24. OF Michael Bradshaw (Crestwood, NY): We didn’t even know that the 6-5, 215 lb
Bradshaw had started switch-hitting until he launched a home run left handed
(after doing the same right handed) during batting practice. His skills are still raw in all areas but
Bradshaw has some serious tools.
25. SS Mitchell Morales (Wellington, FL): Morales is a very fluid shortstop with nice
quickness and a strong arm and should be able to stay at the position way up
the baseball ladder.