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State Preview: Arizona

Draft : : State Preview
Allan Simpson        
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012

In the weeks leading up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a detailed overview of each state in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will list the state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best tools, as well as providing scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.

Contributing: Ben Collman/Todd Gold

Arizona State-by-State List
2011 Arizona Overview

Arizona Overview
Even With Probationary Status, ASU Dominates Draft Ranks

Arizona State does not have a vintage squad this season, at least by its own lofty standard, and will be on the sidelines in post-season play because of a one-year ban stemming from infractions dating back to the regime of former coach Pat Murphy.

The Sun Devils still dominate Arizona from a 2012 draft standpoint, however, and the strong possibility exists that they could produce as many as four of the first five picks. For sure, ASU will have the No. 1 pick in the state in slick-fielding shortstop Deven Marrero. Sun Devils righthander Jake Barrett follows at No. 2, but that ranking is tentative as scouts have still not come to grips with just how healthy the fireballing pitcher is three years after he was drafted in the third round and signed by the Toronto Blue Jays, only for his contract to be voided for medical reasons.

After the state produced 24 draft picks from the high-school ranks in 2011, only one player, Hamilton High’s power-hitting third baseman/outfielder Mitch Nay, is assured of being drafted in the first 10 rounds.

While there is no talent the equal of Central Arizona outfielder Keenyn Walker at the Junior College level, the first player from the state drafted a year ago (White Sox, supplemental first round), it’s possible as many as four JC players could be taken in the first 10 rounds—though there is little consensus on the best talent.

Arizona State’s absence from the NCAA tournament is the most-noteworthy development in the state this spring.
The NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee upheld penalties last fall against the Sun Devils that resulted in a one-year post-season ban, effective with the 2012 season. The last time Arizona State did not participate in the NCAA tournament was 1999, and through the years the program has been to the College World Series 22 times.

Arizona in a nutshell:

Depth of college/junior-college talent.
WEAKNESS: Draftable high-school players.
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 2.

University of Arizona.
BEST HIGH SCHOOL TEAM: Brophy Prep, Phoenix.

PROSPECT ON THE RISE: Tyler Hollick, of, Chandler-Gilbert JC.
Scouts aren’t convinced that Hollick has the raw tools to warrant being drafted in the first 10 rounds, but his eye-opening performance this spring for Chandler-Gilbert keeps suggesting otherwise. He leads the national junior-college ranks with 55 steals in 61 attempts, and his .486 batting average places him in the top three.

WILD CARD: Jake Barrett, rhp, Arizona State University.
With a mid- to-high-90s fastball and hard slider, Barrett has some of the best power stuff of any college pitcher in the country. While his talent warrants a first round grade, scouts still question the health of his right arm after he failed to pass his physical in 2009 after being drafted in the third round that year by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Tom Lemke, rhp, University of Nebraska (Attended high school in Phoenix).
Top 2013 Prospect: Trevor Williams, rhp, Arizona State University.
Top 2014 Prospect: Brandon Bonilla, lhp, Arizona State University.


Draft History:
Rick Monday, of, Arizona State University (1965, Athletics/1st round, 1st pick); Floyd Bannister, lhp, Arizona State University (1976, Astros/1st round, 1st pick); Bob Horner, 3b, Arizona State University (1978, Braves/1st round, 1st pick).
2006 Draft: Jason Donald, ss, University of Arizona (Phillies/3rd round).
2007 Draft: Tim Alderson, rhp, Horizon HS, Phoenix (Giants/1st round, 22nd pick).
2008 Draft: Brett Wallace, 3b, Arizona State University (Cardinals/1st round, 13th pick).
2009 Draft: Mike Leake, rhp, Arizona State University (Reds/1st round, 8th pick).
2010 Draft: Taylor Lindsey, ss, Desert Mountain HS, Scottsdale (Angels/1st round, 37th pick).
2011 Draft: Keenan Walker, of, Central Arizona JC (White Sox/1st round, 47th pick).


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 16/10.
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 24/4.


Best Athlete:
Trey Lang, rhp/of, GateWay CC.
Best Hitter: Joey DeMichele, 3b/2b, Arizona State University.
Best Power: Mitch Nay, 3b/of, Hamilton HS, Chandler.
Best Speed: Tyler Hollick, of, Chandler-Gilbert JC.
Best Defender: Deven Marrero, ss, Arizona State University.
Best Velocity: Jake Barrett, rhp, Arizona State University.
Best Breaking Stuff: Jake Barrett, rhp, Arizona State University.
Best Pitchability: Brady Rodgers, rhp, Arizona State University.


GROUP ONE (Projected ELITE-Round Draft / Rounds 1-3)

1. DEVEN MARRERO, ss, Arizona State University (Jr.).
Coming off a strong showing last summer in the Cape Cod League and with USA Baseball’s college-national team, Marrero was a co-favorite in many quarters to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. For that to happen, though, Marrero needed to show a greater ability to drive balls on a more-consistent basis this spring for the Sun Devils. But by hitting .279-3-20 through his first 36 games, that clearly has not occurred, and Marrero may be a mid-first-rounder now. Scouts will be cautioned, however, that Marrero may be one of those rare hitters who actually hits better with wood, and it was his ability to drive balls sharply to the opposite field, along with his sound strike-zone management, that had scouts believing Marrero may have turned the corner as a hitter last summer. Marrero’s calling card has always been his exceptional defensive skills, and he may be in a league of his own as a college shortstop with his exceptional rhythm in the field, knack for instinctively reading ground balls and a strong, accurate arm.

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