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.
New York State-by-State List
2011 New York Overview
Talent Aplenty, A Draft for the Ages in New York
York’s impact on the baseball draft has dipped precipitously over
time, perhaps more than any other state. In the formative years, only
California produced more draftable talent. Over the last two years,
New York hasn’t even cracked the top 10 nationally in terms of
drafted players overall that attended in-state high schools.
New York may take a page from its past this year as the 2012 draft
crop in the state is rich and plentiful, with an abundance of players
from all demographics—college, junior college, high school—expected
to impact the proceedings from start to finish. On the college side
alone, there could be as many as 10 players snapped up in the first
10 rounds. The high-school ranks should also be adequately
represented in that range, and there is even a rare junior-college
player targeted for selection in a premium round. And it should not
be overlooked that Duke University righthander Marcus Stroman, a
near-lock to go in the first round, is a product of a New York high
the state’s pending impact on the draft isn’t cause enough for
celebration in New York, then the fact that the stunning total of
five in-state colleges are represented in the NCAA Division I
regionals, should be. To put that accomplishment into perspective,
the other eight states that compromise the Northeast corner of the
country combined to produce just one entrant—Connecticut’s Sacred
Heart, which entered the 64-team tournament through the back door
with a 25-30 record, the worst in the entire tournament.
the New York teams qualified for regional play as conference
champions, and the success of those teams on the field is not a
coincidence when measured against the impact that the New York
college ranks will play in this year’s draft. St. John’s (37-21),
champions of the Big East Conference, is expected to produce four
picks in the top 10 rounds; that accomplishment could be matched by
Stony Brook (46-11), champions of the America East Conference.
(41-13) won the Patriot League title in convincing fashion and might
otherwise impact the draft with the presence of players like
6-foot-5, 230-pound senior closer Kevin McKague (mid-90s fastball)
and junior righthander Chris Rowley, who spun an NCAA-Division I-best
five shutouts on his way to producing an 11-0, 1.97 record, but
players from Army rarely make inroads on the draft because of the
requirement to serve in active duty once they graduate from the U.S.
Military Academy. Had he not missed almost all of the 2011 season
with a back injury, McKague might have been a third-fourth round
consideration in last year’s draft, even with his active-duty
commitment. The Atlanta Braves took McKague as a 50th-round
flier a year ago.
Buffalo, which hasn’t produced a winning record in 11 years in the
Mid-American Conference and has had only three players drafted in the
last 25 years, none higher than the 29th round, will
impact the draft in a powerful way this year as catcher Tom Murphy is
a co-favorite to be the first player drafted from New York, possibly
as early as the sandwich round.
draftable talent in the high-school ranks is much less-defined
because of the questionable signability status of many of the top
prospects, particularly top talent Alex Robinson, but the unusually
high total (by New York’s recent standards, at least) of five or
six players have drawn the scrutiny of cross-checkers this spring.
York in a nutshell:
Signable high-school prospects.
RATING (1-to-5 scale): 5.
COLLEGE TEAM: St. John’s/Stony Brook.
JUNIOR-COLLEGE TEAM: Niagara County.
HIGH SCHOOL TEAM: Grand Street Campus HS, Brooklyn.
ON THE RISE: Grant Heyman, of, Sutherland HS, Pittsford. Heyman
was known primarily as a quarterback prospect of some renown until
mid-April, when the Major League Scouting Bureau slapped an overall
grade of 50 (solid major-league average on the bureau’s 20-80
scale) on his baseball ability, and he was subsequently earmarked by
Major League Baseball as one of 200 players nationally that would be
subject to the drug and medical tests required of the top prospects
in the draft. Suddenly, teams rushed in to get a better handle on
Heyman’s talent, and while most thought there was a significant gap
between his athleticism and his developed baseball skills, enough
teams expressed enough interest for him to warrant being a surprise
draft, possibly as early as the third to fifth rounds.
CARD: Fernelys Sanchez, of, George Washington HS, Bronx. As one
of the fastest players and best outfield defenders in the entire
draft class, Sanchez ranked as the top high-school prospect in New
York at the outset of the 2012 season. But he broke his fibula
sliding into a base in a late March game, and hasn’t played since.
Scouts needed to get a much better handle this spring on Sanchez’
hitting ability, but their inability to do so has thrown his
prospects for the draft up in the air.
OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, New York Connection: Marcus Stroman, rhp,
Duke University (Attended high school in Medford).
2013 Prospect: Matt Vogel, rhp, Patchogue HS, Medford.
2014 Prospect: Brent Jones, rhp, Cornell University.
History: Shawon Dunston, ss, Thomas Jefferson HS, Brooklyn (1982,
Cubs/1st round, 1st pick).
Draft: Glenn Gibson, lhp, Center Moriches HS (Nationals/4th round).
Draft: Matt Rizzoti, 1b, Manhattan College (Phillies/6th round).
Draft: Bobby Lanigan, rhp, Adelphi University (Twins/3rd round).
Draft: Steve Matz, lhp, Melville HS, East Setauket (Mets/2nd round).
Draft: Cito Culver, ss, West Irondequoit HS, Rochester
(Yankees/1st round, 32nd pick).
Draft: Joe Panik, ss, St. John’s University (Giants/1st round, 26th pick).
Players Drafted/Signed: 20/16.
College Players Drafted/Signed: 2/1.
School Players Drafted/Signed: 5/3.
Athlete: Grant Heyman, of, Sutherland HS, Pittsford.
Hitter: Travis Jankowski, of, Stony Brook University.
Power: Tom Murphy, c, University at Buffalo; William Carmona, 3b,
Stony Brook University.
Speed: Fernelys Sanchez, of, George Washington University.
Defender: Patrick Cantwell, c, Stony Brook University.
Velocity: Matt Carasiti, rhp, St. John’s University.
Breaking Stuff: Mike Augliera, rhp, Binghamton University.
Pitchability: Mike Augliera, rhp, Binghamton University.
PROSPECTS, GROUPS ONE and TWO
GROUP ONE (Projected
ELITE-Round Draft / Rounds 1-3)
1. TRAVIS JANKOWSKI,
of, Stony Brook University (Jr.)
6-foot-3, 190-pound Jankowski is one of the better athletes in the
2012 college class, with three distinct tools that stand out: his
lefthanded bat, 6.5-second speed and defensive ability in center
field. He has made huge strides as a prospect since he went undrafted
and was lightly-recruited out of a Pennsylvania
high school in 2009. Jankowski played a key role for Stony Brook as a
sophomore, leading the Seawolves to a school-record 42 wins while
enjoying a breakout season of his own. He hit .355-2-38 (compared to
.262-0-9 as a freshman), set a new school standard with 30 stolen
bases and played a flawless center field. But Jankowski was still a
relative unknown nationally when he rejoined the Cape Cod League’s
Bourne Braves last summer. He played a bit role in 2010 for Bourne as
an end-of-season pick-up, and showed little indication then that he
would emerge as a premium talent one year later. But Jankowski got
bigger and stronger, and re-tooled his swing as a sophomore at Stony
Brook, and the payoff was a surprising MVP season on the Cape. He
topped the circuit in runs (31), hits (57) and triples (7), while
hitting .329-0-22 with 15 stolen bases. Jankowski’s stock for the
2012 draft skyrocketed off his performance on the Cape, and though he
struggled initially this season at the plate, he closed with a rush
to finish at .411-4-40, while breaking his own school record with 34
stolen bases. His game and physical profile have been compared by
scouts on many counts to that of a bigger, stronger version of Jacoby
Ellsbury at a comparable stage of development. Jankowski can run and
hit on a par with Ellsbury, and has the same emerging power
potential, even as he failed to go deep even once last summer on the
Cape and has homered just six times in three years at Stony Brook.
His swing is geared more to controlling the
strike zone, stroking line drives to all fields and reaching base in
his role as a leadoff hitter, but his lefthanded swing has some lift
and his raw power potential should materialize as he grows into his
live, athletic frame and turns on balls more routinely.
Jankowski’s 6.5 speed is his best present tool, and an asset
in all phases of his game. He’s an advanced base runner and quality
defender in center field, where he has excellent range with his
superior reads and jumps. His arm strength is considered average, and
may end up becoming his weakest tool once his power evolves.
Stony Brook has produced only 12 draft picks through the
years—including ex-major league all-star closer Joe Nathan
(Giants/1995, sixth round), but none higher than third-rounder Chris
Flinn (Rays/2001)—and Jankowski, along with several of his
teammates, should easily change those dynamics this season.
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