Photo: Notre Dame
Draft : : Prospect Scouting Reports
MLB Draft Reports: 101-150
Monday, June 03, 2013
After updating the top 500 draft eligible prospects we are now providing the scouting reports for the top 250 players in batches of 50. There are many more scouting reports available in the individual state previews as well as the updated top 100 Junior College prospects. Please visit the Perfect Game Draft Preview content page for links to all of these features.
101. TAYLOR WILLIAMS, rhp, Kent State University
Williams endured a difficult freshman season in 2011 at Washington State, going 0-1, 12.19, while allowing 34 base runners (25 H/9 BB) in 10 innings, and striking out just four. But the 5-foot-11, 185-pound right-hander has rebounded strongly from his early adversity, leading to his improbable emergence as an early-round candidate in this year’s draft. His turnaround began two summers ago playing for Keene in the New England Collegiate League, where he experienced dramatic improvement in his raw stuff and command while transitioning from a reliever to the ace of the SwampBats staff. Williams led the NECBL in wins, while going 6-1, 2.18 overall, and also sparked Keene to a league title. Perhaps of greater significance, his career path took an interesting turn that summer as his Keene teammates included four players from Kent State, including current Golden Flashes ace Tyler Skulina, who openly encouraged Williams to transfer to Kent State after it became known that he was leaving WSU. Rather than sit out a year while transferring from one Division I school to another, Williams spent the 2012 season playing at Oregon’s Mt. Hood Community College, where his fast arm and velocity at 90-94 mph quickly came to the attention of Northwest scouts. His dual role as an everyday position player took a toll on him physically, which impacted the ability for him to sustain his velocity, and he went undrafted. That paved the way for Williams to move on to Kent State as a junior, and he has been dominant this spring with a heavy, sinking fastball at 93-96, and an equally impressive slider. With his short, compact frame, two dominant pitches and a nasty, combative approach on the mound, some scouts have always been quick to cast Williams in a short, end-of-game role. But they have been less inclined to do this spring as he has shown a decent curve and changeup to complement his overpowering fastball/slider combination, and dominated as Kent State’s Saturday starter, posting a 9-1, 2.14 record with a team-high 91 strikeouts and only 16 walks in 93 innings.
102. CHANDLER EDEN, rhp, Yuba City HS (Calif.)
After becoming a primary pitcher during his junior season at Yuba City HS, Eden has seen significant strides and has gone from an unknown product to having worked his way into a potential signable round draft prospect. He topped out at 92 mph at the 2012 Area Code games, and generally pitches in the low-90s, though there are reports that he's topped out a bit higher than that this spring. He has a fast arm and a projectable frame, and if he honors his commitment to Oregon State he could be a player to watch for the 2016 draft. At this point in his career he's a quality projection arm, albeit one with a limited prospect resume, that should draw some interest this June if he indicates an interest in signing.
103. VICTOR CARATINI, c/3b, Miami-Dade JC (Fr.)
Caratini’s career was going nowhere fast a year ago as a freshman at Southern University, when he was declared ineligible on the eve of the 2012 season. It came too late for the Puerto Rican product to transfer elsewhere and he still didn’t have a college in the works for the current campaign until he was re-routed to Miami-Dade just prior to classes enrolling last fall. It’s been all positive since for the switch-hitting Caratini, who leads the Sharks in homers and RBI, and has been instrumental in his team’s rise to No. 1 in Perfect Game’s ranking of the nation’s top junior colleges. Caratini’s ability to square up balls from both sides with a controlled, aggressive approach has set him apart as the best all-around hitting prospect in the Florida juco ranks, and his surge as a prospect this spring has occurred even he as he spent most of the 2013 season playing largely out of position at third base. Miami-Dade has the luxury of a roster with four catchers who could conceivably be drafted in June, and Caratini’s flexibility in the field made him a logical candidate to move from behind the plate and fill in elsewhere. He excelled defensively at third with his range and superior arm strength, but scouts still view Caratini mostly as a catcher on the strength of his sound defensive skills and enthusiastic style of play, though his bat remains the strength of his game.
104. TREY MICHALCZEWSKI, ss/3b, Jenks HS (Okla.)
Michalczewski has been the fast rising prep player in the state this year and there is speculation that he could even be drafted ahead of Drew Ward, a thought that wasn’t on the table a few months ago. Last summer the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Michaleczewski played at many of the same events with then fellow Oklahoma high schooler Ryder Jones (now living in North Carolina), and likely suffered by comparison. Although similar athletes with the same size and defensive profile, Jones had two distinct advantages in his then better present physical strength and a much stronger throwing arm. Michalczewski has made up the gap in one of those areas, as he has gained significant strength over the past 6-8 months and gained a corresponding amount of bat speed from both sides of the plate. His smooth and loose swing has classic extension out front and his hand path to the ball short and direct, making the added strength stand out even more. Michalczewski is a 6.78 runner even at his size and has easy athletic actions at shortstop. He likely profiles better at third base at the professional level.
105. MYLES SMITH, rhp, Lee University (Tenn.)
Smith was drafted in the 16th round a year ago by the New York Mets out of Miami-Dade Junior College, but decided against turning pro in favor of accepting a scholarship to play at nearby Miami. His decision to bypass an offer from the Mets came into question when he was subsequently declared academically ineligible at Miami, and was left only with offers from NAIA schools to ponder. But Smith has turned his adversity into a golden opportunity to exponentially improve his worth for the 2013 draft. As a junior at Tennessee’s Lee University, an NAIA power, he has improved the velocity on his fastball from a standard 90-93 mph in 2012, to a more eye-popping 93-97. His changeup has continued to be a dominant off-speed pitch, while the Lee coaching staff committed him to throwing his slider more frequently to give him a breaking ball and enhance his chances of remaining a starter at the pro level, and Smith has also made significant strides with that pitch. With a solid three-pitch mix, he has dominated his NAIA competition, posting a 10-3, 1.51 record in 13 starts as Lee embarked on post-season play, along with 27 walks and 84 strikeouts in 71 innings. In addition to his superior velocity, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Smith stands out among this year’s crop of college arms because of his superior athleticism. He was the best all-around talent to come out of the Michigan high school ranks in 2010, but made little headway as a freshman at Missouri while dividing his time between pitching and playing shortstop. He elected to transfer to Miami-Dade a year later with the initial intention of playing both ways, but soon decided to concentrate on pitching only and his career soon took off—even as he hit an apparent speed bump last summer, before quickly resurrecting his career this spring.
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