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 mini-scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players.
Rhode Island State-by-State List
Rhode Island Draft Crop; Cranston High School Monopolizes Attention
It hasn’t been a very
eventful baseball season in Rhode Island, either at the college or
high-school levels. Most of the attention has centered on Cranston
That school, state
champions in 2006 and 2007, advanced to the state Division I
championship series (slated to begin June 6), but of more relevance
to the 2011 draft, it has produced the two players with Rhode Island
connections that should factor most prominently into the draft.
righthander Anthony Meo, a potential late first-rounder, is a 2008
graduate of Cranston West High, and played a key role in his alma
mater’s drive to its successive state titles. The state’s best
high-school prospect in the current class, catcher Jeff Diehl, also
attends Cranston West, and has been a factor in his team’s surge to
another potential state championship.
The 6-foot-4, 195-pound
Diehl is an athletic catcher with good catch-and-throw skills, but a
questionable bat limits his draft appeal. It’s possible he may
outgrow his current position, but his bat will need to come on
significantly for him to be a consideration at a corner position down
the road. Diehl is considerable very signable because he is a
non-qualifier, and conceivably could work his way into the first 10
The talent at the
college level is very thin, and it’s possible that no one will be
drafted. The consensus best prospect at that level is another
catcher, Brown senior Matt Colantonio. He topped his team in batting
this season (.301-1-13), but is considered more of a defensive
Rhode Island in a
(1-to-5 scale): 2.
BEST COLLEGE TEAM:
TEAM: CC of Rhode Island.
BEST HIGH SCHOOL
TEAM: Cranston West HS, Cranston.
PROSPECT, Rhode Island Connection: Anthony Meo, rhp, Coastal
Carolina University (attended high school in Cranston).
TOP 2012 PROSPECT:
Kevin Brown, ss/of, Bryant University.
TOP 2013 PROSPECT:
Lucas Whitehill, rhp, Brown University.
HIGHEST DRAFT PICKS
Bill Almon, ss, Brown U. (1974, Padres/1st round, 1st pick).
2006 Draft: Steve
Holmes, rhp, U. of Rhode Island (Mets/5th round).
2007 Draft: Devin
Thomas, c, Brown U. (Tigers/7th round).
2008 Draft: Ryan
Westmoreland, of, Portsmouth HS (Red Sox/5th round).
2009 Draft: Eric
Smith, rhp, U. of Rhode Island (Diamondbacks/2nd round).
2010 Draft: Jeff
Vigurs, c, Bryant U. (Cubs/22nd round).
TOP PROSPECTS, GROUP
ONE and TWO
TWO (Projected MID-Round Draft /
JEFF DIEHL, c, Cranston West HS, Cranston
6-4/195 C, sound catching/receiving skills; suspect bat, may outgrow
position; very signable.