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.
Massachusetts State-by-State List
Historic Level of Prep Pitching
Prospects Puts Positive Spin on Draft Crop
possible that no state in the country has done a greater role
reversal in the draft than Massachusetts.
the last three years, Boston College has dominated the affair,
producing the top two picks each year, including a pair of
first-rounders in 2009. A year ago, the Eagles produced three players
that went in the first 10 rounds, and a school-record-tying six
time around, the Massachusetts high-school ranks have moved to the
forefront on the strength of possibly the greatest collection of
elite-level arms that the state has ever produced. Strictly on the
basis of talent with no regard to signability, the state has as many
as four prep arms are deserving of being taken in the top 10 rounds,
led by Lawrence Academy righthander Tyler Beede, a borderline
always with Massachusetts high-school players, signability will play
a prominent role in where its players are actually drafted, and every
one of the four is heavily-committed to a Division I college. Beede
has an offer from Vanderbilt.
College, meanwhile, will be a non-factor in the early rounds this
year. And that is pretty much in keeping with the club’s 17-33
record overall and 7-22 mark in conference play, the collective worst
records since the Eagles joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in
school initially projected to have possibly the best college prospect
in the state in junior righthander Mike Dennhardt, but that was
before he went down for the season after just four starts with Tommy
John surgery. When healthy, Dennhardt, a 17th-round pick
out of high school, was capable of producing a fastball up to 92-93
mph. A team may still take a mid-round flier on him, but in all
likelihood he will return to Boston College in 2012 and attempt to
recoup his draft value.
like at the high-school level, the best college prospects this year
are all on the mound. Even with the loss of Dennhardt from the
early-round mix, there are still two arms, both lefthanders, with
aspirations of going in the first 10 rounds, Massachusetts-Lowell’s
Jack Leathersich and Holy Cross’ John Pedrotty.
by Division I schools out of high school, Leathersich became a
pitcher for scouts to follow when he dominated his summer-league
competition in the Valley League following his freshman year, while
pitching in relief. He has been used mostly as a starter in his three
years at the Division II level, and his modest 3-2, 4.26 record this
season is indicative of how he has pitched throughout his career in
that role. He clearly profiles as a reliever in pro ball, and his
fastball has frequently reached 94 mph when used in short bursts,
more just 88-91 as a starter.
went 7-2, 4.62 with 56 strikeouts in 60 innings this spring at Holy
Cross, acceptable numbers considering the 6-foot-3, 205-pound
lefthander is still transitioning to pitching after being primarily a
first baseman/outfielder until the last 2-3 years. Pedrotty’s 87-92
mph fastball has good life, and he has surprisingly good pitchability
for his level of experience. As a potential top-10 round pick,
Pedrotty could become the highest Holy Cross selection in the draft
since former Crusaders two-sport star Ronnie Perry was a third-round
pick in both the Major League Baseball and National Basketball
Association drafts in 1980.
of the focus in Massachusetts, meanwhile, has been on all the arms at
the high-school level, notably in the private-school sector. Beede
has attracted the most attention, but St. John’s Prep righthander
Pat Connaughton, Lincoln-Sudbury High righthander Adam Ravenelle and
Dexter School righthander John Magliozzi have also drawn close
have been very mindful of the signability risks that each pose,
though. Like Beede, Ravenelle is a Vanderbilt recruit, Connaughton is
committed to Notre Dame (to play both baseball and basketball) and
Magliozzi is bound for Florida.
year ago, only three Massachusetts high-school players were drafted
altogether, and none ended up signing. The highest pick, Amherst
Regional High lefthander Kevin Ziomek, was considered a potential
first-rounder but wasn’t taken until the 13th round
because major-league clubs believed he was a major signability risk.
They were correct, as Ziomek ended up in college at Vanderbilt. So
there is that year-old precedence to weigh as teams contemplate
Beede’s draft status.
Beede be taken in the first round, he would become the first
high-school player from Massachusetts to go in that round since
righthander Jeff Allison in 2003.
6-foot-4, 195-pound Beede has lived and breathed baseball his entire
life as his father Walter was a 13th-round pick in the
1981 draft out of Fitchburg High, and played briefly in the Chicago
Cubs organization. One of the most-polished prep arms to come from
the Northeast in years, Beede established himself as a top prospect
when he led Auburn High to a state title as a sophomore.
subsequently transferred to Lawrence Academy, one of the top private
schools in the state, and has continued to refine his pitching skills
the last two years. His fastball was in the 88-91-mph range in most
of his outings this spring, but it also sat at 93 deep into games in
some of his other outings—an inconsistency that was blamed on the
abnormally-cold, wet weather that plagued Massachusetts this spring.
If he had shown consistent velocity throughout, though, and a little
less effort in his delivery, Beede would have almost certainly
punched his ticket into the first round.
it is, he could still go in that round as he has an uncanny knack for
mixing his pitches, and his curve ball has gotten progressively
better to a point that it is now a dominant second pitch that he can
throw for strikes almost at will. His change is a solid third pitch.
As a senior, Beede dominated his competition, going 7-0, 0.32 with
just eight hits and six walks allowed in 44 innings, while striking
showed the most improvement this spring among the elite crop of
Massachusetts prep arms, and would be a solid second- or third-round
consideration if his college options were a little more clear.
6-foot-5 righthander starred on the basketball court for St. John’s
Prep, averaging 22 points and 17 rebounds a game as a senior. He’ll
have an opportunity to play both basketball and baseball at Notre
Dame, and it may take a significant contract with dual-sport
language, that would enable a team to spread his bonus out over
several years, in order to buy him away from college.
is strong and very athletic, and his improvement this spring stemmed
from adjustments in his delivery that enabled him to throw his
fastball consistently at 93-94 mph and develop his secondary stuff.
He still needs a lot of work to refine his mechanics, but he has an
easy delivery, and his big hands and long fingers will enable him to
utilize varying grips on his pitches not afforded an average pitcher.
of his late arrival from basketball and a sprained ankle that
sidelined him for two more weeks, Connaughton didn’t make his first
pitching appearance of the 2011 season until April 20, but he
promptly threw a 15-strikeout, no-hitter in his first outing, with a
fastball that came out of the chute at 94. He was used in a variety
of roles for one of the state’s top prep teams, and was 2-1, 1.36
with 55 strikeouts in his first 31 innings this spring.
6-foot-4, 195-pound Ravenelle has a similar big upside with his lean,
athletic frame, but his Vanderbilt commitment may be the determining
factor in where he is drafted this year. His fastball was a steady
90-92 mph, touching 93, this spring, but he works from a
three-quarters angle and his arm action isn’t quite as smooth as
either Beede’s or Connaughton’s.
Magliozzi, the issue is all about size. At 5-foot-9, he’ll always
have to prove his prospect worth through his performance, and it’s
a near-given that he’ll have to do that for at least a year in
college at Florida. Magliozzi will be 20 in July, and would be a
draft-eligible in 2012 after just his freshman year. Despite his
smaller frame, Magliozzi has a history of reaching 94 mph, though his
fastball was more commonly at 90-93 this spring. Magliozzi scores very high
marks for his fierce, competitive makeup.
fifth high-school pitcher may have joined the state’s impressive
quartet of arms had Buckingham Browne and Nicholls High lefthander
Andrew Chin not succumbed to Tommy John surgery in mid-season. His
fastball had been clocked at 92.
the wealth of pitching in the state this season, particularly in the
high-school ranks, it’s possible that the first position player
won’t be drafted until as many as 10-12 pitchers have been taken.
prep third basemen, Beede’s Lawrence Academy teammate Joe
Napolitano (a New Hampshire resident who attended school in
Massachusetts) and Catholic Memorial High’s John Gorman are
projected middle-round drafts. Gorman could even be drafted as a
pitcher since he has nearly equal value on the mound as he does as a
hard-hitting corner infielder. A Boston College recruit, Gorman would
be expected to play both ways in college.
Massachusetts in a
High-end high-school arms
(1-to-5 scale): 4.
BEST COLLEGE TEAM:
BEST HIGH SCHOOL
TEAM: St. John’s Prep, Danvers.
PROSPECT ON THE
RISE: Pat Connaughton, rhp, St. John’s Prep, Danvers. An
intriguing two-sport athlete, the 6-foot-5 Connaughton set basketball
scoring records at his high school this spring. He is ticketed to
play basketball and baseball at Notre Dame, but may have more upside
as a pitcher with his 94-95 mph fastball. No pitcher in a very
top-heavy pitching state improved his stock as much this spring.
PROSPECT ON THE
DECLINE: Mike Dennhardt, rhp, Boston College. A potential top-5
round pick at the start of the 2011 season on the strength of a
94-mph fastball he displayed in the past, Dennhardt’s draft hopes
were dashed when he suffered an elbow injury after four starts, and
underwent Tommy John surgery.
WILD CARD: John
Magliozzi, rhp, Dexter School, Milton. With his 92-94 mph
fastball and intense approach, Magliozzi pitches much bigger than
someone that is 5-foot-9. If a team can look past his smaller frame,
Magliozzi could land in the top 6-10 rounds. Chances are, though, he
will slide in the draft and end up in college at Florida, where he
will be age-eligible to be drafted again in 2012.
PROSPECT, Massachusetts Connection: Nick Ahmed, ss, University of
Connecticut (attended high school in East Longmeadow).
TOP 2012 PROSPECT:
Patrick Delano, rhp, Braintree HS.
TOP 2013 PROSPECT:
Tom Bourdon, of, Boston College.
HIGHEST DRAFT PICKS
Joe Coleman, rhp, Natick HS (1965, Senators/1st round, 3rd pick).
2006 Draft: Adam
Ottavino, rhp, Northeastern U. (Cardinals/1st round, 30th pick).
2007 Draft: Jack
McGeary, lhp, Roxbury Latin HS, Newton (Nationals/6th round).
2008 Draft: Dan
Houston, rhp, Boston College (Rockies/7th round).
2009 Draft: Tony
Sanchez, c, Boston College (Pirates/1st round, 4th pick).
2010 Draft: Patrick
Dean, lhp, Boston College (Twins/3rd round).
Best Hitter: No
Best Power: No
Best Speed: No
Best Defender: No
Best Velocity: Tyler
Beede, rhp, Lawrence Academy, Auburn.
Best Breaking Stuff:
Tyler Beede, rhp, Lawrence Academy, Auburn.
GROUPS ONE and TWO
ONE (Projected ELITE-Round Draft /
TYLER BEEDE, rhp, Lawrence Academy, Auburn
hurler, 3-pitch arsenal, 90-93 FB/T-95, 78 CU, flashes + CH, strike
thrower, good delivery.
PAT CONNAUGHTON, rhp, St. John’s Prep, Danvers
star, will play BKB at Notre Dame; ++ upside, 6-5/190, long/loose
arm, varies arm slot, FB at 90-94.
TWO (Projected HIGH-Round Draft /
JACK LEATHERSICH, lhp, University of Massachusetts-Lowell (Jr.)
LHP with quick arm; used as starter in college, but reliever profile;
FB up to 94 in short bursts.
ADAM RAVENELLE, rhp, Lincoln-Sudbury HS, Sudbury
at 6-4/180; FB 88-92/T-93, big/deep CU, long armer with extended ¾
release, Vandy recruit.
JOHN MAGLIOZZI, rhp, Dexter School, Milton
RHP (5-10/180); pitches bigger/+ competes; dominated summer circuit,
steady 90-94 FB, ++ CH.
JOHN PEDROTTY, lhp, College of Holy Cross (Jr.)
still learning to pitch; + arm strength (87-92 FB with life), can
spin breaking ball; ideal 6-3/205 size.