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MLB Draft Preview: New Jersey

Draft : : State Preview
Frankie Piliere        
Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2013

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 i?n Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.  Please visit this page for all of the links to Perfect Game's 2013 Draft Preview content.



New Jersey State-by-State List

When New Jersey makes its presence known in the draft, it tends to do so with a bang. It’s never going to provide an enormous amount of depth, but there have been years where the state has given baseball some of its most talented early round picks in recent years, including players like Mike Trout, Todd Frazier, and Rick Porcello. The state is no stranger to first-rounders either. There have been six players taken in the supplemental first round or higher out of New Jersey since 2006.

Barring unforeseen events, the state is going to have another first-rounder in 2013 in prep left-hander, Robert Kaminsky. There’s a steep drop-off in terms of early round talent after the St. Joseph’s standout. But, with the strong squad Seton Hall has put together this year, as well as Rider, there will be a solid group of college players taken picked up in the later rounds of this year’s draft. And, as there always seems to be, there’s a quality group of high school talent that could go in the top ten rounds.


STRENGTH:
High-end prep talent
WEAKNESS:College talent
OVERALL RATING(1-to-5 scale): 3

BEST COLLEGE TEAM:
Seton Hall
BEST JUNIOR-COLLEGE TEAM: Gloucester County College
BEST HIGH SCHOOL TEAM: St. Joseph’s Regional

Best Out-of-State Prospect, New Jersey Connection:
Artie Lewicki, rhp, Virginia (attended St. Joseph’s Regional HS)
Top2014 Prospect: Liam Sabino, ss, Blair Academy, Blairstown
Top 2015 Prospect: John Murphy, rhp Gloucester Catholic, Merchantville

HIGHEST DRAFT PICKS

Draft History:
Jeff Kunkel, ss, Rider University (1983, Rangers/ 1st round, 3rd pick). Willie Banks, rhp, St. Anthony’s HS (1987, Twins/ Rangers/ 1st round, 3rd pick)
2008 Draft: Jason Knapp, rhp, North Hunterdon HS, Annandale (Phillies/2nd round)
2009 Draft: Mike Trout, of, Millville HS (Angels/1st round, 25th pick)
2010 Draft: J.C. Menna, rhp, Brookdale CC (A’s/14th round)
2011 Draft: Kevin Comer, rhp, Seneca HS (Blue Jays/1st round, 57th pick)
2012 Draft:Pat Light, rhp, Monmouth University (Red Sox/Supplemental 1st round, 37th pick)

2012 DRAFT OVERVIEW

College Players Drafted/Signed:
5/5
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed:0/0
High School Players Drafted/Signed:4/0


TOP PROSPECTS, GROUPS 1 and 2

GROU
P 1 (rounds 1-3)

1. ROBERT KAMINSKY, lhp, St. Joseph’s Regional HS, Englewood Cliffs
Kaminsky has become the consummate professional performer at a very young age. He’s pitched on the big stage and succeeded at events such as the PG National and PG All-American Classic, and has seemingly had no problem pitching in front of massive scouting turnouts this spring. He’s been as high as 95 mph with his fastball and has pitched consistently at 90-93 mph in most of his recent spring outings. His hard, sharp curveball has also been graded as a 70 pitch by many scouts this spring. The polish, consistency, and advanced pitching aptitude that we learned the young left-hander had last summer just continues to thoroughly impress scouts of the highest levels this spring. No high school pitcher in the country shows a better feel for a plus breaking ball than he does. On top of that, scouts consistently come away impressed with the maturity and highest quality makeup that Kaminsky displays. Most seem to believe that the University of North Carolina commit is likely to go off the board anywhere between the 15th and 30th overall picks, although he has the talent to be taken among the top 5-10 overall picks. Read more on Kaminsky in David Rawnsley’s Draft Focus preview


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