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Draft : : Prospect Scouting Reports
Scouting Reports: Fifth Round (146-175)
       
Published: Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DRAFT 2010
 
SCOUTING REPORTS
Fifth Round (146-175)
 
 
146. WASHINGTON NATIONALS
JASON MARTINSON, 3b, Texas State
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): A year after Texas State third baseman Paul Goldschmidt played a pivotal role for the Anchorage Bucs, leading the Alaska League team in almost every offensive category, the Bucs capitalized last summer on the performance of another talented third baseman from the same school. Martinson didn’t post the same numbers Goldschmidt did—he hit .291-1-22 vs. Goldschmidt’s .330-4-28—and doesn’t have the same raw power, but he was a tough out in his own right. He’s also much more athletic than Goldschmidt, and all his other tools are more projectable. Martinson initially attended Texas State on a football scholarship and played briefly as a wide receiver as a freshman, but has since given up football to put all his energy into baseball. Unlike Goldschmidt, an eighth-round pick in the 2009 draft who is better suited to play first base and actually spent most of his time in Alaska in 2008 at that position, Martinson has the hands, range and arm strength to play third base over the long haul, and showed significant improvement defensively there last summer. He even has the speed and actions to fill in at shortstop in a pinch, and could eventually end up at second base. Martinson hit .301-7-39 as a sophomore at Texas State, and scouts were banking that he’ll improve on those numbers this spring. He has a short, quick, flat swing with a balanced approach and mainly gap power, but has the kind of frame where he should easily add 20-25 pounds and become more of a home-run threat. Martinson is prone to striking out at a high rate (40 times in 199 at-bats for the Bucs), and should temper that rate once he learns to stop chasing errant pitches, particularly high fastballs.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Scouts would like to have seen more power production from Martinson this spring (.311-4-47), but still acknowledge that he has the strength and bat speed to eventually drive balls consistently. He is one of the college players in this draft who is projectable based mainly on his athleticism and shorter background in baseball, which will weigh in his favor during the draft process.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
 
147. PITTSBURGH PIRATES
TYLER WALDRON, rhp, Oregon State
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1):On an Oregon State pitching staff that has featured several of the best arms in college baseball the last two seasons, Waldron topped the Beavers with 93 innings as a sophomore and was slated to be their Friday starter this spring. He is an advanced pitcher with a live arm and was expected to dominate in his role, but has not taken the step forward to date that scouts anticipated. He has only flashed his quality stuff and ability to mix four pitches, and change speeds and planes effectively. Waldron went just 6-4, 4.15 with 31 walks and 70 strikeouts in 14 starts a year ago, and was last on the staff in ERA through OSU’s first 30 games as a junior at 6.12, while going 3-2 with nine walks and 31 strikeouts in 32 innings. More than anything, inconsistent command has hurt him. Though Waldron was drafted in the 38th-round out of a California high school in 2007 by the Florida Marlins, he had few pretensions of making a mark on the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2008, especially after going just 3-7, 5.20 in a team-high 92 innings as a freshman for the University of the Pacific. But Waldron more than held his own for Yarmouth-Dennis, throwing four pitches for strikes, including a fastball in the 90-92 mph range. He had excellent feel for a slider, curve and changeup, and showed steady improvement through the course of the summer. In eight appearances, including four starts, he went 1-2, 2.92 with only 11 walks and 33 strikeouts in 37 innings. Oregon State took a special liking to Waldron when he pitched effectively against the reigning national champions in his final outing of the 2008 college season, limiting the Beavers to two runs in seven innings, striking out five, and he conveniently announced he was transferring to Oregon State, effective with the 2009 season, after playing with Beavers players Ryan Ortiz and Greg Peavey during the summer at Y-D. The NCAA granted him a special exemption to pitch immediately for the Beavers, without having to sit out the normal full season, but he has not dominated as expected.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Of all the talented arms on the OSU staff, none may have slipped farther over the course of the 2010 season than Waldron. He quickly lost his spot in the Beavers rotation, and did not find his way in a variety of roles in a crowded bullpen. In 20 appearances (6 starts) entering the final weekend of the regular season, he was 4-4, 5.27 with 13 walks and 50 strikeouts in 55 innings. There is no quick explanation for Waldron’s fall in stature, other than he has just not pitched very well—certainly not as well as expected.—AS
 

148. BALTIMORE ORIOLES
CONNOR NARRON, ss, Charles B. Aycock HS, Goldsboro, N.C.
SCOUTING PROFILE: Narron is the son of former major-league manager and catcher Jerry Narron, and predictably has the smooth baseball actions that you’d expect of a young prospect that has grown up in big-league ball parks. He has played shortstop at every step of his high-school and travel-team career, but at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds he is projected to move to third base at the next level. Scouts believe Narron would struggle with his range and quickness if he stayed in the middle infield at the next level, although his hands and balance would play at any infield position. Through early May this year, he had committed just three errors for his high-school team. Narron’s most advanced tool is his switch-hitting ability and power potential. He has a very smooth and low-tension swing from the left side with a pull-type approach and the ability to turn on balls and drive them hard. Narron is a bit busier with his hands from the right side and a bit stiff at contact, but still has next-level bat speed and the ability to drive balls. One of the top 3-4 high-school prospects in the 2010 draft class when he was just a sophomore, Narron’s stature has leveled off noticeably with the draft at hand. He has teased scouts the last two years with his range of tools and superior ability, but rarely has performed at a level consistent with his raw talent. Most scouts see him now as a third-or fourth-rounder on the basis of his physical talent, but the bonus money that is equivalent with those rounds may not be nearly enough to steer him away from a commitment to home-state North Carolina, and he could end up tumbling in the draft.
--DR/AS
 
149. KANSAS CITY ROYALS
JASON ADAM, rhp, Blue Valley Northwest HS, Overland Park, Kan.
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Adam is one of two prep righthanders from suburban Kansas City whose stock improved tremendously over the past year, putting him into top-3 round consideration. Blue Valley’s Ryne Stanek has made the same leap forward. Adam topped out only at 86 mph early last summer, then reached 88-90 at last August’s Area Code Games in California. All of a sudden, he came out of the gate throwing in the low-90s this spring, and was soon up to 94-95 mph at times, although his velocity in that area hasn’t been consistent. Adam has a smooth, low-maintenance delivery for a pitcher his size, and his arm works easy out front, giving reason to believe he could develop a consistent plus fastball as he matures. Adam’s breaking ball is a big, sweeping curveball in the upper-70s that is sometimes confused with a slider. He also shows good present feel for a changeup that should develop into a solid future pitch. Adam throws strikes with all his pitches. Although Stanek throws harder more consistently, many scouts believe that Adam will eventually become a better professional pitcher because of his whole package.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Just as Adam’s velocity spiked to the mid-90s for three or four starts this spring, it soon cooled back off and was more in the 88-92 mph range later in the spring, though he continued to throw his fastball, curve, slider and changeup for strikes. As his velocity regressed, talk subsided on his being a possible sandwich pick or second rounder, and the fifth- to eighth-round seemed more realistic—though a strong college commitment to Missouri may squelch those hopes. Area scouts still feel that Adam may be a better long-term prospect than Stanek, citing his more physical build, the quality of his curveball and his overall pitchability. But Stanek held his mid-90s velocity much better through the spring, and is considered a much-easier sign than Adam.—DR
 
150. CLEVELAND INDIANS
COLE COOK, rhp, Pepperdine
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Despite being a 36th-round pick of the Seattle Mariners in 2007 out of a California high school, Cook was still growing into his gangly, 6-foot-6 frame at the time and was red-shirted as a freshman at Pepperdine. He was clearly ready to assume a meaningful role in the Pepperdine rotation a year later, and ended up leading the Waves staff in wins, innings (83) and opponent batting average (.195), while tying for the lead with 79 strikeouts. Overall, he went 7-3, 3.69. Cook has a tall, thin, athletic build, but still needs to get bigger and stronger. He can run his fastball up to 94 mph—though requires a maximum-effort delivery to do so. More often, it was in the 88-91 mph range with good sinking action, and produced a lot of ground-ball outs. Cook concentrated on throwing sliders at Pepperdine, and while it is an effective pitch with a tight break at 77-78 mph, he was encouraged to develop his fastball more during the summer in the Cape Cod League. His changeup is an adequate third pitch, and considered more a work in progress. Working mostly as a starter for Orleans on the Cape, he went 1-2, 4.72 with nine walks and 25 strikeouts in 34 innings. His follow-up through 31 games this spring at Pepperdine includes a 2-4, 3.25 record with 14 walks and 53 strikeouts in 64 innings. Cook still has some violence in his inconsistent, herky-jerky delivery, which impacts his command, but it helps his deception and the liveliness of his fastball.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): In Pepperdine’s poorest season in years, the pitching of Cook and junior lefthander Matt Bywater was one of the few positives—even though Cook was just 4-6 on the season, and Bywater 5-5. Cook pitched much better than his record indicates, and his 3.04 ERA reflects that. He walked just 21 while striking out 80 in 98 innings.—AS
 
151. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
CODY WHEELER, lhp, Coastal Carolina
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1):An unheralded Virginia high-school product, Wheeler went 16-1 in his first two seasons at Coastal Carolina and remained undefeated midway through the 2010 season. He stepped in as the Chanticleers Friday starter as a sophomore, and in addition to posting a 10-1, 3.83 record, he struck out a Big South Conference-best 98 in 91 innings while earning league pitcher-of-the-year honors. Wheeler then went a long way to establishing his worth as a top prospect for the 2010 draft by going 3-0, 2.42 last summer for USA Baseball’s college national team, while striking out 31 in 22 innings and limiting opponents to a .151 average. He managed to stay unbeaten (5-0) through his first eight starts this season on a 27-5 Coastal Carolina club, but hasn’t been as effective as in the past as his ERA stood at 4.21, and he allowed 51 hits in 51 innings, while walking 19 and striking out 54. Despite his small, wiry stature, Wheeler has a quick, live arm and a relentless, aggressive approach. He profiles as a starter with his three-pitch mix. His fastball sits in the 87-92 mph range, and he’s capable of adding movement or grabbing a 94 when he needs a little extra to finish off a hitter. He commands his fastball effectively to both sides of the plate. Wheeler’s best pitch, though, may be his low-80s slider with a sharp, late break. He also has a changeup that can be a solid third pitch and enhances the effectiveness of his slider, but he doesn’t always have confidence in it. Wheeler has an excellent pickoff move, even for a lefthander, though can often get pre-occupied with a runner on first.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15):Wheeler finished the 2010 season a perfect 10-0, to stretch his career mark to 26-1. No less impressive was Coastal’s perfect 25-0 record in Big South Conference games, and 47-7 mark overall, as it geared up for conference-tournament play. Wheeler was obviously instrumental in his team’s success, though with a 3.74 ERA he didn’t pitch nearly as well as righthander Anthony Meo (12-1, 1.73), and eventually lost his Friday-job to his sophomore teammate, a top prospect for the 2011 draft. Wheeler’s status as third- to fourth-round pick has largely remained intact, as he hasn’t performed well enough to elevate his worth, or change the minds of scouts who view his size as a negative. In 91 innings, he walked 31 and struck out 98. Picking a future role for Wheeler could be interesting. He projects as either a back-of-the-rotation arm, at best, or situational lefty out of the bullpen, at worst.—JEFF SIMPSON
 
152. NEW YORK METS
MATT DEN DEKKER, of, Florida
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1):Den Dekker had realistic expectations of being an early-round pick in the 2009 draft after a solid sophomore season at Florida. But he didn’t progress at the plate as a junior as hoped, hitting .296-5-37 with 49 strikeouts. That was in contrast to a 2008 season, when he hit .333-8-48 and whiffed just 24 times. Scouts believe he pressed too hard with the draft on the horizon, but they still saw him for what he’s capable of becoming—a solid all-around, athletic player with a passion for the game and an exciting upside. But that assessment wasn’t reflected in the 2009 draft as Den Dekker wasn’t selected until the 16th round, which prompted him to return to Florida for his senior year. With a solid .336-6-23 season and club-high 10 stolen bases through 33 games this season, he should be one of the first college seniors drafted in June. Den Dekker went undrafted out of a Florida high school in 2006, but has started in center field for the Gators from day one. Even when he hit just .234-7-25 as a freshman, he was an asset defensively and on the bases, and it was apparent from the start that his offensive ability just needed repetitions to blossom. Sure enough, he showed vast improvement at the plate as a sophomore. He featured one of the best approaches and best pure, compact swings in the Southeastern Conference, and the ball jumped off his bat. He also became an effective leadoff hitter for the Gators by stealing 20 bases in 20 attempts. Den Dekker was rewarded for his breakthrough season by being selected to Team USA’s college national team during the summer, and was one of two players to play in all 24 games as the team went undefeated. Though he hit just .229-1-9 in 70 at-bats with wood, mostly as a leadoff hitter, den Dekker was Team USA’s best defensive outfielder, takinggood routes to balls and using his superior speed to track balls efficiently in all directions from center field. Hehas enough speed and agility to play an average big-league center field and be a very good base runner at that level. Though he has pitched on occasion for the Gators, his arm is considered just solid-average by center-field standards. The key for him developing into a potential early-round pick in the 2010 draft will be his continued improvement at the plate. He’s a natural No. 1 or No. 2 hitter and uses the whole field to both spray and drive balls, but struggles to make consistent contact, particularly with off-speed pitches. With 30 in 33 games, he was leading the Gators in strikeouts again this spring. Den Dekker is regarded as more of a third-to-fourth round talent, but could go earlier because of his senior status and general lack of college position players in this year’s draft.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Though the strikeouts have continued to occur at an unacceptable pace, with 45 in 55 games, den Dekker has shown improvement offensively this spring. He led the Gators in batting, with a .355-12-34 line, and stole 21 bases in 26 attempts using his natural speed. Scouts continue to wonder about his approach at the plate, as it varies between swinging for the fences and chopping at the ball. Twelve of his 21 extra-base hits have been home runs, but 57 of his 77 total hits have been singles. Though he has lacked consistency in his approach, scouts can’t argue with his value as a solid senior athlete with defensive tools and speed, and he still looks like the top senior position player in the entire draft class.—ANDY SEILER
 
153. HOUSTON ASTROS
BEN HEATH, c, Penn State
SCOUTING PROFILE: A relative unknown after getting just 114 at-bats in his first two seasons at Penn State, Heath had a record-breaking junior season, setting a single-season school mark with 19 home runs. He also hit .369 with 57 RBIs. Heath got just one hit in 17 at-bats as a freshman, and hit .283-3-20 in 97 at-bats as a sophomore, when a pulled quad muscle limited his playing time. But he was a different player as a junior, and a lot of his improvement stemmed from his efforts to add flexibility and agility to a stiff 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame. Not only was his swing looser and much quicker, but his actions behind the plate were much more mobile than in the past. Still, Heath has an odd set-up in his approach to hitting and an unorthodox swing path, and may be vulnerable to striking out on a recurring basis at the pro level. He definitely has the size and brute strength, though, to produce more than his share of home runs. Heath’s greatest improvement has come behind the plate. His arm strength was noticeably better in 2010, though his footwork and receiving skills are still viewed as below-average, and may eventually push him to first base.—ALLAN SIMPSON
 
154. SAN DIEGO PADRES
RICO NOEL, of, Coastal Carolina
SCOUTING PROFILE: Though Noel has shown significant improvement in all areas of his game in three seasons at Coastal Carolina, speed was and still is his best tool. It grades out as a solid 70-75 on the standard 20-80 scouting scale, and is a significant asset at the plate, on the bases and in center field. Noel’s raw speed is most graphically evident in his superior base-stealing ability. He swiped 48 bases in 51 attempts as a sophomore, while hitting .315-8-45; and pilfered 56 bases in 69 attempts as a junior, while batting .349-12-63. Hitting in the 2-hole all this season, Noel’s bat and speed were key pieces as Coastal went 55-10, and produced the best record in school history. But Noel also utilized his speed effectively in his evolution into an excellent defensive center fielder, after beginning his college career at second base. Though his 5-foot-9 frame might be better suited at second bas he progresses through his baseball career, it was evident when he committed 18 errors as a freshman that his hands and actions did not measure up to play the position on a long-term basis. He took a year to adapt to center field, but soon emerged as one of the nation’s best defensive outfielders in the country this year. His arm is more than adequate. Noel has come a long way from his rocky freshman year at Coastal, where he hit .240-2-25 with an unacceptable 45 strikeouts in 167 at-bats. His plate discipline has improved considerably, though his swing often gets a little long when he tries to play bigger than his size.—ALLAN SIMPSON
 
155. OAKLAND A’s
TYLER VAIL, rhp, Notre Dame-Green Pond HS, Easton, Pa.
SCOUTING PROFILE: Vail is an average-sized righthander with effort in his delivery, but generated plenty of scouting heat in the eastern Pennsylvania prep ranks this spring with a 92-93 mph fastball that had good movement. On the season, he went 6-2, 2.10 with 93 strikeouts in 51 innings. Vail still has a ways to go in developing his secondary pitches, but is relatively new to pitching as he was primarily an outfielder early in his high-school career. In addition to pitching this spring, he also spent a significant amount of time at second base, and hit .492-2-24. Vail has committed to Maryland, though his rising draft status may make college a second option.—ALLAN SIMPSON
 
156. TORONTO BLUE JAYS
DICKIE THON Jr., ss, Perpetuo Socorro School, San Juan, P.R.
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Thon is the son of 15-year major-league shortstop Dickie Thon, although the 6-foot-2, 180-pound son is a different type of athlete than his 5-11, 175-pound father. Ironically, for the son of a former big-league player, Thon does not have extensive baseball experience compared to many of his peers. He is a multiple-sport athlete who also stands out in volleyball and track (the 200 meters is his specialty), and scouts are just starting to get a good feel for his baseball instincts. Thon’s best tool is his bat. He has very good bat speed with quick hands, and the ability to drive balls into the alleys and use his speed to get extra bases. His raw arm strength is suitable for playing shortstop at the upper levels of the minors, although he might outgrow the position eventually. Thon’s signability will be an interesting element for scouts to determine as he has signed with Rice, where his sister played volleyball for four years. His dad also once worked as a volunteer assistant for his good friend, Rice coach Wayne Graham. The Thons still maintain a home in Houston, further complicating the picture. If he elects not to sign out of this year’s draft, he could be an early-round candidate in 2013.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): While there seems to be no debate among scouts that Thon is the top prospect in Puerto Rico with the draft at hand, his signability remains a stumbling block. There are serious concerns about whether Thon and his family have any desire to pass up on the opportunity to play at Rice. The connection between the Thon family and Houston/Rice/Rice coach Graham just runs too deeply.—DR
 
157. CINCINNATI REDS
WES MUGARIAN, rhp, Pensacola Catholic HS, Pensacola, Fla.
SCOUTING PROFILE: Mugarian put himself firmly into the forefront of scouts’ minds on March 30 of this year, when he threw a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts in a highly-anticipated matchup with projected first-round pick Karsten Whitson of nearby Chipley High. Whitsen merely had 14 strikeouts, and allowed two hits. About 50 scouts saw that classic encounter, and a large number were on hand again a couple of weeks later when Mugarian throw another no-hitter, with 13 strikeouts. Mugarian has never lost a high-school game, and those two gems helped to push his career record to 26-0, through early May. On the season, he was 10-0, 0.68 with 21 walks and 114 strikeouts—comparable numbers to his 9-0, 0.75 junior season, when he walked 18 and fanned 107 in 56 innings. Mugarian has always had the raw arm strength to make himself a carefully-watched prospect, but his mechanics have caused scouts to proceed with caution. He has traditionally thrown from an unconventional over-the-top release point, even as he pitched in the 88-93 mph range and had good boring movement on his fastball into righthanded hitters. He has done a much better job of simplifying his mechanics this season. Mugarian has also ditched his 70-mph curve, which was soft and inconsistent, for a much harder and tighter upper-70s slurve that has become a true swing-and-miss pitch for him. His changeup still needs developing. It’s unclear how much teams will buy into the performance, but few pitchers in the 2010 draft class have been as dominating this spring.
--DR
 
158. CHICAGO WHITE SOX
ANDY WILKINS, 1b, Arkansas
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): The 2010 draft is unusually thin in true power hitters, so it could play right into Wilkins’ hands and elevate his stock a round or two. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound slugger is exceptionally strong and has been an established power threat since his days at Broken Arrow (Okla.) High, where he hit 36 homers, including a school-record 17 as a junior. He might have been a third- to fifth-round pick in the 2007 draft were it not for his commitment to Arkansas, and was eventually selected that year in the 25th round by the Texas Rangers. A three-year regular for the Razorbacks, Wilkins had a breakout season as a sophomore, hitting .339-19-58 with 18 doubles (all team-leading figures) in leading Arkansas to a berth in the College World Series, and his own selection to Team USA’s college-national team. Somewhat of a streak hitter, Wilkins earned regional MVP honors by going 12-for-16 with five doubles, two homers and 11 RBIs, and drilling a homer and five RBIs in Arkansas’ opening-round game in Omaha. When he’s locked in, Wilkins has a pro-style approach to hitting with good balance and a crisp, short swing. But he failed to carry his late-spring surge over to the summer and had a disappointing season with Team USA, hitting just .232 with two homers. His superior power was routinely on display in batting practice, but he was often overmatched at the plate in games, particularly by fastballs on the inner half. Wilkins has the loose hands to hit, but it was apparent with wood that he needed to shorten his swing, while becoming more selective. With a team-best 10 homers and 39 RBIs through the mid-point of the 2010 season, Wilkins was on pace to top his power numbers from a year ago. His bat will need to carry him as he is a below-average runner and just a marginal, but improving defender at first base who has seen time at third base on occasion at Arkansas.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): There is a good chance that Wilkins’ draft stock has taken a beating late in the season as a prolonged slump against tougher SEC pitching caused his batting average to plummet to .270 heading into the final week of the regular season, although he still has produced runs (13 HR, 60 RBI). Last looks by scouts during the Razorbacks post season could be pivotal for the big first baseman.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
 
159. MILWAUKEE BREWERS
MATT MILLER, rhp, Michigan
SCOUTING PROFILE: Much was expected this season of the big, physical and projectable Miller, but the 6-foot-6, 215-pound righthander struggled to perform at a level consistent with his size and ability. In 17 appearances (10 starts) for Michigan, he went 3-3, 5.06 with 28 walks and 51 strikeouts in 64 innings. Most of his starts came in non-conference games with little at stake. Miller didn’t find a comfort zone in any role after showing considerable promise as a closer in 2009. He settled into that role late in the 2009 season for the Wolverines (1-2, 2.70, 3 SV, 41 IP/43 SO), then made his mark there during the summer in the Northwoods League, where he saved 10 games in 22 appearances for Alexandria, and struck out 44 in 28 innings while limiting hitters to a .184 average. He pumped his fastball consistently into the low-90s, topping at 95, and produced good arm-side run. He also mixed in a quality slider that peaked at 83. Miller, however, has always struggled to repeat his delivery, and that came to haunt him this spring as he didn’t find consistency with any of his pitches. But Miller’s big frame and big fastball continued to grab the attention of scouts, who believe he will easily work in the low-to-mid-90s as he refines his mechanics, and might possibly reach 96-97 one day. Miller also endears himself to scouts with his strong, professional pitching frame and the way he attacks hitters with a fearless approach.—ALLAN SIMPSON
 
160. CHICAGO CUBS
MATT SZCZUR, of, Villanova
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): The multi-dimensional Szczur has gained more notoriety to date on the football field at Villanova, but at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, his future appears to be in baseball. Szczur had a spectacular season on the gridiron in 2009, leading the Wildcats to the Division I national football title. He was selected the MVP of the championship game while rushing for 159 yards and accumulating 270 all-purpose yards in Villanova’s 23-21 win over Montana. He was also selected the Colonial Athletic Association football player of the year. In three years at Villanova, he has excelled as a running back, wide receiver, quarterback and kick returner—and was the only Division I player to score a touchdown last year in all four dimensions. He is one of four Villanova athletes who is playing baseball this spring that also played on the national championship football squad. Though Szczur’s exploits on the baseball diamond pale in comparison to football, he led Villanova in batting (.346) and several other offensive categories in 2009 as a red-shirt freshman (he missed his true freshman season with a football-related injury). This year, he had jacked up his average to a club-best .435 in early May, and also topped the team in doubles (11), triples (6) and home runs (3). From a baseball standpoint, Szczur’s best assets are his speed (6.4 seconds in the 60) and athleticism. He also scores very high for his makeup. With everything seemingly on the line at the time from a draft standpoint, he excused himself from several games in order to donate his bone marrow to a one-year-old girl suffering from leukemia. Szczur has performed extremely well, despite his limited baseball experience, but scouts say he doesn't have a very pretty or fluid swing, and there are questions whether he's good enough defensively to play center field at the next level. His speed and emerging power would play there, but maybe not an average arm. If he’s better suited defensively for left field, his lack of raw power would be a drawback. Offensively, he's mostly a line-drive/ground-ball type hitter.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): There’s a very interesting debate on Szczur’s draft status. On pure talent, he probably grades as a 5th-6th round talent. But that puts him in a bit of a gray area, as players in those rounds typically signed for $125,000 to $200,000 a year ago. Obviously, he's got significantly more leverage than the average player because of his football factor, so he might command a little more bonus money in those rounds, maybe upwards of $400,000 or $500,000 if a team is willing to take a run at him. But would that be enough to buy him away from another year of football, and the potential of an NFL career? It’s a tough call, and Szczur might drop considerably if it's determined he's asking for big money. Szczur finished the 2010 season on a roll, hitting .443-4-38, and continued to impress scouts to the end with his rapidly-improving ability as a baseball player.—AS
 
161. TAMPA BAY RAYS
IAN KENDALL, of/rhp, Ashland (Ore.) HS
SCOUTING PROFILE: Kendall began the 2010 season primarily as a power-hitting outfielder who could pitch; he ended it as primarily a power pitcher who could hit. His change in profile vaulted him up draft boards. A potential fringe draft as a 6-foot position player with solid if unspectacular tools, Kendall soon had as many as 40 scouts a game scurrying into southern Oregon in the weeks leading up to the draft, when his fastball began topping out at 95 mph on a consistent basis. The pitch was a more customary 91-93, but that was a significant upgrade from 2009, when he peaked at 87 on the rare occasions he pitched. He augmented his fastball with a power downer curve at 81-82 mph and a fringy changeup. On the season, Kendall went 10-2, 0.71 with 108 strikeouts in 64 innings. He lost his final outing of the 2010 season in the Oregon 5-A championship game, when he was outdueled by a sophomore in his team’s 3-0 loss. In 5-1/3 innings, he struck out 12. A year earlier, Kendall went 6-1, 1.36 while hitting .478-6-28, and was recruited by Oregon State to become mostly a position player at the college level.—ALLAN SIMPSON
 
162. SEATTLE MARINERS
STEPHEN PRYOR, rhp, Tennessee Tech
SCOUTING PROFILE: The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Pryor has teased scouts with his size and velocity since the Cleveland Indians drafted him out of Tennessee’s Cleveland State JC in 2008. His fastball frequently reached the mid-90s that year, and he won seven games while striking out 76 in 60 innings. But control issues and a significant drop in velocity sent Pryor’s stock tumbling as a sophomore (1-1, 5.70, 24 IP/26 BB/20 SO), and he was largely a forgotten pitcher when he enrolled at Tennessee Tech for his junior year. But just as quickly as Pryor’s career dipped, it shot right back up this spring as Pryor’s fastball frequently touched 98 mph. Though he was still plagued from time to time by mechanical issues and the resultant control problems that have plagued his career, he was dominant in a closing role for the Golden Eagles. He finished the 2010 season with 75 strikeouts in 41 innings—a nine-inning average of 16.5. That’s a better ratio than the 16.1 figure posted a year ago by San Diego State’s Stephen Strasburg, and just shy of the NCAA Division I record of 16.8, compiled by former University of Houston first-rounder Ryan Wagner in 2003. In addition to his overpowering fastball, Pryor’s slider was often in the mid-80s. But Pryor also went just 4-4, 5.71 overall, with 22 walks, a clear sign that his control issues still continue to impact his performance, although his delivery was much cleaner in 2010 than it had been in the past.—ALLAN SIMPSON
 
163. DETROIT TIGERS
ALEX BURGOS, lhp, State College of Florida/Manatee
SCOUTING PROFILE: Burgos wasn’t on the radar of most Florida area scouts at the start of the 2010 season, but was the rage of the state junior-college tournament in early May. Not only did he propel his team to a berth in the Junior College World Series with a pair of impressive wins, but elevated his stock for the draft another level with his outstanding pitchability. Burgos went the distance in the championship game, an 8-1 win over Miami-Dade CC, walking two and striking out nine. He was also impressive in a tournament-opening win, walking two and striking out 13. The victories pushed Burgos’ record on the season to 13-1, 1.42, with an aggregate 29 walks and 109 strikeouts in 95 innings. His fastball was a steady 89-91 mph at the tournament, and he also threw a solid breaking ball and changeup for strikes—much as he had done all season. In the minds of more than one opposing coach, he was the best junior-college pitcher in Florida this spring. That’s in contrast to a disappointing 2009 season, when his fastball hovered in the mid-80s. Burgos’ career began to take on helium last summer in the Northwoods League, when he developed more confidence in his stuff working against wood, and was a different pitcher in the fall than he had been in the spring. Yet another impressive showing on a national stage at the Junior College World Series in the week leading up to the draft could elevate him even more.—ALLAN SIMPSON
 
164. ATLANTA BRAVES
PHIL GOSSELIN, 2b-of, Virginia
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1):Gosselin’s bat and array of offensive skills will find their way into any lineup, but it’s still unclear whether he can play second base at the pro level, or is better suited for the outfield. He played mostly second as a sophomore at Virginia, where he hit .310-6-64 and produced the third-best RBI total in school history. He also stole 24 bases, the fourth-best season total. The versatile Gosselin spent most of his freshman season at Virginia on the left side of the infield and in a DH role, and has seen extended time this spring for the Cavaliers in left field after starting out at second. Though he has good hands, turns the double play well and generally makes all the routine plays at second, the knock is he has just limited range there and his arm grades out as just average. His defensive skills appear best suited for left field as he lacks the raw speed to profile as a center fielder. No matter where he ends up defensively, Gosselin’s bat should be an asset. Even as he hit a modest .262-0-7 last summer for Harwich in the Cape Cod League, he barreled up balls consistently with a quick, flat, short stroke. He’ll flash occasional pop and does a good job driving balls to the opposite field with a solid professional approach to hitting. Gosselin was hitting .393-3-28 through 35 games this season, while leading Virginia in doubles (14), walks (25) and stolen bases (10). Though he’s not a burner, his acumen on the bases speaks to his superior base-running skills.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Gosselin has been the most valuable offensive contributor this season on a team that spent parts of the spring as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team. As the Cavaliers were set to embark on NCAA regional play, Gosselin was hitting .379-9-54 and was second in RBIs—even as the team’s leadoff man. He was also showing the way in runs (60), walks (36) and stolen bases (16), some of the more traditional categories that measure the effectiveness of an offensive catalyst. Virginia coaches say that Gosselin is the best hitter to play at Virginia in the current era, and scouts heap praise on him for his gritty, though professional approach. It’s still unclear where Gosselin will end up playing defensively, but his bat will be an asset even if it ends up being left field.—AS
 
165. MINNESOTA TWINS
NATE ROBERTS, of, High Point
SCOUTING PROFILE: Roberts wasn’t able to convince scouts he was any better than a 48th-round draft pick in 2009 after leading Illinois’ Parkland JC to a national Division II title, setting a tournament record with a .710 batting average and hitting .511-13-47 on the season, with 21 stolen bases in 26 attempts. So he outdid himself this season in a return to the NCAA Division I level, and put up numbers that scouts couldn’t ignore. On his way to becoming the Big South Conference player of the year, Roberts hit .416-19-69 with 36 stolen bases in 39 attempts. He led the nation with 88 runs and a .573 on-base average—both conference records. His 53 walks and 87 were the second-most in school history; his home-run and stolen-base totals were third. His totals as a junior were a sharp upgrade from his freshman year at Northwestern, where he hit a modest .311 with 29 RBIs and nine stolen bases before transferring to junior college. Roberts’ best tool is clearly his lefthanded bat. He’s a pure hitter and there’s no pitch or pitcher that can routinely get him out. By pro standards, the rest of his tools grade out as average. He should settle in as a right fielder with acceptable arm strength and speed.—ALLAN SIMPSON
 
166. TEXAS RANGERS
JUSTIN GRIMM, rhp, Georgia
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Grimm has teased scouts with his raw ability since being drafted in the 13th round by the Boston Red Sox out of a Virginia high school in 2007. But after an inconsequential freshman season at Georgia, and modest 4-4, 4.15 sophomore campaign for the Bulldogs, Grimm had a lot to prove when he arrived in the Cape Cod League last summer. He didn’t start off the season overly well, standing at 0-4 and tying for the league lead in losses at one point as his stuff was generally flat and hitters teed off on it. But things suddenly fell into place for the 6-foot-4, 195-pound righthander and he was brilliant in his final four outings. The turnaround stemmed mostly from a mechanical adjustment that had him going more north-south in his delivery, rather than an east-to-west direction that resulted in his speeding up his arm and overthrowing. His stuff was suddenly electric, from an explosive fastball in the 92-95 mph range that occasionally reached 96-97, to a sharp 11-to-5 curveball, to an outstanding changeup, his most improved pitch on the summer. He mixed his pitches extremely well, keeping hitters off balance. With the improved delivery and stuff came improved command. The end result, a 1-4, 2.84 record, didn’t reflect the way Grimm pitched down the stretch, though his 14 walks and 47 strikeouts in 44 innings was a good indicator. He resorted to his old ways through the first half of his junior year at Georgia, however, as he was 2-3, 4.46 through his initial 34 innings, with 17 walks and 35 strikeouts. But he was at least pitching much better than the Georgia staff overall, which had an unsightly 8.20 ERA overall through 27 games. Grimm still needs work on developing his breaking ball as he tends to lose the sharp rotation on the pitch when used too much. While scouts are enthralled with Grimm’s upside, they are also mindful of the stress fracture in his right elbow and the resulting surgery (in December 2005) that caused him to miss a large chunk of his high school career.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Grimm has been one of the most inconsistent college pitchers in the country this spring, and that has come on a team that has tanked in SEC play, standing at 3-22 with a weekend of play remaining. Grimm himself stood at 2-7, 5.35 (in mid-May) with 68 strikeouts in 69 innings, a testament to his inconsistency and plus stuff. He has continued to struggle finding a consistent release point, resulting in 31 walks, and hitters have learned to wait for his fastball as he hasn’t commanded his breaking ball consistently. However, a few strong outings, including a May 14 encounter against Florida, have cemented Grimm’s name as a solid college pitching option with upside.—ANDY SEILER
 

167. FLORIDA MARLINS
ROBERT MOREY, rhp, Virginia
SCOUTING PROFILE: Morey put himself on the map in 2009, when as a sophomore he outdueled San Diego State’s Stephen Strasburg in an NCAA regional game that propelled Virginia to its first College World Series appearance. He worked six scoreless innings, striking out nine, while the celebrated Strasburg, just days away from becoming the overwhelming choice as the No. 1 pick in the draft, was dealt his only loss of the 2009 season. Morey went 3-0, 3.33 with two saves in 18 appearances (9 starts) for the Cavaliers, while walking 28 and striking out 84 in 68 innings. He then went on to help Bourne win its first Cape Cod League championship during the summer, though didn’t distinguish himself as one of the league’s better starters (3-1, 4.44, 26 IP/12 BB/21 SO) as he appeared tired from a long spring season at Virginia. His stuff and command were inconsistent, he frequently went deep into counts and his fastball was mainly in the 87-90 mph range. This spring, Morey’s fastball sat consistently in the 89-93 mph range, occasionally touched 94-95, and he generally had command of four pitches. His slider and changeup, in particular, showed flashes of being quality secondary pitches. Morey impressed scouts with the way he attacked the strike zone and threw quality strikes on a more consistent basis. As Virginia’s Saturday starter, he went 9-4, 4.20 with 41 walks and 77 strikeouts in 99 innings. He pitched well down the stretch, impressing some scouts, but others remained wary of his smallish frame and modest overall stuff.—ALLAN SIMPSON
 

168. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
HEATH HEMBREE, rhp, College of Charleston
SCOUTING PROFILE: Hembree has had little track record of success in three years at three different South Carolina colleges, but a fastball that has been a steady 94-97 mph this spring, and topped at 99, has had scouts scrambling. In one game against South Carolina, Hembree’s fastball sat at 98 for eight pitches in a row, and his emergence as a legitimate early-round talent has made him one of the bigger surprises in the southeast. Despite his explosive fastball and powerful, athletic frame, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound righthander is far from a finished product, and his end-of-game role for the College of Charleston has it difficult for higher-level scouts to see him. In 21 appearances covering 23 innings (through mid-May), he was 5-2, 6.17 with four saves and had walked 15 while striking out 33. Though Hembree’s fastball is his primary weapon, it can often be straight and college hitters have teed off on it. His other big pitch is an 84-88 mph cutter that acts like a slider, and could be a dominating pitch against wood at the pro level. With extra long fingers, Hembree is also in position to incorporate a split-finger into his repertoire down the road. Hembree’s new-found prospect status this spring wasn’t something that scouts saw coming. Hembree spent his first year of college at South Carolina, but was coming off ACL surgery as a high-school senior and didn’t pitch for the Gamecocks as a freshman. He subsequently transferred to Spartanburg Methodist JC as a sophomore, and even as he went 7-0, 1.22 there in 2009, his fastball was mainly in the 87-89 range. By the fall, after transferring to Charleston, it was up to 91-93, touching 94. With much better mechanics this spring, he suddenly hit another gear midway through the season and elevated his worth in the process from a potential sixth- to eighth-rounder entering 2010. Hembree still is plagued by inconsistency, but clearly has made huge strides in his first year as a reliever. With a fastball now in the high-90s, he qualifies as one of the 3-4 hardest throwers in this year’s draft class.—ALLAN SIMPSON
 
169. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
NICK LONGMIRE, of, University of the Pacific
SCOUTING PROFILE: Longmire led a 14-win Pacific team in batting (.323) as a freshman in 2008, and a 21-win Tigers club with a .385 average last year as a sophomore. Pacific has been much-more competitive this season, even as Longmire was hitting just .286 with four homers and 26 RBIs through mid-May. A lot of players around him, notably second baseman J.B. Brown (.423-5-26), have picked up the slack. Even as he has not responded at the plate to coincide with his team’s improved play, the athletic Longmire has attracted plenty of attention from scouts this spring, and he’s very much on track to be drafted in the top three or four rounds. His speed, power potential and arm strength are all solid-average tools, and he just needs to sort through a few things at the plate. Mainly, he needs to adjust his hitting approach to eliminate some of the holes in his swing. He also needs to shore up his defense in right field.—ALLAN SIMPSON
 
170. COLORADO ROCKIES
JOSH SLAATS, rhp, Hawaii
SCOUTING PROFILE: The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Slaats teased scouts with his big, strong frame and impressive raw stuff in his first two years at Hawaii, but on the eve of the 2010 season, he was a pitcher without a defined role. He largely failed as primarily a starter for the Rainbows as a freshman (0-5, 7.09), then was marginally better as a sophomore (2-2, 8.33, 4 SV), working in a closing role. It was quickly apparent early this spring, though, that Slaats had made considerable strides in tapping into his potential. He quickly assumed a starting job in the Hawaii rotation, and went on to post a 5-4, 3.77 record with 33 walks and 75 strikeouts in 74 innings. His fastball was a steady 90-93 mph, peaking at 95. He also had a two-plane slider, which was very effective when he threw it for strikes. His stuff was consistently better than ex-Hawaii righthander Steve Wright, a second-round pick of the Cleveland Indians in 2006, though Wright repeated his stuff much more consistently. Slaats has a chance to be Hawaii’s highest draft since Wright, and his future ability to develop consistency and pitchability will be a key to his success. In particular, he needs to gain consistency with his curve, his third pitch, and his ability to do so will probably determine whether he settles into a starter or relief role at the pro level.—ALLAN SIMPSON
 
171. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
SCOTT FRAZIER, rhp, Upland (Calif.) HS
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1):Frazier has been moving up draft lists faster than any pitcher in Southern California this spring, and has put himself squarely into top 2-round consideration. One of the reasons for his surge is that Frazier has concentrated more on pitching than playing the outfield, where he has shown college-level tools, including big power potential, in the past. The other is a growth spurt that has moved him from 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds to a more physical 6-7, 215 in the past year. Frazier throws from an easy, well-paced delivery with a deep arm circle in back and a high three-quarters release point. He is very loose and easy out front, and the ball leaves his hand with little effort. Frazier has bumped his fastball velocity up a couple of ticks this spring and has been sitting at 92-94 mph, and touching 95 occasionally. Frazier’s best secondary pitch is his changeup, but he’s also improved his curve this spring, throwing it with more velocity and a harder spin. Scouts still consider Frazier to be a raw prospect compared to many pitchers from Southern California, but that projectability, combined with Frazier’s athleticism, could work in his favor on draft day. Frazier is a 4.0 student and has signed with Pepperdine.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Frazier is the type of pitcher who could surprise on draft day, especially if his signability visits comes back positive. He has maintained his top-shelf velocity all spring, touching 95-96 mph at times, and it’s easy to see scouts dreaming on his ceiling. His record through mid-May stood at 5-2, 1.18 with 79 strikeouts and only 11 walks in 47 innings.—DR
 
172. LOS ANGELES DODGERS
JAKE LEMMERMAN, ss, Duke
SCOUTING PROFILE: If nothing else, Lemmerman was consistent in his first two years at Duke. As the team’s starting shortstop both seasons, the California product hit .287-2-37 as a freshman and .283-7-35 as a sophomore. To his regret, he was also remarkably consistent in his two summers for Wareham in the Cape Cod League, hitting a meager .208-0-12 in 2008 and .172-1-10 last summer. His 2009 summer was further trivialized because he was slowed by ankle and wrist problems early in the season, and essentially lost the shortstop job at Wareham to Georgia Tech’s Derek Dietrich. Lemmerman played 23 games at second and 11 at third, and just five at short. Though he may eventually end up at second or third because some scouts believe he lacks the speed and range to play shortstop on an everyday basis at the pro level, he clearly had a comfort level in his return to shortstop as a junior at Duke. Lemmerman has sure, soft hands and solid shortstop actions, and committed just three errors at the position this spring. His .987 fielding average was a remarkable figure for a college shortstop. Lemmerman, though, had the benefit of playing his home games on the immaculate surface at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the home field of the Triple-A Durham Bulls. He also took advantage of the shorter outfield distances at the DBAP, and jumped his season home-run total to a team-high 11—topping his totals from the last two spring and summer seasons combined. He also led Duke with a .335 average and 45 RBIs. While there seems to be less questions about Lemmerman’s bat after his breakthrough junior season at the plate, his ability to remain at shortstop in the long run is more of an issue. Not only does his lack of speed limit his range, but his arm strength is considered just average, too, though he has good carry on his throws.—ALLAN SIMPSON
 
173. BOSTON RED SOX
HENRY RAMOS, of, Alfonso Casta Martinez HS, Maunabo, P.R.
SCOUTING PROFILE: Ramos is relatively new to baseball because, much like fellow top Puerto Rican prospect Dickie Thon, he has excelled in other sports and only recently devoted himself to baseball. In Ramos’ case, he was a top-level junior soccer player. He also stood out in track and field. Ramos is an angular 6-foot-2, 190-pound athlete who has drawn comparisons on the island to Bernie Williams, a fellow switch-hitter who went on to a long major-league career with the New York Yankees. Ramos is comparable athletically to Thon, and is considered a better athlete than Puerto Rican outfielder Eddie Rosario. But his lack of present polish with the bat slots him behind those two prospects. In particular, Ramos needs to learn to incorporate his lower half more into his swing. He currently has an upper-half rotational swing that will need adjusting as he faces better pitching. Ramos’ superior speed and defensive instincts project him as a center fielder at the upper levels, and his arm strength far surpasses that of Williams, his natural big-league comparison.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
 
174. LOS ANGELES ANGELS
JESUS VALDEZ, rhp, Hueneme HS, Port Hueneme, Calif.
SCOUTING PROFILE: Yet another in the impressive crop of southern California high-school talent in this year’s draft, Valdez made an impression on scouts with his projectable 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame, highly-competitive approach, whip-like arm action and 91-93 mph fastball with late life. He showed no hesitation in challenging hitters inside with his aggressive approach, and yet had good pitchability for someone his age. His curve is a second above-average pitch, while he needs work on his changeup. On the 2010 season, Valdez went 7-2, 0.98 with 27 hits and 11 walks allowed, along with 85 strikeouts in 57 innings. His signature outing of the 2010 season came when he threw a no-hitter against Oxnard High on April 13, striking out 10. Valdez also played a pivotal role at the plate for Hueneme High, hitting .446-10-34.—ALLAN SIMPSON
 
175. NEW YORK YANKEES
TOMMY KAHNLE, rhp, Lynn (Fla.)
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Kahnle made a habit of saving his best for last in 2009. In his final appearance of the season for Florida’s Lynn University, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Kahnle worked the last two innings of a 2-1 win over Kansas’ Emporia State as the Fighting Saints captured their first NCAA Division II national title. Kahnle was the MVP of the event, saving two games in three appearances while working eight scoreless innings overall. In his final appearance of the summer for Orleans in the Cape Cod League playoffs, the power-armed righthander cranked up his fastball to a season-best 99 mph—equal to the best velocity any college pitcher recorded on the summer. Kahnle wasn’t quite that impressive the rest of the time as he assembled a modest 7-4, 4.54 record overall as a red-shirt freshman for Lynn, working mostly in relief. He continued to work out of the bullpen for Orleans and went a satisfactory 2-2, 2.41 with one save in 15 appearances while walking 13 in 19 innings, though struck out 23 and allowed just nine hits. Kahnle’s fastball sat consistently in the mid-90s for the Firebirds before he ratcheted it up a couple of notches his final time out. While he clearly has arm strength in his big, powerful frame, Kahnle throws with some effort in his delivery and has a tendency to overthrow, leading to command issues with his fastball. He worked predominantly with the one pitch, though has the makings of a sharp 80-81 mph slider with good rotation. He just lacked the confidence to throw it for strikes. He also worked in a 73-75 mph curve and 83-84 mph change when he’s had to stretch out his repertoire on the occasions he’s been used as a starter. But scouts have profiled Kahnle for a short role, and his ability to go right at hitters and get tough in tight situations makes him ideally cast. Kahnle’s challenge this spring was to develop his fastball command and a more consistent breaking ball. He could have edged close to the first round if he mastered those goals, but he went backwards working in a starting role for an 11-26 Lynn team, posting a meager 1-4, 5.04 record with 32 walks and 45 strikeouts in 50 innings, leaving his draft status somewhat in doubt.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): From a national championship in 2009, Lynn plunged to a 16-37 record this spring. Kahnle’s fall wasn’t as precipitous, but his record as Lynn’s No. 1 starter fell to 2-7, 5.06, and his walk-to-strikeout ratio was an undistinguished 47-71 in 75 innings. Scouts recognized that he was pitching out of his element, a bit, as a starter, and actually saw significant improvement in his changeup, and modest improvement in his command low in the strike zone. As a starter, Kahnle’s fastball was a more reasonable 92-94 mph, and he may have gone through a dead-arm phase at mid-season when his velocity slipped to 89-90, only to rebound later. Kahnle prefers to start, but it may depend on the development of his breaking ball, which has been slower than expected to evolve.—AS