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MLB Draft Preview: Connecticut

Draft : : State Preview
Frankie Piliere        
Published: Thursday, May 23, 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 in 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.



Connecticut State-by-State List

Connecticut and its draft crops have long been mostly defined by the strength of the UConn Huskies’ roster, as well as its best high school player. For four consecutive years, the state’s highest drafted player has been a Huskie. The last time a non-UConn player was the first taken out of the state of Connecticut was Anthony Hewitt, who was taken by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1st round back in 2008.

There’s a strong possibility that we’ll see the high school player return to prominence in Connecticut this June. Thomas Milone, out of Masuk High School, is the clear frontrunner at the moment to be the state’s first player selected, but in keeping with tradition, a slew of UConn stars should follow him in the later rounds. There is no Mike Olt or George Springer among them, however, but, the rise of programs like Hartford and New Haven will also give rise to them producing early round talent, and we’ll begin to see that in this draft.


STRENGTH:
College pitching
WEAKNESS: College hitters
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 2

BEST COLLEGE TEAM:
Connecticut
BEST JUNIOR COLLEGE TEAM: University of Connecticut at Avery Point
BEST HIGH SCHOOL TEAM: Salisbury Prep

Best Out-of-State Prospect, Connecticut Connection:
Andrew Brockett, rhp, University of Richmond (attended North Haven HS)
Top 2014 Prospect: Sean Newcomb, lhp, Hartford
Top 2015 Prospect: George Hewitt, of, Salisbury School

HIGHEST DRAFT PICKS

Draft History:
Bobby Valentine, ss, Rippowam HS, Stamford (1968, Dodgers/1st round, 5th pick).
2008 Draft: Anthony Hewitt, 3b, Salisbury Prep (Phillies/1st round, 24th pick)
2009 Draft: Dan Mahoney, rhp, University of Connecticut (Marlins/4th round)
2010 Draft: Michael Olt, 3b, University of Connecticut (Rangers/1st round, 49th pick)
2011 Draft: George Springer, of, University of Connecticut (Astros/1st round, 11th pick)
2012 Draft: L.J. Mazzilli, 2b, University of Connecticut (Twins/9th round, 280th pick)

2012 DRAFT OVERVIEW

College Players Drafted/Signed:
7/6
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 0/0
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 2/0


TOP PROSPECTS, GROUPS 1 and 2

GROU
P 1 (rounds 1-3)

1.  THOMAS MILONE, of, Masuk HS
At least in terms of statistical performance, Milone has not been overwhelming in front of scouts this spring. His competition or lack thereof also make the scouting conditions less than idea. But, scouts have been attracted to his exciting raw tools since last summer. He shows an above average bat, as well as an average arm in center field, and 60 foot speed on the 20-80 scale. What might be the difference maker for Milone, though, is his power. He’s quick to the ball and has a lot of lift in his swing, and consistently generates backspin on the baseball. With that said, he projects to have at least average or a notch above average left-handed power at the big league level. There are some mechanical issues that professional coaches will likely want to tidy up in his swing, like the twitch in his wrist during his load. Quieting his mechanics somewhat may allow his very fast hands to go to work a little more consistently. Right now, he also appears to have the tools to remain in center, and gets a good first step on balls in the gap. There was early spring buzz that he could go as high as the compensation round, but it seems more likely now that the speedy center fielder goes off the board between rounds three and five. Click here to read David Rawnsley's detailed Draft Focus report on Milone.


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