2/22/2012 2:05:25 PM
Welcome to the new Perfect Game Draft Insider based forum. This forum is currently open for all to view, as it will at some point be viewable to PG Crosschecker subscribers (Insider and up) only. Here we will provide news of different things we are hearing pertaining to draft-eligible players, or any other inside information that we come across.
Kendall Rogers provides similar information on his subscriber-based CBT forum, and both Todd Gold and Ben Collman shares what they hear on the High School forum.
To kick things off, here are some pitchers that have been making some noise early in the high school/college seasons:
Dylan Baker - RHP - Western Nevada (juco)
Baker pitched in front of some rather large scouting crowds a couple of weeks ago as his team faced Central Arizona College in Las Vegas. 3B Fernando Perez, the top rated juco player in the nation plays for Central Arizona, and Baker was impressive, throwing 92-94 with a hard curveball. Baker was recently ranked 130th on our recent top 200 juco prospect list, but he's certain to rise dramatically up that list the next time it's updated.
Mark Appel - RHP - Stanford
Appel's first start of the year was well documented, as he threw his fastball 93-97 in the first inning and settled in at 90-93 the rest of the way. I already shared my thoughts on his performance on the College Baseball Clubhouse forum, but he pitched as he has the handful of times I have seen him throw in the past. His fastball is straight when left up in the zone, which he does most of the time. It shows good life when he's able to get it down, and wasn't able to snap off a good curveball until the 5th inning. It looked like he was working on his changeup early in the game, but that pitch wasn't doing much for him either. He clearly has very good upside, with good size and a power arm, and while it was only the first start of the year, he showed the same areas that need improvement before I would consider him a candidate to go No. 1 overall come June.
Kyle Zimmer - RHP - San Francisco
Kendall Rogers reported this as well over the weekend, and we have confirmed through other sources that USF ace Kyle Zimmer was throwing 94-98 mph fastballs in the early inning of his first start of the year. He faced only one batter over the minimum in his 4 innings of work, allowing 1 hit while striking out 3.
Damien Magnifico - RHP - Oklahoma
Most already learned via Twitter that Magnifico, the Sooners closer this year, was up to 103 on the team's stadium gun. Even if that number isn't accurate, we've seen him up to 97 in high school, as he has always had a live arm. He was up to 98 last summer as he was named our No. 4 prospect in the NECBL, and pitched for Howard College prior to transferring to OU.
Tyler Gonzales - RHP - James Madison HS, TX
We've seen Gonzales up to 92 at our own events, including in late October at the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter. He has always been able to pitch, and throws one of the better true sliders in the 2012 draft class. Recent reports have Gonzales pitching in the 93-94 range with his usual nasty slider, and that increased velocity combined with his pitchability could allow him to move up draft boards this spring.
Ty Buttrey - RHP - Providence HS, NC
Buttrey is like Gonzales in that we've seen him plenty of times before, and there has been plenty to like about him. He was up to 94 in Jupiter with his usual hard curveball and changeup, and recent reports indicate that he too has increased the velocity on his fastball a few ticks, with some 95/96 recordings. He is currently ranked the 35th among the high school class of 2012, and looks to have nowhere to go but up.
Shane Watson - RHP - Lakewood HS, CA
Watson continues a trend of prep pitchers that were already well known about, as we've seen him throw as hard as 93 and currently have him ranked 46th in the 2012 high school class. We've been hearing that he has been sitting more now in the 93 range touching 95/96. The USC recruit is tall and plenty projectable, and is another example of SoCal being loaded with prep pitching this year.
Max Fried - LHP - Harvard-Westlake HS, CA
Fried's outings have been well followed so far, thanks to the attention he and teammate Lucas Giolito receive. Fried continues to gain supporters with many believing he will be taken among the top 10 overall picks come June. His fastball ranges from 88-91 to 90-93 from start to start, and he continues to improve upon his already strong 3-pitch repertoire that includes one of the best curveballs in the 2012 draft class and a polished changeup.
Rex Hill - LHP - Tomball HS, TX
There has been plenty to like about Rex Hill the times we have seen him, who topping out at 89 previously was more about pitchability than blowing batters away. His fastball has also enjoyed a spike, now topping out at 93 mph. The Texas A&M recruit is yet another player poised to move up the rankings.
Colin Rodgers - LHP - Parkview Baptist School, LA
Rodgers was up to 91 at our PG Naitonal Showcase last June, as he has shown a live arm with room for added and sustained velocity. That appears to already be occurring so far this spring, as he recently sat at 90-92.
Jeremy Kivel - RHP - Spring HS, TX
As reported already by Todd Gold on the High School forum, Kivel was 91-95 the other night with a power curveball that he obviously has been working hard to tighten up. He was pitching 89-94 last October at our WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, so this isn't a huge jump in velocity, but he continues to make his case to become an early draft come June.