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Sunday, October 05, 2008

2010 Draft: Sneak Preview

Allan Simpson         David Rawnsley        
Scouts have known for some time that the 2010 draft class is shaping up to be special, with talent deep across the board on both the college and high school levels.

We are debuting a Top 100 list for the 2010 draft class for PG Crosschecker (Insider-level) subscribers over the next couple of days, and have provided a sneak peak of the top 10 prospects below. We’ll also be unveiling a lot more coverage on the 2010 class in the coming weeks.

It should surprise few that North Carolina sophomore righthander Matt Harvey is the early leader to be the top pick in 2010. As a prep standout in Connecticut, Harvey was on the short list to be a top 10 pick in 2007, but the combination of a late winter in the Northeast that contributed to Harvey’s slow start and his own strong commitment to North Carolina pushed Harvey out of that position. The Angels took a flier on him in the third round, but were unable to convince him to start his pro career out of high school.

The Tar Heels treated their prized recruit with kid gloves last spring, limiting his pitch counts early and keeping his innings in check. In 67 innings, Harvey went 7-2, 2.79 with 80 strikeouts while showing a mid-90s fastball and a polished ability to mix in a plus curveball and changeup. A solid showing during the summer in the Cape Cod League only validated Harvey’s elite status.

The 2010 pitching class still has all of 20 months to mature and a lot will happen between now and then, but many of the top arms are already displaying plus raw stuff to go with very projectable arms and bodies. The high school class is particularly deep in quality arms.

Though Harvey currently occupies the top spot, could 2010 become the first time in draft history that a high school righthander is selected with the first overall pick? Maybe, but it is difficult at this point to pinpoint exactly which pitcher is the most likely candidate to ascend to that position. Cam Bedrosian, son of former big league reliever Steve Bedrosian, has the best present stuff of any current high school junior, but 6-foot-5 righthanders A.J. Cole and Rudy Acosta may have more upside as they are both long and loose, and are already throwing in the low 90s.

North Carolina high school shortstop Connor Narron, son of former Reds manager and current Rangers special consultant Jerry Narron, is the top high school position prospect in the 2010 class, although there are an impressive group of multi-tooled outfielders, headed by Alabama’s Reggie Golden, Texas’ Brian Ragira and Georgia’s Trey Griffin.

One of the biggest shortcomings in the 2007 draft (when most of the elite college talent in the 2010 class was last eligible for the draft) was the lack of college hitters, with only four such selections in the first 30 picks. One school may solve that problem almost by itself in 2010. Auburn secured three of the top unsigned high school position players in the 2007 draft and has a wealth of powerful riches at first base in sophomores Hunter Morris and Kevin Patterson, both projected to be early- to mid- first-round picks. Outfielder Brian Fletcher gives the Tigers a third potential 2010 draft standout..

Arkansas also has a trio of hitters with high-round aspirations in 2010 with the presence of third baseman Zack Cox, outfielder Brett Eibner and first baseman Andy Wilkins. Cox, one of the top high school bats in this year’s draft, will be a draft-eligible sophomore in 2010.

In addition to Auburn and Arkansas, several other colleges have positioned themselves to make an impact at the top of the 2010 draft list. San Diego has three potential first-round selections in lefthander Sammy Solis, righthander Kyle Blair and third baseman Victor Sanchez. Texas does, too, with righthanders Cole Green and Brandon Workman, and outfielder Kevin Keyes. Georgia Tech has a pair of potential first-rounders in shortstop Derek Dietrich and righthander Deck McGuire.

Notre Dame has made an early claim on having perhaps the best weekend rotation in the country in 2010 with righthanders Evan Danieli, Brian Dupra and Evan Sharpley, all projected early-round selections. But it’s possible that no college pitching staff may impact the early rounds of the 2010 draft quite like Oregon State’s as the Beavers have the potential to have as many as six pitchers drafted in the top 3-5 rounds.

Here’s how we line up the first 10 picks in the 2010 draft:
Rank Player Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. School Hometown
1. Matt Harvey RHP R-R 6-4 200 North Carolina Mistic, Conn.
2. A.J. Cole RHP R-R 6-5 190 Oviedo HS Winter Springs, Fla.
3. Rudy Acosta RHP R-R 6-5 180 Mount Miguel HS San Diego
4. Connor Narron SS B-R 6-3 175 Charles B. Aycock HS Goldsboro, N.C.
5. Brandon Workman RHP R-R 6-5 225 Texas Bowie, Texas
6. Cameron Bedrosian RHP R-R 6-0 195 East Coweta HS Senoia, Ga.
7. Drew Pomeranz LHP L-L 6-5 220 Mississippi Collierville, Tenn.
8. Reggie Golden OF R-R 5-11 195 Wetumpka HS Wetumpka, Ala.
9. Sammy Solis LHP R-L 6-5 210 San Diego Litchfield Park, Ariz.
10. Derek Dietrich SS/3B L-R 6-1 195 Georgia Tech Parma, Ohio
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