Draft : : Rankings
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

SECOND-ROUND PICKS / With Scouting Reports

Compiled by Allan Simpson / David Rawnsley / Anup Sinha / Jeff Simpson
June 9, 2009

The first three rounds of the 2009 first-year player draft were conducted Tuesday night, and the remaining 50 rounds Wednesday and Thursday. PG Crosschecker has the most complete scouting reports on each player available anywhere, and we’ll provide reports on all players selected through the first 10 rounds.

FIRST ROUND (32 Reports)
FOURTH ROUND (30 Reports)
FIFTH ROUND (30 Reports)
SIXTH ROUND (30 Reports)
SEVENTH ROUND (30 Reports)
EIGHTH ROUND (30 Reports)
NINTH ROUND (30 Reports)
TENTH ROUND (30 Reports)

ROUND TWO (Selections 50-80)

Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT College Hometown Last Drafted Birthdate
50. Jeff Kobernus 2B/3B Jr. R-R 6-2 195 California San Leandro, Calif. Never drafted 6/30/1988
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): As a two-year regular at California, Kobernus has received his share of exposure from scouts by playing on a team with first baseman David Cooper, a first-round pick in 2008, and outfielder Brett Jackson and outfielder/righthander Blake Smith, potential first-rounders in this year's draft. He was also highly-visible last summer in the Cape Cod League, holding down third base on a daily basis for Cotuit while hitting in the cleanup hole for the Kettleers most of the first half. Kobernus may have been miscast as a No. 4 hitter as raw power appears to be the only tool in his arsenal that is not in plentiful supply. He's a better pure hitter than he is a power hitter, and is even considered further ahead as a hitter at this point in his development than either Jackson or Smith. Kobernus hit .331-1-22 as a freshman for the Bears, and followed with a .303-3-27 ledger as a sophomore. He has a smooth, line-drive stroke and is proficient at going with the pitch and driving balls hard to right field-though that often stems from letting his lead elbow get too high, causing him to inside-out balls. High and tight pitches often give him problems, but he has good hands to hit and his power may emerge with minor mechanical adjustments. Though the lean and athletic Kobernus spent all of the spring and summer seasons of 2008 at third base, he lacks the present power to play on the hot corner. He was used mostly in the outfield as a freshman and the prevailing thought is that both his actions and arm may be best suited for second base. He has a long throwing motion, which isn't ideal at third base because it hinders his ability to make a long throw when playing deep. He can go to his left or right equally well, though, and excels at charging balls, so his range is not an issue. Kobernus, whose father played minor-league baseball, has excellent baseball instincts. They're readily apparent in his ability to adapt easily to new positions, and also on the bases. His raw speed is an asset as he can scoot down the line in a quick 4.2 seconds and has stolen 24 bases in two college seasons. Should Kobernus end up this spring at second base at Cal, marking his fourth position in four years (he played shortstop as a high-school senior), there will no doubt be natural comparisons to recently-retired second baseman Jeff Kent, a Cal alum, only Kobernus runs better than Kent ever did.--ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): In a disappointing 2009 season for Cal, Kobernus was clearly one of the team's few bright spots. Not only did he adapt extremely well to his move to second base, a more natural position defensively, but he hit a solid .346-8-40 and stole a team-high 18 bases. Scouts were drawn to Bears games this spring primarily to see Jackson and Smith, but it was Kobernus who almost always made the best impression. His gritty, aggressive approach to the game and his solid, reliable actions in the field won them over, and the athletic Kobernus did nothing but enhance his draft value by driving balls more efficiently as the season progressed. A projected fourth- to fifth-rounder to start the 2009 season, he is now seen as solid second-rounder and could even give Jackson and Smith a run to be the first Cal player drafted.--AS
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT College Hometown Last Drafted Birthdate
51. Rich Poythress 1B Jr. R-R 6-4 236 Georgia Grovetown, Ga. Never drafted 8/11/1987
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Poythress was a middle-of-the-order presence as a sophomore for a Georgia team that posted the best record in the Southeastern Conference in 2008 and advanced all the way to the championship game of the College World Series. He hit .374-15-75, finishing second on the Bulldogs in all categories. He was a late arrival in the Cape Cod League last summer because of Georgia's deep run into post-season play and departed prematurely from the Cape when the Bulldogs pulled the plug early on most of their players involved in summer-league competition. Though Poythress played in only 19 of 44 games on the Cape, his arrival coincided with an Orleans hot streak that enabled the Cardinals to post the best record in the league, and his departure led to a late slide that saw the team bow out of post-season play without winning a game. Poythress was also rewarded with his selection to the league's all-star game; he started for the Eastern Division at third base and homered in two at-bats. Despite his team's improved play with his presence in the lineup and his own selection to the all-star game, Poythress didn't particularly distinguish himself in his time on the Cape. He hit an acceptable .311, but power is his meal ticket and yet he failed to hit a single home run during the regular season. He disappointed scouts with a long, stiff swing and a surprisingly slow bat. Poythress looks like a power hitter with his big, though slightly overweight frame, and had a reputation coming in of a player with very quick hands, a sound approach at the plate and the raw power to drive balls hard to all fields. He still managed to generate a lot of power in BP while in the Cape, mainly through the strength in his lower body. Poythress also didn't distinguish himself defensively at third base as he lacked the agility, range and smooth actions to remain there in the long haul. He looked uncomfortable fielding ground balls, tending to sit back on balls hit his way and getting caught flat-footed. In fairness to Poythress, he spent most of the 2008 season at Georgia at first base, where he is considered an accomplished defender, and his move across the diamond during the summer was more experimental. He had enough arm for third base and is not as slow on the bases as he looks, but it was apparent that his home in the field is at first base.--ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Poythress made a personal commitment to present himself in the most favorable light possible with the 2009 draft approaching, and it should pay off in a big way. After losing weight and generally toning up his big frame, Poythress had a huge spring for the Bulldogs, hitting .379-25-86. He led the team in all categories, and was also tops in runs scored (69), walks (42), slugging average (.764) and on-base percentage (.468). Almost by accident, he hit balls out of the park this spring. His swing is still not picturesque, and he's considered a better power hitter than pure hitter. He creates much of his bat speed with his serious raw strength. Still, Poythress became more mature in his approach at the plate, walking more often than he struck out. The scouts who like him most think he'll be a solid No. 5 or 6 hitter in a big-league lineup. Poythress settled in nicely back at first base this spring, but won't be a plus defender there. On the strength of his raw power alone, he could slip into the back-end of the first round.--ANUP SINHA
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
52. Everett Williams OF Sr. L-R 5-10 195 McCallum Austin, Texas Texas 10/1/1990
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Williams has a short, live, compact build at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, and has a striking resemblance to University of Tennessee outfielder Kentrail Davis, a probable 2009 first-round pick. Though he hit a loud .563-26-63 and stole 20 bases as a high-school junior, Williams was a relative unknown prior to last summer. But he opened the eyes of many scouts who had never seen him before at the Area Code Games and the Aflac All-American Game in California in early August with his excellent bat speed and power potential. Williams is the type of hitter who feasts on velocity; the harder a pitcher throws, the more aggressive and extended his swing. He has issues with handling off-speed pitches, but his bat speed and power potential are top level. Williams doesn't look like a classic center fielder with his running-back build, but has the tools to stay in the middle of the field. He has plus speed, and gets the most out of it as he has very good instincts and gets good jumps on fly balls, especially on balls hit over his head.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Williams has had a strong spring, showing plus bat speed and running speed on a consistent basis, although he hasn't produced the power numbers that he is capable of after being pitched around frequently on a sub-par 6-14 high-school team. In early April, Williams signed with Texas. Among the top prep prospects for this year's draft, he had been the last player attending a domestic high school to sign a letter-of-intent, but that was considered a back-up/formality by the scouting community to give him some leverage for the draft. Williams is often mentioned as a late first-round/compensation-round type of player in discussions with scouts.--DR
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
53. Brooks Pounders RHP/3B Sr. R-R 6-5 225 Temecula Valley Temecula, Calif. Southern California 9/26/1990
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Pounders looks bigger than his listed size and entered last summer as a legitimate two-way prospect-but far better-known for the power in his bat than the power in his arm. That perception changed quickly at Perfect Game's National Showcase in June. Formerly an upper-80s pitcher who would touch 90 mph occasionally, Pounders' fastball was a steady 90-94 mph in Minneapolis, and he repeated that type of velocity and pitching ability frequently during the rest of the summer and fall, too. He still had the same command and secondary pitches he showed previously. His breaking ball is a low-80s slider with a very sharp downer break, at times, and a potential strikeout pitch. His changeup has excellent late life at the plate. Few players can match his raw power, and it's conceivable that Pounders could play a dual role at the college level. However, Pounders' long arms and long swing give him problems against pitchers that have anything better than mediocre velocity. He hit .333-10-39 as a high-school junior while going 7-3, 1.82 with 70 strikeouts in 65 innings on the mound. Pounders' father Brad was a slugging minor-league first baseman for the San Diego Padres in the 1980s and had career highs of 35 homers and 104 RBIs in the Class A California League in 1986 before his career stalled in Triple-A. While his father attended UC Riverside, Pounders has signed with Southern California.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Pounders has had a solid spring and really hasn't done anything to hurt or help himself. He has the ability to sit in the low-90s for seven innings with a heavy fastball that sinks well when down in the strike zone. His changeup has similar action when down in the zone and should become a more important pitch for him at the next level. Pounders does tend to get slider-happy at times and that is one pitch that hasn't always shown the same quality as it did last summer and fall. He went 8-1, 1.67 this spring with 80 strikeouts in 54 innings, while hitting .419-7-25.--DR
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
54. Mychal Givens RHP/SS Sr. B-R 6-2 190 H.B. Plant Tampa Oklahoma State 5/13/1990
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Givens has long been considered one of the top prospects in the 2009 draft class, but prior to last summer that ranking was based on his talent and skill as a potential five-tool shortstop. Now that Givens has firmly established himself as the hardest-throwing pitcher in the 2009 high-school class, that equation has changed. Givens was clocked as high as 98 mph at the Aflac All-American Game in August, and was consistently 94-96 mph at virtually every other event he attended during the summer and fall. Not only does Givens show consistent high-level velocity, his fastball also has very good running and sinking action, although it is early action. His breaking ball is a big, sweeping upper-70s curveball that has power spin and good two-plane shape when he stays on top of it. His changeup is also a potential plus pitch, with the same type of life as his fastball, only in the mid 80s. Givens gets his movement from an extended mid-three-quarters release point, which allows hitters to see the ball early. Because of his relative lack of pitching experience and the fact he continues to swing between shortstop and the mound, Givens doesn't have the polish and pitchability that most of the other top pitchers in the 2009 class show, and he's been hit harder than you'd expect a pitcher with his raw stuff would be. He went 8-1, 1.79 with 48 strikeouts in 43 innings as a junior for nationally-ranked Plant High. As a position prospect, Givens' best tool is his pure athleticism. He isn't a plus runner, but has excellent quickness and balance in the field, and his arm strength is an obvious weapon. His overall offensive potential gives scouts a pause. He has a short, line-drive type of swing but doesn't show the type of raw bat speed or power potential to be considered a middle-of-the-order hitter down the road. He hit .421-1-17 with 34 runs scored and 16 stolen bases in 2008. Givens was presented with the 2008 Jackie Robinson Award at the Aflac All-American Game, symbolic of the nation's top high-school player.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Most scouts have taken a preference this spring to Givens the shortstop over Givens the pitcher. While still very effective at the high-school level on the mound (8-2, 1.34 ERA, 95 SO in 68 IP), Givens' velocity was much less over seven-inning starts than they were in brief spurts in the off-season, usually in the 92-94 mph range. His lack of movement (despite an almost side-arm slot) and deception is an even bigger concern for scouts. Meanwhile, Givens has the rare ability to play shortstop with a plus first step and good quickness. His strong arm is a great asset and his athleticism allows him to make a lot of tough plays in all directions. Givens doesn't project as a power hitter (he hit .407-3-28 in 86 at-bats), but has a chance to hit for average. His instincts and quickness should make him a base stealer, too, despite what are usually average times in the 60-yard dash and going home-to-first.--ANUP SINHA
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
55. Tommy Joseph C/RHP Sr. R-R 6-1 210 Horizon Phoenix Arizona 7/16/1991
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Joseph has been overlooked somewhat among the exceptional crop of catchers in the 2009 high-school class but that could change this spring-especially if the powerfully-built righthanded hitter can consistently show his offensive potential. He has a loose, extended swing with an ideal swing plane that produces easy over-the-fence power. He has the best projected power of any prep senior in Arizona and was the state's representative in the International High School Power Showcase Home Run Derby, held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., in January. If Joseph shows he can make the necessary adjustments to top-level stuff, he could be a top offensive performer at a premium defensive position. He has a short, quick, compact stroke, and the ball jumps off his bat-whether using wood or aluminum. Joseph is relatively new to catching on an everyday basis as he served mainly as a backup his first three years at Horizon High, though he played first base to get his potent bat in the lineup. He has plenty of arm strength and a good, clean exchange to catch at the upper levels, but has a way to go to refine his receiving skills. He isn't blessed with much natural speed or agility, but has surprising quickness behind the plate.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Joseph's obvious strength is his power, and it was prominently on display this spring as he homered 15 times, while batting .494 with 35 RBIs. He more than did his part in leading Arizona prep power Horizon High into its sixth straight state-championship game appearance, a loss. Long-time Arizona scouts were quick to compare Joseph to long-time big leaguer Paul Konerko, a first-round draft pick in 1994 out of Scottsdale's Chaparral High who had a very similar profile to Joseph at the same stage of development. Konerko was seen as a superior catcher at the time, though he was still quickly moved to first base in pro ball. The same fate could befall Joseph as he lacks polish and agility behind the plate, though he has arm strength and a quick, clean exchange.--AS
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT College Hometown Last Drafted Birthdate
56. Blake Smith RHP/OF Jr. L-R 6-2 220 California Modesto, Calif. Never drafted 12/9/1987
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): The versatile Smith has been more of a factor at the plate than on the mound in two years at California, but there is little question that scouts see more upside in him on the mound. He has electric stuff, with an explosive fastball that is a steady 92-94 mph and can touch 96-98. He also has a second out-pitch in a hard, downer curveball. Despite his obvious superior stuff, Smith did not start a game and earned just one save in his first two seasons at Cal. But's he's never lost a game, either, going 4-0 overall while working in 16 games both seasons and pitching in exactly the same number of innings (21-1/3). The notable difference from his freshman to sophomore season was an improvement from 23 strikeouts to 36. Even as a member of Team USA's undefeated college national team last summer, when it had become apparent that Smith's stature as a pitching prospect had skyrocketed, he worked in only five games, spanning nine innings. Overall, he went 1-0, 0.00 with two saves and 11 strikeouts, while allowing just three hits. Smith has spent a majority of his time in college in right field, where his powerful arm is a significant asset. He has obvious power at the plate, as well, in his strong, athletic frame, and doubled his home-run output at Cal from six as a freshman to 12 as a sophomore, even as his average slipped marginally from .320 to .296. He has struggled to make consistent contact, however, striking out a combined 103 times. His .327 average for Team USA was the highest among players who remained with the team throughout the World Collegiate Baseball championship, won by the U.S. He also chipped in with three homers and 13 RBIs, displaying above-average power to all fields. Though he has attracted slightly more interest as a pitcher, Smith, whose fastball was clocked at 84-86 mph in high school, is far from a polished product on the mound as he has some effort in his delivery and struggles to command his stuff low in the strike zone consistently. More than anything, he just needs innings to refine his mechanics, and he was expected to be used as a starter as a junior at Cal.--ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Smith has remained a wild card throughout the 2009 season. He was scouted heavily as both a pitcher and position player initially, with no clear consensus on where his greater upside lay-though the Major League Scouting Bureau graded him at 62 (on the 20-80 scale) as a pitcher in March, and 54 as a hitter. He has a power approach to the game either way, and had more than his share of supporters early when he jacked up his fastball velocity to 97 mph and got exploding life on the pitch. He also showed power in his curve (up to 83) and change (80-83). But Smith worked in only 20 innings (0-1, 5.85, 20 IP, 20 BB/26 SO) before being shut down for the season with what was diagnosed as a lat muscle strain-an injury that wasn't necessarily painful but was enough to sideline him for precautionary reasons. The injury didn't prevent Smith from continuing to swing a bat, although he was relegated to a DH role after starting the 2009 season at first base to protect his arm, before eventually moving back to right field, where his arm is a significant weapon. Soon scouts began seeing Smith more as a position prospect for this year's draft, and his overall performance at the plate in 2009 (.317-10-36) was more in keeping with his pending status as an early-round pick than it was on the mound-especially with his injury preventing scouts from getting more looks at his power stuff. Interestingly, while most scouts seem to like Smith more as a pitcher (more specifically as a reliever in the mold of New York Yankees righthander Joba Chamberlain), he is more likely to go higher in the draft as a hitter because scouts have more history on him as an everyday player, and consequently more of a comfort level. He still has his faults as a hitter, though, mostly a poor timing mechanism. He has never demonstrated an ability to hit for average. It's unclear whether a team would take Smith as early as the sandwich round, a much riskier proposition now than it was at the start of the season.--AS
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
57. Billy Hamilton SS Sr. B-R 6-0 150 Taylorsville Taylorsville, Miss. Miss. State (FB) 9/9/1990
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Hamilton hasn't played much baseball in front of scouts, but is unquestionably one of the best athletes in the 2009 high-school draft class. Not only has he excelled in baseball, hitting .561 as a junior at Taylorsville High, but he's considered to have NBA-caliber skills as a basketball point guard, and the talent to play in the NFL as either a wide receiver or defensive back. He's been selected all-state in the three sports on multiple occasions. Though he signed with Mississippi State for football, Hamilton has been clear all along that baseball is his favorite sport, and he would play that sport, along with football in college-though it has become increasingly unlikely as he moves steadily up draft boards that he'll even go to college. Hamilton has been timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40 at football camps, and caught 49 passes for 18 touchdowns as a senior for Taylorsville High. Though basketball is regarded as only his third sport, he averaged 35 ppg this winter and popped in 55 points in his best game. In what was probably the last competitive basketball game he'll play, a quarter-final loss in the state 2-A tournament, Hamilton had 39 points, dished out nine assists and had six rebounds. The exceptional speed and quickness that are so readily apparent on the football field and basketball court are also his best assets in baseball. He has game-changing speed on both sides of the ball. He can play both center field and shortstop at a high level, although his instincts and tools in the outfield make that his most likely future position. Hamilton also throws 90-plus off the mound when pitching, so arm strength is another above-average tool. His hitting is understandably behind the rest of his baseball package, but he shows flashes of ability as a switch-hitter and profiles as a leadoff hitter. Power is not part of his package, and it may never be unless he adds strength to his lean, slight frame.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Hamilton's raw talent is unmistakable and he was the most talked-about player at last summer's East Coast Professional Baseball Showcase in Lakeland, Fla., his coming-out party. While scouts continued to marvel over his talent this spring and saw him as an electrifying player with game-changing potential, Hamilton also showed he is a long way off from being a refined player. He generally played under his tools while hitting .467-7-38 with 13 stolen bases, but showed flashes of them all, except power. He needs most work with his hitting mechanics, though has the bat speed, hand actions and swing plane to project that he'll hit in the future, and his power should evolve as he fills out his broad-shouldered, thin-waisted and highly-athletic frame. His speed (6.40 seconds in the 60) is his most advanced tool. Not only does he have an explosive first step, but he has excellent base-running instincts. He often appears out of his element at shortstop, but scouts won't rule him out playing there and say he could adapt overnight to being a competent center fielder. No matter where he plays, he gets to everything hit in his direction, has quick-twitch actions and an above-average arm, capable of reaching 90-92 off the mound. Of all the players in this year's draft, Hamilton is the prime example of the high-risk, high-reward talent who could just as easily be a big-league all-star as flame out in the lower minors.--ALLAN SIMPSON
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT College Hometown Last Drafted Birthdate
58. Andrew Oliver LHP Jr. L-L 6-4 210 Oklahoma State Vermillion, Ohio Twins '06 (17) 12/3/1987
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Oliver was enjoying an excellent sophomore campaign at Oklahoma State, at 7-2, 2.20 with 36 walks and 96 strikeouts in 98 strikeouts, when he was abruptly suspended from the team by the NCAA and his own school after a former advisor blew the whistle that he was being represented by an agent-a no-no for a college athlete. He missed all of post-season play and his eligibility for 2009 remained in doubt for months as his case became entangled in the courts. Just when it looked like he would be forced to sit out a majority of the season, an Ohio court overturned the NCAA ruling and immediately re-established Oliver's eligibility. Despite all the anguish he was forced to endure as his promising career sat in legal limbo, which overshadowed his status as one of the top pitching prospects in the 2009 class, Oliver missed only post-season play a year ago. He spent the summer with Team USA's college-national team, and though he made just four starts, he reaffirmed his status as possibly the top college lefthander for the 2009 draft by going 2-0, 0.93 with 24 strikeouts in 19 innings. Oliver attacks hitters with his fastball, first and foremost, and he has very good command of the pitch, which is normally in the 92-94 mph range, and can touch 95. Oliver has some deception in his delivery, and the movement he generates on his fastball makes it tough for hitters to read. He also throws an average changeup and an improving slider for strikes, but he relies extensively on locating his fastball to put hitters away. His command improved significantly as a sophomore. At this point, Oliver mainly needs to be more consistent with his power slider, which can occasionally freeze hitters, to establish himself both as a true first-rounder and a starter in pro ball.--ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): While it might be simplistic to blame Oliver's mediocre junior season (5-6, 5.30) on the distractions from his legal proceedings, or on the somewhat disappointing season the Cowboys had in 2009, or even on a case of draft-itis, the real solution seems much simpler. Oliver was simply a two-pitch pitcher for much of the spring, and no pitcher without a breaking ball is likely to be successful on a consistent basis without a breaking ball. A cross-checker noted that in one April outing Oliver threw only two breaking balls, and at that they were weak, token sliders that graded out as a "3" on the pro-scouting 2-8 scale. Oliver's fastball was better than ever, though, and consistently sat at 93-95 mph in many outings with good life, and Oliver showed good ability to move it in and out. His changeup grades out as a solid-average big-league pitch, and he has enough confidence in it to use it in any count. Oliver has never had a dominant or even average breaking ball. He has thrown both a curve and slider at different times in the past, but both were below-average. It's apparent that he will have to develop a quality breaking ball at some point in the future, and have confidence in it to be successful at the next level.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
59. Nolan Arenado SS/C Sr. R-R 6-2 210 El Toro Lake Forest, Calif. Arizona State 4/16/1991
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): As a mainstay for both nationally-ranked El Toro High and the California-based ABD Bulldogs, who captured the World Wood Bat Association fall championship in Jupiter, Fla., last fall, Arenado is one of the more heavily-exposed players in the 2009 prep class. Righthander Chad Thompson, a fellow Arizona State recruit and 2008 Aflac All-American, and lefthander Aaron Wirsch are among his El Toro teammates who could also factor into the early rounds of the 2009 draft. Arenado has been a constant on ABD travel teams for years, and a standout at WWBA and Perfect Game events. He's a solid four-tool talent, with raw speed being the only tool that falls short. His bat, in particular, stands out. He has a quick, compact stroke with good extension and can drive balls to all fields. His power should evolve as he lofts balls more consistently. Arenado has spent the bulk of his high-school career at shortstop, but lacks the speed and quickness to play there on an everyday basis at the next level. The Bulldogs properly pegged him as a third baseman, and he has proven to be an outstanding defender at the hot corner with soft hands, a quick first step and a strong and accurate arm. Many scouts feel that Arenado's best future position might even be catcher because of his overall tools package, strong, durable frame, superior arm strength and excellent makeup/leadership skills.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): As if there weren't enough quality high-school catchers across the country to go around already, attention in the top 3-5 rounds was focused on Arenado this spring behind the plate. This interest is primarily projection-based as Arenado has seen very little time at the position, but his tools profile extremely well at the position and he has been so impressive in all other parts of the game that scouts are anxious to develop him there. His arm strength, hands, leadership ability/baseball savvy and power all rank in the future plus category. Arenado was steady as can be at the plate this spring, hitting .519-4-22 with a 19-5 walk-to-strikeout ratio.--DR
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT College Hometown Last Drafted Birthdate
60. Eric Smith RHP Jr. R-R 6-3 215 Rhode Island Milford, Conn. Never drafted 10/15/1988
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): His teammate, junior righthander Tim Boyce, may have been the more effective Rhode Island pitcher in the New England Collegiate League last summer as he topped the 12-team league in wins and strikeouts (65 in 57 innings), while posting a 7-1, 0.95 record. But scouts took a greater shine to Smith, an athletic, 6-foot-3, 215-pound righthander with a higher ceiling than Boyce. But Smith often baffled scouts as he was very inconsistent in compiling a 3-2, 4.02 record with 16 walks and only 35 strikeouts in 40 innings. While Boyce routinely had command of four pitches, including an 88-92 mph fastball, Smith's performance was up and down throughout the summer. At his best, his fastball was in the 91-92 mph range, and had significant running and sinking action. His changeup was also an effective off-speed pitch. But when he struggled, his stuff would flatten out and he was an easy target for opposing hitters. Smith was even prone to losing his composure in the process. But scouts believe that Smith has only scratched the surface of his ability, and he could take a quantum leap forward this spring and even emerge as the ace of a surprisingly strong Rhode Island pitching staff in the process after going just 1-5, 4.98 with 63 strikeouts in 72 innings as a sophomore.--ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Scouts were right in their hunch that bigger and better things were in store for Smith. He elevated his game to another level this spring, particularly in mid-season when he hooked up against national college powers Cal State Fullerton and Miami. He was particularly brilliant against the Hurricanes, when he tossed eight scoreless innings, only to lose the game in the ninth when it was apparent to the many scouts in attendance in Miami that he was victimized by a sudden-shrinking strike zone. Despite that setback, Hurricanes coach Jim Morris said it was one of the finest pitching performances by an opponent in his 16 years at Miami. Smith often overmatched Miami hitters with his combination of an 89-93 mph fastball, an 83-84 mph slider and an 80-82 mph changeup. He commanded all three pitches, and routinely got ahead in the count. Though it wasn't overpowering, he got good late sinking action on his fastball, his best pitch, and held his velocity throughout. Smith didn't pitch that consistently well most of the season, and was even sub-par in his final 3-4 outings, so his final line of 5-3, 4.08 with 29 walks and 56 strikeouts in 71 innings wasn't overly impressive. But there were a lot of influential scouts on hand to see his epic outing against Miami to almost assure his spot in the first 3-4 rounds.--AS
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
61. Trayce Thompson OF Sr. R-R 6-4 200 Santa Margarita Ran. Santa Margarita, Calif. UCLA 3/5/1991
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): The highly-athletic Thompson has received plenty of scouting attention in Southern California, but until last summer it was mostly for his basketball lineage and his prowess on the court. His father, Mychal, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1978 NBA draft, enjoyed a long career in the NBA and is presently a broadcaster for the Los Angeles Lakers. Trayce's brothers, Mychal Jr. and Klay, were starters this past season on the Pepperdine and Washington State basketball teams. Thompson appeared to be carving his own basketball niche as a junior when he led Santa Margarita High to the 2008 state 3-A title. Though he hit just .233-2-5 for the baseball team last spring (one of his homers came off New York Yankees first-rounder Gerrit Cole, then at Orange Lutheran High and a potential future teammate at UCLA), Thompson surprised almost everyone when he decided to break from tradition and give up basketball to concentrate on baseball only. He had never played the sport full-time, but it's always been apparent that Thompson had easy baseball actions, and his size and strength were desirable qualities. He had even enlisted former big leaguer Chris Gwynn, a scout and the younger brother of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, to teach him the fundamentals of the game and refine his swing-and it's apparent that his top present tool is his raw power. He has a smooth, lifted swing and uses his lower half well to generate very good leverage and bat speed. Like many young, tall hitters, especially those without a lot of repetitions, Thompson still has trouble adjusting to high-velocity fastballs and breaking balls away, but his sheer athletic ability should help him adjust quickly. Thompson is a solid-average runner underway, bordering on plus, and has the arm strength and fielding ability to be considered a potential five-tool prospect should his hitting continue to develop. With a college commitment to UCLA to play only baseball, scouts recognize that it may take an extraordinary bonus to pry Thompson away from his college obligation-even if he shows the kind of improvement this spring they believe he is capable of.--DAVID RAWNSLEY / ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Along with having one of the most interesting family backgrounds in the 2009 draft, Thompson is also one of the biggest wild cards in the draft. There are teams that barely acknowledge his existence on their draft lists, believing that his combination of raw skills and difficult signability make it highly likely, even preferred, that Thompson further develop his overall game in college at UCLA. Then there are other teams like the Los Angeles Angels, who have three sandwich picks, who see Thompson's athleticism, smooth, leveraged swing and high offensive ceiling and think he could develop his potential very quickly in professional baseball-albeit at a potentially significant cost. Thompson has gradually improved his pitch recognition and consistency at the plate through the spring, and was batting .333-9-22 in mid-May. His power potential is his biggest single drawing card. Thompson has the type of swing that looks impressive even when he swings and comes up empty.--DR
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT College Hometown Last Drafted Birthdate
62. Tommy Mendonca 3B Jr. L-R 6-1 200 Fresno State Turlock, Calif. Never drafted 4/12/1988
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Fresno State got burned in 2007, when third baseman Beau Mills transferred to Idaho's Lewis-Clark State for his junior year and proceeded to set an NAIA single-season home-run record on his way to becoming a first-round pick of the Cleveland Indians. A silver lining in the wake of Mills' untimely departure, though, was the emergence of the lefthanded-hitting Mendonca, who got a chance to play every day at third base for the Bulldogs as a freshman. With that year of experience under his belt, he blossomed as a sophomore, overcoming a slow start to lead Fresno State with 19 homers while earning MVP honors at the College World Series as the Bulldogs made their unexpected run to a national title. That performance, in turn, opened the door for Mendonca to become a late add to Team USA's national-team roster, and he played a role in that squad going 24-0 on the summer, culminating with a gold medal at the World Collegiate Baseball championship in the Czech Republic. His whirlwind 2008 season helped to jack up his prospect value for this year's draft, as well, and he's viewed as a solid second- or third-round candidate. Mendonca has huge lefthanded power in his strong, athletic frame, but that power is mostly pull power and it comes with lots of empty swings, as Mendonca fanned a college-record 97 times in 2008. Inconsistent contact is the only real flaw in his game, though, as he is an excellent defensive third baseman with good instincts around the bag and a powerful arm. He is also an average runner, by corner-infield standards. Mendonca hit .a respectable 285 with 70 RBIs during his breakthrough sophomore season for Fresno State, but didn't overly distinguish himself at the plate for Team USA, hitting .231-2-7 with a team-high 26 strikeouts in 52 at-bats. But typical of his propensity to shine when the stakes are highest, he went 4-for-4 in the gold-medal game at the World University competition.--ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): While Fresno State's fortunes plummeted this spring after last year's whirlwind CWS title run, Mendonca's own fortunes continued to rise. He was hitting a resounding .349-25-76 as the Bulldogs entered the Western Athletic Conference-and one last crack at salvaging a disappointing 2009 season. While Mendonca's 25 homers placed him among the national leaders, the most important thing for him this spring has been shortening up his swing and significantly cutting down on his strikeouts. He was "down" to 55 K's in 215 at-bats. He still gets caught guessing and is vulnerable to lefthanders with good breaking balls because of a serious arm bar in his swing, but his quality swings are way up and the empty at-bats way down. Scouts attribute the evolution to Mendonca's improved hand-eye coordination, and to his outstanding makeup and desire, which have enabled him to understand the adjustments he needs to make. There are two significant areas of his game that remain constants. First, he is a potential Gold-Glove level third baseman in the mold of Oakland A's oft-injured third baseman Eric Chavez, with all the defensive tools and skills to impact the game with his glove and arm. The second is that when he does make contact with a quality swing, the ball travels a long way.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT College Hometown Last Drafted Birthdate
63. Jason Kipnis OF Jr. L-R 5-11 175 Arizona State Northbrook, Ill. Padres '08 (4) 4/3/1987
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Kipnis caught on quickly in 2008 as the new kid on the block on an Arizona State team that had a record 15 players drafted, and he ranked right with power hitters Brett Wallace and Ike Davis, twin first-rounders, as a key offensive contributor for the Sun Devils. He hit a resounding .371-14-73 with 24 stolen bases, yet ended up slipping to the fourth round. Not only did Kipnis consider that a snub, leading him to balk initially at signing with the San Diego Padres, but he went off to play in the Cape Cod League for the summer. He ended up not signing at all after an inconsistent season at Cotuit, where he hit just .264-2-15 and stole six bases. Kipnis' leverage will probably not be compromised by returning to school for another year, as he was a draft-eligible sophomore in 2008. The bigger issue he may need to establish in his hopes of improving his draft standing in 2009-and be paid accordingly, to boot-is settling in at a home defensively. He spent most of 2008, both in the spring and summer, in center field, and was slated to return to that position this season. But Kipnis initially enrolled in college as a shortstop and harbors a desire to return to the middle infield, but scouts say he lacks the natural actions to play there, even at second base. Though Kipnis runs adequately enough to get by in center field, his arm is his weakest tool and better suited for left field. But he may not have the raw power to play there, which only adds to the dilemma facing scouts. Kipnis is not overly physical at 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, but he makes up for his lack of size with his scrappy, aggressive, all-out style of play. He also has exceptionally-strong wrists and can put a charge in a ball. Despite his size, power may actually be his best tool. He has a knack for finding the sweet spot, and balls jump off his bat to all fields. Kipnis also has a discerning eye at the plate and drew 51 walks last season at Arizona State, but he also has a tendency to lunge at pitches, leaving him vulnerable to off-speed offerings. Kipnis, an Illinois high-school product, arrived at ASU from Kentucky, where he red-shirted as a freshman and was dismissed by the Wildcats a year later for a rules violation, after hitting .337-6-27 with 11 steals in a half season. With a year under his belt at Arizona State, and Kipnis being one of the few established talents on a rebuilding Sun Devils roster, this could be the year he gives scouts no reason to look beyond his talent.--ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): With the loss of the heart of its batting order from last year's club, Arizona State lacked firepower in its offensive approach this season and Kipnis played an instrumental role in a more-diversified attack. As the Sun Devils prepared to move on to NCAA super-regional play, Kipnis led the team in batting (.387), runs (68), doubles (20), walks (47), slugging (.731), on-base average (.500) and stolen bases (24). He was also second in homers (15) and RBIs (68). His numbers weren't altogether different from 2008, but he was clearly the stabilizing force in a young ASU lineup. The offense revolved around him this season while he was perceived as more of a complementary player a year ago. If he did nothing else this spring after turning down fourth-round money, Kipnis proved beyond a doubt that he's a legitimate talent after scouts took a cautionary approach in the way they viewed a player with a checkered playing record that was new to the area in 2008. Kipnis was the most complete position player in the Pac-10 this year. His ability to hit, hit with power, run and field all stood out. He showed sound center-field instincts and got good jumps on balls. A tick-below-average speed, modest arm strength and a slight uppercut that could lead to some holes being exposed in his swing against superior pitching were the only minor faults scouts found in his game. With his scrappy, competitive approach, it is apparent that he would be a great fit for the right team-perhaps even late in the first round.--AS
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT College Hometown Last Drafted Birthdate
64. Marc Krauss OF/1B Jr. L-R 6-3 220 Ohio Deshler, Ohio Never drafted 10/5/1987
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Though he has done nothing but hit with authority throughout his college and summer-league careers, Krauss began the 2008 Cape Cod League season as a temporary player at Harwich-only to get cut. He soon resurfaced at Bourne and not only became that team's most-feared hitter while batting in the 3-hole, but topped the Cape League with 34 RBIs and a .473 on-base average. His .344 average ranked fifth. Krauss doesn't have a great approach to hitting as he often overswings and gets out front on breaking balls, but he has a keen strike-zone awareness and actually does a good job of using the whole field while driving balls hard the opposite way. Despite his big frame, Krauss has just modest raw power as he shows little inclination to either loft or turn on balls. In the final analysis, his impressive summer on the Cape was viewed mostly by scouts as a player having a hot summer than his being a genuine prospect. But there is no mistaking that Krauss has never done anything but hit. He was the Mid-American Conference freshman of the year in 2007 at Ohio after hitting .369-8-42, and followed up by hitting .352-2-30 that summer in the Great lakes League, topping that circuit with 45 hits. As a sophomore at Ohio, he batted .332-10-54 and drew 48 walks. Krauss runs reasonably well for his size, 7.2 in the 60, and is more athletic than given credit for, but he is primarily a one-dimensional player. He has stiff actions in the field and has yet to master a position. Scouts are unsure if his bat can carry him in left field, where he spent most of last summer, as he lumbers to balls with his husky build, covers little ground and has just average arm strength. He has also seen time at third base in a pinch, but the more appropriate debate seems to be whether he'll end up at first base or DH as his career unfolds.--ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Krauss continued to mash this spring, putting up huge numbers for the Bobcats. He hit .402-27-70 and drew 46 walks, while showing a quick bat, advanced approach, discerning eye, and the ability to square up balls consistently and drive them hard to all fields. Scouts were split; however, on how his hitting ability might play out at the pro level with wood. Some believe he's a true, middle-of-the-order threat while others fear he lacks the raw bat speed and natural plate coverage to hit for average in the big leagues. Most were in agreement that he's a defensive liability at third base and left field, where he spent most of this season, and will need to move to first base permanently. It's certainly possible that a team that is enthralled with his powerful lefthanded bat will step up and grab him in the sandwich or second round, even though there are many teams who don't view him with such interest. There is unanimity that his bat will have to carry him.--ANUP SINHA
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
65. Garrett Gould RHP Sr. R-R 6-4 190 Maize Maize, Kan. Wichita State 7/19/1991
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Gould was named the Most Valuable Pitcher at the 2008 World Wood Bat Association fall championships in Jupiter, Fla., on the basis of his 18 strikeouts in eight scoreless innings. That performance included a key win over the pre-tournament favorite Braves Scout Team in the quarter-finals, when he blanked a star-studded lineup while outdueling potential first-rounder Shelby Miller. Gould doesn't have overpowering present velocity as he pitches steadily in the 89-91 mph range, but he does have an 80-mph power curveball with a sharp 12-to-6 break that is a strikeout pitch. He also has a good feel for a changeup. Gould has a max-effort overhand release that leaves him falling off the mound hard to the first-base side, but it doesn't seem to affect his command and appears to add deception to his delivery. At the same time, his delivery also makes it more difficult for scouts to project his stuff. Gould's athletic ability is obvious in his ability to throw consistent, quality strikes despite his unconventional delivery. As a junior at Maize High, he went 9-2, 0.61 with 16 walks and 95 strikeouts in 57 innings and was selected the Kansas 6-A pitcher of the year. He was also one of the top quarterbacks in Kansas as a junior before giving up football his senior season to concentrate on baseball. He has signed with Wichita State, and his prospect profile and stuff is consistent with a number of righthanded pitchers who have been very successful in that program over the past three decades.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Gould's fastball took a jump forward in velocity this spring and it has elevated the righthander's draft stock into first-round consideration. He pitched steadily at 90-93 mph, touching 94, and threw enough quality fastballs that scouts finally became convinced that he can pitch effectively in the big leagues with a fringy-plus fastball. Gould's curve remained his top pitch, and it continued to be a hard, sharp offering with downer bite and excellent velocity around 80 mph. Questions remain about Gould's delivery as there still are a lot of fast-moving parts to tighten up, but it only adds to his deception and doesn't seem to affect his command. He went 7-1, 0.82 this spring with 107 strikeouts in 51 innings. He also hit .530-4-33 and continued to take a regular turn in the outfield when not pitching. Gould is considered very signable in the upper tier of the draft, which certainly won't hurt his draft standing.--DR
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
66. Bryan Berglund RHP Sr. R-R 6-4 195 Royal Simi Valley, Calif. Loyola Marymount 11/2/1990
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Berglund is a lean, projectable righthander who moved quickly up the prospect charts late in the summer and during the fall as his velocity picked up speed. A potential 8th-10th round talent at the end of his junior year, he is now seen as a possible second- or third-rounder. Berglund throws from a compact, low-effort arm action and the ball comes out of his hand smooth and easy from a mid-to-low three-quarters release point. He topped out at 90 mph at both the Area Code Games in August and at the World Wood Bat Association fall championship in late October, but he threw harder than that at other events and scouts feel there is plenty more velocity in his arm. Berglund throws a quality slider around 80 mph that has late, hard bite to it. He will also throw a short cut fastball in the mid-80s on occasion, as well. His changeup gives him a fourth useable pitch. Berglund saw more action as an outfielder as a junior at Royal High, and hit .417. He also went 4-1, 1.26 with seven walks and 39 strikeouts in 33 innings on the mound, and will almost certainly have a greatly-expanded workload as a senior now that pitching has been established as a priority.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Berglund left just a luckwarm impression on scouts this spring. While he still throws from an easy, low-effort delivery and smooth arm action, Berglund's velocity was mostly in the 86-88 mph area and he only occasionally bumped it up to 91. His slider, which had scouts excited during the off-season showcases, was mostly flat without the hard spin he'd previously shown. Berglund's record was a solid 5-1, 1.52 but he struck out fewer hitters than innings pitched (46 IP, 37 H, 17 BB, 45 SO), a yellow flag for a top-prospect pitcher who throws strikes. Any scouts wanting to see Berglund pitch in mid- to late-May were forced to take an unusual route as he was pitching for the Swedish national team that was competing against minor league extended spring-training teams in Lakeland, Fla., before going on a tour of teams in the Northwoods League.--DR
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT College Hometown Last Drafted Birthdate
67. Robert Stock RHP/C Jr. L-R 6-1 190 Southern California Westlake Village, Calif. Never drafted 11/21/1989
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): The bar was set extremely high for Stock at an early age. From the time he was 12 until he decided to forego his senior year of high school and enroll in college as a 16-year-old, he was the dominant player in the nation in his age group. Even as a rare 17-year-old in the Cape Cod League following his freshman year at USC, he more than held his own among players that were 2-5 years older than he was. Had he remained in high school and been eligible for the 2007 draft, Stock almost certainly would have been a first-round pick-as either a catcher or pitcher. But he has struggled more than he has succeeded since his decision to accelerate his career, both in college and at the summer-league level. A year after hitting .228-4-20 as a catcher and going 0-1, 7.88 with three saves on the mound in his first go-around in the Cape at Cotuit, he batted a modest .270-1-11 with 21 strikeouts in 115 at-bats. Most of his focus last summer was on catching and hitting as he made only two brief relief appearances, but a majority of scouts still said he was less impressive overall in his return engagement-that his swing was a little longer and he didn't throw quite as well. Quality breaking balls ate him up, at times. Stock also took an apparent step backwards as a sophomore at USC, hitting .299-4-22 and earning three saves in 11 relief appearances while going 1-1, 3.60 and striking out 17 in 10 innings. Though he continues to tease scouts with his obvious talent, Stock has been extremely reluctant to accept instruction and make adjustments in his approach-and, if anything, has only reinforced some of his bad habits. Stock shows considerable promise in all phases of his game, and his most obvious strengths are his considerable lefthanded power potential and arm strength. At this point in his development, he's further ahead as an everyday player than as a pitcher. He has very quick hands at the plate and is way ahead of the game offensively than the average teenager. He has the ability to be a regular catcher in the big leagues one day, but has significant refinement ahead of him. He needs to receive and block better; and has particular trouble handling pitches and balls in the dirt on the third base side of the plate. But he's an athlete behind the plate and his arm strength and throwing mechanics are exceptional for his age. He shows considerable promise in all phases of his game and just needs time to add polish and make the necessary adjustments to reach his ceiling. More than anything as a pitcher, he needs to develop better command. Though he has shown a stubbornness to accept instruction, he carries himself well for a player his age. He's scheduled to catch on Fridays and Saturdays in the spring at USC, and work as a starting pitcher on Sundays. While it seemed apparent that Stock would be a near-certain early first-round pick in the 2009 draft when he unexpectedly enrolled at USC in August, 2007, his performance to date suggests more fourth to fifth round-and even at that it may be more on reputation. But he will nonetheless be one of the more intriguing follows of any player in the '09 draft, and it wouldn't be a surprise if he blossoms into a legitimate first-round talent.--ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Stock continued to be one of the biggest enigmas of the 2009 draft, and scouts remained perplexed whether to evaluate him as a pitcher or catcher/hitter. He played extensively in both roles this spring, though it soon became apparent that USC coaches favored him as a pitcher-a starting pitcher, to be more specific-and de-emphasized his role on the team as a catcher. He struggled at the plate most of the spring, and was hitting just .226-6-30 as the Trojans entered the final weekend of regular-season play. Though his arm strength, quick release and soft, sure hands were obvious skills behind the plate, he simply struggled to hit-and his obvious raw power just didn't show up often enough in games. Stock made much greater strides on the mound, with a quick, live arm and three plus pitches-a fastball in the 90-93 mph range with occasional heavy boring action into righthanded hitters; a hard, tight 74-76 mph hammer curve; and a deceptive, split-finger change that he had the confidence in to throw in any count. He was dominant, at times, in compiling a 5-4, 2.90 record that included 86 strikeouts in 78 innings, though it was also apparent that his lack of accumulated innings over the last two years leaves him with some fine-tuning to do to become a more complete pitcher. He was around the plate with all his pitches, even as he walked 39 in 78 innings. He has a tendency to rush himself, and there is violence in his delivery. Scouts have a dilemma with Stock. His raw tools across the board are graphically evident, but is he a catcher, or pitcher-a starter, or reliever? Most seem to favor him on the mound at this juncture, but Stock has made it clear all along that he wants to be a catcher at the professional level. Stock also is a rare 19-year-old junior with time on his side, and could easily return to school for another year to enhance his value, although he may jeopardize his leverage by coming out as a senior.--AS
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
68. Jake Eliopoulos LHP Sr. L-L 6-3 165 Sacred Heart Catholic Newmarket, Ontario Kentucky 5/21/1991
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): The slender Eliopoulos is the top-ranked Canadian high-school player in the 2009 draft class. Though he doesn't have as high a profile as three other Canadian lefthanded pitchers of note-Adam Loewen, the fourth pick in the 2002 draft; James Paxton, a University of Kentucky product who has surged to the forefront among Canadians for the 2009 draft; and promising Evan Grills, a potential first-rounder in 2010-Eliopoulos has nonetheless held off all challengers as Canada's best prep player. Though he does not play in a formal high-school program in his native Ontario, he has received plenty of exposure by playing with Team Canada's junior-national team, for his local Brantford Red Sox club team, and by attending numerous showcase events in the United States. Eliopulos throws from a high three-quarters release point with a fast, full arm circle and produces a fastball that is generally in the 88-90 mph range, but touched 91 mph last October at the World Wood Bat Association fall championship in Jupiter, Fla. His velocity could spike as he fills out his thin frame. Eliopoulos also throws an upper-70s curveball that shows promise, and he also has a feel for a changeup. Eliopoulos' father, Jim, who has coached him extensively through his high-school years, played minor league ball in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, so he comes from a baseball-oriented background.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Though he doesn't compete in a formal high-school program, Eliopoulos got more exposure this spring for the draft than most U.S.-based prep players. He was seen extensively locally, as a member of Team Canada's junior-national team in Florida in March and was even picked up by the Langley Blaze, a British Columbia-based youth power, for that team's trek to Arizona at the hub of major-league spring training, when scouts were plentiful. Though he was out of radar for many cross-checkers on Team Canada's annual junket to the Dominican Republic from May 20-29, he was expected to face meaningful competition in his final tune-up for the draft-facing both teams in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League and a collection of talented free agents that are expected to be among the elite players from that nation who will be eligible to sign when the international free-agent signing period begins on July 2. By all accounts, Eliopoulos marginally improved his draft worth this spring and slots in nicely as a second- or third-rounder. Though his talent wouldn't stand out in a talent-rich state like California as it does readily in Canada, his fastball was a steady 88-90 mph, touching 91. His command of the pitch was generally better this spring, but the quality of his secondary pitches still need work-even as his primary breaking ball became more of a true slider this spring as opposed to the spike curve he threw previously. But it was pretty clear that Eliopoulos crossed the line this spring, from being mostly thrower to mostly pitcher.--ALLAN SIMPSON
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
69. Tanner Bushue RHP Sr. R-R 6-4 180 South Central Kinmundy, Ill. John A. Logan JC 6/20/1991
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Bushue, a righthander from Kinmundy, Ill., a small, rural community about 60 miles east of St. Louis, has been one of the fast risers in the 2009 high-school class. Few Midwest scouts would be surprised if he completes the journey from relative unknown to become the first Illinois player, college or high school, to be drafted in June. Bushue, who plays third base and hits cleanup for his high-school team when not pitching, was slow to emerge as a top prospect as he missed most of his junior year because of a knee injury incurred the previous fall. He worked in only 16 innings, going just 0-2, 3.85. He also missed most of the summer season, but was clearly back in form for his team's high-school season in the fall, when he went 6-0, 0.15 and struck out 127 innings in 48 innings, while allowing just 11 hits and 23 walks. Moreover, he topped South Central with a .389 average, eight homers and 34 RBIs. Bushue has an extremely smooth and easy arm action, and his delivery has been compared to Mark Prior's at the same stage of development. The ball leaves his hand effortlessly and scouts say that it looks as if Bushue is simply playing catch when he pitches. He is still somewhat of a projection at this point, though, as his fastball is regularly around 88-90 mph, but will occasionally touch 92-a bit short when compared to some of the other high-school righthanders that are being given top-round consideration. Bushue does get above-average life on his fastball and his low- to mid-70s curveball with hard, late, 12-to-6 action also grades out as a potential plus pitch. His changeup is a third pitch that has promise. Scouts say that Bushue is a breath of fresh air, a pure baseball player with a small-town Midwestern family background who just wants to play pro ball, an attribute that will likely benefit him on draft day. A commitment to a junior college should also weigh in his favor.--DAVID RAWNSLEY / ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Bushue separated himself from all other Illinois prospects with his consistent performance this spring. He ended the year with an 8-3 record, and in 68 innings struck out 140 while walking 21. His velocity even climbed a bit late in the spring, always an encouraging sign for a young pitcher, and Bushue was sitting at 90-92 mph more frequently in the second half of the season. After Bushue threw 99 pitches in a state-tournament game, his team was knocked out three days later when it had him throw 73 more pitches, so scouts were probably relieved his season ended prematurely.--DR
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT College Hometown Last Drafted Birthdate
70. Billy Bullock RHP Jr. R-R 6-6 225 Florida Valrico, Fla. Dodgers '06 (20) 2/27/1988
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): A 20th-round draft pick out of a Florida high school in 2006, Bullock had mild success as a starter for Florida in his first two years in the program. His chances of improving his draft status as a junior were initially considered slim, but he was moved to a closer role for the 2009 season and the early returns were extremely encouraging. He showed more willingness to air out his fastball and attack hitters more aggressively in his new role, and the big-framed righthander improved his velocity almost overnight from 87-90 mph to a more consistent 92-93 mph, touching 94. Moreover, the pitch got good sinking and running action at the elevated velocity, particularly when he kept it low in the strike zone. His 83-85 mph slider with a hard, two-plane break was a solid second pitch and it was apparent, in the early going at least, that Bullock's stuff has proven to be much better out of the pen than as a starter. Oddly, his changeup, which gets good fading action away from lefthanded hitters, may have been his best pitch as a starter, but his need for a third pitch has been de-emphasized in a relief role. Bullock went just 6-12, 5.56 overall as a freshman and sophomore, when he started in 26 of his 33 appearances. There's still a lot of effort in his delivery as he falls off the mound and lands across his body, but scouts say that flaw is minor-and correctable. As a potential closer, Bullock has the intimidating presence, power stuff and unflappable demeanor that should enable him to move quickly through a minor-league system and perhaps help a big-league club in middle relief by as early as 2011. Bullock's control and command may need to come on before that, but they had already improved markedly in the early going.--ANUP SINHA / ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Bullock continued to excel through the spring in the closer's role. As Florida entered the Southeastern Conference tournament, Bullock was 2-2 with a team-best 1.51 ERA and 11 saves. In 42 innings, he walked 18 and struck out 42. His velocity wavered some from one outing to the next but that is not unusual for a pitcher adjusting to a reliever workload.--ANUP
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
71. David Holmberg LHP Sr. R-L 6-4 205 Port Charlotte Port Charlotte, Fla. Florida 7/19/1991
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Holmberg is a polished lefthander with a pro profile. His 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame projects very well. He has improved quickly and steadily over the past two years, a good indicator that he still hasn't reached his ceiling. Holmberg was throwing only 77-80 mph in 2006, bumped up his velocity to 83-85 mph in 2007 and was scratching 90 last year at Perfect Game/World Wood Bat Association events, though pitching more at 88. His fastball has better-than-average running action away from righthanded hitters, as well. Holmberg's best pitch may be a mid-70s curveball that has a very good two-plane break, and which he has feel for around the strike zone. Holmberg's changeup is also a quality offering and he isn't afraid to mix up his pitches while working a hitter. He used his quality three-pitch mix to lead all Florida high-school pitchers with 114 strikeouts as a junior, while going 6-1, 0.70.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Holmberg is one of the nation's most polished pitchers, and would be a potential weekend starter as a freshman at Florida in the increasingly unlikely event he fulfills his college commitment. The big-framed lefty has all the makings of a 200-inning workhorse and 15-game winner in the big leagues. His fastball velocity was consistently in the high-80s, touching 90-91 mph during the spring while the speed of both his curveball and changeup was major-league average, at times. Holmberg projects three solid-average pitches with plus command and pitchability. His delivery and arm action are clean, which is why scouts believe he will be able to handle a starter's innings load. He dominated high school competition this spring, going 7-0, 0.22 with 132 strikeouts in 65 innings. Holmberg may not have the exciting knockout-type stuff to go in the first round, but he could easily go in the sandwich or second rounds.--ANUP SINHA
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
72. Steven Matz LHP Sr. L-L 6-3 185 Ward Melville Stony Brook, N.Y. Coastal Carolina 5/29/1991
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Matz missed part of his junior season with some elbow soreness, and also was burdened with tendinitis in his pitching shoulder last summer and a broke a knuckle on his pitching hand in November. But he has been moving quickly up prospect charts, and seems to have established himself as the No. 1 high-school pitching prospect in New York-if not the entire northeast. Scouts have quickly come to realize that there are few young pitchers in the 2009 class that throw as easily as Matz does. "Effortless" is usually a word that works its way into any report or conversation on Matz's long, loose arm action and delivery. He currently throws his fastball at 88-92 mph, but it's very easy to project him adding more velocity as he gets older. Matz's build, which features long legs and a high, athletic core, point to more growth potential as well, which should equal more velocity. He came out of the gates this spring touching 92 mph, with good tailing life on his fastball. Matz also has three other pitches of note, including a low three-quarters sweeping slider he learned in the off-season working with former major-league lefthander Neal Heaton. His curveball is his more established breaking pitch. He gets good spin that results in a two-plane break, but he may need to throw it harder at the next level in order for it to be effective. He also throws a mid-70s changeup. As usual, Matz' fate with the draft may be linked to the late winter weather in the Northeast, but he will be on scouts' short list of players in that region to see early.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): As predicted, Matz clearly established himself this spring as the top high-school pitcher in the northeast. As he continued to throw harder with almost every outing, reaching 94 mph at times, his stock for the draft continued to climb to a point several clubs were looking at him seriously in the second round, perhaps higher. He dominated his competition, going 6-1, 0.47 with 81 strikeouts in 44 innings, while allowing just 26 base runners (11 H, 15 BB). Matz' obvious strengths were his live, lean body and above-average velocity from the left side, but his ability to throw his curve and change, and new-found slider for strikes was prominent in his climb up draft boards. He has a few mechanical issues that need to be refined and his durability will be questioned, but his positives far outweigh any perceived negatives.--AS
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
73. Max Walla OF Sr. L-L 5-11 195 Albuquerque Academy Albuquerque, N.M. Oklahoma State 4/12/1991
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Walla is relatively unrecognized nationally, but could be a factor in the 2009 draft and should definitely develop into a premium college player if he should end up at Oklahoma State. He has a strong, compact build and a very aggressive approach at the plate. Walla's strength as a hitter is his hands at contact. He lets the ball get deep in the hitting zone and has the hand strength and quickness to drive the ball hard. Power is no issue with the lefthanded-hitting Walla, either, despite his modest size. He had 16 home runs as a junior, the second-highest single-season mark in New Mexico high-school history, and would become that state's all-time leading home-run hitter with a similar senior season. Walla's other tools are solid for a corner outfielder. He throws in the upper-80s off the mound from the left side, and should have no problem covering ground sufficiently although he has just average speed.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Walla was the undistinguished star in the New Mexico prep ranks this spring, and was properly recognized as the state 4-A player of the year. Not only did he lead his Albuquerque Academy team to a state title, but he set several batting and pitching records in the process. He hit 12 homers on the year to finish his career with 34, breaking the state career home-run mark by one. He batted .556-12-40 overall. He was no less dominating on the mound, and set state records for most strikeouts (115) and wins (13) in a season. His final victory came in the state-championship game, when he went the distance in a 7-5 win over Piedra Vista High, and recorded his 13th strikeout of the game with the potential tying run on second base. Though he set a couple of noteworthy pitching records and reached 90 mph from the left side, Walla's future is clearly with a bat in his hands. He has a strong base to hit for power, and a short, quick, compact stroke. The ball jumps off his bat, with his most prolific power to right-center field. He often caught this spring for his high-school team when not pitching, but he would be miscast at that position as a lefthanded thrower in either college or pro ball.--ALLAN SIMPSON
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
74. Cameron Garfield C Sr. R-R 6-1 195 Murrieta Valley Murrieta Valley, Calif. San Diego 5/23/1991
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Garfield is a strong, physical receiver from Southern California who ranks with the very best offensive catchers in the nation's prep ranks. He hits from an open stance with an aggressive, strong swing that produces excellent bat speed. The ball comes off Garfield's bat like few hitters in the 2009 class, and he projects above-average power. As a junior at Murrieta Valley High, he hit .432-7-28 with 12 doubles. A key to Garfield's approach at the plate is his balance. Despite his full and extended swing, and power approach, Garfield is ideally balanced at contact, which puts all his strength behind the ball. Garfield was the backup catcher to fellow Californian Max Stassi on USA Baseball's 2008 junior-national team that won a silver medal at the World Junior championship, and hit .714 (5-for-7) at the tournament. The questions about Garfield come from his defense, which doesn't measure up with his fellow top catchers in the 2009 class. Garfield's release is quick, which enables him to post excellent pop times in showcase environments, but he has marginal arm strength and an awkward arm action. His receiving skills also still need developing, though they showed improvement through the course of last summer. At his best, Garfield could be an impact offensive player at a premium defensive position. His bat looks like it's going to play at a high level. Generally, he's a baseball rat with good competitive instincts. Garfield has signed with San Diego, a program that has featured some of the best pitching prospects in college baseball the past few years, so if he ends up in college, scouts will get a very good read on his defensive development.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Garfield's spring has been pretty much the opposite of last summer. He's been very solid defensively, and shown an improved release and improved receiving skills that weren't always on display before. On the other hand, Garfield's bat has been his least impressive tool. He got off to a slow start, which most scouts attributed to putting too much pressure on himself to perform. In the process, he developed some bad habits, especially being overly anxious to pull balls. Garfield then sprained an ankle, which put him further behind. He picked up his bat speed and hitting rhythm late in the high school season, and has reportedly been very impressive in private workouts with scouts. Garfield is a baseball rat with a strong passion for the game, and being out in an environment where he can play every day and not worry about being on stage might be the best situation for him.--DR
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
75. Kelly Dugan 1B Sr. B-R 6-3 195 Notre Dame Sherman Oaks, Calif. Pepperdine 9/18/1990
SCOUTING PROFILE: Dugan was one of the most worked-out players in southern California during May as scouts looked to get a read on his bat and ability to make adjustments. He was a relatively late arrival among this year's crop of top prep prospects in the state, but it was quickly apparent that Dugan has a well-proportioned, athletic body and very good overall tools. He is a solid-average runner underway and has enough athleticism and agility to be considered a significant prospect at either corner position in the outfield in addition to first base. Dugan switch-hits, but has more power and bat speed from the left side. He tends to hit from a still start, which can get him tied up on good stuff, and that is one of the things that scouts were honing in on in their workouts. Dugan shows plus power potential when he gets the barrel out in time, and hit .386-8-31 this spring at Notre Dame High. Dugan's father, Dennis, is a long-established Hollywood comic actor, best-know for his roles in numerous Adam Sandler movies.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
76 J.R. Murphy C/OF Sr. R-R 6-0 190 Pendleton / IMG Bradenton, Fla. Miami 5/13/1991
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Murphy doesn't stand out as a "showcase"-type prospect, but his big tool is his bat and he is one of the best performance hitters in the 2009 high-school class. Despite his modest frame, he generates excellent bat speed with a quick, short swing and has an advanced ability to handle the bat head and make adjustments. His power is more of the gap-to-gap type, but he has the juice in his bat to leave the yard on his pitch, as well. He is the latest, and perhaps fastest riser in what is shaping up to be a potentially-historic group of prospect catchers from Florida. Murphy has been primarily a corner outfielder to this point in his career, but has caught on occasion in the past and is expected to take a more active role behind the plate this spring. Though he needs to improve his side-to-side quickness, and his transfer and release, his overall defensive actions are improving. His arm strength is solid major-league average and his throws are usually around the bag. His ability to fully adapt to the position this spring will go a long way to determining where he is drafted. He could always return to the outfield, where his speed and instincts enable him to play center field now, though he would likely play a corner position at the next level. But it all boils down to the bat. Murphy has a very pro-style and polished approach at the plate, with a quiet, efficient load and very good balance through contact. He drives the ball hard to all fields and has surprising power for a moderately-built hitter. Murphy's most impressive accomplishments at the plate have come during the summer while playing for the Florida Bombers, the 2008 World Wood Bat Association 18-and-under summer champions. He hit .439-10-66 last summer and has broken Bombers hitting records held by players such as Eric Hosmer, Jemile Weeks and J.P. Arencibia-all first-rounders in 2008. As a 6-foot righthanded-hitting outfielder without plus speed, it's unlikely that Murphy would profile as a high-draft pick out of high school, but he could become a dominant college player and eventual high pick after three years at Miami. But that profile could all change this spring if Murphy impresses scouts with his work behind the plate.--ANUP SINHA / DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Murphy emerged as a legitimate early-round pick this spring with both his bat and his work behind the plate. As the best hitter on an IMG Academy team that lost only one game all season but was not eligible for the Florida high-school tournament, Murphy hit a resounding .626-11-66 and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was one of the most advanced hitters in this year's prep class. Fellow IMG players Blaze Tart, a transfer from North Carolina, and L.J. Mazzilli, the son of ex-big leaguer Lee Mazzilli and a transfer from Connecticut, also emerged as legit draft picks this spring, though not in Murphy's class. The lack of projection in Murphy's mature body is a concern for scouts, but they know what they're getting out of the shoot. He has a lot of work to do as a receiver and will have to work hard just to become major-league average defensively. But he is blessed with a very short release and average arm-strength, and that should make him a plus thrower in the future. The second round is not out of the question for Murphy.--ANUP
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT College Hometown Last Drafted Birthdate
77. Alex Wilson RHP Sr. R-R 6-1 200 Texas A&M Hurricane, W.Va. Cubs '08 (10) 11/3/1986
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Wilson was primed to become an early-round pick in last year's draft after going 13-3, 3.78 with 143 strikeouts in 138 innings as a freshman at Winthrop, and following up with a solid 6-4, 2.51 record with 97 strikeouts in 111 innings as a sophomore-accomplished mainly on the strength of a fastball in the 92-95 mph range. But those hopes were dashed when his velocity fell off considerably and he felt discomfort in his pitching elbow in two brief appearances in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2007, and subsequently underwent Tommy John surgery. Wilson would have been lost for the entire 2008 season anyway, but nonetheless elected to transfer immediately from Winthrop to Texas A&M, the fallout from an excessive workload (249 innings) in two seasons at Winthrop that may have been a contributing factor to his elbow troubles. Wilson made a surprisingly quick and strong comeback from his TJ surgery at A&M, and though he didn't pitch to live hitters, he threw bullpen sessions for scouts leading up the 2008 draft, topping out at 94 mph. That led the Chicago Cubs to draft him in the 10th round, but they wanted to see him pitch again first before agreeing to sign him. Wilson, who has always believed his talent warranted his being a first-rounder-or at least being paid like a first-rounder-was more than willing to prove to the Cubs that his arm was 100 percent again, and returned to the Cape for the summer. His fastball was back to its customary mid-90s level and his breaking ball had its normal nasty break on occasion, but Wilson didn't distinguish himself otherwise in 10 appearances (seven starts) for Falmouth, going 0-1, 4.60 with 15 walks and 36 strikeouts in 29 innings. He lacked command early in the season, and his breaking ball was inconsistent towards the end. The Cubs did make an offer to Wilson at the mid-August signing deadline, but it reportedly was only about half of what Wilson was seeking, so he elected to return to school as a fourth-year junior, intent on proving again that he's a first-round talent. His fastball velocity climbed to 97 mph during fall ball at Texas A&M. On raw arm strength alone, Wilson could be a first-rounder in June, but he must fine-tune his off-speed stuff for that to happen.--ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Wilson had a two-part season that did more to muddy his draft standing than anything. He began the 2009 campaign as a starter and showed a 93-95 mph fastball and big-strikeout slider for the first month, before developing some arm fatigue-understandable after missing a year from surgery-and saw his fastball drop to the 88-92 mph range and his slider flatten out. With freshman Ross Hales stepping up as a potential ace starter, the Aggies moved Wilson to the bullpen, where his stuff regained some of its power, although mid-90s fastballs were more rare over the second half of the spring. Wilson's basic performance totals (6-6, 3.89, 2 SV in 85 IP) should be taken with some perspective. He was completely dominant at times, striking out 111 while only walking 22. Despite the excellent walk totals, scouts expressed concerns that Wilson got too many wild swings from college hitters on his slider, and that more-disciplined professional hitters will lay off the pitch and force Wilson to throw his relatively-straight fastball over the plate. So scouts were forced to evaluate Wilson's future role and what type of baseline stuff he will have in that role by somewhat different means to pin down where he falls in the draft. A secondary factor to consider is that Wilson will turn 23 in November, so the clock is ticking.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT High School Hometown Commitment Birthdate
78. Kenny Diekroeger SS Sr. R-R 6-2 185 Menlo School Woodside, Calif. Stanford 11/5/1990
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): A very athletic shortstop from the San Francisco Bay Area, Diekroeger got scouts' attention at the 2008 Area Code Games by registering the highest score on the Sparq Test given to all ACG players. The test measures raw athletic ability. Diekroeger runs the 60 in 6.68 seconds, and his speed and balance contribute to his easy actions at shortstop. He has excellent range for a middle-of-the-field player, and has both excellent arm strength and very good carry on his throws. He also closes for his team, and his fastball has been clocked in the mid- to high-80s. Offensively, Diekroeger has significant bat speed and good extension to his swing, though it can be a little long at times. As a junior at the Menlo School, he hit .464 with six home runs. His best power looks to be to the middle of the field and to right-center field. In addition to his variety of athletic skills, Diekroeger is an excellent student and has signed with Stanford.--DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Diekroeger showed all the talent and athleticism this spring to warrant being drafted in the top five rounds in June, though his commitment to Stanford was expected to be an overriding factor. His chances of going in the early rounds may have been further compromised when Diekroeger injued his knee sliding into second base in a game in early May, and was lost for the rest of the 2009 season. He jammed his knee as he tried to adjust his slide to account for an errant throw by the catcher. The injury was not expected to require surgery. Interestingly, his position in the field was filled by his younger brother, Danny. Diekroeger had already missed the first seven games of the 2009 season as he helped the Menlo School win the CCS Division IV basketball title. Even by missing games off both ends of the schedule, Diekroeger still managed to hit .586 with a team-high four homers. His 21-3 walk-to-strikeout ratio was an indicator of his improving plate discipline. There is some sentiment for a team interested in signing Diekroeger now to draft him in the middle rounds, follow him through the summer and then making him a strong offer close to the Aug. 15 deadline. If Diekroeger doesn't sign, he could be the type of prospect who will re-emerge as a very high draft pick in 2012.--ALLAN SIMPSON / DR
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT College Hometown Last Drafted Birthdate
79. D.J. LeMahieu SS/2B So. R-R 6-4 190 Louisiana State Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Tigers '07 (41) 7/13/1988
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): With his athletic 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame, LeMahieu is built along the lines of Cal Ripken, and his fluid actions, soft hands and superior arm strength have enabled him to thrive at shortstop to this point in his career. He may lack the range and quickness to remain at the position over the long haul, especially as he fills out his lanky build, but his additional bulk would probably provide him with the strength to drive balls out of the park more consistently if a move to third base is in the works. LeMahieu homered only once in 107 at-bats during the 2008 Cape Cod League season, but hit for average (.290) and gap power much of the summer before tailing off late in the season when it was determined he had contracted mononucleosis. He stays inside the ball extremely well and his power will begin to evolve naturally when he starts pulling balls more consistently. LeMahieu hit .337-6-44 as a freshman at LSU. While he didn't swing the bat with as much production last summer, he made better contact and became more selective at the plate. He also cut his error total at shortstop from 22 to three, and generally made all the plays expected of an everyday shortstop. He gave scouts no reason to believe a move to third base or any other position might be imminent. Had he been considered more signable coming out of a Michigan high school, LeMahieu might have been a premium draft in 2007 but he was an afterthought 41st-rounder by his home-state Detroit Tigers. By turning 21 on July 13, he'll be eligible for the 2009 draft as a sophomore, by a matter of days. He could edge his way towards the first round, but a lot will depend on his development with the bat in the spring.--ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Although he was one of the leading hitters (.335-4-33) on the top-ranked team in college baseball, LeMahieu did not have the breakout 2009 season scouts were expecting-either at the plate or in the field. Most telling was his inability to drive the ball, especially against the better pitchers in the SEC. He had an exaggerated inside-out approach all spring, and did not even flash signs of the power that scouts have long projected that he should develop. The most-defining moment in LeMahieu's, and perhaps LSU's season came in mid-April when he was shifted over to second base to make room for slick-fielding freshman Austin Nola at shortstop, and the Tigers instantly became a better team defensively. LeMahieu handled most of the routine plays at shortstop, but he struggled on slow rollers and turning the double play, along with some of the more difficult plays inherent in the position. It was also apparent to scouts that he was a step slower than in the past and his arm action had become more methodical. He left scouts with a lot of questions to ponder. With his tricky status as a draft-eligible sophomore, he will undoubtedly be one of the more-discussed players in many teams' pre-draft meetings.--DAVID RAWNSLEY / AS
Rank Player Pos. Class B-T HT WT Junior College Hometown Last Drafted Birthdate
80. Patrick Corbin LHP So. L-L 6-3 175 Chipola JC Clay, N.Y. Never drafted 7/19/1989
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): An unheralded transfer from Mohawk Valley (N.Y.) CC, Corbin blossomed in fall competition at his new, more-visible school with his deception, an 87-90 mph heater and plus slider. With a similar showing in the spring for Chipola, he could vault among the premier junior-college prospects in Florida for the 2009 draft. Corbin wasn't even on the radar as a prospect as a high-school senior in upstate New York, and simply elected to enroll at a local junior college to play baseball and basketball. But it wasn't long before scouts and recruiters took note of the tall, angular lefty with improving stuff, and soon offers surfaced for Corbin to either sign or transfer to a more-prominent baseball school. Corbin settled on Chipola JC, the 2007 Junior College World Series champion. Though he is not overpowering, scouts expect Corbin to throw harder as he fills out his slight frame, and gets stronger. He also needs to refine his breaking stuff and changeup, along with his mechanics as there is a lot of head movement in his delivery. But his ability to hide the ball makes it difficult for hitters to get good looks. In the end, his stuff may be best-suited for a role as a situational lefthander.--ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Corbin had a decent spring for Chipola, which finished a game short of a third straight appearance in the JUCO World Series. He went 6-3, 4.24 ERA with 86 strikeouts in 74 innings, but his stuff improved moderately from the fall. He threw his fastball in the 89-91 mph range, topping at 92. His curveball flashed average when he stayed on top of it, but it still needs to get tighter and sharper. He added a changeup, which was not part of his repertoire a year ago. Some scouts are very interested in Corbin because he has projection in his tall, athletic frame, but he's the kind of pitcher who might do better after a year at a four-year school. He recently signed with Southern Mississippi.--ANUP SINHA / AS

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