Draft : : Story
Thursday, March 04, 2010

Perfect Game Alums Flowing Into Major Leagues

David Rawnsley        
Greg Sabers of the Perfect Game staff keeps meticulous track of the number of Perfect Game alumni who have played in the Major Leagues. That list has now reached a total of 206 players, with 53 players having joined the list in 2009. The year before there were 43 new players added.

Given the increasingly large number of talented young prospects across the country who are participating in Perfect Game Showcases and WWBA and BCS tournaments (remember, the WWBA summer tournaments have gone from 72 teams to 192 just in the past few years and the BCS didn’t even exist a couple of years ago), that number is sure to keep increasing every year. It wouldn’t be surprising to see 70-75 new Major Leaguers make their debuts this year with a PG/WWBA/BCS event on their pre-professional resume.

Some of the 2009 rookies were very recognizable names and probably future All-Stars: OF Colby Rasmus (StL), RHP Rick Porcello (Det), RHP Tommy Hanson (Atl), LHP Brett Anderson (Oak), OF Chris Coghlan (Fla), C Matt Wieters (Balt), IF Gordon Beckham (CWS) and C Buster Posey (SF).

Others were much less so, even to the point of seriously taxing the memory for either their PG appearance (the PG database handles all that, so it’s not left up to memory) or even remembering their name in a big league box score.

Here are 10 PG Alumni who look to have a strong chance of playing in the Major Leagues in 2010 and perhaps adding there names to the “future stars” list soon, along with a longer list of other potential big leaguers.

1B Yonder Alonso (Cincinnati)
PG Resume: Cleanup hitter on two WWBA 18U National Champions with the Florida Bombers
Pro Resume: 1st round pick 2008, .292-9-52 at A/AA in first pro season while battling injuries; Reds have Troy Glaus and Eric Hinske listed ahead of him, so path is clear.

3B Pedro Alvarez (Pittsburgh)
PG Resume: MVP of the 2005 WWBA 18U National Championship while playing for the Bayside Yankees.
Pro Resume: 1st round pick 2008, .288-27-95 in first pro season split between A/AA, Pirates didn’t spend $6M to have him play in the minors too long.

RHP Kyle Drabek (Toronto)
PG Resume: 2005 Aflac All-American, Most Valuable Pitcher of WWBA World Championships in 2004 with the Houston Heat.
Pro Resume: 12-3, 3.19 in 2009 after recovering from TJ surgery, big piece of the Roy Halliday trade.

OF Jason Heyward (Atlanta)
PG Resume: 2006 Aflac All-American, debuted in PG events as a freshman and starred for numerous WWBA championship teams with the East Cobb Astros
Pro Resume: Perhaps the game’s best prospect, hit .323-17-63 spread out over A/AA/AAA in 2009 as a 19 year old.

RHP Jeremy Hellickson (Tampa Bay)
PG Resume: Des Moines, Iowa, native, pitched in pretty much every PG league and showcase during his high school career.
Pro Resume: 37-13, 2.75 in 5 minor league seasons, including 9-2, 2.45 between AA and AAA last year. Strikeout to walk ratio of over 5:1 for his career.

OF Austin Jackson (Detroit Tigers)
PG Resume: 2004 Aflac All-American, incredible athlete who could have been an NBA prospect if he’d gone to college.
Pro Resume: Traded this summer for All-Star CF Curtis Granderson, hit .300-4-65, 24 SB’s in AAA last year.

1B Justin Smoak (Texas)
PG Resume: Starred on 2005 Diamond Devils team with Matt Wieters that won the WWBA 18U National Championship.
Pro Resume: .290-12-57 in first full pro season split between AA/AAA after being 2008 1st round draft choice.

RHP Stephen Strasburg (Washington)
PG Resume: Pitched in Jupiter in 2005 with the Braves Scout Team, was a dumpy, out- of-shape kid who pitched at 88-91 mph with a smooth, easy arm action.
Pro Resume: No professional resume yet but hardly needs one; he’s probably the most hyped prospect pitcher of all time.

OF Michael Taylor (Oakland)
PG Resume: 2003 Aflac All-American, subject of constant debate on the PG staff about whether he would ever hit or not, looks like that question’s answered.
Pro Resume: .320-20-84, 21 SB’s between AA and AAA in 2009, huge 6-6, 250 athlete with high ceiling potential, traded from Philadelphia.

1B-3B Brett Wallace (Toronto)
PG Resume: 2004 Aflac All-American, starred on numerous top summer clubs with Nor Cal.
Pro Resume: .293-20-63 in first full pro season, mostly in AAA, has been traded twice in high profile deals already since being a 1st round pick in 2008 (St.L).

Other Players to Watch Closely
RHP Tim Alderson Pittsburgh
C Bryan Anderson St. Louis
1B Lars Anderson Boston
C J.P. Arencibia Toronto
OF Dominic Brown Philadelphia
C Koby Clemens Houston
SS Zach Cozart Cincinnati
LHP Jason Cromer Tampa Bay
C Charlie Cutler St. Louis
OF Jordan Danks Chicago White Sox
1B Ike Davis New York Mets
3B James Darnell San Diego
SS Ivan DeJesus Los Angeles Dodgers
RHP Brandon Erbe Baltimore
RHP Josh Fields Seattle
OF/2B Todd Frazier Cincinnati
1B Freddie Freeman Atlanta
1B Mark Hamilton St. Louis
OF Jon Jay St. Louis
OF Ryan Kalish Boston
LHP Zach Kroenke Arizona
RHP Mike Leake Cincinnati
RHP Josh Lindblom Los Angeles Dodgers
LHP Jake McGee Tampa Bay
SS Trevor Plouffe Minnesota
LHP Trevor Reckling Los Angeles Angels
CF Ben Revere Minnesota
LHP Joe Savery Philadelphia
RHP Jay Sborz Detroit
1B Brandon Snyder Baltimore
RHP Drew Storen Washington
LHP Aaron Thompson Washington
3B Danny Valencia Minnesota
2B Jemile Weeks Oakland
SS Lance Zawadzki San Diego
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