High School : : Rankings
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

HS 2011: Top 3B Prospects


Perfect Game is kicking off its high-school baseball coverage this week. In addition to identifying the top 50 teams in the country, we will be posting lists of the top prospects in the high-school senior class, by position, per the following schedule:

MondayCatchers (20)First Basemen (5)
TuesdayMiddle Infielders (25)Third Basemen (10)
Wednesday: Center Fielders (15), Corner Outfielders (15)
Thursday: Righthanded Pitchers (40), Lefthanded Pitchers (15)

On Friday, PG National Scouting Director David Rawnsley will unveil his favorite “Picks to Click” in this year’s high-school draft class.

Compiled / Ranked by David Rawnsley


When scouts look for the perfect high-school third base-prospect, they envision a projectable 6-foot-3, 190-pound athlete with a strong arm and a sweet lefthanded swing. That prototype is very hard to find, however.

Colorado’s Ian Stewart probably comes closest to fitting that image among current big-league third basemen that were signed out of high school. Not surprisingly, the Rockies made Stewart their first-round draft pick back in 2003. Arizona 2009 first-rounder Bobby Borchering, who has the advantage of being a switch-hitter, is a similar prototype third baseman. He may be the best example among recent first-rounders.

More often than not, the best high-school third-base prospects are 6-foot or 6-foot-1 righthanded hitters who can rake, but don’t have the athleticism for the middle of the field. Mets all-star David Wright, a supplemental first-round pick in 2001, is a typical example.

The 2011 high-school class doesn’t appear to have the ideal third-base prospect that could jump into the upper reaches of the draft. Instead, scouts will probably have to settle for a player like Javier Baez, a 6-foot-1 righthanded hitter. Baez has the athleticism to play in the middle infield now and scouts have even toyed with him as a potential catcher, but he seems to project best as a third baseman.

Interestingly, there isn’t a single player among the nation’s top 10 third-base prospects listed below that is a lefthanded hitter. Six-foot-4, 175-pound Tyler Goeddel comes closest to the prototype, but hits from the right side.

The 2011 draft class is unlikely to match the 2007 class when it comes to quantity at the top of the board. That draft featured Josh Vitters (3rd, Cubs), Matt Dominguez (12th, Marlins), Kevin Ahrens (16th, Blue Jays) and Jon Gilmore (33rd, Braves), all natural third basemen, plus No. 2 overall pick Mike Moustakas (Royals), who was switched to third base from shortstop early in his minor-league career. Dominguez and Moustakas should make their big-league debuts this year.

With this year’s draft little more than three months away, here’s how Perfect Game’s David Rawnsley ranks the top prep third-base prospects in this year’s draft (college commitment in parentheses):

1.Javier Baez, Arlington Country Day HS, Jacksonville, Fla. (Uncommitted)
2.Tyler Goeddel, St. Francis HS, Hillsborough, Calif. (UCLA)
3.Hunter Cole, Dorman HS, Moore, S.C. (Georgia)
4.Matthew Dean, The Colony HS, Highland Village, Texas (Texas)
5.Dante Bichette, Orangewood Christian HS, Orlando, Fla. (Georgia)
6.Taylor Sparks, St. John Bosco HS, Long Beach, Calif. (UC Irvine)
7.Sean Trent, Bishop Moore HS, Maitland, Fla. (Florida)
8.Patrick Leonard, St. Thomas HS, Houston (Georgia)
9.Connor Castellano, Evangel Christian Academy, Shreveport, La. (Vanderbilt)
10.Alex Santana (3b/rhp), Mariner HS, Cape Coral, Fla. (Florida Atlantic)

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