State Preview: Delaware

Draft : : State Preview
Allan Simpson        
Published: Monday, May 30, 2011

In the weeks leading up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a detailed overview of each state in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will list the state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best tools, as well as providing mini-scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players.

Delaware State-by-State List

Delaware Overview:
Slim Pickings in Delaware This Year As Scouts Await Arrival of May Brothers

The two highest draft picks in Delaware’s modest baseball history are Newark High outfielder Derrick May, drafted ninth overall by the Chicago Cubs in 1986, and Seaford High shortstop Delino DeShields, drafted 12th a year later. No other Delaware players have ever been taken in the first round.

Both May and DeShields eventually went on to play for a number of years in the big leagues, but that hardly represents the full extent of the contributions that the two players have made on baseball in Delaware.

DeShields’ stepson, Derrik Gibson, was a second-round pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2008, the last time that a Delaware high-school player has been drafted in the top 10 rounds. For added measure, DeShields’ son, Delino Jr., was a first-round pick of the Houston Astros a year ago, though grew up in Georgia and was selected out of a high school in that state.

The first family of Delaware baseball may well be the May family. Derrick not only left his mark as the state’s highest pick on record before going on to a 10-year major-league career (1990-99), but his father, Dave, played in the big leagues for 12 years (1967-78).

There is a significant chance that the Mays could eventually become one of Major League Baseball’s rare three-generation families, as Derrick’s sons, Derrick Jr., and Donovan, both outfielders, are rising young baseball talents at the Tatnall School. Young Derrick is a junior, and one of the state’s top prospects in the 2012 draft class, while Donovan, a sophomore, is one of the elite talents in the 2013 class.

While Delaware scouts await the arrival of the May brothers over the next two years, they’ll have to be content this year with a single player who could factor into the early rounds, possibly even the first 20-25 rounds. Milford High outfielder Jerell Allen is this year’s top prospect and has significant upside, but is also extremely raw in his development, which should suppress his overall draft value.

Allen has excellent speed and defensive skills in center field, but will need to make significant strides with the bat to realize his potential. He is a three-time all-state player and was selected the state player of the year this spring.

Allen is also a former all-state wide receiver, but has made it abundantly clear to scouts that he prefers baseball. Only 15 Delaware high-school players have previously been selected in the top 10 rounds of the draft, and Allen has the raw talent to become the 16th.

The May brothers, who are also excellent athletes and all-state wide receivers in football, should further expand on that total when they become eligible over the next two years. But they may not even be the best players in their class, a sign of the coming talent in the state over the next two years. Allen’s teammate, junior righthander Nick Grant, projects as the state’s best draft a year from now, just ahead of Derrick May.

Both Delaware Division I colleges, the University of Delaware and Delaware State, offer little in the way of draftable talent. The player given the best shot of being drafted off either team is Delaware senior outfielder Pat Dameron, who topped the Blue Hens with a .363 average this spring.

Delaware in a Nutshell:

Jerell Allen.
WEAKNESS: College talent.
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 2.


BEST OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Delaware Connection:
TOP 2012 PROSPECT: Nick Grant, rhp, Milford HS.
TOP 2011 PROSPECT: Kevin Trader, rhp, Delmar HS.

Draft History/Delaware: Derrick May, of, Newark HS (1986, Cubs/1st round, 9th pick).
2006 Draft: Todd Davison, ss, U. of Delaware (Orioles/19th round)
2007 Draft: Brandon Menchaca, of, U. of Delaware (Reds/13th round).
2008 Draft: Derrik Gibson, ss, Seaford HS (Red Sox/2nd round).
2009 Draft: Cody Holliday, of, Wilmington College (Mets/18th round).
2010 Draft: Ryan Cuneo, 1b, U. of Delaware (Cubs/20th round).


(Projected HIGH-Round Draft / Rounds 4-10)

1. JERELL ALLEN, of, Milford HS
Very raw talent, bat a long way off; has exceptional speed, defensive skills, everything depends on bat.

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