Draft : : State Preview
Friday, June 01, 2012

State Preview: Massachusetts

Allan Simpson        
Photo: Perfect Game

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 scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.

Contributing: David Rawnsley

Massachusetts State-by-State List
2011 Massachusetts Overview

Massachusetts Overview:
Rare Lean Year for Massachusetts in Draft

Massachusetts has produced some noteworthy draft classes over the last 2-3 years, but the 2012 crop is not likely to be remembered as one. Only two players, both from the high-school ranks, are projected to be drafted in the top 10 rounds.

That’s in contrast to 2011, when righthander Tyler Beede, an unsigned first-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, highlighted a banner crop of high-school pitching prospects, and the college crop in that draft was so deep that 13 players were drafted. It’s also in contrast to 2009, when Boston College produced a pair of first-rounders, including catcher Tony Sanchez, the fourth overall pick that year; and even 2010, when Boston College had three players taken in the top 10 rounds, and a school record six overall.

The only way this year’s crop even resembles any of its immediate predecessors has to do with the projected top pick, outfielder Rhett Wiseman, pegged to go in Rounds 3-4. He is a Vanderbilt recruit, much like Beede, who was somewhat of a surprise first-round selection a year ago—and even a bigger surprise when he became the only first-rounder from 2011 not to sign. In fact, none of the six high-school players drafted last year from Massachusetts signed pro contracts.

This year’s college crop is top-heavy with players who were eligible for the draft a year ago, but went undrafted—the one exception being Northeastern University lefthander Andrew Leenhouts, an unsigned 43rd
-round selection of the Miami Marlins. The top-ranked college player, Massachusetts junior righthander Dennis Torres, not only was not drafted a year ago but had never even been so much as scouted until that point in his development, and his emergence this spring into a legitimate prospect ranks as one of the better tests of perseverance among any player in this year’s draft pool.

Boston College dominated every draft in Massachusetts from 2008-10, but will be a non-factor in the early rounds for the second year in a row. That is pretty much in keeping with the club’s 17-33 and 22-33 records overall the last two seasons. The school’s best prospects are righhthander Matt Brazis and shortstop Anthony Melchionda, both seniors that are candidates to be drafted after the 10th

No Massachusetts Division I team advanced to the NCAA Division I tournament this year, and the in-state team that enjoyed the greatest success may have been little Wheaton College, which advanced all the way to the Division III World Series championship game before being eliminated by two-time champion Marietta (Ohio).

Massachusetts in a nutshell:

Deep pool of college seniors.
WEAKNESS: Front-line college talent.
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 2.

Holy Cross.
BEST HIGH SCHOOL TEAM: Boston College HS, Dorchester.

BEST OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Massachusetts Connection:
Daniel Langfield, rhp, University of Memphis (Attended high school in Somerset).
Top 2013 Prospect: Tom Bourdon, of, Boston College.
Top 2014 Prospect: Justin Bellinger, 1b, St. Sebastian’s HS, Weston.


Draft History:
Joe Coleman, rhp, Natick HS (1965, Senators/1st round, 3rd pick).
2006 Draft: Adam Ottavino, rhp, Northeastern University (Cardinals/1st round, 30th pick).
2007 Draft: Jack McGeary, lhp, Roxbury Latin HS, Newton (Nationals/6th round).
2008 Draft: Dan Houston, rhp, Boston College (Rockies/7th round).
2009 Draft: Tony Sanchez, c, Boston College (Pirates/1st round, 4th pick).
2010 Draft: Patrick Dean, lhp, Boston College (Twins/3rd round).
2011 Draft: Tyler Beede, rhp, Lawrence Academy, Groton (Blue Jays/1st round, 18th pick).


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 0/0.
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 6/0.


(Projected ELITE-Round Draft / Rounds 1-3)


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

1. RHETT WISEMAN, of, Buckingham, Browne & Nichols HS, Mansfield
Wiseman was one of the most-active participants on the elite high-school showcase/tournament schedule last summer and fall, and it represented both valuable exposure and experience for a top prospect from New England as scouts gained a better feel for what Wiseman can do against top-level competition. He generally showed a potentially-dynamic combination of power and speed, and Wiseman’s appeal was further enhanced by hitting from the left side of the plate. The tightly-wound, 6-foot-1, 195-pound Wiseman grades out as an above-average runner as he has been timed as low as 3.63 seconds to first base on a bunt, 4.07 on a full swing and 6.51 in the 60. His swing has some effort to it, a term more commonly used with pitchers than position players, but Wiseman has shown the aptitude to adjust well to off-speed pitches and still makes consistent hard contact against 90-plus velocity. The ball comes off his bat as hard as any player in the country when he squares it up. Any notion of toning down Wiseman’s swing is probably not an option for future coaches as he is an all-out, 100-percent hustle player that doesn’t know much else other than maximum effort. His superior speed and constant motor combine to provide him plenty of range for center field, but he may be pushed to a corner down the road. Wiseman attends Buckingham, Browne and Nichols School, one of the most-exclusive private schools in the country, which is located a mere four miles from Boston’s Fenway Park. He has signed to attend college at Vanderbilt, so his signability might be a complicated process for scouts.

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