Draft : : Top Prospects
Sunday, June 03, 2012

Top Prospect Reports: 151-200

Allan Simpson        
Photo: Vanderbilt
Contributing: David Rawnsley, Patrick Ebert, Ben Collman, Todd Gold

151. JAKE THOMPSON, rhp, Rockwall Heath HS, Rockwall
Thompson first started attending Perfect Game events early in his sophomore year at Rockwall Heath High, and immediately stood out for his very strong and mature build, now a sturdy 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds. He showed easy plus power with the bat and it was not hard to project his 86-88 mph fastball because of his size and build. Thompson hit a plateau at that velocity level for 14-16 months, but suddenly broke out last October at the World Wood Bat Association fall championships in Jupiter, Fla., throwing up to 93 mph. He solidified his new-found standing as a top prospect this spring by continuing to throw his fastball steadily in the low-90s with good sinking action. Thompson comes from a mid- to low-three-quarters release point with very good extension out front, and though his delivery is somewhat unconventional for a pitcher with his size and build, it works very well for him and shows his athletic looseness. Thompson’s strikeout pitch is a big-breaking, low-80s slider that he commands very well and is especially tough on righthanded hitters.

152. SAM SELMAN, lhp, Vanderbilt University (Jr.)
At 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, Selman is an athletic, physically-projectable lefthander with a quick, live arm. Though he would seem to fit the profile of a potential first-round pick, Selman hasn't pitched consistently close to the level of his raw talent over his three-year career at Vanderbilt as he has struggled with command issues that limited him to a combined 11 appearances and 12 innings in his first two years for the Commodores. He has been allowed to stretch out his workload to 12 appearances (9 starts) and 53 innings this year, leading the Commodores in wins while posting a 7-3, 4.26 record, along with 28 walks and 60 strikeouts. There never has been an issue about the quality of Selman’s arm as he’ll frequently pitch at 91-95 mph, and touch 97. He also has shown marked improvement in the action he gets on his slider, his primary breaking ball, and will demonstrate the ability to throw it consistently for strikes, from time to time. But Selman remains an enigma in the scouting community, and his status for the 2012 draft could weigh heavily on how he performs in the Southeastern Conference tournament in late May—assuming Vanderbilt qualifies—as it will be a ripe opportunity for him to perform on a big stage.

153. 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.

154. CODY POTEET, rhp, Christian HS, Bonita
Poteet is a second national-level prospect, along with shortstop Tanner Rahier (No. 7), to choose to play his spring ball in the ABD Bulldogs-sponsored Spring League instead of for his high-school team. As a 6-foot righthander, Poteet has to do plenty to overcome his perceived height disadvantage, and he does it well. He has a short stride to the plate to maximize his height, and creates downhill angle to the plate from a release point that hovers between high three-quarters to over-the-top. His fastball, normally in the low-90s, often tops out at 94-95 mph and tends to get on hitters quickly because Poteet hides the ball extremely well in his takeaway. Poteet’s best pitch, though, is a hard 78-80-mph downer curve ball that overmatches high-school hitters. He gets on top of the pitch well to generate good downward torque and spin. He also has an 81-83 mph changeup.

155. LOGAN EHLERS, lhp, Howard JC (So.)
An eighth-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010 out of a Nebraska high school, Ehlers made a decision not to sign, to stay close to home and pitch for the University of Nebraska. Almost from the start, it backfired on him as he missed a sizeable portion of his freshman year with the Cornhuskers while on suspension from the NCAA for his illegal association with an agent. He went only 1-3, 4.50 in seven appearances and was swept off the baseball team at season’s end in a thorough housecleaning by a new Nebraska coaching staff. It wasn’t until January that Ehlers surfaced at Howard, and little was expected of him this spring as he arrived overweight and out of shape. But the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Ehlers made an excellent transition this spring, dropping 35 pounds and getting in excellent playing condition, and he has responded by going 10-0, 0.91 in 11 starts, with 22 walks and 84 strikeouts in a staff-high 69 innings. From a fastball that was 88-90 mph at the start of the season, Ehlers has increased his velocity to 91-93, topping at 95 occasionally. He has also made strides in developing his curve and slider, and even adding a changeup to his repertoire. The upshot of his impressive turnaround is that he now stands a solid chance of being the first player drafted on possibly the nation’s deepest and most-talented junior-college team.

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