Draft : : State Preview
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

MLB Draft Preview: Indiana

Patrick Ebert        
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.  Please visit this page for all of the links to Perfect Game's 2013 Draft Preview content.

Indiana State-by-State List

Indiana quietly has been producing a steady stream of impact, professional talent the past several years.  Up until the last 4-5 years, much of the talent has come in the form of pitching, although that hasn't been the case since 2009 when A.J. Pollock went 17th overall.  In 2010 Indiana produced a pair first-round infielders in Kolbrin Vitek and Justin O'Conner, followed by Hoosiers slugger Alex Dickerson in 2011 and a wealth of Purdue talent highlighted by catcher Kevin Plawecki a year ago.

This year the talent shifts back to pitching, largely thanks to the emergence of Indiana State left handed pitcher Sean Manaea on the Cape last summer which vaulted him immediately into the discussion for the No. 1 overall pick.  He doesn't appear to still be in that same discussion, but is expected to be the highest drafted player from the state since prep right-hander Jarrod Parker went No. 9 overall in 2007.  Perfect Game All-American left handed pitcher and outfielder Trey Ball has similar upside on the mound as Manaea, and is enjoying a very successful spring as the pieces are coming together for the very talented two-way prospect.  Notre Dame's right-hander Dan Slania also is enjoying a productive spring, with many believing the current Irish closer could make a successful conversion to a starter as a pro given his polished three-pitch arsenal.

 Left handed pitchers
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 4

BEST JUNIOR-COLLEGE TEAM: Vincennes University
BEST HIGH SCHOOL TEAM: Indianapolis Central

PROSPECT ON THE RISE: Scott Donley, if/of, University of Indiana.
 Donley hasn't played college baseball the past two years after red-shirting his freshman year at Virginia Tech and sitting out last year after transferring to Indiana.  However, he hasn't missed a beat at the plate, serving as Indiana's cleanup hitter for the Big Ten's hottest hitting team.  What he lacks in power he makes up for in his plate discipline and overall bat control, hitting for a high average while rarely striking out.

WILD CARD: Trey Ball, lhp/of, New Castle High School.
 Although Sean Manaea's recent drop in velocity could cause some concern, his previous track record should still allow for him to become a premium pick.  Ball on the other hand is an interesting topic, given his overall two-way talents and a commitment to the University of Texas, where he could continue to play both ways to see where his talents best fit.  Given his size, athleticism and stuff, his pro value is higher on the mound, and his strong spring could cement a mid first-round selection.

 Conrad Gregor, 1b/of, Vanderbilt (Carmel High School)
Top 2014 Prospect: Pat Connaughton, rhp, Notre Dame
Top 2015 Prospect: Jarrett Montgomery, rhp, Lawrence Central High School


Draft History: Andy Benes, rhp, University of Evansville (1988, Padres/1st round, 1st pick); Bryan Bullington, rhp, Ball State University (2002, Pirates/1st round, 1st pick)

2008 Draft: Josh Lindblom, rhp, Purdue University (Dodgers/2nd round)
2009 Draft: A.J. Pollock, of, University of Notre Dame (Diamondbacks/1st round, 17th pick)
2010 Draft: Kolbrin Vitek, 2b/rhp, Ball State University (Red Sox/1st round/20th pick)
2011 Draft: Alex Dickerson, 1b/of, University of Indiana (Pirates/3rd round)
2012 Draft: Kevin Plawecki, c, Purdue (Mets/1st round, 35th pick)


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: None
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 2/0


GROUP 1 (rounds 1-3)

1. SEAN MANAEA, lhp, Indiana State University (Jr.)
Manaea entered the spring rated as Perfect Game's No. 1 prospect of all players eligible for this year's draft thanks to a dominant summer on the Cape in which he posted video game type numbers, which led to him being named PG's Summer Collegiate Player of the Year. He was named the No. 1 prospect on the Cape, the same honor he received the summer before pitching in the Prospect League. His success last summer can easily be attributed to vastly improved sutff, as his fastball routinely sat in the 93-95 range while peaking at 97. Both his slider and changeup showed marked improvement, giving him a very polished three-pitch repertoire thrown from a deceptive, low three-quarters delivery with very good arm speed. This spring hasn't gone quite as well for the 6-foot-5, 235-pound ace of the Sycamores, although his stuff has still been quite good, as have his performances. Early in the year Manaea was peaking at 94 mph, doing so both indoors in the comfort of the Metrodome in early March and outdoors as part of Indiana State's early home schedule where the weather was slow to resemble spring. If Indiana State's series against Tennessee-Martin hadn't been rained out he would have missed a start due to a lingering hip injury that has bothered Manaea since late March. He has been throwing better as of late, and is expected to regain his mid- to upper-90s velocity this summer. On the season he is 5-4 with a 1.58 ERA, logging 68 1/3 innings in 11 starts, allowing 44 hits and 25 walks with 88 strikeouts, and his track record is impressive enough to where he should be taken among the top 10 overall picks come June. Read more about Manaea in Frankie Piliere's detailed Draft Focus feature.

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