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MLB Draft Preview: Utah

Draft : : State Preview
Allan Simpson        
Published: Monday, May 13, 2013

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.

Utah State-by-State List

Entering the 2013 season, the strength of Utah’s draft crop was undeniably a deep crop of hard-throwing college pitchers. The University of Utah staff alone had a half-dozen arms that reached 90 mph or better in the fall, but the two best power arms of the bunch might have been Brigham Young right-hander Adam Miller and Salt Lake CC right-hander Connor Williams, both of whom topped out at 96 mph.

Due mostly to an assortment of disabling injuries, but also significant control issues, the bottom fell out of Utah’s backlog of pitching prospects this spring. The Utes, in particular, were hit unusually hard as almost every one of their select six missed all or a significant portion of the 2013 season with an injury. All has not been lost, however, as BYU outfielder Jacob Hannemann, an athletic talent but relative unknown entering the season, made a huge leap forward in his development and now ranks as the state’s top prospect.

Fleet-footed outfielders
WEAKNESS: Pitchers with health/command issues
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 3

Brigham Young

Kayden Porter, rhp/1b, College of Southern Nevada (Attended high school in Spanish Fork)
Top 2014 Prospect: James Lengal, rhp, Brigham Young University
Top 2015 Prospect: Dallas Carroll, 3b, University of Utah


Draft History:
Cory Snyder, 3b, Brigham Young University (1984, Indians/1st round, 4th pick)
2008 Draft: Stephen Fife, rhp, University of Utah (Red Sox/3rd round)
2009 Draft: Steve Parker, 3b, Brigham Young University (Athletics/5th round)
2010 Draft: Marcus Littlewood, ss, Pine View HS, St. George (Mariners/2nd round)
2011 Draft: C.J. Cron, 1b, University of Utah (Angels/1st round, 14th pick)
2012 Draft: Tyler Wagner, rhp, University of Utah (Brewers/4th round)


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 0/0
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 2-1


OUP 2 (rounds 4-10)

1. JACOB HANNEMANN, of, Brigham Young University
On the strength of his impressive athleticism and rapidly-improving four-tool ability, a team may be tempted to take an early run at the 6-foot, 190-pound Hannemann, perhaps as early as the third round. But most clubs are expected to preach caution when it comes to drafting Hannemann as he has little or no track record over an extended stretch at the college level after he chose to go on a two-year Mormon mission in 2010, right after high school. He resumed his career this spring, without even the benefit of fall practice as he utilized that time to resume a promising football career at BYU as a defensive back, though ended up being red-shirted. Hannemann’s raw speed, his best tool, was obvious from the start as he has an easy, powerful stride and is capable of running the 60 in the 6.4-6.5-second range. With instincts that improved almost by the day as the 2013 season progressed, he began to utilize his speed more efficiently, both on the bases and in the outfield, and soon became so impressive defensively with his jumps and routes that he took over in center field for the Cougars after starting out in right field. Along the way, he made numerous highlight-reel catches. With impressive juice in his bat, Hannemann also made significant strides at the plate through the course of the season in his role as a lead-off hitter. Through the first week of May, he was hitting .339-5-25 with a club-high 42 runs scored. Hannemann projects to hit 15-20 home runs a year, if his power continues to evolve. From a tools standpoint, the only area where Hannemann may fall a little short is arm strength, though his advancing age (22 on April 29) may also work against him.

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