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Wednesday, May 01, 2002

Perfect Game Predraft Features High Pick Hopefuls

Perfect Game Staff        

Around 60 outstanding prospects will converge on Veterans Stadium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the annual Perfect Game Pre-Draft Workout on Tuesday, May 14. Nearly all 30 Major League Clubs should have their highest level front office scouts watching closely. Some of the nations top prospects are still uncertain due to high school commitments and play-off games.

Here is a pre event look at 10 of the top prospects among those who have confirmed their attendance. We did not list everyone because the actual rosters will not be made out until Monday. There are several others who could easily be listed below and some may even be regarded higher level prospects than the 10 we mention. We tried to include below, what we believe are some of the biggest surprises this Spring along with a few of better known prospects. We will have a complete wrap-up after the event.

Jeff Clement 6?€™1/190 C Marshalltown, IA
Clement is generally regarded one of, if not the best, hitter in this years high school class. He also features a plus arm and athletic ability. Jeff has 59 high school career Home Runs and is a cinch to break Drew Hensen?€™s all time record of 70, if he plays his final high school season. He has signed with Southern Cal.

Romelio Lopez 6?€™7/240 RHP/1B Conroe, TX
Lopez is a native of Venezuela and has become one of the bigger surprises for the upcoming draft. He is a big right-hander that has been up as high as 97 mph this Spring. If that were not enough there are those who say he?€™s a better hitter than he is a pitcher. Either way, he is going to be watched closely next Tuesday.

Jake Baker 6?€™3/200 RHP Wetumpka, AL
Baker has really turned it up a notch this Spring. He?€™s always been an outstanding prospect, but now there are several scouts who think he is the top prospect from the Alabama, Mississippi area. He throws in the low 90s and features much more. Jake signed early at the U of Georgia.

Zach Hammes 6?€™7/230 RHP Iowa City, IA
Hammes is another giant surprise heading into this June draft. He may have the easiest arm action in the country and we?€™ve seen him at 92-94 mph with life. His breaking ball shows great promise and at times is already a plus pitch. Zach has signed with the U of Iowa, but should go high in the draft.

Brian McCann 6?€™2/185 C Duluth, GA
Brian and his brother Brad will both be in Cedar Rapids. Brad is a top Juco player and Brian is rated one of the top catching prospects in America. In fact most people rate Clement and McCann, one-two among the nations top receiver prospects. Brian is a polished receiver and an outstanding hitter with plus raw power. He has signed with the U of Alabama.

James Guerrero 5?€™9/165 SS Fontana, CA
There may be bigger players than James, but we feel Guerrero is the best high school baseball player in the United States. He was one of the star players on last years USA team that took the silver medal in Cuba. He has signed to play for Tony Gwynn at San Diego State.

Brandon Weedin 6?€™4/200 RHP Edmond, OK
Weedin is yet another of this years big surprises. In fact he has moved himself into the #1 ranked player in the great baseball state of Oklahoma. A smooth right-hander that features a plus fastball and effortless delivery. Scouting Directors who have not seen him yet, will love him.

Daniel Haigwood 6?€™2/205 LHP Pleasant Plains, AR
Haigwood is one of the nations finest lefties. His 40-0 career high school record is interesting enough, but his ability to pitch is up there with anyone in the country. He has a major league fastball and much more.

Trevor Crowe 5?€™11/180 INF Portland, OR
Crowe was one of our top ranked players as a junior, but then suffered an injury. He is now back completely healthy and ready to show off some of the tools that made him such a highly regarded prospect two years ago. The #1 player out of Oregon can put on a show. He has signed with the U of Arizona.

Craig Pearson 6?€™5/200 LHP Downington, PA Pearson has been down a bit this Spring, but we?€™ve seen him real good in the past. He has a nice clean delivery and can pitch. He was up around 90 mph last fall. Craig has signed with the U of Florida.

We could name another 40 to 50 top prospects very easily and we have only listed high school players above. There will be several juco and college players in Cedar Rapids as well. After the event we will put together a top performers list for Baseball America and the PG web site. As always there will be many big surprises at this years pre-draft.

In addition the Midwest Pre-draft will be held at Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids this Sunday. Many of the top Midwest players will be in attendance. In fact, a few of the very best will be at the Sunday event, because they are unable to attend on Tuesday. It?€™s going to be a busy but great couple of days of top level baseball.
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