Draft | Prospect Scouting Reports | 5/21/2014

Draft Reports: Prospects 101-150

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2014 Perfect Game MLB Draft preview content

Top 500 Prospect Reports:

1-50 | 51-100 | 151-200
201-250251-300 | 301-350
351-400 | 401-450 | 451-500

101. AJ Vanegas
, rhp, Stanford (SR)
R-R, 6-3/215, Alameda, Calif.
Previously Drafted: Padres '10 (7), Athletics '13 (19)

Selected to the 2009 PG All-American Classic, Vanegas went in the seventh round of the 2010 draft coming out of high school despite being a Stanford commit, which often comes with the expectation of being a difficult sign. That expectation proved to be correct and he went to Stanford where he had a promising freshman campaign and followed it up with a strong showing in the Cape Cod League. Vanegas had another promising season as a sophomore in 2012, going 4-0 with five saves and a 2.62 ERA, and he also made five starts. An injury plagued junior season limited him to just 8 1/3 innings and his draft stock suffered as a result when he lasted all the way until the 19th round last year. He chose not to sign and came back for senior year, and continues to flash two plus pitches with a fastball reaching the mid-90s and a low- to mid-80s slider. Vanegas has worked primarily as a reliever throughout his collegiate career and scouts seem to think that's where he profiles best at the next level as well.

102. Jake Cosart
, rhp, Seminole State (Fla.) CC (R/S FR)
R-R, 6-2/210, League City, Texas
Previously Drafted: Never – College Commitment: None

The Cosart family is quickly becoming renown for producing pitchers with lively arms as Jake’s older brother Jarred, now a second-year starter with the Houston Astros, has been clocked at 94-97 mph, topping at 99. Jake has already peaked at 98 in his limited time on the mound, and also has the same kind of quick, electric arm capable of providing high-end velocity along with exceptional life on his pitches. He is still at a rudimentary stage of development as a pitching prospect after red-shirting in 2013 at Duke, where he was viewed more as an outfielder, before transferring to a Florida junior college. He immediately caught the attention of scouts at Seminole State with his superior velocity, but still was very much a work in progress this spring after showing little feel for pitching and limited command. He produced a 5-3, 5.34 record in 11 starts despite regularly serving up a fastball at 93-97. There’s no mistaking Cosart’s considerable upside, but more than anything he just needs innings and time to develop his secondary pitches.

103. Daniel Mengden
, rhp, Texas A&M (JR)
R-R, 6-1/215, Houston, Texas
Previously Drafted: Never

Mengden was a Perfect Game All-American as a catcher out of high school but 2014 marks the first year he has exclusively pitched and not caught or hit. He’s been impacted by nagging back pain throughout the spring but battled through it and made all 14 starts (4-7, 3.41 with 93 strikeouts in 95 innings) as the Aggies Friday starter, highlighting what scouts consider to be his plus makeup. Mengden relies on a potent fastball/slider combination, although his velocity is down some this season as he's been hitting 94-95 mph less frequently than he has in the past.

Read Mengden's detailed Draft Focus profile here.

104. Michael Mader
, lhp, Chipola (Fla.) CC (SO)
L-L, 6-2/195, Marianna, Fla.
Previously Drafted: Never – College Commitment: Florida State

Mader leads a contingent of as many as four players from Chipola JC that could be tabbed in the first 10-12 rounds of this year’s draft, though that club, ranked No. 1 nationally at the time, unexpectedly fizzled in post-season without winning a game. Mader’s own season also fell a little short of expectations as he went 7-3, 3.18, while walking 46 and striking out 74 in 74 innings. His fastball was a steady 89-93 mph with tailing action, occasionally topping out at 95, but scouts believed he tried too hard to pitch to the multitude of radar guns that were trained on him, and his command suffered. Mader did make strides in developing his breaking ball, now a quick, biting curve at 77-79, and his changeup is a solid offering that should give him the requisite three pitches to start at the next level. He also has an exceptional pickoff move. Mader rejected significant overtures to sign a year ago in favor of returning to junior college, and teams will need to be mindful of his commitment to Florida State.

105. Evan Skoug
, c, Libertyville HS
L-R, 5-11/205, Libertyville, Ill.
College Commitment: Texas Christian

Skoug parlayed a strong East Coast Pro Showcase performance and his MVP honors at the WWBA World Championship last October into status as the top catching prospect in what is a deep and talented group of Illinois backstops. He’s generously listed at 5-foot-11, but is deceptively athletic for his stout build and has surprised scouts with his overall defensive ability. Skoug’s carrying tool is his lefthanded bat, though. His swing has some violence in it but his bat speed is outstanding and he has shown the consistent ability to square the ball up hard to all fields. One area scout commented, “If you combined Skoug and his strength and bat with Mitch Trees’ (another top Illinois receiver) body and defensive skills you’d have a sure-fire first round draft choice.”

106. Michael Cantu
, c, Moody HS
R-R, 6-4/215, Corpus Christi, Texas
College Commitment: Texas

Cantu is a favorite of the Texas scouting community, a rarity for a player from south Texas, due as much to his outstanding makeup and character as for his physical tools. But his tools are what will eventually get him drafted, perhaps in the first five rounds. Cantu’s swing is long and fluid with plus strength at contact and big power to all fields. The determining factor in whether he will be picked early or end up at the University of Texas revolves around his future defensive position, as his relative lack of quickness and size are determents to his remaining at catcher. Many scouts think he has the bat and the ability to make adjustments and improve that will carry him even if he has to eventually switch to first base as he gets older.

107. Nick Torres
, of, Cal Poly (JR)
R-R, 6-1/210, Lakewood, Calif.
Previously Drafted: Never

Physically mature power hitter, Torres combines plus present strength with solid bat speed. He has a good track record at the college level, hitting .333/.376/.520 as a sophomore in 2013 and is currently hitting .323/.375/478 through 54 games this season. Torres profiles as a corner outfielder, and while he could play some in right field, his overall profile is best suited for left field long-term. Although he's a below average runner who may slow down further with age, his overall game is not heavily dependent on speed and athleticism, but more based on a strength oriented tool-set.

109. Alexis Pantojas
, ss, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
L-R, 6-1/160, Vega Alta, Puerto Rico
College Commitment: Alabama State

Pantojas has defensive tools and skills at shortstop that rival Florida’s Nick Gordon and Milton Ramos for the best in the 2014 high school class. His narrow build and slashing lefthanded swing have left a doubt in scout’s minds about his ability to hit higher level pitching, although he has always hit very well at Perfect Game events and has shown some line drive power extending from foul pole to foul pole. One other thing that Pantojas does have in his favor is that he is a baseball rat with a number of extended family members who play or have played professionally and he plays the game hard and fast.

Read Pantojoas' detailed Draft Focus profile

110. Taylor Gushue
, c, University of Florida (JR)
B-R, 6-2/210, Boca Raton, Fla.
Previously Drafted: Never

Gushue graduated from high school a semester early, enrolled at Florida in the spring of 2012 and was thrown right into SEC baseball, starting 39 games at a time when he should have been a high school senior. He has always been a polished hitter with power from both sides of the plate and his performance this spring in leading the Gators in the triple crown categories at .335-6-46 bears that out. Gushue’s biggest area of improvement has been on defense, as there was some question as to whether he could even stay behind the plate three years ago. Although his footwork still needs quickening and refining, he has evolved into a solid receiver and a strong handler of Florida’s hard throwing and deep pitching staff. Switch-hitting catchers with some pop in their bat are a rare breed at the higher levels of the game, which marks Gushue as a potential third round pick.

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