Draft | Prospect Scouting Reports | 5/27/2014

Draft Reports: Prospects 301-350

Allan Simpson         David Rawnsley         Patrick Ebert         Todd Gold         Frankie Piliere         Jheremy Brown        
Photo: Alabama

2014 Perfect Game MLB Draft preview content

Top 500 Prospect Reports:

1-50 | 51-100 | 101-150
151-200 | 201-250 | 251-300
351-400 | 401-450 | 451-500

301. Mitch Trees
, c, Sacred Heart Griffin HS
R-R, 6-2/190, Springfield, Ill.
College Commitment: Louisville

Trees' mother and Nationals outfielder Jason Werth’s mother are sisters, so Trees is part of the larger Schofield/Werth family tree and all the implied genetics and baseball background. He is an extremely polished defensive catcher with plus arm strength and athletic catching and throwing tools, and that alone, along with the bloodlines, could lead him to be picked in a signing round or contributing immediately at Louisville should he attend school. There are some questions about his projected hitting ability, as he has sound hitting mechanics but doesn’t have the present bat speed for his offensive potential to match up with his lofty defensive potential.

302. Benton Moss
, rhp, University of North Carolina (JR)
R-R, 6-2/175, Enfield, N.C.
Previously Drafted: Never

Moss had expectations of being drafted in the top 6-10 rounds in 2011 out of a North Carolina high school, just as he does now after three college seasons at UNC. Moss has posted a combined 15-3, 2.91 record with 175 strikeouts in 167 innings as a freshman and sophomore, but more-pedestrian numbers as a junior (4-2, 3.33, 92 IP/75 SO). Moss, understandably, has a solid feel for pitching and often has piqued the interest of scouts when his fastball has peaked at 93-94 mph, but he’s also lacked a plus pitch for a starter, on occasion, when his velocity has sat at 89-91 and his curve a fringe average second offering. His slight frame has also raised concerns whether he’ll ever be durable enough to take the ball every fifth day in pro ball, and has never extended himself out by pitching in summer-league competition.

303. Stetson Woods
, rhp, Liberty HS
R-R, 6-9/210, Madera, Calif.
College Commitment: Fresno State

Woods is a bit of a polarizing prospect in that some scouts dream on the upside of what he could become as he matures and gains more coordination over his very long levers, while others have doubts that he'll ever fully be able to do so. He made significant strides since his underclass days and routinely works in the upper-80s, peaking several ticks higher, with the ability to throw a lot of strikes with the fastball. Woods also has the makings of a good curveball. As Wood continues to fine-tune his overall stuff and command given his size and age he could just be scratching the surface of his future potential, and he combines that upside with relatively advanced current ability.

304. Zac Curtis
, lhp, Middle Tennessee State (SR)
L-L, 5-9/170, Hendersonville, Tenn.
Previously Drafted: Never

Curtis leads the NCAA Division I level with 136 punch-outs through 114 innings at Middle Tennessee State. It all boils down to size for the 5-foot-9 lefthander, who has been passed over in four previous drafts but has enjoyed a breakthrough season as a college senior. In 15 starts for the Blue Raiders, he has gone 9-3, 1.89, while allowing less than a base runner per inning. Curtis overcomes his lack of physical stature with a very competitive approach on the mound, along with a solid feel for pitching. He also has exemplary stuff with the movement he generates on a fastball that ranges from 89-93 mph, and two solid-average breaking balls in his slider and curve. He rarely threw a changeup this season, which will undoubtedly earmark him as a short reliever in the pro ranks.

305. Tommy Thorpe
, lhp, University of Oregon (JR)
L-L, 6-0/195, Vancouver, Wash.
Previously Drafted: Never

Thorpe has enjoyed a dominant junior season as the Friday starter at Oregon, posting a 10-4, 2.20 record with 29 walks and team-high 86 strikeouts in 98 innings. He also excelled in a starting role for the Ducks as a sophomore (7-5, 2.16, 104 IP, 39 BB/87 SO), which led to a cameo appearance with USA Baseball’s college-national team, and as a set-up man as a freshman (2-0, 2.11, 43 IP, 20 BB/48 SO). Thorpe will always have to fight the stigma of being an under-sized lefthander with below-average raw stuff, but there is no overlooking Thorpe’s ability to throw three pitches for strikes, even if his fastball ranges from 85-89 mph. His best secondary pitch is his circle changeup. He has an excellent feel for his craft and normally finds a way to win.

306. Justin Shafer
, rhp-of, University of Florida (JR)
R-R, 6-3/210, Lake Wales, Fla.
Previously Drafted: Never

Shafer started all 59 games for Florida as a sophomore, including four on the mound, and hit .300-5-26. He has become somewhat of the forgotten player on the Gators this year as a junior and has played sporadically both in the field (.207-1-10) and on the mound (0-0, 5.20 in 27 innings). Scouts recognize he is still a first rate athlete who may have suffered in his development by doing too many things. He is considered a better pro prospect as a pitcher, with a low-90s fastball and a good slider.

307. Wes Benjamin
, lhp, University of Kansas (JR)
R-L, 6-1/180, St. Charles, Ill.
Previously Drafted: Yankees ’11 (48)

Benjamin was working himself up into potential top five-round status after seven starts (4-0, 4.22 in 42 innings) when he went down with an elbow injury that later resulted in Tommy John surgery. He features a fastball that will consistently work in the 90-92 mph range and touch 94 mph to go along with his out pitch, an outstanding changeup. His breaking ball will need tightening up at the professional level. There has been talk that there are plenty of teams willing to make Benjamin a value draft in the top 10 rounds and re-allocate any savings to other top round picks, a possible scenario since Benjamin would be expected to miss most, if not all, of the 2015 college season.

308. Carson Baranik
, rhp, Louisiana-Lafayette (SO)
R-R, 6-3/210, Bossier City, La.
Previously Drafted: Reds ’11 (41)

Baranik was a highly regarded prospect out of high school who pitched briefly at LSU as a freshman before being suspended from the Tigers program after legal problems. He resurfaced at Miami Dade CC in Florida in 2013 before becoming a key part of the Ragin' Cajuns rotation as a junior in 2014, going 10-1, 2.99 in 14 starts, including two complete game shutouts. Baranik flashed a plus fastball early in the spring, touching 93 mph, but settled into the upper-80s as the season progressed to go with a sharp breaking slider, that he commands very well, and a developing changeup. He projects as a durable, strike throwing back-of-the-rotation starter.

309. Brandon Leibrandt
, lhp, Florida State (JR)
L-L, 6-5/205, Atlanta, Ga.
Previously Drafted: Rays ’11 (48)

Leibrandt had made 41 consecutive starts for Florida State, including six this year (4-1, 1.83) dating back to the beginning of his freshman year, going a combined 22-8, when he was hit just below the left knee playing catch with a teammate in practice. The freak injury, diagnosed as a severe bone contusion, has kept him out ever since and left him questionable for the postseason as well. Leibrandt has always been a finesse pitcher in the style of his father, 15-year Major League veteran Charlie Leibrandt, but his velocity had picked up this spring and he was touching 90-91 mph occasionally to go with his plus changeup and solid slider. There was talk before the injury that Leibrandt could break into the top five rounds, but he had not been extensively cross-checked prior to going down and that scenario will be difficult now, even if he does come back in a limited role prior to the draft.

310. Jonah Patten
, rhp, Norwell HS
R-R, 6-3/200, Ossian, Ind.
College Commitment: Arkansas

Patten was removed from his high school team before the season started and pitched a number of times in the Iowa Spring League, although he did not return to Iowa for either the PG Spring Top Showcase or the Pre-Draft Showcase. He has a fast arm coming through from a high energy delivery with some issues on his front-side mechanics that cause inconsistency. His fastball has nice life and is generally in the 89-91 mph range and will occasionally touch higher. Patten also throws a 75-77 mph hard curveball that has the potential to be a solid second pitch with better command.

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