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Draft  | Prospect Scouting Reports  | 6/10/2010

Scouting Reports: Third Round (83-112)

DRAFT 2010
Third Round (83-112)
RICK HAGUE, ss, Rice
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1):Hague was a freshman All-American at Rice in 2008, and had a solid sophomore season at the plate for the Owls, hitting .319-9-57. He elevated his game to another level last summer with a solid performance for Team USA’s college-national team, hitting a club-high .371 and chipping in with three homers and 16 RBIs. A shortstop in his first two seasons at Rice, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Hague made the easy transition to third for Team USA to accommodate Christian Colon, and not only hit the ball consistent with the expectations of a corner player, but fielded at a steady .978 clip. Just as Hague appeared primed to make his mark on this year’s draft, he picked an awkward time to play poorly in all phases of his game early this season, and his draft stock appears to have taken a significant hit—possibly as much as any projected high-rounder. Through Rice’s first 37 games this spring, Hague was hitting just .281-5-24. He appeared to struggle, in particular, in his recognition of breaking balls. Even as he returned to his familiar shortstop position, he had committed 16 errors and his range in the field was being increasingly questioned. Earlier in his career, Hague’s offensive approach was consistent with a 2-hole hitter, with his ability to bunt, move the ball around and stroke line drives. But as Hague has become bigger and stronger, he’s become a more complete hitter. He has an easy, controlled swing with unusually strong hands, suggesting a power surge may be coming. But some scouts are unconvinced that his bat will be an asset at the next level, especially if a move to third is contemplated. He strikes out at an alarming rate (69 times as a sophomore, 36 times already this season), and needs to improve his plate discipline as he is vulnerable to chasing high fastballs and off-speed stuff out of the zone. But Hague’s tools are very solid across the board. He has sound, steady, athletic actions in the field, with the feet, range, arm and hands to possibly remain at shortstop in the long run. His speed is just average by shortstop standards, but it plays well on the bases because of his superior base-running instincts, but would be more than adequate at third.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Hague has come back very strongly from his mid-season temporary demotion from shortstop, and had made only one error over the last month of the season (after making 22 errors in the first half of the season). He has also had a resurgence with the bat, and reached a career-high 11 home runs while hitting .339 with 47 RBIs. His second-half performance has undoubtedly generated some renewed enthusiasm among scouts, who were concerned about his early performance, although questions still linger about Hague’s eventual position and overall athleticism.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
MEL ROJAS Jr., of, Wabash Valley (Ill.) JC
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Despite Rojas’ wealth of raw tools and the notoriety of being the son of former major-league closer Mel Rojas Sr., he has quietly crept up on the prospect scene for the 2010 draft. Rojas reportedly turned down a $200,000 bonus as a young Dominican player before coming to the United States, and yet wasn’t even drafted a year ago, when eligible, as he was academically ineligible last spring as a freshman at Wabash Valley. His emergence as a legit prospect began last summer in the New York Collegiate League, where he hit .314-3-19 and stole eight bases in nine attempts for Amsterdam. He showed off his long, angular, athletic and very projectable 6-foot-3, 200-pound build, along with his impressive combination of power and speed (6.6 in the 60). His switch-hitting ability was considered an added bonus. He has only continued to improve and build on his resume this spring as a red-shirt freshman at Wabash Valley by hitting .386-8-40 with 36 stolen bases in his first 38 games. He’s considered a better natural hitter from the left side, but shows plus power potential from both sides. He has excellent bat speed but will have to add lift to a smooth, level swing for his power to evolve. He still needs to work at utilizing his raw speed better at the plate by bunting and putting the ball on the ground. Rojas’ speed plays well in center field and his arm strength grades out at 65 on the standard 20-to-80 scouting scale. He has no glaring faults; he just needs to play and make up for lost time to reach his considerable upside.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Rojas has done nothing but enhance his draft value this spring. Though not all scouts grade him out as a sandwich-round pick, enough do for it to become the likely spot where he’ll be taken. Rojas has had a big freshman season for a 49-10 Wabash Valley team, hitting .396-12-64 with a national-high 60 stolen bases (in 62 attempts). With 90 runs scored, he could reach the century mark if his team reaches the Junior College World Series. Not all scouts are enamored with his low-energy approach to the game, but there is been no mistaking Rojas’ tools. He just needs to play a little more to figure it out at the plate against the quality pitching he’ll face at the pro level, but he’s become more selective this spring, where once he used to swing at anything. Having grown up as mostly a shortstop and pitcher, he’s also learned to get better jumps on balls in the outfield.—AS
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1):On a UCLA pitching staff that features a star-studded rotation of sophomore righthanders Gerrrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, projected first-rounders in 2011, and junior lefty Rob Rasmussen, a possible second-rounder in June, a healthy Klein’s sudden emergence as a draft-eligible sophomore has caused the biggest stir among scouts. He was as responsible as anyone for UCLA’s record-breaking 22-0 start to the 2010 season, and continued resurgence as one of the nation’s elite college teams. Working as the Bruins closer, Klein has displayed a clean arm stroke with an athletic, repeatable delivery. He throws four pitches for strikes, including a two-seam fastball that is a steady 93-94 mph, touching 95. He augments that pitch with a curve that has feel and bite, and a slider and changeup. Klein’s emergence this spring has been a pleasant surprise as he missed part of 2008 and all of 2009 with a shoulder injury. Once one of the top prep quarterbacks in California, Klein had numerous offers from Pac-10 Conference schools. As a three-year starter for Servite High, he threw for more than 3,500 yards and 28 touchdowns in his final two years. He cast his lot with baseball at an early age, however, committing to UCLA as a junior. Scouts have been waiting patiently for the 6-foot-3, 190-pound righthander to unleash his considerable potential pretty much ever since. He was selected in the 24th round of the 2007 draft by the Baltimore Orioles, even as he went a modest 5-5 as a senior. He then threw a combined 18 innings in his first two years at UCLA, all as a freshman. Klein’s first crack at college baseball produced a 2-2, 7.64 record in seven appearances, but his freshman season was largely derailed by shoulder soreness, causing him to miss two months. He then missed all of last season with the same ailment. Given a clean bill of health this season, Klein has responded by becoming one of the nation’s best closers. Through his first 20 innings, he had yet to give up a run, while walking four, striking out 29 and saving six games.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): It was unrealistic for Klein to keep up his red-hot pace through the 2010 season, but he continued to pitch extremely well and was 4-0, 1.86 with nine saves in 30 appearances through mid-May. In 39 innings, he struck out 46 while allowing just 29 hits and seven walks. Scouts have taken close notice of his accomplishments, but are drawn more to his exceptional pitchability and uncanny ability to throw four pitches for strikes. Though used as a closer this season, Klein profiles as a starter down the road as he doesn’t have the one exceptional pitch to lean on in a short role.—AS
MIKE ANTONIO, ss, George Washington HS, Bronx, N.Y.
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Antonio plays for the same New York City high school that produced Manny Ramirez, and it’s not surprising that Antonio is being called potentially the best player out of New York’s inner-city since the Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder was a first-round pick in 1991. While Antonio is very athletic, his best tool is undoubtedly his bat. In his first three years at GW, he hit no worse than .460, and peaked at .565 as a junior with a corresponding .935 slugging average. He hits from an open stance with a busy hand-hitch load and a lightning-quick swing. Because of his hand quickness and pull approach, Antonio is the kind of hitter who feasts on velocity, especially on the inside half of the plate. How he adjusts to quality off-speed stuff on the outside part of the plate is a question that won’t likely be answered until he moves on to the next level. Antonio has signed with St. John’s, although has also given a commitment to Arizona Central College. There remain plenty of questions about Antonio’s defense. He has long, fairly smooth actions at shortstop, and his athleticism and 6.8-second speed give him enough range for the position. However, Antonio’s arm strength is only fringy by big-league standards. He throws with effort and his release is long and not always consistent or flexible. Though a fixture at shortstop in high school, he played third base at points during the summer and did not look comfortable there. If Antonio were more polished defensively and had a plus arm, scouts would be comparing him athletically to Florida’s Manny Machado, the top prep shortstop in the 2010 class. A more realistic comparison might be Philadelphia Phillies’ 2008 first-round pick Anthony Hewitt, a raw athlete with New York City connections who has easy plus bat speed.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): By all accounts, Antonio did not play as well this spring as he did last summer and fall. He did not swing the bat with the same authority, and his play in the field was more erratic. His speed was also a step slower. With the quality of competition he faced in New York’s inner-city, where pitchers with sub-80 mph fastballs are common, it was difficult for scouts to accurately gauge his bat potential. Though a consensus 4th-6th rounder, it would not be surprising if a team jumped up and claimed him by the third round.—ALLAN SIMPSON
TONY WOLTERS, ss, Rancho Buena Vista HS, Vista, Calif.
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1):As a 5-foot-10, 165-pound shortstop, Wolters is one of the top pure “baseball players” in the 2010 draft class. He has starred on numerous ABD Bulldogs national-championship teams during the summer and fall, and capped off last summer by winning MVP honors at the Aflac All-American Game. Scouts have learned to put down their stop watches and generally ignore the radar-gun readings when it comes to Wolters, as he’s not an especially tools-oriented player. He’s an average runner, at best, and lacks raw arm strength. He’s more of a lefthanded-hitting version of Dustin Pedroia. Wolters can hit top-flight pitching as well as anyone in the country, but even his swing is hardly textbook. He starts his swing approach with low, tight hands and gets his bat into hitting position only at the last second. But he is an extremely-selective hitter and equally adept at driving balls to the left-center field gap or turning on balls and pulling them down the line. His power is very deceiving for a player with his size and approach, perhaps because he squares up so many pitches. Defensively, Wolters has exceptional hands and balance, and is always in the right position to make a play and get rid of the ball quickly. He is especially quick on turning double plays. As Wolters’ arm strength grades out as big-league average, at best, there is bound to be talk of his moving to second base in the future, although that would appear to be premature due to his extreme skills on the left side of the bag. Interestingly, Wolters has also caught occasionally and shows top-prospect level skills at that position, although his build is obviously not ideal for that position.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Wolters was suspended from his high-school team late in the season for attending a workout with the Toronto Blue Jays while his season was still in progress, a practice that is rampant in Southern California and elsewhere. That minor incident should have no affect whatsoever on Wolters’ draft status, as scouts obviously made up their mind early in the season, if not before, where to slot him.—DR
ROBBY ROWLAND, rhp, Cloverdale HS, Santa Rosa, Calif.
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1):The 6-foot-6, 205-pound Rowland is the top pitching prospect in Northern California and could also stake a claim for being the best basketball player in the 2010 baseball class nationally. He has received much more attention, in fact, for his exploits on the basketball court, where he averaged 26.5 points and 14.5 rebounds a game this winter and finished as the 26th leading scorer (2,548 points) in California prep history. His near and long-term future, though, appears to be on the mound. Rowland has a very easy, low-effort delivery and a smooth, tension-free arm action that produces a low-90s fastball that will bump 93-94 mph occasionally. His curveball is a good second pitch and he does a nice job throwing strikes with all his pitches. Rowland’s athleticism, size and arm action make scouts believe that he hasn’t reached anywhere near his potential on the mound. Scouts also appreciate his bloodlines, as Rowland’s father, Rich, caught in the major leagues for 10 years. Rowland has signed to play baseball at Oregon, although there is speculation that he might also play basketball at the Pac-10 school should he not end up in professional baseball first.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Rowland’s velocity has never taken the tick up from a steady 90-92 mph that many scouts had hoped for this spring, although there have been no complaints about his consistency either. In fact, he has been brilliant, at times, never more so than on April 14, when he threw a perfect game and struck out 13 while making just 71 pitches over seven innings. He didn’t allow a run through his first four starts, and through 58 innings was 6-1, 0.24 with 10 walks and 105 strikeouts. Scouts still believe there’s more velocity is in there, only that bump now would have probably moved the 6-6 righthander up into first-round contention.—DR
BLAKE FORSYTHE, c, Tennessee
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Forsythe appeared to cement his status as an early-round pick in the 2010 draft with a big sophomore year at Tennessee and by being selected as one of two catchers on USA Baseball’s college national team last summer. After hitting .347-15-46 in the spring for the Volunteers and earning all-Southeastern Conference honors, he badly outhit Miami’s Yasmani Grandal (.293-2-9 to Grandal’s .182-3-7) during the summer, but he has inextricably struggled at the plate this season for Tennessee. Through his first 32 games, he was hitting just .241-4-27 and striking out at a high rate. His timing couldn’t have been worse as Forsythe gave all indications of being one of the first three college catchers drafted this year, along with Grandal and Louisiana State’s Blake Gibbs, both potential first-rounders. His chances of surpassing his brother Logan, who was the 46th overall pick in the 2008 draft as a third baseman out of Arkansas, appeared strong entering 2010 but have largely slipped away, too, with his disappointing junior season. Forsythe has gotten used to his share of ups and downs in his career. After hitting .433-13-53 as a senior at Memphis’ Christian Brothers High in 2007 and setting a school-record for homers, he failed to go deep even once as a Tennessee freshman, and hit just .173-0-4 in 22 games. But he had a breakout season that summer in the Coastal Plain League, finishing second in the league with 10 homers, and he used that performance as a springboard to his big sophomore season. When Forsythe is going good, the ball explodes off his bat with the type of backspin that only advanced hitters can generate with wood bats. Forsythe has also made significant adjustments in his time at Tennessee in hitting breaking balls, which hampered him in his freshman season with the Vols, but can still be prone to struggling against high-velocity arms. He also has an unusually good eye at the plate and will draw more than his share of walks. Forsythe’s defensive tools are solid. He has quick feet for his size and is very mobile behind the plate, and has a strong throwing arm.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): If scouts weren’t turned off by his slow start and kept coming to see him, then Forsythe has a good chance to restore some of his lost luster in the draft. He swung the bat much better over the second half of Tennessee’s 2010 season, finishing at .286-15-57. His average was clearly down from his sophomore season as he struggled to bat even .250 in the first half, but his power numbers were consistent. Forsythe’s superior athletic ability (for a catcher), makeup and track record also will make scouts think twice before penalizing him for his slow start at the plate.—AS

AUSTIN WATES, of, Virginia Tech
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Though he hit .397-5-42 and stole a team-high 16 bases as a sophomore at Virginia Tech, Wates was a relative unknown in the scouting industry when he reported to the Cape Cod League last summer. He quickly gained his share of notoriety, however, by leading the league in hitting in the early going. Though he cooled off at the end to finish at .312, Wates repeatedly barreled up balls with a loose, easy swing and drove line drives to all fields. He failed to go deep even once for Yarmouth-Dennis, but clearly has untapped power potential. In his time on the Cape, he had a knack for taking what pitchers gave him and finding holes in the infield or gaps in the outfield. A superior all-around athlete, Wates has the impact speed (6.4 in the 60) to be a significant base-stealing threat and an impact defender in center field. His arm is also an above-average tool. Oddly, he has rarely been utilized in center, either in college or summer ball, so has had little opportunity to hone his skills there. He has curiously spent an inordinate amount of time at first base in his career at Virginia Tech, mainly because he is the team’s best option at that position, and was deployed on the outfield corners during the summer at Y-D. It seems to be just a matter of time before all of Wates’ tools ooze to the surface. It has all started to fall into place for him in his junior year at Virginia Tech as he was hitting .436-4-30 midway through the season, and leading the team in batting, RBIs and stolen bases. If he can maintain that pace, Wates could easily slip into the back end of the first round in June.—ALLLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): While there is some support for Wates as a possible late first-round pick, there is by no means a consensus. Some scouts simply don’t see him going that high because of the way he has been utilized defensively this spring. Wates spent much of the early season at first base, and has made right field his home in the second half. For them to consider taking him with a late first-round selection, or even in the sandwich round, they needed to see him play center field on an everyday basis—and be convinced he can play there. Wates has the speed and athleticism to play in the middle, just not the experience. His arm was just marginal by right-field standards. If anything, Wates has helped himself most at the plate this spring. He leads Virginia Tech with a .379 average (through games of mid-May), and had seven homers and 47 RBIs. He’s done a better job of hitting what pitchers give him, rather than chasing as much, and his 31-25 walk-to-strikeout ratio reflects that approach. His raw power still grade as good, not great; his speed remains his best tool, but he didn’t use it much on the bases, though still led Virginia Tech with 15 steals.—AS
ZACH CATES, rhp, Northeast Texas
SCOUTING PROFILE: Of all the players who have a realistic shot of being selected before the second round this year, none has shot up draft boards more rapidly than Cates. Though he was recruited out of an Arkansas high school primarily as a pitcher, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound righthander wanted to both catch and pitch at the junior-college level, and actually spent most of his freshman season at Northeast Texas in a catching role. He was slated to be the No. 3 catcher at NTCC in 2009, freeing him to pitch, but one of the other catchers on the roster quit and the other got hurt, and the regular duties inadvertently fell to Cates. He rarely pitched, working less than 10 innings. Though Cates held his own at the plate, it was evident that his huge arm belonged on the mound, and he began the conversion to full-time pitcher last fall. Stronger and more physically mature than as a freshman, Cates has been so dominant this spring that he hasn’t thrown a single fastball under 90 mph, and peaked at 98. He generally sat in the 93-95 mph range, but was still humming along at 96 in the sixth inning of a combined no-hitter on April 7. As NTCC entered regional play in mid-May, Cates was 7-2, 2.54 with 91 strikeouts in 67 innings. Though his control is erratic and he walked 32, he was also overpowering, at times, and allowed just 45 hits. In addition to his big fastball, Cates has a second out-pitch in his changeup. His breaking ball remains a work in progress, but should be a solid pitch when he tightens the rotation. Cates is one of several rising junior-college prospects from around the country who committed this spring to Oklahoma State, but his sudden stature as a premium draft talent makes it unlikely he’ll step foot in a four-year college.—ALLAN SIMPSON

AARON SHIPMAN, of-lhp, Brooks County HS, Quitman, Ga.
SCOUTING PROFILE: Shipman has quietly positioned himself as one of the top overall high-school outfielders in the 2010 draft class. Since he didn’t play during the summer and fall in the prestigious East Cobb travel program, Shipman went relatively unnoticed and was under-scouted until a breakthrough senior season at Brooks County High, as both an outfielder and pitcher. Shipman comes from significant baseball bloodlines, as his father, who happens to be his high-school coach, was a 10th round pick of the Detroit Tigers in the 1987 draft, and his brother Robert has received a fair amount of playing time as a freshman first baseman at Georgia. Aaron is the most athletic of the bunch, and while he doesn’t have his brother’s easy power, all of his other tools rate as above-average. At the plate, he has a solid gap-to-gap approach. His power, while not quite average, is significant enough that he can turn on a pitcher’s mistake. His exceptional raw speed is his best tool, and he’s been clocked as high as 6.3 seconds in the 60. That helps him cover plenty of ground in center field, where he projects as a solid defender, with solid arm strength for the position. As a pitcher, he touched 92 mph this spring from the left side; his best secondary pitch is a cut fastball. It’s clear, though, that Shipman’s future is in the field, and his overall package of tools has moved him into the top three or four rounds.—ANDY SEILER
CHRIS HAWKINS, 3b, North Gwinnett HS, Suwanee, Ga.
SCOUTING PROFILE: A big, physical (6-2, 210) athlete from prospect-rich Georgia, Hawkins didn’t distinguish himself as a potential elite-round prospect until he started swinging the bat at a more-accelerated clip as a senior. Suddenly, he went from a projected middle-round selection with the likelihood of playing in college at Tennessee, to a possible second- or third-rounder. He almost singlehandedly led North Gwinnett High to the brink of its first state title this spring by going on a 30-game hitting streak, which pushed his average on the season to .513 (through May 24). He broke numerous school offensive records in the process, including for home runs (15) and doubles. Hawkins is an advanced hitter with very good pitch recognition for his age, and his size and strength contribute to his impressive bat speed. Mostly a line-drive hitter in his first three years in high school, he has started to develop more consistent power with more repetitions. Hawkins plays shortstop at the high-school level, and the logical progression for him is to move to third base, though his unusual tool set might make him better suited in center field. His arm strength is his best defensive tool and grades out in the fringy/plus category; however, his balance, actions and hands are all below-average for an infielder. Despite his size, Hawkins is a plus runner, providing scouts with reason to believe that he could be a natural fit in centerfield. The main interest in Hawkins, though, is his bat.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
DEVIN LOHMAN, ss, Long Beach State
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): The first thing about Lohman that catches a scout’s attention is his exceptional raw arm strength—easily the best among shortstops in the Cape Cod League last summer. Interestingly, Lohman’s arm isn’t even considered the best among infielders on his own college team as that distinction goes to Kirk Singer, a rising sophomore who was forced to play second base this season at Long Beach State. Besides his big arm, the lean, agile Lohman has sound defensive skills, and has become the next in line in an impressive list of shortstops who have played at Long Beach State that includes major leaguers Bobby Crosby, Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria. He has sound actions and instincts in the field, makes the tough play, plays with confidence and flair, and isn’t afraid to get dirty. Lohman’s questionable bat was ultimately supposed to be the tool that separated him from some of the shortstops that preceded him at Long Beach State, at least based on his first two years of college. He hit a commendable.307-4-36 and frequently hit in the 3-hole for the Dirtbags as a sophomore, but struck out 48 times in 199 at-bats, and the holes in his swing were more acutely exposed using wood in the Cape. He succumbed 44 times in 128 at-bats for Orleans, while hitting a soft .219-2-11. But his bat has been a pleasant surprise this spring, and midway through the 2010 season he was batting .383-1-18 with just 21 strikeouts. It’s still evident, though, that he needs to get bigger and stronger to be more potent with wood. Lohman also needs to play the short game better and utilize his speed more effectively to just survive as an offensive player at the next level.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Lohman’s scouting profile has changed a bit as a junior at Long Beach State, and his strong performance on both sides of the ball has elevated him to a solid third-round pick, possibly even a second-rounder. By hitting a team-high .415 this season (through mid-May), he has erased concerns that his bat might not play effectively at the professional level. Though he had homered just once, he has been an efficient line-drive, gap-to-gap hitter with solid extra-base power (17 doubles), if not true home-run power. Southern California scouts have also downplayed his arm strength a bit, remembering the cannons that Dirtbags players like Tulowitzki and Longoria, and even Danny Espinosa (third-rounder, 2008) had before Lohman’s arrival. There are questions, too, whether Lohman has the range and loose, easy actions desired in a shortstop at the next level, and may end up at third base eventually. No doubt he’ll benefit on draft day by the lack of college bats in this draft and Long Beach State’s rich pedigree of producing elite shortstops.--AS
ADDISON REED, rhp, San Diego State
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1):The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Reed gained acclaim last year as the ninth-inning caddy for No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg, finishing the majority of Strasburg’s 13 wins en route to leading the country with 20 saves (in 20 chances). As a one-inning closer, Reed threw his fastball at 92-96 mph from a deceptive cross-fire delivery, and pounded the bottom half of the strike zone. Converted to a starter this year to replace Strasburg in the San Diego State rotation, Reed has smoothed out his delivery a bit, although he still has plenty of deception. He has also diversified his stuff while maintaining his plus command. He is now pitching in the 89-92 mph range with a low-80s slider that shows the potential to be a plus big-league pitch. His changeup is also coming on quickly, giving him three solid offerings. Reed went 4-1, 2.70 through April 1, with 36 strikeouts and only seven walks in 33 innings. Ironically, the change in role for Reed is nothing new. He didn’t even start pitching until his junior year in high school and finished third in the California prep ranks in home runs as a senior with 13 long balls. For a player who went undrafted out of high school in 2007, Reed has a chance of sneaking in the back end of the first round this year.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Reed’s chances of going in the first round seemed to diminish as the 2010 season wore on, and he was being scouted more as a second- or third-rounder with the draft mere weeks away. While scouts acknowledge that Reed is pitching better as a starter than he did as a reliever, and has taken to his role and lower arm angle, his velocity has dipped. He’s been mostly 90-91 mph this spring, topping at 93—not in the mid-90s, when he was a closer. But his slider, more of a vanilla offering in 2009, has become more firm, and has become an effective weapon against lefthanded hitters. His change has become a solid third pitch. Through his first 10 starts, Reed was 8-1, 2.33 with 12 walks and 83 strikeouts in 73 innings. Opponents were batting just. 212. His size and ability to throw three pitches for strikes makes Reed a safe, low-risk selection, but the lack of a big fastball will marginally depress his draft status.—ALLAN SIMPSON
TYLER THORNBURG, rhp, Charleston Southern
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Despite his undersized frame, Thornburg can generate some serious heat with a fastball that sits at 93-94 mph, and can reach 95-97. He utilized that pitch almost exclusively in some outings last summer in the Cape Cod League as Brewster’s primary closer, going 0-0, 2.60 with eight saves. He throws his fastball with a lot of effort, though, and there are questions if he’ll ever develop command with his exaggerated mechanics, or whether his arm or body will hold up in the long haul. Thornburg also has struggled to develop consistency with the rest of his arsenal, which includes a curveball and developing changeup. He gets good extension in his over-the-top delivery and actually evokes comparisons to San Francisco Giants righthander Tim Lincecum with the hitch in his mechanics, not to mention the velocity he can generate in his small build. Thornburg is also a significant two-way talent, and had expectations of being used in the field for Brewster, only to be disappointed when he got just two at-bats last summer. But it enabled him to concentrate his efforts on pitching, where his future lies. Thornburg has played in right field on a regular basis in three seasons at Charleston Southern, in addition to his role as a pitcher, and started all 53 games of the 2009 season at the position, while hitting in the 3-hole. He hit .292-12-49, and topped Charleston Southern in homers and RBIs. He made all 18 relief appearances by coming in directly from right field, without warming up in a conventional manner, and posted a 4-4, 3.73 record with a save. In 31 innings, he walked 24 and struck out 35. As both a freshman and junior for the Buccaneers, Thornburg was used as a starting pitcher, and played in the field only on the days he didn’t pitch. After going 2-5, 7.04 as a starter in 2008, it was quickly determined that he was better served by being used as a closer—both the purposes of his two-way role and his professional future. In his first true shot at a closing role, in the summer of 2008 in the Valley League, he was selected that league’s No. 2-ranked prospect after going 1-1, 1.48 with 10 saves (second in the league) in 18 appearances, while striking out 38 in 24 innings. More on the basis of need, he returned to a starting role this spring for Charleston Southern. Though his performance (5-2, 4.89 in 10 starts, with 26 walks and 64 strikeouts in his first 57 innings) hasn’t been overly impressive, nor his showing as an everyday right fielder (.256-7-18), Thornburg’s draft status hasn’t suffered as he continued to pump mid-90s fastballs.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Despite Thornburg’s heroic two-way efforts, Charleston Southern closed out the 2010 season with a 17-38 record overall, and 6-20 in the Big South Conference. Thornburg didn’t step up at the plate like he has in the past (.252-7-18, 47 SO), but was impressive throughout on the mound (5-4, 4.14, 78 IP/34 BB/88 SO), showing steady 92-93 mph velocity, peaking occasionally at 95. He solidified his standing as a solid third-fourth rounder, though it wouldn’t be a surprise if a team jumped up and took him in the second round.—AS
MICAH GIBBS, c, Louisiana State
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Gibbs played a key role for Louisiana State as a sophomore, as the Tigers rolled to their sixth College World Series title in the last two decades. He hit .294-6-52, but his more-important role was behind the plate. A big, durable catcher, Gibbs excelled defensively with his athletic actions, ability to direct a pitching staff and routinely gun down runners with a powerful arm. Gibbs played in just 17 games last summer in the Cape Cod League after reporting late from LSU’s successful run in Omaha, and ended up splitting the catching duties for Yarmouth-Dennis. He never got in much of a rhythm at the plate, hitting just .212-3-15 for the Red Sox. Despite his subpar performance with the bat, Gibbs was easily the best all-around catching prospect on the Cape. A switch-hitter, he has power from both sides, but is a much more advanced hitter overall from the left side, where his swing is smooth and effortless, and he’ll drive the ball more consistently. Through the first half of LSU’s 2010 season, Gibbs was hitting .396 with 11 extra-base hits. He is particularly advanced behind the plate, and his leadership skills and ability to control a game were compared last summer to those of Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, himself a Cape Cod standout during his college days. Gibbs particularly excels in the way he moves and shifts behind the plate, and blocks balls like a skilled veteran. He can neutralize a running game with the excellent on-line carry he gets on his throws. It’s readily evident that Gibbs has been well-coached. Speed is the one tool where he falls a bit short, but the rest of his game puts him at the top of the list among college catchers in the 2010 college draft class.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): LSU suffered a sudden and significant mid-season slump, losing 11 of 12 Southeastern Conference games in a stretch from late April to mid-May, after starting the season at 32-6 overall. Gibbs was immune from his team’s downturn, and actually stretched his average on the season to .418 by mid-May, by far the best on the team. He also had seven homers and 51 RBIs, but some scouts don’t believe that Gibbs will hit for a high average or be a run producer at the pro level because he just has slider bat speed. His defense is another story, though, and Gibbs may be the best at his position in the draft.—AS

RYAN BRETT, of-2b, Highline HS, Burien, Wash.
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1):The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Brett is not related to the renowned Brett baseball family, which has established significant baseball and hockey roots in the Pacific Northwest. Brett might be a far better-known prospect nationally if he played in the traditional Sun Belt states, or had a more prominent physical stature. Inch for inch, though, he is one of the better baseball players in the 2010 draft class. Some scouts swear he’s no more than 5-foot-7, but even at his documented height there is a good chance that he has already convinced scouts that there are plenty of very successful sub-5-foot-10 players in the big leagues, and that he might eventually be one of them. Brett is an extremely aggressive player, who approaches the game at full throttle. He is a solid plus to plus-plus runner, and is a steady 4.1 seconds to first base from right side. His speed plays up a notch because of his all-out approach, and because he is a very instinctive and accomplished base stealer. Brett also has surprising pop in his bat for a player his size. He takes a short, aggressive swing and drives balls hard to the alleys. Through his first 16 games this season for Highline High, he was hitting .611-5-20 with 12 doubles and 22 steals. One of the puzzles for scouts to eventually try and figure out is which position Brett best profiles. He plays shortstop for his high-school team, but his modest arm strength may force him off that position at the next level. His defensive tools appear to fit better either in center field or at second base, with second being the ideal position for him to maximize his offensive value. Brett is very similar in a number of ways to Florida State center fielder Tyler Holt, possibly the premier leadoff hitter in the college game now and one of the best in the last decade. Holt projects as a third- or fourth-round pick in June, just about the same area Brett should be drafted.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): Brett remains a clear third behind outfielders Josh Sale and Drew Vettleson among the three Washington state high-school players who could crack the top 100. His size remains his biggest obstacle, but Brett also has not done enough on the field this spring to elevate himself higher than the third round. He tried switch-hitting, and abandoned that when he struggled from the left side. He hasn’t emphasized his speed or learned to incorporate more of a small-ball approach into his game, and instead has tried too hard to reach the fences in most of his at-bats. He’s also done little to convince scouts that he can stay at shortstop at the next level. Still, scouts are impressed with sparkplug approach, and remain fascinated that such a little player can have such big tools.—ALLAN SIMPSON
RYNE STANEK, rhp, Blue Valley HS, Overland Park, Kan.
SCOUTING PROFILE: Stanek and Blue Valley Northwest righthander Jason Adam were two Kansas high-school righthanders who suddenly burst on the scouting scene this spring. Both came out of the gates throwing 94-95 mph, after previously being in the 87-91 range most of 2009. While Stanek has maintained his superior velocity most of the spring, Adam’s slipped more into the 88-92 mph range after 3-4 starts. As a result, Stanek has become a solid candidate for the sandwich or second round, while Adam may have dropped beyond the fifth round. Stanek is long and loose at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, and his projectable frame played a key part in his emergence. He was a regular at some of the major scouting events last summer, including the Perfect Game National Showcase in June and Area Code Games in August, and threw well consistently. His fastball was steady in the upper-80s coming from a drop-and-drive delivery, three-quarters release point, and a clean, extended arm action. He showed good command of his pitches and worked the lower half of the zone well. His best secondary pitch was his changeup and he flashed some quality spin occasionally on his slider. With his slender build, good athleticism and loose arm, it was obvious then he had the potential to keep improving. This spring it happened quickly. Stanek came out throwing in the 90-94 mph range, touched 95-96 mph occasionally, and has held his velocity throughout entire games. His changeup remains his best secondary pitch, although he is still working on improving his slider, a factor that worries scouts a bit.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1):With Joe Mauer as the poster boy, lefthanded-hitting catchers who win batting titles tend to attract attention, and Brantly garnered the most support from scouts and coaches as the Northwoods League’s top prospect last summer. He hit .346 to win the title by two points, and also drilled six homers while driving in 34 runs. He was also second in slugging (.516) and third in on-base percentage (.411). Perhaps most impressive, he showed a keen eye at the plate, and posted a 21-11 walk-to-strikeout ratio. Brantly also had a solid freshman campaign for UC Riverside, hitting .316-4-23 in 152 at-bats, and had little problem assimilating to wood during the summer, employing a quick, compact stroke that enabled him to smoke line drives with backspin from gap-to-gap. “He is one of the best hitting catchers the league has ever seen,” one long-time Northwoods League coach said. “He puts the ball in play, has good power and always seemed to come up with the big hit.” Through his first 22 games in 2010 for UCR, he was hitting .333-3-17. Brantly, a late-round draft pick of the Washington Nationals in 2008, doesn’t quite measure up defensively, with his arm strength the biggest area of concern. But he makes up for some of the deficiency with a quick release and good footwork, and does a nice job blocking balls in the dirt. Brantly also handled pitchers as well as any catcher in the Northwoods League. Moreover, he received high marks for his conditioning and professional approach to the game. By just a matter of days, Brantly is eligible for the 2010 draft as a sophomore, and quickly climbed follow lists after his impressive summer.—PATRICK EBERT/ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): In mid-May, Brantly’s primary offensive stats (.353-6-34) for UC Riverside were almost identical to his stats last summer in the Northwoods League (.346-6-34). On one hand, his college performance may not have measured up to expectations as it has been accomplished with aluminum, but he has been a solid gap-to-gap hitter all spring with good power. His defensive skills continue to evolve, and he has displayed solid-average arm strength through the summer. That’s pretty much the same scouting report he was given last summer, and not surprisingly he grades out as a third-round pick in the draft—just like he did entering the season.—AS
JOE LEONARD, 3b, Pittsburgh
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1):Most times when scouts look at a 6-foot-5, 220-pound third baseman, they are going to think, “this guy has power, I hope the rest of his game is playable.” With Leonard, the opposite is true. The righthanded hitter has a smooth, crisp swing that is geared to high-contact/high-average, but doesn’t produce much lift. He hit .346 for the Maryland Orioles of the Cal Ripken Sr. League last summer, but didn’t go deep once. Leonard had 12 home runs in his first two years as an everyday player at Pittsburgh, so it appeared there was something there to develop as he entered his pivotal junior campaign. But even in a breakout 2010 season, where he hit .444 and drove in 44 runs in first 32 games for Pitt, Leonard homered just four times. He has hit some long home runs for Pitt, but the club’s offensive philosophy is geared more towards situational hitting. With some tweaking of his swing at the next level, his power numbers may evolve. It’s readily apparent that Leonard has considerable upside on both sides of the ball and could be a significant draft in June if he continues to perform as he has to date. It’s possible he could go as high as the sandwich round if his projectable power begins to evolve, or scouts at least buy into his power potential. Defensively, Leonard is surprisingly quick and agile for an athlete his size. He has plus arm strength and been clocked up to 93 mph on the mound. Some Cal Ripken Sr. League observers likened Leonard defensively to a young Cal Ripken Jr., given his size, arm strength and agile feet. The irony in that comparison is that Leonard’s father, John, was the Baltimore Orioles first-round pick in the secondary phase of the January 1982 draft, and pitched briefly in the organization that year—the same year that Ripken won the American League rookie-of-the-year award. Leonard is smart, tough and even-tempered. He has sound hands, both offensively and defensively, and excellent instincts. His only weakness is foot speed, but that is not perceived as a weakness for a corner player.—DAVID RAWNSLEY/ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Leonard has led a 36-14 Pitt team to one of its better seasons in recent memory, hitting .437-8-65 as the Panthers everyday third baseman, and saving eight games in 11 appearances as the team’s primary closer. Pretty much everything about Leonard has impressed scouts this spring, except they remain unsure about his power, and the uncertainty could keep him out of the first two rounds.—AS
PAT DEAN, lhp, Boston College
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Dean has a history of being lost in the shuffle at various stages of his career, even as he has performed at a relatively-high level. That persona could change this spring as Dean ranks among the best college lefthanders in the draft. Despite leading Boston College in wins and strikeouts as a sophomore, while going 6-4, 3.30 with 16 walks and 90 strikeouts in 95 innings, he played second fiddle on BC’s first NCAA tournament team in 42 years as catcher Tony Sanchez was the fourth pick in the 2009 draft and all-star closer Mike Belfiore was a supplemental first-rounder. Even during the summer while playing for Thomasville in the Coastal Plain League, Dean went a solid 2-1, 2.75 with four walks and 41 strikeouts in 39 innings, but flew totally under the radar as a prospect. There’s been no overlooking Dean this spring, though, as he burst out to a 5-0, 2.93 start, while walking just eight and striking out 30 in his initial 46 innings. Despite missing a start with a little tenderness in his triceps, Dean quickly caught the attention of scouts with a fastball in the 88-92 mph range, an advanced changeup and solid-average slider. But Dean’s real strength continues to be his impeccable command of his three pitches. By all accounts, he now qualifies as a stylish lefthander with a plus fastball. It wasn’t always that way for Dean, who threw barely 80 mph as a Connecticut high-school junior and went an unimpressive 2-1, 9.00 with nine walks in 23 innings as an unassuming Boston College freshman.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Dean was sailing along nicely at mid-season, with a fastball in the 88-92 mph range, touching 93, and three solid secondary pitches—a change, his best pitch; a hard, late slider at 84-85 and an improving curve. But he reportedly felt a little tenderness in his triceps, and missed a start or two. Though there didn’t seem to be a cause for concern at the time, Dean never won another game this spring after April 3, and he was rocked by Georgia Tech in his final outing of the regular season, giving up 11 hits and nine runs in just 3-2/3 innings of a game Boston College went on to lose 15-8. The setback lowered his record on the year to 5-2, 4.71, with 11 walks and 56 strikeouts in 71 innings. It remains to be seen if Dean has an issue that could impact his draft status, but scouts will watch him closely in the ACC tournament.—AS
JORDAN AKINS, of, Union Grove HS, McDonough, Ga.
SCOUTING PROFILE: Akins is a notable two-sport athlete who signed with Central Florida in February to play wide receiver and outfield. However, a surge in the second half of the 2010 season has put his future football career in doubt. Akins originally attended Georgia’s Strong Rock Christian High for his first three years of high school, where he received little recruiting/scouting attention, both in football and baseball. However, after transferring to Union Grove, a large public school, football and baseball scouts both came calling. Akins fell under the “athlete” category for the purposes of football recruiting as he played quarterback, wide receiver, defensive back and wide receiver last fall, and that’s an apt description of his baseball tools, as well. He’s raw in all phases of the game, but his combination of tools makes him one of the more exciting players in the draft. He has excellent physical size and projection for continued strength, and though his hitting skills lag far behind, he has impressive raw power and speed. Hitting a breaking ball has been a challenge, but scouts generally feel that he’ll explode offensively with the repetitions he’s missed while playing football. Defensively, Akins is a solid center fielder with raw routes to the ball, but he has a plus arm, and his speed and coachability should make him a solid player there. There are some concerns that his size might force him to a corner, but there’s enough upside in his bat to believe that shouldn’t be a problem. The bigger problem is his football scholarship, as scouts have trouble weighing his rawness against his upside and signability. There is some consolation about Akins’ dual-sport status, though, as teams could spread his signing bonus over as many as five years if they choose to draft and sign him.—ANDY SEILER
J.T. REALMUTO, c/ss, Carl Albert HS, Midwest City, Okla.
SCOUTING PROFILE: Realmuto had the most prolific season of any high-school player in the 2010 draft. He hit a resounding .595-28-119 with 26 doubles, and set a national season record for RBIs. A 6-foot-1, 190-pound righthanded hitter, Realmuto has obvious offensive potential. He has good bat speed and the ball jumps off his bat, but his hitting style and approach are a little unconventional, and may make him susceptible to the better pitching and wood bats he’ll see at the pro level. But scouts believe that most of his faults at the plate are minor, and correctable. Realmuto has a wide range of athletic skills, and can capably play a number of positions and a number of different sports. His value would be maximized if he can stay at catcher or shortstop, where he spent most of his time in high school. Realmuto has also excelled in football and basketball, and led his high-school team to the 5-A state title as a senior as a dual-purpose quarterback, rushing for 1,412 yards and 25 touchdowns, and passing for 1,937 yards and 25 more TDs.—ALLAN SIMPSON
CARTER JURICA, ss, Kansas State
SCOUTING PROFILE: Jurica overcame a slow start to lead Kansas’ only NCAA regional team in homers (13) and RBIs (69), while batting .363. He was easily the best prospect on an otherwise blue-collar Kansas State squad, and displayed solid all-around tools, at the plate, in the field and on the bases. Jurica has a good approach to hitting, with good plate discipline and modest power potential—his 13 homers were the fourth most in K-State history. His range and arm strength are suitable for shortstop, but might be maximized on the other side of the bag.—ALLAN SIMPSON
SAM TUIVAILALA, ss, Aragon HS, San Mateo, Calif.
SCOUTING PROFILE: Tuivailala is a three-sport star with two-way ability and five-tool potential. He excelled on the football field as a quarterback, and on the basketball court as a point guard. He then divided his time this spring between shortstop and the mound, working both as a starter and in relief. It’s unclear whether Tuivailala profiles more as a position player or pitcher, but he runs the 60 in 6.8 seconds and has power potential, and also has been clocked up to 93 mph on the mound, though is more consistently in the 88-90 range. He hit .324-5-21 in 24 games, and also went 4-3, 1.28 with 26 walks and 77 strikeouts in 60 innings. His signature outing of the spring was a 17-strikeout, no-hitter. A shortstop at the high-school level, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Tuivailala is expected to slide over to third base at the next level, and may even fit in the outfield. A Fresno State recruit, Tuivailala is younger than most players in this draft as he was just 16 when he began his senior year of high school.—ALLAN SIMPSON

JOSH RUTLEDGE, ss, Alabama
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Though he went undrafted out of an Alabama high school in 2007, Rutledge was an advanced talent at the time and made an immediate splash in the Southeastern Conference as a freshman, hitting .369-0-31 and setting an SEC regular-season record with 91 hits. He also held his own that summer in the Cape Cod League, batting .294-1-10. His average dipped in his encore—to .305 at Alabama, to .250 on the Cape—but Rutledge made a more concerted effort to add power to his offensive package, and the tradeoff was predictable. He drilled five homers as a sophomore at Alabama, and though he didn’t go deep in the Cape Cod League last summer, it was apparent that he was driving balls more consistently, especially to the opposite field. Normally, Rutledge has a good offensive approach with sound hitting mechanics and makes consistent, hard contact, but he also looked off-balance and uncomfortable at the plate at times last summer, and struggled to find his timing. He has rebounded this spring to hit .369-3-30 this season at Alabama, through half a season. Rutledge has held down shortstop for two years for the Tide, and teamed with Ross Wilson, another elite talent for the 2010 draft, to give the Alabama one of the nation’s best double-play combinations. Rutledge has all the athleticism and basic skills, along with the feel and instincts, to stay at short as he progresses with his career. He showed a wider base in his set-up to field ground balls last summer, but also took more questionable angles as he ranged to balls than in the past. Minor tinkering is all that Rutledge has left to refine his game.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Rutledge has been putting the finishing touches on his best season at the college level, solidifying his status in the process as a consensus third- or fourth-rounder. Heading into the final weekend of the SEC season, he was batting .364-7-55 with 13 steals in 16 attempts. He’s addressed most questions scouts had about him coming out of high school—notably to be more than just a singles hitter, to show he had the range, hands and actions to remain at shortstop.—AS

SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Rupp cemented his reputation as an elite power hitter by winning the Home Run Derby in convincing fashion at the 2006 Aflac All-American Game, prior to his senior year at a Texas high school. Though he hasn’t produced the massive power numbers since that scouts expected to see, he still topped Texas in homers as a sophomore while batting .292-11-46, and flashed his enormous raw power during the summer in the Cape Cod League, particularly in that league’s Home Run Derby. At 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds, Rupp is exceptionally strong, and he always swings hard with a slight uppercut in his balanced, mature stroke. He also has the discipline at the plate to look for a pitch that he can drive. Rupp homered just four times on the Cape, but went to bat only 60 times as he was late reporting after Texas played in the College World Series championship game. He also shared the Cotuit catching job with two other top prospects, Cody Stanley (UNC Wilmington) and Zach Maggard (Florida Southern). As the best overall hitter of the three—for average and plate discipline, in addition to his big raw power—Rupp frequently ended up in a DH role. But he also appeared tired from a long season behind the plate for Texas, notably the aftereffects of catching all 25 innings of the Longhorns’ historic win over Boston College in regional play. Rupp possesses the raw arm strength to be an everyday catcher at the next level, but he’s not overly athletic behind the dish and may have to refine his footwork and tighten his long release to become even an average defender. In particular, he needs to get his feet and arm in sync consistently. Rupp is a willing learner, however, and should continue to improve in all areas of his game defensively as a college junior to a point where he’s expected to be one of the top 50-75 prospects in the 2010 draft. That lofty ranking, though, may depend on his ability to crank home runs at a steady clip this spring, and he was a little slow out of the gates with just four homers and a .285 average just past the halfway point of the season.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Rupp entered college with the reputation as a hitter with a big upside in the power area, but a defender who would struggle, despite his athleticism. Three years later, he potentially leaves Texas as a polished receiver, having caught a bulk of the innings this season for the best pitching staff in college baseball. Entering the last weekend of the regular season, the staff had a collective 2.27 ERA and featured a number of top arms for both the 2010 and 2011 drafts. Meanwhile, his offensive profile has changed so much in three years with the Longhorns that many scouts have serious questions whether he might ever hit big-league pitching. He was hitting just .295-8-46 with 50 strikeouts.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
LEON LANDRY, of, Louisiana State
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Landry has shown flashes of brilliance on both sides of the ball in his combined college and summer-league career, yet has struggled to gain respect and appreciation for his accomplishments. He played sparingly as a freshman at LSU because of a then-suspect bat, but eventually was installed in center field for the Tigers and quickly gained much notoriety for his spectacular defense in leading LSU to an unexpected 2008 College World Series berth. Even as he showed significant improvement at the plate as a sophomore, hitting .300-12-47 (compared to .271-5-26 as a freshman), Landry lost his job down the stretch as the Tigers made a successful run to a CWS championship. His demotion spoke to the overflow of talent on the LSU roster, but also to Landry’s difficulty in hitting lefthanded pitching. After he earned MVP honors during the summer of 2008 at the All-American Amateur Baseball Association World Series for making highlight-reel catches, hitting a pair of grand slams and driving in 10 runs in one game, all on his way to leading the Maryland Orioles to their sixth straight AAABA title, Landry moved on to the Cape Cod League in 2009. He hit a robust .364, and would have finished second in the Cape League batting race if he had enough plate appearances to officially qualify. He hit balls with authority to all fields, both for average and power, and there wasn’t a hotter hitter on the Cape down the stretch. Despite his acknowledged skills as a defensive center fielder, Landry was shuffled off to left field at Harwich in deference to Trent Mummey, a top-notch defender in his own right. Mummey, who plays in college at Auburn, has a slightly-better arm than Landry, but was given preference as the everyday center fielder because he was settled into the position when Landry arrived. Despite his checkered playing status, Landry is recognized by scouts as an outstanding athlete with high-ceiling baseball tools, and could nudge his way close to the first round in June with a big junior season at LSU. Through 32 games as the team’s everyday center fielder, he was hitting .345-3-29 and had stolen 13 bases in 15 attempts. He still has a lot of refinement left on the offensive side of his game, though. In particular, he needs a quieter approach with his hands at the plate, along with better plate discipline. He has a tendency to be impatient with many of his at-bats, though made strides with an impressive 17-10 walk-to-strikeout ratio this spring. He also has above-average speed, but is still considered a below-average base runner.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Landry went on to finish the 2010 season at .338-6-45, with 16 stolen bases in 20 attempts. He seemed to lose steam towards the end, much as LSU did in bowing out in NCAA regional play. Of concern to scouts, Landry continued to struggle against lefthanded pitching and had difficulty turning around a 92-mph fastball, and was often prone to getting himself out. Though he excels defensively, Landry is just a slightly above-average runner. Overall, it didn’t happen for Landry in 2010 as scouts expected it would, and Landry is expected to settle in as a fifth-sixth rounder.--AS
SEAN COYLE, ss, Germantown Academy, Chalfont, Pa.
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1):Inch for inch, the 5-foot-9, 175-pound Coyle might be, along with California middle infielder Tony Wolters, the best player in the 2010 class. He has game-impacting speed in the field and on the bases, and is always in the 6.4-6.5 range in the 60, regardless of the track conditions. If Coyle was a basketball player, scouts would say that he has a great “motor”, as he always seems to be all over the field making plays and putting pressure on the other team. The most surprising part of Coyle’s game is his power. He has impressive bat speed and some lift in his swing that enables him to drive the ball much farther than a player his size would otherwise normally be able to do. He blasted a home run into the left-center field bleachers at Perfect Game’s National Showcase last June at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, and consistently lines balls up the gaps against quality pitching. As a junior at Germantown Academy, he hit .463-4-17 with 13 stolen bases. In the fall, he excelled for Team USA’s junior-national team in a qualifying event for the 2010 World junior championship, playing third base and 12 walks in eight games in his leadoff role. Defensively, Coyle has good shortstop actions and could definitely play that position at the upper-college level, but is best-suited for second base at the pro level. He has very quick hands on turning double plays and his arm strength, which is fringy at shortstop, is very good on the other side of the bag. Coyle has the same tools and physical stature as former Houston Astros all-star Craig Biggio, and has signed to join his brother Tommy, also a middle infielder, next year at North Carolina.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
UPDATE (5/15): If he was even 6-feet tall, Coyle might be a first-rounder. Still, he might get paid like one as there have been rumblings this spring that at least one Northeast club might go to seven figures to get Coyle under contract. He can do pretty much anything on the field, and is a big favorite of scouts for the way he understands the game and plays it the right way. Scouts have found fault only in his arm strength this spring, though there is also acknowledgement that his power potential is limited, just because of his smaller frame. Still, Coyle can go deep consistently and his speed makes him an intriguing power/speed package along the lines of Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, and even Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Coyle is a faster, stronger model than his brother, and yet the two would form a fascinating double-play combination next year at North Carolina if the draft doesn’t intercede.—ALLAN SIMPSON
WENDELL SOTO, ss, Riverview HS, Sarasota, Fla.
SCOUTING PROFILE: Though only 5-foot-8 and 155 pounds, Soto plays bigger than his size because of his no-fear approach at the plate and overly-confident flair for playing shortstop. He excels defensively with his soft hands and first-step quickness, even as his arm strength is just average by shortstop standards. A switch-hitter, Soto sprays the ball effectively to all fields, but understandably his diminutive size and resulting lack of power are drawbacks in his offensive approach. Soto added to his appeal this spring, though, with improved speed. He stole 19 bases as a senior, while hitting .372 with 18 RBIs. Like Manny Machado, the nation’s premier prep shortstop prospect, Soto has committed to play in college at Florida International. But Machado’s steadily-increasing status in the draft makes it highly unlikely that he will enroll at FIU. That would pave the way for Soto to play alongside his brother Wes, a second baseman from Florida’s Polk State JC, who also is FIU-bound.—ALLAN SIMPSON
ROB SEGEDIN, 3b, Tulane
SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Segedin had a decorated career at a New Jersey high school and enjoyed considerable two-way success as a freshman at Tulane, yet his career has been overshadowed by a string of injuries, including shoulder and back issues that sidelined him for the 2009 college season after just five games. He was nonetheless selected to the USA Baseball college national team’s preliminary roster last summer, but didn’t make the final cut and ended up in the Cape Cod League a couple of weeks into the season. Despite his late start, on top of missing the spring season, Segedin played a key role for Bourne, hitting .304-0-16 in 27 games, as the Braves won their first league title. Though he didn’t go deep or even make a pitching appearance on the summer, Segedin at least showed he was healthy. As a freshman for Tulane, Segedin hit .322-6-59 with 18 doubles, and also won five games and saved five more as a closer while striking out 21 in 19 innings. He was initially expected to go both ways as a red-shirt sophomore for the Green Wave, but has made playing third base a priority with the stated goal of developing his mostly-untapped raw power. Segedin continues to be challenged as he homered just four times in Tulane’s first 30 games this spring, though was hitting a solid .391 with 19 doubles. Though he stayed back, swung hard and squared up a lot of balls for Bourne, he drove most pitches the other way and may have been the best opposite-field hitter on the Cape. To date, he remains mostly a doubles hitter, but still earns high marks for his sweet, balanced, in-control swing and ability to make steady, hard contact. His arm strength also grades out above-average, and he should settle in at the hot corner as his athletic actions around the bag are passable by pro standards, though it’s possible he could end up at first base or in the outfield. Bourne manager Harvey Shapiro was quick to liken Segedin’s overall game last summer to former Braves player and current big leaguer Kevin Youkilis, though Segedin doesn’t play with the same fire and intensity that Youkilis does.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Segedin posted All-American-caliber numbers with the bat this spring at Tulane (.430-14-53, 31 BB/20 SO through games of mid-May), yet scouts still express significant reservation about his overall medical record and ability to play third base at the big-league level. As a draft-eligible sophomore, Segedin might end up sliding farther than his talent warrants, possibly from the third- to fifth rounds, and either use the summer to show scouts that he is fully healthy, or possibly even set his sights on 2011.—DAVID RAWNSLEY