Draft : : State Preview
Thursday, May 26, 2011

State Preview: Oklahoma

Allan Simpson         David Rawnsley        

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 mini-scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players.

Oklahoma State-by-State List

Oklahoma Overview:
Projected First-Rounders Bundy, Bradley Highlight Banner Year in Oklahoma

Oklahoma may never again see as much draft-eligible baseball talent as was on display across the state this spring. For sure, there won’t be a pair of prep pitching prospects that are as talented as fireballing righthanders Dylan Bundy of Owasso High and Archie Bradley of nearby Broken Arrow High.

Both are near-slam dunks to go in the top half of the first round.

The talented duo, who are close friends and have known each other since they were eight years old, drew national media attention all spring to their respective high schools, which are located about 20 minutes apart in suburban Tulsa.

Though Bundy and Bradley never went head-to-head during the 2011 season, that was more by fate as they were scheduled to face each other in a highly-anticipated matchup in April, only for that game to be rained out. There was a chance they would lock horns in the state 6-A championship game, but that never materialized either as Bundy would have worked on short rest to make that potential showdown a reality.

Bradley ultimately gained the upper hand on Bundy as he pitched Broken Arrow (36-2), ranked No. 1 in the state, to a 4-0 win over Owasso (37-2), the consensus No. 1 team in the country. He allowed just two hits while striking out 14, and fanned Bundy three times, once on a 98-mph fastball.

For most of the spring, Bundy was the main attraction. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound righthander showcased the kind of stuff that has rarely, if ever been seen in a high-school pitcher. Bundy regularly pitched in the 95-97 mph range and touched the magic 100-mph mark on a number of occasions.

Beyond just pure velocity, Bundy’s arsenal includes three quality secondary pitches that he can throw for strikes almost at will, including a hard, biting 90-91 mph cutter. He demonstrated the type of command and composure usually only seen in a polished professional pitcher, and veteran Midwest scouts said he might have been the best pitcher they had ever scouted.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Bradley got off to a slower start this spring than Bundy, due in part to his commitment to football. He was a star quarterback for Broken Arrow High during the fall, and has a commitment to Oklahoma to play football. Bradley’s pace gradually warmed up with the weather and by the end of the year he was throwing in the 94-97-mph range consistently, with perhaps the best high-school curve ball in the country, a low- to mid-80s hammer with hard, sharp, biting action and plenty of depth.

While Bundy and Bradley both appear destined to be picked among the first 5-10 selections, with Bundy a distinct possibility to go No. 1 overall, the state is so deep in high-school talent this year that as many as six Oklahoma players could be picked in the first three rounds. A year ago, a total of just five drafted players came from Oklahoma high schools, and just one in the first 12 rounds.

The dominating performances by both Bundy and Bradley served to largely overshadow the otherwise-impressive showing of other top prospects in the state, notably Deer Creek High righthander Michael Fulmer, who steadily climbed draft boards this spring, though in relative obscurity.

Prior to the 2011 season, Fulmer was a solid prospect with an 88-91 mph fastball and a hard, downer curveball. He seemed resigned to continuing his developing baseball career at Arkansas, but a jump of 5 mph in velocity this spring has put Fulmer squarely into the sandwich- to second-round mix.

As often happens when premium high-school prospects attract scouts from all areas of the country, lesser prospects can often be the primary beneficiaries. In the case of Bundy, Bradley and Fulmer, each has at least one teammate that got significant exposure that could elevate them into the top 10 rounds.

In the case of Bundy and Bradley, it was their own batterymates, Drew Stiner and Dylan Delso, respectively. For Fulmer, that player was shortstop Brian Anderson. Broken Arrow righthander Mason Hope also benefitted from having Bradley as his team’s primary attraction as scouts would often stay over to see him pitch, effectively killing two birds on one trip.

The Oklahoma college crop doesn’t possess the same kind of star-quality talent. Nonetheless, the contributions of their draftable talent enabled Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, the state’s marquee Division I programs, to firmly position themselves for NCAA regional bids.

Both the Sooners (40-15) and Cowboys (34-21) should produce at least 3-4 players apiece that could crack the top 10 rounds of the draft. The top three projected college drafts—Oklahoma State closer Chris Marlowe (Blue Jays/21st round), Oklahoma righthander Burch Smith (Indians/20th round), Oklahoma third baseman Garrett Buechele (Rangers/18th round)—were all selected a year ago, and clearly helped themselves with an extra year in college.

The two Oklahoma colleges, though, faced their share of challenges.

Oklahoma raced off to a 16-0 start against a soft early schedule, but found the going tougher in Big 12 Conference play, posting just a 14-11 conference mark. Senior righthander Michael Rocha (10-3, 1.82) has been the staff ace all year, but the 6-foot-5 Smith (9-3, 3.91), whose fastball routinely reaches the mid-90s, stands out as the team’s top prospect. Even Sooners freshman lefthander Jordan John (4-0, 2.68), who missed last season while recuperating from Tommy John surgery, could work his way into early-round condideration as he has a solid four-pitch mix with a high-degree of pitchability. He probably needs another year of college, though, to more establish himself.

Oklahoma State rebounded strongly from an uncustomary late-place finish in the Big 12 last year, but also limped to the finish line, posting just a 3-8 record in its final 11 regular-season games.

The Cowboys brought in an influx of junior-college transfers after last year’s debacle, but were never able to establish consistency with what was expected to be a veteran pitching staff. That inconsistency was exemplified by reliever Chris Marlowe, who flashes one of the best curveballs in college baseball at times, along with a low- to mid-90s fastball, but finished the regular season with an underwhelming 3-3, 3.98 record and just four saves.

Marlowe, however, has a solid shot to be the first college player drafted in the state, especially after striking out an eye-popping 70 batters in 40 innings. He also walked 30, though, threw six wild pitches and hit seven batters, which speaks to bouts of wildness.

The state’s third major Division I program, Oral Roberts (33-20), finds itself in the very familiar position of entering the Summit League playoffs as the No. 1 seed, knowing that all it needs to do is win the tournament to gain an NCAA tournament berth. Should the Golden Eagles prevail, it would be their 14th consecutive NCAA appearance. From a draft standpoint, though, ORU’s impact will be minimal in the early rounds.

Oklahoma City University (46-10) is a national power at the NAIA level, and enters this year’s NAIA World Series as the No. 2 seed. That seeding was achieved without the services of righthander Ryan O’Sullivan, a transfer from San Diego State who was ineligible to pitch all spring because of complications stemming from his transfer papers.

Instead of remaining with his Oklahoma City teammates on their journey to a potential national title, O’Sullivan returned home to California and pitched in a number of simulated games against top competition. Upwards of 40 scouts saw him pitch. Though he was working in game conditions for the first time in roughly a year, O’Sullivan responded with a fastball that sat at 93-94 mph, and peaked at 95-96, along with a sharp curve ball.

Had O’Sullivan showcased such electric in a normal college environment, he might be a candidate to go as high as the sandwich round in this year’s draft. As it is, a club is likely to scoop him up by the third round.

O’Sullivan, whose older brother Sean pitches for the Kansas City Royals, both pitched and played shortstop for two years at San Diego State before leaving that program after last season. When he wasn’t eligible to play for Oklahoma City, O’Sullivan threw in workouts for scouts in Oklahoma before leaving for California to pitch in game-equivalent conditions.

A year ago, Oklahoma’s junior-college ranks had a profound impact on the draft. Not only were 10 players drafted overall, but two were selected in the top three rounds. That kind of activity won’t repeat itself this year.

Eastern Oklahoma State narrowly missed making its first trip to the Junior College World Series, but should be a significant factor in the draft. Six-foot-4, 240-pound freshman righthander Jonathan Gray, an unsigned 13th-round pick of the Kansas City Royals in last year’s draft, should marginally improve on that position after going 7-2, 2.55 as a freshman with a fastball that sat at 92-95 mph and peaked at 96-97. He also had superior pitchability.

Oklahoma in a Nutshell:

High-end high-school pitching.
WEAKNESS: Premium JC talent, high-school bats.
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 5.

BEST JUNIOR COLLEGE TEAM: Eastern Oklahoma State.

PROSPECT ON THE RISE: Archie Bradley, rhp, Broken Arrow HS.
Although righthander Michael Fulmer’s rise up the prospect ranks this spring was notable, Bradley’s dominant late-season performance for 6-A state champion Broken Arrow may have vaulted him into top-10 pick conversations and raised his profile to almost the same level as his good friend, righthander Dylan Bundy.

None, although no position prospect from either the college or high-school ranks stepped up his game this spring as hoped.

Ryan O’Sullivan, rhp, Oklahoma City University. O’Sullivan, who pitched for San Diego State in 2010, was an academic casualty at that school. He enrolled at Oklahoma City, an NAIA school, with the intent of pitching there this spring, but never gained his eligibility. He began pitching in simulated games back in California in mid-May under the close scrutiny of scouts, and flashed electric stuff. It might be too bold a move for a team to draft him as early as the sandwich round, but it’s equally unlikely that a team will let him slide through the third round.

BEST OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Oklahoma Connection:
Brian Flynn, lhp, Wichita State University (attended high school in Owasso).
TOP 2012 PROSPECT: Michael Hensley, c, Edmond Santa Fe HS, Edmond.
TOP 2013 PROSPECT: Dillon Overton, lhp, University of Oklahoma.

Draft History: Mike Moore, rhp, Oral Roberts U. (1981, Mariners/1st round, 1st pick).
2006 Draft: Brett Anderson, lhp, Stillwater HS (Diamondbacks, 2nd round).
2007 Draft: Pete Kozma, ss, Owasso HS (Cardinals/1st round, 18th pick).
2008 Draft: Jordy Mercer, ss, Oklahoma State U. (Pirates/3rd round).
2009 Draft: Chad James, lhp, Yukon HS (Marlins/1st round, 17th pick).
2010 Draft: Andrelton Simmons, ss/rhp, Western Oklahoma State JC (Braves/2nd round).

Best Hitter: Garrett Buechele, 3b, University of Oklahoma.
Best Power: Mark Ginther, 3b, Oklahoma State University.
Best Speed: Brian Anderson, ss, Deer Creek HS.
Best Defender: Mark Ginther, 3b, Oklahoma State University.
Best Velocity: Dylan Bundy, rhp, Owasso HS.
Best Breaking Stuff: Archie Bradley, rhp, Broken Arrow HS.


(Projected ELITE-Round Draft / Rounds 1-3)

1. DYLAN BUNDY, rhp, Owasso HS
Top national talent, 95-97 FB/T-100, ++ cutter, + CU, good CH, outstanding command, quick path to majors.
2. ARCHIE BRADLEY, rhp, Broken Arrow HS
+ athlete at 6-4/225, 4-star QB; FB velo spiked late to 94-97, may have best CU in country, hammer at 80-85.
3. MICHAL FULMER, rhp, Deer Creek HS, Edmond
++ fast riser, 88-91 FB in summer/fall, now 91-96, downer CU is + pitch, feel for CH, some effort in release.
4. CHRIS MARLOWE, rhp, Oklahoma State University (Jr.)
++ nasty stuff at times in 6-1/170 build, 92-96 FB, ++ big/downer CU, erratic command, 40 IP/30 BB/70 SO.
5. BURCH SMITH, rhp, University of Oklahoma (Jr.)
6-3/200, flashes + stuff, FB to 95-96, sharp CU, solid CH; pitchability still raw for college hurler (9-3, 3.91).
6. RYAN O’SULLIVAN, rhp, Oklahoma City University (Jr.)
Ex-San Diego State RHP, ineligible/DNP in 2011, in workouts only, 90-95 FB, + spike CU, brother of Sean.
7. GARRETT BUECHELE, 3b, University of Oklahoma (Jr.)
Son of ex-MLB 3B Steve; average tools, but + RH bat (.336-8-61), ++ makeup/skills, sure-handed defender.
8. RANDY MCCURRY, rhp, Oklahoma State University (So.)
Oklahoma HS hitting legend (.618/105 HR in career); 2010 TJ surgery/fast recovery, FB up to 95 mp, + SL.

(Projected HIGH-Round Draft / Rounds 4-10)

9. MASON HOPE, rhp, Broken Arrow HS
Second fiddle to Bradley; young 6-3/180 build, + projects; 88-92 FB, sharp SL, also has CU/CH; OU signee.
10. ADRIAN HOUSER, rhp, Locust Grove HS
6-3/190 athlete, raw mechanics; quick arm, + downhill angle, 88-92 FB/T-94 mph, flashes 12/6 downer CU.
11. BRIAN ANDERSON, ss, Deer Creek HS
Fulmer teammate (No. 3), strong at 6-1/180, + RH bat with power; + arm/6.9 speed, likely to 3B in future.
12. MARK GINTHER, 3b, Oklahoma State University (Jr.)
State FB PoY in HS, + athlete, 6-3/200; ++ defender, strong arm/quick actions; HR power, swing gets long.
13. CAM SEITZER, 1b/3b, University of Oklahoma (Sr.)
Son of Kevin, ex-MLB 3B, can play either 1B/3B as pro; smooth LH swing, lacks + pop for size (.347-3-38).
14. JONATHAN GRAY, rhp, Eastern Oklahoma JC (Fr.)
13th-rounder in 2010; big frame (6-4/240), big arm (FB sits 92-95/T-97); better pitchability/secondary stuff.
15. DREW STINER, c, Owasso HS
Dylan Bundy’s catcher; live-bodied athlete, + defender, strong arm/soft hands, RH bat with power potential.
16. JORDAN JOHN, lhp, University of Oklahoma (Fr.)
Draft-eligible FR, R/S in 2010 (TJ surgery); polished arm, 4 pitches (88-91 FB, +SL, CU/CH), + command.
17. DYLAN DELSO, c, Broken Arrow HS
Archie Bradley catcher; strong (5-11/195), legit switch-hitter, + swing mechanics, 7.1 speed, versatile athlete.
18. SEAN JOHNSON, rhp, Oral Roberts University (Sr.)
SR sign; went 4-2, 2.85 in set-up role, capable of closing; power arm with 90-94 FB, + feel for CU/command.

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