Draft : : Top Prospects
Sunday, June 03, 2012

Top Prospect Reports: 101-150

Allan Simpson        
Photo: Perfect Game
Contributing: David Rawnsley, Patrick Ebert, Ben Collman, Todd Gold

101. MAX WHITE, of, Williston HS
White was scouted heavily early in the season, but his slender, young build and strong commitment to Florida limited the cross-check action on him as the season advanced. He’s a 6.6 runner with a very advanced hitting tool, so it won’t be a surprise if he becomes a premium prospect over a three-year career at Florida, especially as he adds strength to his 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame.

102. KENNY DIEKROEGER, 2b/ss, Stanford University (Jr.)
As an unsigned second-round pick in the 2009 draft out of a California high school, Diekroeger arrived at Stanford with more hype than any other player on the current Cardinal roster, which includes numerous potential first-round picks. But as the draft has rolled around again for Diekoeger, he has been lost in the shuffle on his own team, to a degree. While teammates like righthander Mark Appel and third baseman Stephen Piscotty have solidified their first-round status, Diekroeger’s own standing as an elite talent appears to have taken a hit, both at the plate and in the field. Diekroeger broke in with a bang as a Stanford freshman, becoming the first Cardinal first-year player to lead his team in hitting in 13 years. He also became the first freshman to ever lead the team in RBI. Overall, he hit a resounding .356-5-41 and also performed admirably in the field at third base. The 2011 and 2012 seasons haven’t been as rewarding, however. Diekroeger slumped at the plate as a sophomore (.293-2-31) and has only marginally improved on that showing so far this season (.317-2-23 in 35 G). In the process, he lost his job as Stanford’s starting shortstop to rangier freshman Lonnie Kauppila, and was shifted across the bag to second, though regained his old job at short when Kauppila was sidelined with a season-ending injury. Diekroeger still has the whole package to justify his lofty draft status. He has quick hands and superior bat speed, along with a polished approach at the plate. He also has smooth, athletic actions in the field, with the range and instincts for shortstop or second base, and quickness for third base, along with the arm strength to excel on the left side. He just needs to be more consistent offensively and defensively.

103. TIM COONEY, lhp, Wake Forest University (Jr.)
Cooney’s normally sterling command has been erratic this spring, but scouts have seen it at its sharpest often enough over the last two years that they still have little hesitation in considering the 6-foot-3, 195-pound southpaw as anything but a solid second-rounder in this year’s draft. Cooney had his normally-impeccable command from start to finish as a sophomore for Wake, when he went 7-3, 3.01 with 18 walks and 91 strikeouts in 99 innings, and it was still very much intact last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he walked just eight while striking out 46 in 48 innings. This season, in producing a 5-5, 3.43 record, he has walked 34 in 79 innings as he had trouble locating his 88-91 mph fastball in the middle of the season. But his command of the pitch has been much better lately, and he has not had the same kind of command problem with any of his three off-speed pitches, a change, cutter and breaking ball. In addition to his advanced sense of pitchability, Cooney excels at mixing his four pitches to get hitters guessing and keeping them off balance, and he is able to create deception with his loose, easy, free arm action.

104. MITCHELL TRAVER, rhp, Houston Christian HS, Tomball
A 2011 Perfect Game All-American, Traver has had numerous high-profile matchups this spring that have given cross-checkers a good opportunity to evaluate how he measures up against some of the other elite prospects in the 2012 Texas high-school class. At various times, he has hooked up in mound duels against Teddy Stankiewicz (No. 11) and Austin Fairchild (No. 23), and faced slugger Nick Williams (No. 18). His fastball has shown consistent plus velocity, touching 95 mph deep into games with regularity leading 4-5, 1.60 record with 36 walks and 75 strikeouts in 62 innings. Traver’s slider, changeup and command are still developing, not unusual for a pitcher of his age and oversized 6-foot-7, 245-pound frame. With a loose arm, he could develop even more velocity in the future. Traver is targeted as a second- or third-rounder by several clubs, but will very likely end up in college at Texas Christian if he falls beyond that range.

105. STEVEN RODRIGUEZ, lhp, University of Florida (Jr.)
Florida has a deep, talented pitching staff, and the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Rodriguez has significant pro appeal despite his relative secondary role for the Gators. In 18 appearances, mostly in set-up or situational roles, he is 3-1, 2.53 with six walks and 42 strikeouts in 32 innings. He can be very tough on lefthanded hitters, especially coming from a three-quarters angle with a fastball that is never straight, and is extremely difficult to catch with the way his ball moves. The pitch is normally at 88-89 mph, but can range from 87 to 92 and with its natural cutting action he can also effectively get it under the hands of righthanded hitters. He has also utilized more of a true cutter this spring that has good depth at 80-84 mph. Rodriguez is a very intense competitor and should move quickly through the ranks. In a worst-case scenario, he projects a set-up role.

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