Summer Collegiate : : Story
Friday, October 19, 2012

Florida League Prospect Reports

Allan Simpson        
Official League Website
Florida Collegiate League top 20 prospects (list)
Perfect Game Summer Collegiate top prospect coverage

The Florida Collegiate Summer League was at the forefront of the quantum leap in home runs that were struck in many summer leagues around the country this season. The league’s six clubs combined for 158 homers, almost three times the total of 57 that were hit in 2011.

It has been documented that inconsistent quality control of the baseball in use in all the leagues affected, the Diamond ball, was behind the significant spike in home runs. Predictably, one of the spinoffs from the onslaught of long balls was that offense generally increased across the board and did to such a degree in the FCSL that every team set a franchise record for runs scored in a season.

The offensive surge undoubtedly was all about the baseball being used as there certainly wasn’t an influx of elite-level position prospects in the Florida League this summer to account for the uptick. If anything, quality pitching was at the forefront of the talent in the league as seven of the top nine prospects on the accompanying list of the league’s Top 20 Prospects, including the top two, were pitchers.

Not all of the increase in run production was attributed to the surge in home runs throughout the league, however, as the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs generated offense of a different nature by shattering the league record for stolen bases. In 40 games, they swiped 182 bags to not only break the existing league record of 117 but top any other summer team nationally by a wide margin.

Winter Park first baseman Adam Danner made a significant contribution to both the league record for homers and his own team’s single-season mark for stolen bases as he had one of the best offensive seasons in the league nine-year history. He shared the league lead in homers (8) and was tops in stolen bases (32). The distinction earned Danner league MVP honors, though he ranks no better than 10th
 overall among the league’s best prospects.

Typical of almost every player on the list (17 of 20), Danner has significant Florida roots. He is in the process of transferring from junior-college power Polk State to NCAA Division II power Tampa.

FAST FACTS

Year League Established:
2004.
States Represented in League: Florida.
No. of Teams in League: 6 (6 in 2011).
Regular-Season Champion: Leesburg Lightning (26-15).
Post-Season Champion: DeLand Suns.
Teams, PG CrossChecker Summer 50/Final Ranking: No. 37 DeLand Suns, No. 46 Leesburg Lightning.
No. 1 Prospect, 2011 (per PG CrossChecker): Garrett Nuss, lhp, Orlando Freedom (Central Florida; played in Cape Cod League in 2012).
First 2011 Player Selected, 2012 Draft: Myles Smith, rhp, DeLand Suns (Miami-Dade JC; Mets/16th round).

Most Valuable Player:
Michael Danner, 1b/of, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs.
Most Outstanding Pitcher: Evan Incinelli, rhp, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs.
Top Prospect (as selected by league): David Lee, of, Orlando Monarchs.

BATTING LEADERS (League games only)

Batting Average:
Mark Nelson, 1b, Orlando Freedom (.370).
Slugging Percentage: Mark Nelson, 1b, Orlando Freedom (.600).
On-Base Average: Mark Nelson, 1b, Orlando Freedom (.476).
Home Runs: Michael Danner, 1b/of, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs; Jason Matusik, 1b, Leesburg Lightning (8).
RBIs: Tyler Rocklein, of, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs (41).
Stolen Bases: Michael Danner, 1b/of, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs (32).

PITCHING LEADERS (League games only)

Wins:
Michael Clutterbuck, rhp, Leesburg Lightning (7).
ERA: Evan Incinelli, rhp, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs (1.66).
Saves: Trey Norris, rhp, Leesburg Lightning (12).
Strikeouts: Cary Baxter, rhp, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs (55).

BEST TOOLS

Best Athlete:
Daniel Sweet, of, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs
Best Hitter: Michael Danner, 1b/of, Winter Park Diamond Dogs
Best Power: Michael Danner, 1b/of, Winter Park Diamond Dawhs
Fastest Base Runner: Daniel Sweet, of, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs
Best Defensive Player: Edward Medina, 2b/of, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs
Best Velocity: Jake Hubbard, rhp, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs
Best Breaking Ball: Drew Jackson, rhp, DeLand Suns
Best Command: Mike Compton, rhp, DeLand Suns

TOP 20 PROSPECTS

1. NICK GONZALEZ, lhp, Sanford River Rats (South Florida/JR in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: As a 30th-round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2010 draft, expectations were understandably high for the 6-foot-4, 220-pound lefthander when he passed up an offer from the Phillies and enrolled at the University of South Florida. Through his first two college seasons, though, Gonzalez was a combined 6-4, 4.83 with 46 walks and 70 strikeouts in 80 innings. He struggled as a freshman (2-3, 7.15) in essentially a starting role, but picked up his pace as a sophomore (4-1, 2.63), though worked mostly in a low-pressure relief role. That brought his career to a crossroads this summer, with the 2013 draft lurking, and Gonzalez responded admirably in a return to the rotation for Sanford. In seven starts for the River Rats, he went 1-0, 3.81 with 20 walks and 41 strikeouts in 28 innings. His fastball was a steady 88-93 mph with good movement and he showed better depth on his breaking ball than in the past, although his changeup remains a work in progress, a potential impediment to his remaining in a starting role. Gonzalez still needs a little tweaking of his delivery to improve his command, and possibly add more velocity to his fastball. With a return to the USF rotation in 2013 and general improvement in his stuff and command, he could emerge as an early-round selection in next year’s draft.

2. JAKE HUBBARD, rhp, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs (Alabama/SO in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Reminds scouts of RHP Jimmy Nelson, ex-Alabama/FCSL star for Winter Dawgs who was drafted in second round in 2010; same body type, better arm; has electric raw stuff with FB at 91-94, dominant CH, solid breaking ball, just needs to refine command; went 1-1, 4.00 in 6 relief appearances (9 IP/12 SO) before left early for summer school; 3-2, 3.10 in 29 relief appearances for Alabama (41 IP, 17 BB/33 SO).

3. DANIEL SWEET, of, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs (Polk State, Fla., JC/FR in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Drafted in 23rd round by Reds in June out of Mississippi HS; initially intent on attending Youngstown State, but re-routed to Florida after coaching change; very raw in many aspects of game/limited coaching in past, but more than held his own in FCSL (.262-1-20, 24-of-30 SB); huge upside as switch-hitting CF, same swing both sides, runs 60 in 6.5; needs work in OF, on bases.

4. DAVID LEE, of, Orlando Monarchs (Bethune-Cookman/SR in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Back-up OF for 2 years at B-C, but stock took off last summer when selected top prospect in Southern Collegiate League, followed with big JR year (.312-3-47); solid summer (.382-3-19, 11-of-11 SB) before rolled ankle, missed 3 weeks; has athletic 6-3/220 frame, flashes four plus tools (arm is weakest, but still grades as average); bat is best tool, can hit to all fields in any count, disciplined approach.

5. TYLER ALEXANDER, lhp, Orlando Monarchs (Florida International/JR in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Loose/wiry 6-1/175 lefty, plagued by inconsistency/control issues at Hillsborough JC (3-1, 5.06, 48 IP, 46 BB/35 SO), for Monarchs (2-0, 4.50, 18 IP, 19 BB/29 SO); has 90-93 FB with movement, flashes above-average CU, both pitches can be dominant when he’s on his game; in need of coaching as mechanics tend to unravel, starts walking hitters at alarming rate.

6. TREY NORRIS, rhp, Leesburg Lightning (Polk State, Fla., JC/SO in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: 6-4/190 RHP excelled in relief as FR at Polk State (1-0, 2.18, 33 IP, 4 BB/35 SO), on summer for Lightning (1-4, 3.04, league-high 12 SV; 27 IP, 17 BB/34 SO); has swing/miss FB at 88-92, may be capable of reaching 93-95 when fills out lanky frame; effectively wild with over-the-top delivery, needs better command of FB; developed SL on summer, still needs to show more confidence in CU.

7. MIKE SYLVESTRI, rhp, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs (Florida Atlantic/SR in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Was catcher at St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC, made successful transition to reliever last spring at FAU (1-2, 4.11, 31 IP, 9 BB/28 SO); stretched out as starter on summer (4-1, 2.65, 34 IP, 10 BB/38 SO), but profiles short role in long run with 6-0 frame, struggle to repeat three-quarters delivery, need to develop reliable off-speed pitch; has fast/live/fresh arm, capable of pumping FB up to 93 for strikes.

8. MIKE COMPTON, rhp, DeLand Suns (Florida State/SO in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Had excellent FR season for Florida State (12-2, 2.87 in 18 starts, 91 IP, 28 IP/64 SO), made four more starts on summer (1-0, 2.65, 17 IP, 6 BB/25 SO); not overpowering at 87-88, but can reach 90-91 when needs to; FB is very heavy pitch with good arm-side run; has excellent pitchability/mechanics, great command of big, sweeping CU from three-quarters slot; needs to refine CH.

9. CARY BAXTER, rhp, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs (Alabama/SO in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Led league with 55 SO in 48 IP (3-2, 3.97 overall), but wasn’t overpowering with 89-91 FB; has big-breaking CU that he can throw for strikes or get batters to chase; gets good downhill tilt in 6-3/185 frame; 2-way player at Alabama, focused on pitching only during summer; missed FR season at Alabama with arm surgery, but back to 100 percent, will work as starter for Tide in spring.

10. MICHAEL DANNER, 1b/of, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs (Tampa/JR in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Won league MVP honors with big offensive season (.349-8-29), was tops in hits, total bases, homers, stolen bases (32), also won HR Derby at all-star game; legit hitter for average/power, can hit anyone, but will need to keep hitting, make adjustments at plate to progress in pro ball; played 1B for Dawgs because of glut of outfielders on roster, profiles as LF as lacks speed for CF, arm for RF.

11. EDWARD MEDINA, 2b/of, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs (Des Moines Area CC/SO in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Free swinger in leadoff role, modest contributor offensively (.254-0-12, 14 SB), but garnered considerable attention with athleticism/projectable tools; best bat plane in league, performance at DMACC as FR (.278-7-52, 20 2B, 15 SB) more indicative of potential at plate/on bases; adapted extremely well in switch from CF to 2B, has excellent hands, big-league actions at new position.

12. DREW JACKSON, rhp, DeLand Suns (Stetson/SO in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Struggled in limited relief duty in spring (0-0, 9.16, 19 IP, 10 BB/12 SO), but made strides as starter for Suns (2-1, 2.81, 26 IP, 10 BB/30 SO), should move into Stetson rotation as SO; projectable 6-3/165 frame, FB typically at 87-91 with plus life/sink on 2-seamer, has excellent SL, needs to improve command overall, but has sound feel for pitching.

13. TYLER ROCKLEIN, of, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs (Florida Atlantic/JR in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Posted near-duplicate numbers as SO at State College of Florida-Manatee (.332-3-46, 25 SB) as on summer for Dawgs (.331-4-41, 23 SB); strong/athletic/projectable frame (6-2/205) with good hitting skills, speed for size, but below-average LF arm may relegate him to 1B down road, and may not have raw power desired in that position.

14. ANGELO AMENDOLARE, 2b, DeLand Suns (Seminole State, Fla., CC/SO in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Tends to get overlooked because of 5-9/165 frame, but David Eckstein-type player with more raw talent; intelligent/aggressive player, has excellent speed (26-of-30 SB), can turn around any FB (.294-0-16), drive ball to all fields; was 2B at Seminole State, SS on summer, makes share of impressive plays for MIF, but lacks true SS arm/actions, may end up in OF in long run.

15. ADAM SLEGERS, rhp, Orlando Freedom (Indiana/JR in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Intimidating size at 6-9/245, but career slow to evolve because of injuries; missed most of spring season at Indiana (0-1, 6.14, 7 IP), summer also compromised (0-1, 6.00, 21 IP, 11 BB/29 SO) when broke bone in leg on ball hit back up middle; not overpowering at 90-92, but excellent splitter, downward angle, has acceptable command of 3 pitches; just needs to stay healthy.

16. KEITH CURCIO, 2b, Sanford River Rats (Florida Southern/SO in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: 5-10/170 frame limits him to 2B, but good little player who maximizes his ability in all phases; hits from left side, has similar set-up at plate/approach to hitting as Yankees 2B Robinson Cano; productive summer (.339-4-31, 10 BB/8 SO) on heels of .315-0-19 season at D-II Florida Southern; 6.7 speed in 60, settled in at 2B on summer, excels on DP pivot at position.

17. TEDDY BLACKMAN, of, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs (Coastal Carolina/SR in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Hit .425-3-19 (37-9 BB-SO ratio, 26 SB) during MVP season for Dawgs in 2011, but suffered pronounced drop this summer to .240-4-23 (23 BB/24 SO, 19 SB) after mediocre spring at Coastal Carolina (.267-1-12, 12 SB); played in pain in spring/summer with nagging hip injury, strikeouts up on summer, swing got long; injury diagnosed in March as hip flexor, but will undergo surgery Oct. 31 for torn labrum; when healthy, does everything well, nothing great.

18. SEAN TRENT, if, Winter Park Diamond Dawgs (State College of Florida-Manatee/FR in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Classic player that stands out in workouts, takes impressive BP sessions, but raw talent doesn’t translate easily to games; bat speed/power evident as hit .370-5-20 for Dawgs in 20 G, also successful on 7-8 SB attempts; actions stiff/mechanical in field and committed 15 errors, may need to relocate to OF; red-shirted as FR at Florida, became expendable, has since moved on to JC ranks.

19. TOMMY WILLIAMS, ss, Sanford River Rats (Central Florida/JR in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Athletic middle infielder, has all the tools/actions defensively (range/arm/hands) to settle in as SS; key is whether he’ll swing bat; hit .190-0-3 in 21 ABs as FR at UCF, improved marginally with regular work (.231-2-13, 14 BB/28 SO) on summer; also capable of playing 2B, may profile in utility role if bat doesn’t respond.

20. KYLE TEAF, ss, Leesburg Lightning (South Florida/SO in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Started at SS for USF as FR (.259-1-16, 16 BB/16 SO, 5 SB); slap hitter from left side, made solid strides at plate on summer for Lightning (.354-0-25, 26 BB/15 SO, 11 SB), led league with 40 runs; undersized at 5-11/160 so limited power potential; flashed solid hands/actions as SS, but committed 15 errors, destined for 2B in long run.
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