Draft : : State Preview
Monday, May 06, 2013

MLB Draft Preview: North Carolina

Allan Simpson        
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 scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.  Please visit this page for all of the links to Perfect Game's 2013 Draft Preview content.

North Carolina State-by-State List

North Carolina has a noteworthy 2013 draft crop, if only because of the presence of two potential first-rounders: University of North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran, possibly the elite, most-professional hitter in the country, and right-hander Hunter Harvey, the son of a former major-league all-star and one of the hardest throwing pitchers in the prep ranks.

But it’s not a banner year overall for the state as Moran’s teammate, stylish left-hander Kent Emanuel, is the only other player assured of being drafted in the top five rounds. And beyond Harvey, there may be no other high school player taken in even the first 10 rounds as shortstops Ryder Jones (Stanford) and Weston Wilson (Clemson), whose talent easily warrants going early in the draft, have strong college commitments and could fall in the draft, as a result.

University of North Carolina talent
WEAKNESS: Signable high-school players
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 3

North Carolina
BEST HIGH SCHOOL TEAM: Richmond HS, Rockingham

PROSPECT ON THE RISE: Champ Stuart, of, Brevard College.
The previously under-exposed Stuart was tucked away at a remote Division II school, but even a couple a couple of major-league scouting directors made their way in this spring to see what all the fuss was about. Stuart’s blazing speed is his obvious attraction, but scouts soon discovered upon closer look that The Bahamas native has well-rounded tools, including surprising power in his small, compact frame.

WILD CARD: Ryder Jones, ss/rhp, Watauga HS, Boone.
Jones, the son of new Appalachian State baseball coach Billy Jones, could be drafted as early as the second round, or could slip all the way to the 20th round—or beyond. It all depends on how signable scouts determine the Stanford signee to be.

Best Out-of-State Prospect, North Carolina Connection:
Tyler Brosius, rhp, Walters State (Tenn.) CC (Attended high school in Waynesville; attended college at North Carolina State)
Top 2014 Prospect: Carlos Rodon, lhp, North Carolina State University
Top 2015 Prospect: Skye Bolt, of, University of North Carolina


Draft History:
B.J. Surhoff, c, University of North Carolina (1985, Brewers/1st round, 1st pick); Brien Taylor, lhp, East Carteret HS, Beaufort (1991, Yankees/1st round, 1st pick); Josh Hamilton, of, Athens Drive HS, Raleigh (1999, Devil Rays/1st round, 1st pick)
2008 Draft: Allan Dykstra, 1b, Wake Forest University (Padres/1st round, 23rd pick)
2009 Draft: Dustin Ackley, of, University of North Carolina (Mariners/1st round, 2nd pick)
2010 Draft: Matt Harvey, rhp, University of North Carolina (Mets/1st round, 7th pick)
2011 Draft: Levi Michael, ss, University of North Carolina (Twins/1st round, 30th pick)
2012 Draft: Corey Seager, ss, Northwest Cabarrus HS, Kannapolis (Dodgers/1st round, 18th pick)


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 0/0
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 11/5


Best Athlete:
Julian Ridings, of, Western Carolina University
Best Hitter: Colin Moran, 3b, University of North Carolina
Best Power: Colin Moran, 3b, University of North Carolina
Best Speed: Champ Stuart, of, Brevard College
Best Defender: Jack Reinheimer, ss, East Carolina University
Best Velocity: Hunter Harvey, rhp, Bandys HS
Best Breaking Stuff: Justin Livengood, rhp, UNC Wilmington
Best Pitchability: Kent Emanuel, lhp, University of North Carolina


1 (rounds 1-3)

1. COLIN MORAN, 3b, University of North Carolina
Moran has done nothing but hit in three college seasons at Carolina—stroking the ball at a .335-9-71 clip as a freshman, .365-3-35 in an injury-plagued sophomore season and .389-12-74 through his first 46 games as a junior. Not only does he lead the NCAA Division I ranks in RBI while hitting in the 3-hole for the nation’s No. 1 ranked team, but he also has an eye-popping 40-10 walk-to-strikeout ratio. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Moran comes by his talent honestly as he is the nephew of B.J. Surhoff, a three-year star at North Carolina, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1985 draft and a career .282 hitter over 19 big-league seasons. With advanced hitting skills and extremely quick hands, balls routinely jump off Moran’s bat and he may qualify as the surest bet of all the top offensive players in this year’s draft to succeed at the big-league level. More than anything this spring, Moran has demonstrated to previously-skeptical scouts that his raw power is a legitimate tool, that he is capable of turn on balls consistently against any kind of pitching. His most frequent power remains to the gaps, however, and he may end up producing 30-35 doubles vs. 15-20 homers once he settles in as a big-league regular. Of equal significance, Moran has put to rest any notion that he lacks the quick-twitch actions to remain at third base in the long run. He has committed just four errors this spring, while posting an impressive .983 fielding average, and his hands and release have become much more sure. While he continues to get to considerably more balls in both directions than he once did, he still needs to refine his actions laterally. Moran’s professional upside may still be perceived as lower than some of his more athletic peers in the college ranks, but he is viewed as one of the safest picks in this year’s class and has continued to edge his way closer and closer to the No. 1 overall selection with his dominant season at the plate. Read more about Moran in Frankie Piliere's detailed Draft Focus profile report

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