Draft : : State Preview
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

MLB Draft Preview: Pennsylvania

Frankie Piliere        
Photo: Roger Crowley
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.

Pennsylvania State-by-State List

We’ve seen the state of Pennsylvania provide a run of a high round prep talent in the last three years, highlighted by Jesse Biddle’s first round selection by the Phillies in 2010. That streak of second round picks or higher for three straight years out of the high schools ranks is just about certain to end this year. But, Pennsylvania is also likely to get a jolt of talent from a slightly more unexpected area, the Division II college ranks.

It’s truly a banner year by Division II baseball standards in Pennsylvania in terms of draft talent. Alex Haines checks in as the state’s top draft prospect out of Seton Hill University, and Tim Mayza (Millersville) as well as Joe Gunkel (West Chester) also figure to go off the board in the top ten rounds in June. For one state, in this part of the country, that’s quite a strong representation in the early part of the draft.

The college crop in general is a strong one for the state. The Pittsburgh Panthers have two high round candidates in Matt Wotherspoon and Elvin Soto, and despite their less than stellar record, Villanova will be well represented by right-hander Pat Young in the top 6-8 rounds.

Division II talent
WEAKNESS: High School talent
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 3


Best Out-of-State Prospect, Pennsylvania Connection:
Keenan Kish, rhp, University of Florida (attended Germantown Academy)
Top 2014 Prospect: J.J. Matijevic, 3b, Norwin H.S
Top 2015 Prospect: John Aiello, ss, Germantown Academy


Draft History:
Al Chambers, 1b, John Harris HS, Harrisburg (1979, Mariners/1st round, 1st pick); Shawn Abner, of, Mechanicsburg HS (1984, Mets/1st round, 1st pick)
2008 Draft: Drew O’Neil, rhp, Penn State University (White Sox/4th round)
2009 Draft: Darin Gorski, lhp, Kutztown University (Mets/7th round)
2010 Draft: Jesse Biddle, lhp, Germantown Friends Academy (Phillies/1st round, 27th pick)
2011 Draft: Cam Gallagher, c, Manheim Township HS, Lancaster (Royals/2nd round)
2012 Draft: Joe DeCarlo, ss, Garnet Valley HS, Glen Mills (Mariners/2nd round)


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 1/1
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 6/1


GROUP 2 (rounds 4-10)

1.  ALEX HAINES, lhp, Seton Hill University (Jr.)

Haines burst onto the scene last summer with a supremely impressive performance in the New England Collegiate League. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound left-hander led the league by a mile in ERA (0.90) and in strikeouts (54) and captured the attention of scouts like no other pitcher. He worked at 90-95 mph with his fastball, reaching 96 mph in the league’s All-Star game in July. He was aggressive with that fastball and it showed good, running life and he proved capable of cruising on this pitch for stretches. His breaking ball and changeup were not as far along, but his changeup proved to be his most effective secondary pitch. Haines underwent Tommy John surgery coming out high school, and has experienced a steady rise in velocity since that time. His loose, smooth arm action and strong, big league build should allow him to maintain that velocity as well. This spring, however, the velocity was not quite what it was last summer. He’s worked mostly at 87-91 mph, but has been as high as 92-93 as the weather began to warm. Most scouts also seem optimistic that he can get back to touching the mid-90s the way he did last summer. And, perhaps more importantly, he did show some further development with his breaking ball this spring. Expect to see Haines selected in the 4-5 round range.

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