Draft : : State Preview
Thursday, May 23, 2013

MLB Draft Preview: New York

Frankie Piliere        
Photo: John Hickey Buffalo News
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.

New York State-by-State List

Typically New York’s draft class are defined by and only as strong as their major universities in the New York City metro area, as well as any prep talent from that area. But, increasingly we’re seeing talent from the high school ranks emerge from the northern part of the state, particularly the Buffalo/Rochester region. The Yankees took Cito Culver in the first round in 2010, out of the Rochester area, taking the baseball world by surprise. Perhaps more than ever this year, however, no one will be surprised to see multiple players from upstate or western New York in the top ten rounds.

We also may have gotten spoiled by last year’s crop, as Stony Brook took the college baseball world by storm, putting together a magical season, and also producing a number of draft picks, including first rounder Travis Jankowski. There are no such prospects that even closely resemble that this year, and no team in the area with that caliber of talent. The closest approximation of that is Bryan Verbitsky at Hofstra or Ian Miller at Wagner.

Upstate prep talent
WEAKNESS: College hitters
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 3

St. John’s

Best Out-of-State Prospect, New York Connection:
Colin Moran, 3b, North Carolina (attended Iona Prep)
Top 2014 Prospect: Mitch Cavanagh, 3b, Oneida Senior HS
Top 2015 Prospect: Wesley Rodriguez, 3b, George Washington Carver HS


Draft History:
Shawon Dunston, ss, Thomas Jefferson HS, Brooklyn (1982, Cubs/1st round, 1st pick).
2008 Draft: Bobby Lanigan, rhp, Adelphi University (Twins/3rd round)
2009 Draft: Steve Matz, lhp, Melville HS, East Setauket (Mets/2nd round)
2010 Draft: Cito Culver, ss, West Irondequoit HS, Rochester (Yankees/1st round, 32nd pick).
2011 Draft: Joe Panik, ss, St. John’s University (Giants/1st round, 26th pick)
2012 Draft: Travis Jankowski, of, Stony Brook University (Padres/Supplemental 1st round, 44th pick)


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 2/2
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 11/5


GROUP 2 (rounds 4-10)

1.  JONAH HEIM, c, Amherst Central HS, Amherst
Heim did not enter the spring as the top prospect in the state, but to his credit, he’s fully earned his place here this spring. Scouts in the region appear to be close to unanimous that he’s the state’s top talent, and he presents an intriguing skill set behind the plate. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound switch hitter has drawn comparisons to Orioles’ backstop, Matt Wieters at the same stage in their development. Of course, he has a long way to go to catch up with Wieters, but his length and the ease in which he plays the game are where those comparisons stem from. He’s been described as a relaxed player that seems to have a calm approach to every aspect of his game. Given his lack of high level competition in the area, he’s been difficult to get a read on in terms of his hit tools, but he shows power potential from both sides of the plate and quality pitch recognition. There is some length to his swing, but with his long arms that’s probably to be expected. Heim has also shown soft hands behind the plate, but does need some work on his overall receiving skills. His biggest selling point this spring has been his arm strength and throwing mechanics from behind the plate. Heim is committed to Michigan State, but has a chance go between rounds 5-8 this June.

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