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2007 Top Prospects

Brett Zawacki  RHP - 2007 - Peru, IL   Arizona State

Zawacki was a unrecognized talent after missing much of the last year because of a basketball knee injury, but he’s run himself way up the prospect lists after the September WWBA Kernals Tournament and this showcase. Zawacki has a very live fastball that touches 93 mph and rarely dips below 90, plus a hard mid 70’s curveball. Scouts need to get him on their follow lists for early next spring.

Jordan Wideman  C - 2007 - Mississauga, ON CAN   Uncommitted

Wideman came straight to Cedar Rapids from Cuba , where he was the Canadian National Junior team’s catcher at the World Junior Championship. He hit .400 for Canada , which won a bronze medal. He’s a physically mature and strong catcher with mature baseball skills, especially on defense. Wideman has a short, quick swing and should be a high average hitter offensively at the next level.

Mike Recchia  RHP - 2007 - Crestwood, IL   Eastern Illinois

Recchia’s 77 mph curveball was so sharp and big that’s it’s easy to forget that he touched 90 mph with his fastball as well. Recchia isn’t especially projectable, but his curveball is a good pitch at any level and he knows how to use it in the strike zone.

Nathan Woods  RHP - 2007 - Cedar Rapids, IA   Belmont

The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Woods is very athletic for his size and showed the type of over-the-fence power at the showcase that everyone wants to see. At least one PG staff member thinks Woods’ future still lies on the mound, where he touched 87 mph with a nice downer curveball.

Cooper Sniatynski  MIF - 2007 - Kenosha, WI   Wisconsin-Parkside

Sniatysnski has dominated the Wisconsin Fall League and showed why with his bat speed and power during the showcase. He’s an aggressive hitter who attacks pitches with very good bat speed. He has the defensive tools for either third or second base.

Carson Pillar  RHP - 2007 - Mississauga, ON CAN   Maine

Pillars has an excellent body at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds with plus present strength. He’s still in the process of converting from being an outfielder, so his mechanics are raw, but he flashes a live upper 80s fastball, with plenty more to come.

Kyle Fillier  OF - 2007 - Toronto , ON CAN   Uncommitted

Filliar showed a well-rounded set of tools with few weaknesses in his game. He hit the ball very well during games and showed more raw power than we were expecting. Filliar has a young, live body and should continue to improve.

Dan Lazarou  RHP - 2007 - Newmarket, ON CAN   Uncommitted

The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Lazarou has smooth pitching mechanics and an easy arm action. His 86 mph fastball and 73 mph curveball are solid present pitches that should just keep getting better as he gets stronger.

Nathaniel Smith  OF - 2007 - Brampton, ON CAN   Evansville

Smith combines very good strength and speed in a nice athletic package. He’s a talented defensive right fielder who plays the game at full speed and has the raw tools to hit at the next level.

Kurtis Muller  OF - 2007 - Sun Prairie, WI   Uncommitted

Muller was one of the top raw athletes at the event. He can really run, 6.53 in the 60, and is strong enough to drive the ball hard on contact and create some bat speed. Muller’s fundamentals are raw but you won’t see many better athletes and he plays very hard.

Lance Brown  RHP - 2007 - Mount Ayr, IA   South Alabama/Iowa Western CC

Brown has gotten bigger and stronger in the last year and his fastball has improved at the same pace, now sitting steady in the 86-88 mph range. Brown has excellent life on his fastball and hitters took very few good swings off him.

Tyler Bevard  RHP - 2007 - Bettendorf, IA   Iowa Western CC

Brevard consistently tops out at 87-88 mph at PG/WWBA events and has come up with a nasty sinking changeup to complement his slider. When he develops some consistency with his mechanics and release point, he’ll take the next step forward.

Cameron Robulack  1B - 2007 - Toronto, ON CAN   Nebraska

Robulack is a lefthanded hitter with plus raw power. He has a good approach at the plate and consistently gets good swings every at-bat. His first base play has improved and he has quick feet and soft hands on defense.

Stephen Wickens  MIF - 2007 - Whitby, ON CAN   Florida Gulf Coast

Wickens has the foot quickness and arm strength to play shortstop at the college level. His bat projects well as he gains strength, especially when he maintains an aggressive approach at the plate.

2008 Top Prospects

BJ Hermsen  RHP - 2008 - Masonville, IA   Oregon State

Hermsen has a major league body right now at 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds. He’s in the middle of football season so we didn’t expect much, but were pleasantly surprised when he pitched at 86-88 mph with a sharp curveball. His potential matches up with almost any 2008 pitcher in the country.

Brent Warren  OF - 2008 - Robins, IA   Oregon State

Warren is as projectable as they get, with a broad shouldered, 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame that hasn’t started to get strong yet. Warren runs a 6.56 60 and has the kind of raw bat speed and swing plane that makes it easy to project plus power in the future. He’s an excellent defensive outfielder.

Brance Rivera  MIF - 2008 - Muscatine, IA   TCU

Rivera is an excellent athlete who combines top level speed (6.63 in the 60), very good arm strength and live-bodied athletic balance. He shows shortstop actions now, although he’s still growing into his tall, lean frame, and drives the ball to the gaps hard with the bat.

Colton Murray  RHP - 2008 - Overland Park, KS   Kansas

Murray lists himself primarily as a pitcher but we like him better as a position prospect despite an 87 mph fastball. He is a very good all-around athlete, has very good bat speed and was probably the defensive star of the showcase at third base.

James Kottaras  2B - 2008 - Markham, ON CAN   Uncommitted

Kottaras was the most polished hitter at the event, regardless of class. He has a quick, short swing that produces line drives to all fields and is a very patient hitter. His brother, George, is a top minor league catching prospect and was traded at the end of August from the Padres to the Red Sox for veteran LHP David Wells.

Chris Wakefield  RHP - 2008 - Canton, GA   Northern Illinois

Wakefield isn’t physically projectable but he has the present tools and skills to be a top college two-way player. He’s a polished pitcher with a fastball that touches 90 mph and a sharp downer curveball. His strength and aggressiveness at the plate made him one of the best hitters at the event.

Thomas Taylor  RHP - 2008 - Overland Park, KS   Kansas

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Taylor is very projectable and his 85-87 mph fastball leaves his hand easily with good downhill plane. He’s a good-looking overall athlete, which will help in his development as a pitcher.

Sam Munson  SS - 2008 - Fond du Lac, WI   Florida International

Munson is a talented young hitter, who combines projectable power with a good present batting approach. He might be able to stay at shortstop at the next level but has the bat to move over to third base as well.

Kyle Stewart  RHP - 2008 - Onalaska, WI   Western Carolina

Stewart projects big-time power from his 6-foot-4, 185-pound frame and big uppercut swing. He’s a good athlete who will likely end up at a corner outfield position.

2009 Top Prospects

Anthony Maldonado  MIF - 2009 - River Forest, IL   Howard College

Maldonado is a 2009 prospect with a strong and mature body for his age. He has very good defensive actions in the middle infield and promising raw bat speed.

2010 Top Prospects

Evan Grills  LHP - 2010 - Whitby, ON CAN   Florida Gulf Coast/San Jacinto CC

At 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds with a smooth arm action, an 83 mph fastball and a very advanced feel for his curveball and changeup it is hard to believe Grills is only 14 years old. Grills will be only 17 on draft day 2010, but remember his name.

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