*College commitment information is submitted by players and college coaches

2004 Top Prospects

Christopher Kirkland  C - 2004 - Knoxville, TN   Memphis

Kirkland had the strongest arm at the event, both off the mound and in the field. The aspect of his game that has really grown this summer, though, is his ability to drive the ball deep into the alley's. Continued work on his hitting and shifting ability behind the plate will place Kirkland among the elite catchers in the country.

Nachion Moore  C - 2004 - Chesapeake, VA   Uncommitted

There is a chance that the multi-tooled Moore could stay behind the plate, but his speed (6.78 on wet turf) and arm strength play better in centerfield. After a mediocre batting practice, Moore really showed his bat speed and offensive potential the last two days. His hustle and approach to the game is exceptional.

Matt Payne  RHP - 2004 - Hiddenite, NC   North Carolina State

Payne's weapon is a 70 mph downer curveball that he got on top of so well that it occasionally backed up into a right handed hitter. The 6-2, 175 lb. Payne throws a 4-seam fastball 86-87 mph and a 2-seam sinker with good action at 83 mph and should add velocity to both pitches as he fills out his projectable, athletic body.

Benji Johnson  C - 2004 - Pittsboro, NC   North Carolina

The third catcher among the top four prospects, Johnson may have been the best pure hitter in Chapel Hill. He showed both raw power and a sound approach that enabled him to fight off tough pitches. Johnson has a quick release with average arm strength and was consistently around 1.90 in his pop times.

Jordan Ellis  RHP - 2004 - Bryn Mawr, PA   Virginia

The 6-2, 190 lb. Ellis could end up either on the mound or in the field. It's too close a call after watching him for only three days. A 6.87 runner, Ellis has a strong, powerful swing that enabled him to hit the only home run of the Showcase. In fact, Ellis was only a double short of hitting for the cycle during the third game. On the mound, Ellis topped out at 88 mph, with a quality change up and a knuckle curveball that had some late sharpness on occasion.

Edward Anderson  RHP - 2004 - Bradenton, FL   Uncommitted

Anderson is a big strong young man at 6-5, 205 lb. and has a chance to get stronger. He has an unusual set of pitches for a 17 year old. Anderson's fastball ranges from 84-88 with very good tailing and sinking action and he was consistent in keeping this pitch low in the strike zone. But Anderson's bread and butter pitch is a 72-75 mph split finger that gets good late tumble to it. While most pitchers who throw a split also throw a slider, Anderson has a 73 mph curveball that has fair to good spin. Aside from his solid three pitch array, Anderson showed an advanced ability to mix and spot his pitches effectively.

Benjamin Hildreth  RHP - 2004 - Forest, VA   Winthrop

Hildreth sat alone atop the velocity board, topping out at 89 mph, from one of the first pitches of the Showcase until the late on the final day. Very projectable at 6-1, 160 with a loose, quick arm and a mid ¾'s release, Hildreth pitched between 86-89 mph with a low 70's curveball that showed some sharpness, especially at high velocities.

Blake Martin  LHP - 2004 - Boaz, AL   Birmingham-Southern College

Although Martin only threw 85-87 mph from the left side, his deception and arm speed made him look like the fast pitcher at the Showcase. Once the 6-3, 170 lb southpaw learns how to use his lower half better in his delivery, we could see a big leap in his velocity. Martin's best off speed pitch is a 78 mph change up that had good deception. His curveball is 72 mph with a short, slider type break.

Matt Willard  MIF - 2004 - Newtown, PA   Arkansas

In a slim group of middle infielders, Willard stood out with his average speed (6.88) and slightly above average arm strength. In fact, Willard is the type of player who shows a better arm in game competition than during workouts and unleashed several strong throws from the whole. Willard is stronger than his 5-11, 165 lb. frame indicates and can handle a wood bat with some pop.

Eric Chamness  1B - 2004 - West Chester, PA   Uncommitted

Chamness had the fastest 60 time at Chapel Hill, a 6.67 on wet turf. He has a solid 6-1, 185 lb frame to add strength to in the future. Chamness has good bat speed and a pull approach at the plate. He played both outfield and first base but is much better suited for the outfield because of his speed and athletic ability.

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