TOP 30 PROSPECTS
1. David Price, lhp, Vanderbilt (1)
Price saw his college career come to a shocking end Monday, as he came on in relief of an elimination game in Vanderbilt's regional loss. Price allowed a solo home run in the 10th inning against Michigan. Price was nonetheless expected to go 1-1 Thursday.
2. Matt Wieters, c, Georgia Tech (3)
Wieters' college career ended on a down note, as his Yellow Jackets were denied a bid to the NCAA tournament. Wieters is frequently compared to another switch-hitting catcher from Georgia Tech, Jason Varitek, but the comparison that might matter most is the financial expectations, which are rumored to be more along the lines of what another Yellow Jackets switch-hitting slugger received. Mark Teixeira signed with the Rangers at No. 5 overall in 2001 for $9.5 million and a four-year MLB deal, which might be in the ballpark of what Wieters wants.
3. Rick Porcello, rhp, Seton Hall Prep, West Orange, N.J. (2)
Signability is the word of the week, as clubs are doing their best to judge just how much it's going to take to get Porcello signed. Seton Hall Prep (30-1) is scheduled to play Immaculata High (Somerville, N.J.) today in Morristown, in the Non-Public School North Finals, the state's semifinals of the playoffs. Porcello is available in relief, but will likely be held to start the Non-Public Class A state title game Saturday if the Pirates win today. His last start was Friday against Don Bosco Prep, who was the first team this season to have some success against the righthander. Porcello allowed six earned runs on 12 hits, struck out seven and walked two. On the season he's 9-0, 1.22 with 103 strikeouts and 13 walks in 63 innings.
4. Mike Moustakas, 3b/1b, Chatsworth (Calif.) HS (4)
Chatsworth won the L.A. City Section title last weekend and Moustakas had a hit in the victory. Moustakas, the frontrunner for BA's High School Player of the Year award, to be announced in two weeks, batted .577 (56-for-97) with 24 home runs and 59 RBIs. He had 28 walks and two strikeouts.
5. Josh Vitters, 3b, Cypress (Calif.) HS (5)
Vitters' season ended in a playoff loss to Vista Murrieta High last week, but in appropriate fashion, he homered in the loss, slamming a three-run shot to the opposite field, his ninth this season. "I think he's going to go 4 to the Pirates," said John Weber, Vitters' coach. "If I were a betting man, I think that's where he winds up." One of Vitters' workouts recently was for the Devil Rays; he also worked out for the Cubs, taking live BP directly from Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken.
6. Jarrod Parker, rhp, Norwell (Ind.) HS (9)
Parker could benefit from the signability concerns surrounding some of the drafts' more proven prospects. Like Detwiler, he could be as high as No. 2 on most boards. He picked up his 10th win last Tuesday in three innings of a one-sided game, improving to 10-0, 0.13 with four complete games. In 52 innings he's allowed 15 hits, a .085 opponent average, 96 strikeouts and eight walks.
7. Jason Heyward, of, Henry County HS, McDonough, Ga. (6)
Heyward's season came to an end in the Georgia playoffs, and he capped his career successfully. "I was at his last two series and he played his best he has all season," a National League scout said. "He drove the ball, and took a pitch up and away out for a home run to the opposite field and doubled off a breaking ball."
8. Ross Detwiler, lhp, Missouri State (7)
A split fingernail on his pitching hand limited Detwiler to three innings in what proved to be his final 2007 start, but he and Daniel Moskos were already established as lefthanders with upisde and cinch first-round picks. He's an option for every team starting at No. 2 overall.
9. Daniel Moskos, lhp, Clemson (8)
Moskos had his longest outing of his college career Friday when he dealt eight innings in Clemson's 3-2 win against St. John's in regional play. He allowed an earned run and a walk with four strikeouts in the win, and Clemson advanced.
10. Beau Mills, 3b/1b, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) (10)
Lewis-Clark (Idaho) State won the NAIA World Series behind Mills' monster year. He homered three times in the championship game, setting a single-season NAIA record with 37. "He's probably one of the fastest-rising guys in this whole deal," an AL crosschecker said. "I never would have thought he'd be in the mix in the first round, but he deserves a lot of credit because he's worked hard and really performed well."
11. Blake Beavan, rhp, Irving (Texas) HS (11)
The Dodgers are one of a handful of teams believed to be hot for Beavan, whose season has been over for more than three weeks.
12. Madison Bumgarner, lhp, South Caldwell HS, Hudson, N.C. (12)
Bumgarner's team won the 4-A state this past weekend in Zebulon, N.C. He dominated again, pitching a complete game with one run and 12 strikeouts and hit a walk-off home run in the title game to win the state title.
13. Matt Dominguez, 3b, Chatsworth (Calif.) HS (13)
Dominguez played his best down the stretch, and joined Moustakas in celebrating the L.A. City title. He finished .443-13-42 and could be taken as high as No. 8 overall.
14. Devin Mesoraco, c, Punxsutawney (Pa.) HS (16)
The more players who slide out of the top 10 picks based on signability, the better for Mesoraco, who has asserted himself as a first rounder who was expected to sign quickly for slot money anywhere in the first 30 picks. He could be taken as high as No. 4 to Pittsburgh. One of most attractive assets is the balance of his game.
15. Matt Harvey, rhp, Fitch HS, Groton, Conn. (14)
With the depth and talent of this class, Harvey hadn't separated himself, and his velocity has not been as consistent as it was last summer, although his breaking ball is still filthy. He was considered an "out-of-the-box" Scott Boras client such as Porcello in terms of bonus demands.
16. Julio Borbon, of, Tennessee (15)
Tennesse's failure to receive an NCAA bid could help Borbon and Tennessee catcher J.P. Arencibia, who could elect to attend some private workouts where teams searching to get a read on them, due to their injuries and inconsistent performance this year, can get a better look.
17. Michael Main, rhp/of, Deland (Fla.) HS (17)
After leading his high school team to the state semifinals for the second year in a row, Main tossed two-innings in Sebring, Fla., in the state all-star game and was roughed up. Despite a bout of wildness and a hanging slider that was hit for a grand slam by John Tolisano (Estero, Fla.), Main touched 96 mph and was commended by scouts. "I'm not worried about it . . . that's pretty good (stuff)," an AL scout said in Sebring. He shouldn't last longer than No. 22.
18. Casey Weathers, rhp, Vanderbilt (18)
Weathers' season is over. He pitched two scoreless innings in his final college appearance, striking out two with two walks and a hit. Earlier in the regional he struck out five in two perfect innings against Austin Peay.
19. Phillippe Aumont, rhp, Ecole Du Versant, Gatineau, Quebec (19)
Aumont breezed through three innings of an outing against the Twins' Rookie-level Dominican League team pitching at 90-92, topping out at 94. "Command was spotty," a scout in attendance said. "I can see why everybody is making the Kevin Brown comparisons--body and sinker similarities." Aumont and Detwiler will be in Orlando for the draft broadcast. The Brewers have a Canadian general manager in Doug Melvin, and scout the country as well as any club, fueling Aumont to Milwuakee rumors.
20. Josh Smoker, lhp, Calhoun (Ga.) HS (20)
One of Georgia's all-time best high school pitchers saw his prep career come to an end, as Smoker's Calhoun High was ousted from the 2-A playoffs this week in a best-of-three championship series. Smoker might be taken as high as No. 14 to the Braves, though Main is their more likely choice there.
21. Matt LaPorta, 1b, Florida (21)
LaPorta launched his 20th homer and 74th of his career in the first inning of a loss to South Carolina that eliminated the Gators from the SEC tournament. The blast turned out to be LaPorta's lone hit of the tourney, and the back half of the first round is where he's likely to be taken. Florida's season (and his college career) is over.
22. Kevin Ahrens, 3b, Memorial HS, Houston (22)
Ahrens homered in his last game and has done nothing to damage his stock, which took off early this spring and remains among the draft's top prep hitters. He could be taken as high as No. 15 to the Reds.
23. Nick Schmidt, lhp, Arkansas (23)
Schimdt pitched seven innings of scoreless, two-hit ball as Arkansas eliminated Creighton from the Fayetteville Regional Sunday, but the Hogs were bounced from the tournament later that night. "Ok," said a scout in attendance. "Pitchability is what he's all about. (He) didn't have real good stuff, but did as much as he needed to to throw seven shutout innings. From a stuff standpoint, it was underwhelming but he just gets it done." For the team seeking a polished college arm, they could take Schmidt as high as No. 6 overall.
24. Pete Kozma, ss, Owasso (Okla.) HS (26)
Kozma has taken a step ahead of the deep crop of toolsy high school middle infielders. As part of Owasso’s 23-game win streak to end the season and claim the Oklahoma state 6-A title, Kozma went 9-for-11 with one home run, five doubles, nine RBIs and eight runs in the regional bracket before dominating the state rounds. In the final four games of his career, he went 5-for-9 with four home runs, seven RBIs and four intentional walks.
25. Todd Frazier, 3b, Rutgers (24)
In a draft thin in college position players, Frazier was gaining more momentum based on his solid, consistent performance as a junior this season. "Great year, guys like really like him," an AL crosschecker said. "Later first round guy, too." He was 4-for-12 with four doubles in Rutgers' regional loss.
26. J.P. Arencibia, c/1b, Tennessee (25)
Although a back injury depressed Arencibia's draft stock, there were a handful of teams that had seen him show glimpses of the plus power and ability to stay behind the plate that raised his profile last summer with USA Baseball's college national team.
27. Will Middlebrooks, 3b/rhp, Liberty-Elyau HS, Texarkana, Texas (NR)
Middlebrooks is part of the same Texas A&M recruiting class as Ahrens, who has been compared to Chipper Jones, and has drawn comparisons to Scott Rolen for his size and strength that profile well at third base.
28. James Simmons, rhp, UC Riverside (30)
Simmons won his last start, beating Nebraska in regional play with a 133-pitch performance. He went 11-3, 2.40 with a 116-15 strikeout-walk ratio in 124 innings.
29. Andrew Brackman, rhp, North Carolina State (28)
There hasn't been a player to suffer a greater fall than Brackman, who didn't pitch in the ACC or NCAA tournament and made only one appearance, totaling four innings, during the entire month. The team has said his arm is simply tired, but if Brackman doesn't pitch again before the draft, he could slide out of the first round altogether.
30. Brett Cecil, lhp, Maryland (NR)
Maryland's season has been over for two weeks, but Cecil improved his stock this season and could easily be taken in the first round.
LIP OF THE CUP
Aaron Poreda, lhp, San Francisco (NR)
Big, physical lefty throws in the mid-90s and has some upside as a good athlete. He could be taken as high as No. 26 overall.
Sean Doolittle, 1b/lhp, Virginia (NR)
The presence of Cubs GM Jim Hendry at Virginia's regional this weekend, and new ownership perhaps tightening the purse strings in Chicago, the Cubs could make Doolittle a signability pick at No. 3 overall, despite his talent warranting a spot at their sandwich round pick at 48.
Nick Noonan, 2b, Parker HS, San Diego (NR)
Noonan has proven his prowess at the plate, and has been compared to Chase Utley. He isn't likely to make it out of the top 40 picks.
Grant Desme, of, Cal Poly (NR)
Desme broke his wrist late in the season, but was on a tear leading up to the accident and was expected to make a full recovery.
Jack McGeary, lhp/1b, Roxbury Latin HS, West Roxbury, Mass. (27)
Despite an impressive record (5-1, 0.88), McGeary had 21 walks in 40 innings and his velocity was in the 83-87 mph range for much of his last outing. "He had a very, very average year at best," an AL crosschecker said. "I thought going into the year he was a late first-rounder but I think he might be sliding to the second, and beyond (that) because of his signability."
Nick Hagadone, lhp, Washington (NR)
Another physical lefty whose velocity spiked this year, Hagadone might make a push into the back of the first round, as well.
Neil Ramirez, rhp, Kempsville (Va.) HS (NR)
Up-and-down season has left scouts scratching their heads on where Ramirez fits in the draft. He's been up to 95 mph and at times has been dominant.
Nevin Griffith, rhp, Middleton HS, Tampa (NR)
Griffith capped his high school career with two shutout innings in the Florida all-star game and was a solid choice as live-armed prep righthander with projection and upside.