There are going to be some very good players for us to choose from at pick No. 7 this year. Should be interesting to see how it plays out. Even if no one in the projected top 6 falls to us, there will still be a crop of studs to choose from. I like Tanner Scheppers. When in doubt, always give me the college pitcher with an "electric arm."
Rk Player Pos. School Preseason Top 50
1 Pedro Alvarez 3b Vanderbilt 1 1
Despite down year caused by early hamate injury, Alvarez is the draft's top talent. Whether or not he's worth a major league contract in the $8.5 million neighborhood is the bigger question.
2 Tim Beckham ss Griffin (Ga.) HS 4 4
Hasn't had a huge spring, but Beckham has the best combination of tools, athleticism and projection of any player in the draft. Comparisons to the Upton brothers don't fit, however.
3 Brian Matusz lhp San Diego 2 2
Surest of the sure things, a three-pitch lefty who misses bats with more than enough fastball and excellent secondary stuff.
Buster Posey c Florida State 15 7
In the mix starting at No. 1 overall after hittng .477 in conference games, Posey makes a case as the draft's safest pick at its most premium position.
Aaron Crow rhp Missouri 3 3
As much as you could ask for in a fastball, yet Crow has fallen off the torrid pace he set in the season's first two months.
6 Eric Hosmer 1b American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla. 8 5
Asking price is high for Boras Corporation client and Arizona State signee, who has now strength and now power. "It's like watching a college hitter," one scouting director said.
7 Justin Smoak 1b South Carolina 5 6
Recent hot streak has Smoak contending to be drafted in the top five like former prep teammate Matt Wieters.
8 Gordon Beckham ss Georgia 24 12
Posey and Smoak are catching up in terms of 2008 production, which merely makes Beckham's season outstanding instead of singular.
9 Tanner Scheppers rhp Fresno State 22 9
Still learning to harness his electric stuff; 92-96 mph fastball in recent starts, and still relatively new to pitching. Could be draft's top arm if he becomes more efficient.
10 Shooter Hunt rhp Tulane 17 8
Command issues have him a tick behind Scheppers at this time; plenty of fastball to go with a true power breaking ball.
11 Kyle Skipworth c Patriot HS, Riverside, Calif. 12 11
Dominant performance (18 hits in a row) stands out even in crowded Southern California high school ranks.
12 Yonder Alonso 1b Miami 7 13
Opponents and scouts marvel at Alonso's professional approach and hitting ability, leading to 10 homers in just 22 Atlantic Coast Conference games.
13 Tim Melville rhp Holt HS, Wentzville, Mo. 6 10
Doing a little of everything for his team of late, Melville has had a two-homer game and 14 strikeouts in recent outings for Holt High.
14 Aaron Hicks rhp/of Wilson HS, Long Beach 13 15
He's done it all in the last week, throwing a complete-game shutout with 11 strikeouts on the mound and contributing a solo homer to lead off a 34-0 romp against Compton High the next game.
15 Christian Friedrich lhp Eastern Kentucky 9 14
The draft's most polished lefty commands three pitches, including a fastball with average-to-plus velocity and a good, if slow, curveball.
16 Ethan Martin rhp/3b Stephens County HS, Toccoa, Ga. NR 16
More evidence that Martin's pitching skills have moved to the fore—he threw a complete-game no-hitter with 11 strikeouts in a start April 23.
17 Joshua Fields rhp Georgia NR 18
One-inning at a time approach has suited the nation's top closer, who just gave up his first earned run this weekend.
18 Gerrit Cole rhp Lutheran HS, Orange, Calif. 11 19
With an arm as good as any in the draft, Cole still has managed to see his stock fall due to concerns about his delivery, mound presence and secondary pitches.
19 Alex Meyer rhp Greensburg (Ind.) HS NR 22
Six-foot-7 Kentucky signee has little in common with last year's Indiana phenom, Jarrod Parker, but should join him in first round.
20 Casey Kelly ss/rhp Sarasota (Fla.) HS NR 35
Tennessee quarterback signee and son of ex-big leaguer Pat Kelly has shown first-round talent as both position player and pitcher.
21 Brett Wallace 1b/3b Arizona State NR 26
Red-hot of late, Wallace remains one of the draft's best pure hitters and has firmed up his body.
22 Conor Gillaspie 3b Wichita State NR 29
A grinder and a premium hitter, Gillaspie has built on his strong summer, when he was MVP of the Cape Cod League.
23 Jemile Weeks 2b Miami 25 20
Rickie's younger brother lacks his pure physicality but has offensive upside, including line-drive swing, speed and surprising power.
24 Andrew Cashner rhp Texas Christian NR NR
Fast-moving closer has upper-90s velocity, pushing to front of down college crop in Texas.
25 Ryan Perry rhp Arizona 16 38
Poor early performance somewhat mitigated by a move to the bullpen; still one of the draft's elite arms at 92-97 mph.
26 Reese Havens ss South Carolina NR 34
He's built on his Cape Cod League improvement; his 1.150 OPS this spring is a 400-point improvement on his first two seasons.
27 Jason Castro
c Stanford NR NR
Third-string catcher last summer in Cape Cod (behind Posey and LSU's Sean Ochinko), Castro has plenty of bat and enough ability to stay behind the plate.
28 Brett DeVall lhp Niceville (Fla.) HS 30 30
Florida's top prep pitcher saw his 18-innings scoreless streak in the postseason end when he was used on two days' rest; Niceville won 3-2 anyway.
29 Daniel Webb rhp Heath HS, West Paducah, Ky. NR 33
Despite fierce competition from the state's strongest draft crop ever, Webb remains the class of Kentucky.
30 Ike Davis 1b/of Arizona State NR
Before recent injury (he hasn't started for five games), Davis was making a case for Pac-10 player of the year as he's nearly matched his career home run total with 15.