|05-17-2008, 10:56 PM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Kansas City, Mo
2008 Player Draft Scouting and Info 1-25
I've compiled a number of reports and rankings using BA, Keith Law, minor league zone, and several other online sources. The first group are players 1-25. After the first 10 or so the players are grouped pretty closely. These are my own rankings and completely totally subject to error! Please add comments, ad scouting on players I know little about, add players I've missed that are 1st-3rd round caliber.
1 Tim Beckham ss Griffin (Ga.) HS best combination of tools, athleticism
and projection, Best HS Athlete, quickest HS to bigs A bonafide five-tool player at a premium position, there's a reason why Beckham is at or near the top of Draft lists everywhere. He's got tools galore, with some idea of how to use them. He'll need to iron out some things mechanically and fundamentally, but he's got the ability and potential to hit, hit for power, steal bases and stay at shortstop at the big-league level.
2 Pedro Alvarez 3b Vanderbilt Boras $8.5 million pure power & ability to
project at 3B seeks big league contract should reach quickly. Alvarez entered the season as the top player talent-wise in the Draft, and even though he missed a chunk of the season after suffering a broken hamate bone, his status hasn't suffered. While his timing and strength have been slow in fully returning, most are confident it will and point to a long track record of success for Alvarez. The only thing that could affect his status on Draft day are perceived bonus demands, but it's unlikely they will force any huge slide out of the first several picks.
3 Justin Smoak 1b S/L South Carolina 6-4 215 hot spring rising best power hitter
quickest to help There are a number of top-notch college first basemen in this year's class and Smoak is right at the top of the list. That's because he's got a smooth and easy swing that generates plenty of power from both sides of the plate. This isn't college power; it will translate just fine to the pro game. He can't run and is limited to first base defensively, but there will be more than enough bat to make up for those shortcomings.
4 Eric Hosmer 1b American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla. 6-4 210 Boras client best
HS Power Arguably the top high school bat in the Draft class, the lefty first baseman has drawn comparisons to Casey Kotchman for his advanced hitting approach, though he might not quite be there. He's got a ton of upside with the bat, both in terms of hitting for average and power and he's surprisingly nimble defensively. Teams who like high school hitters with potential to move fairly quickly will be on Hosmer all spring.
5 Aaron Crow rhp Missouri 6-3 195 great fastball some question mechanics hardest
thrower best poise quickest to help After a strong Cape season, he was high atop Draft lists heading into the season. He's done nothing to hurt his status, showing three plus pitches to dominate hitters and establish himself as one of the top college arms, if not the top college arm, in the Draft class – that’s certainly between him and Matusz. FB up to 96 with movement, hard power slider that he throws for strikes, and a good feel for the changeup. Electric stuff and he maintains velocity deep into starts
6 Brian Matusz lhp San Diego three-pitch lefty who misses bats maybe
better than Crow great spring, polished After a slow start to the season, Matusz has remained one of the, if not THE top pitcher in this year's Draft class. The lefty has four pitches he can throw for strikes and isn't afraid to use his entire arsenal in a game. His velocity has been a little down this year and he hasn't pitched off his fastball as much as some would like, but he's still got front-of-the-rotation potential and is likely to see his name go off the board very early on Draft day.
7 Buster Posey c Florida State 6-2 200 top catcher College catchers who can stay at the position and can hit are always a hot commodity and Posey will be no exception. He's got a great approach with the bat and has a little power. As a converted shortstop, he's still a little raw behind the plate, but all the tools are there for him to be just fine and help ensure he gets drafted fairly early.
8 Kyle Skipworth c Patriot HS, Riverside, Calif. 6-3 190 L/R great spring rising best
HS Defense Arguably the best catching prospect in the draft class, Skipworth has all the makings of an offensive-minded catcher with plenty of power from the left side, a hot commodity for every organization. He's got plus arm strength, but needs some work in his defensive game, something scouts believe will improve over time.
9 Gordon Beckham ss R/R Georgia 6-0 185 great spring rising on boards hits, hits for power, athletic, projects at 2B should reach quickly. Beckham has quality at-bats and some pretty good pop, surprising considering his size. He's capable of being an excellent defender, but might be better suited at second as a pro.
10 Yonder Alonso 1b Miami professional approach and hitting ability best
line drive hitter in draft Alonso is a hitter, period, with a great approach and power, especially the other way right now. Defensively, he's no great shakes, but it's that bat that teams will dream about putting in the middle of their lineup to produce plenty of runs in the future.
11 Shooter Hunt rhp Tulane 6-3 205 fastball to go with a true power breaking ball
command issues With a strong junior season, Hunt has moved himself into serious first-round contention. While the right-hander doesn't always command his pitches well -- he's walked a few too many this year -- he's got terrific stuff, most notably his fastball and curve, both of which are above average. He hasn't needed a changeup much, but he has the feel for one. There might be one or two right-handers who rank ahead of Hunt heading into the Draft, but he's not too far behind them in the pecking order. 2 seam and 4 seam FBs from 90-95, a true power curve
12 Christian Friedrich lhp Eastern Kentucky 6-3 210 polished lefty commands three
pitches College lefties are always in high demand and, truth be told, there aren't that many upper-echelon ones out there this year. Behind San Diego's Brian Matusz, Friedrich is likely the best -- especially once he gains more consistent command -- with a repetoire that should land him in the middle of a big-league rotation in short order. Matusz may go first, but it shouldn't take long for Friedrich to hear his name, either. 88-93 w/ a cutter and above avg curve
13 Tim Melville rhp Holt HS, Wentzville, Mo. 6-5 205 Excellent HS pitcher also
hits, arm rates as good as any One of the top high school arms in the Draft class, Melville has a big projectable frame which has plenty of room for growth. Already possessing above-average arm strength, he could add even more velocity in the future. He shows glimpses of a good knuckle-curve, but will have to find more consistency with it. Same goes for his changeup, which is clearly his third pitch. He draws some comparisons to Yankee Phil Hughes when he was in high school and should find himself gone in the first round just as Hughes did.
14 Joshua Fields rhp Georgia 6-0 178 top closer in NCAA, could reach quickly A second-round Draft pick last year by the Braves after a subpar junior season, he and his advisor, Scott Boras, could not come to terms with Atlanta. So the closer returned to Georgia for a senior season to try and make his junior campaign a distant memory. He was off to a good start and could be the kind of college closer teams look for these days. Fb 92-95 w/a true hammer curve
15 Casey Kelly ss/rhp Sarasota (Fla.) all around athlete, excellent
defense, some question his bat One of the better athletes in the class, whoever drafts Kelly will have to lure him from being a two-sport star at the University of Tennessee, where he is a quarterback recruit. Big and athletic, he has all the tools to play shortstop. The main question is whether he'll swing the bat well enough and that could determine his draft status as a hitter. As a pitcher, he's a bit raw, but has the makings of three outstanding pitches and could be more intriguing to scouts on the mound.
16 Andrew Cashner rhp Texas Christian 6-5 195 closer has upper-90s velocity pure
power closer A move to a short relief role has suited Cashner extremely well. As TCU's closer, he's been virtually unhittable, though he has struggled with his command. He's had a big spike in velocity, up to the upper 90s to go along with a very good slider. College closers have become intriguing Draft picks over the past few years and Cashner has positioned himself to be one of the first taken. Hits 98 & has plus slider
17 Gerrit Cole rhp Lutheran HS, Orange, Calif. 6-3 190 great arm concerns about
delivery, presence and secondary pitches.best HS Power pitcher A projectable high school right-hander with the capability already to throw a fastball up into the upper 90s Throw in a future plus slider and a changeup, all for which he can throw for strikes. Scott Boras as an advisor. He has some mechanical issues with his delivery, with an arc in the back and a tendency to throw across his body; he gets too emotional on the mound.
18 Ethan Martin rhp/3b Stephens County HS, Toccoa, Ga. R/R 6-3 200 scouts like both
arm AND bat but his arm is too good to ignore. He went from an interesting two-way player to an upper-echelon pitching prospect in one start. Showing three above-average pitches he can throw for strikes as well as the ability to maintain mid-90s velocity deep into a game, Martin was sure to be one of the most closely watched prep pitchers in the draft class. He jumped on the screen with that one start; if he keeps it going, he'll move quickly up the charts.
19 Jemile Weeks 2b Miami 5-9 180 S/R line-drive swing, speed and surprising power may be best athlete & best speed in draft Even though he plays the same position as his older brother, Rickie, Jemile is not the same kind of player. He doesn't have, and likely will never have, the kind of power Rickie does. He runs extremely well and with a line-drive approach, could be a good table-setter. His defense is somewhat in question, but a move to center would fix that. The Brewers drafted Weeks in the eighth round in 2005 and it's clear that it was more than just a favor to his brother.
20 Aaron Hicks rhp/of Wilson HS, Long Beach pitches, plays CF speedy
athletic type, scouts split on pitcher or CFer, he prefers CF, not
projectible power but leadoff type. Hicks is one of the more athletic outfielders in the high school ranks and perhaps in the draft class. How high he gets drafted depends on how highly people project what he can become. He's got a ton of tools, but will he learn how to use them? Someone is sure to take that chance. Very raw with lots to learn but all the tools are there.
21 Brett Wallace 1b/3b Arizona State 6-1 245 pure hitter red hot spring rising
strictly 1B with arm and speed below ML avg Drawing rave reviews for his work in the box, he's one of the best hitters in college and perhaps in the entire Draft class. His unbelievable plate discipline will undoubtedly be attractive to some teams, though it's unlikely he'll play anything but first as a pro. He could be the kind of Major Leaguer who hits .300 with 25 homers and a high OBP annually.
22 Tanner Scheppers rhp Fresno State 6-4 200 92-96 mph fastball recent arm
soreness dropping him if his arm's okay he's a legit top ten Originally recruited by Fresno State as a shortstop, he's an intriguing right-hander with a ton of upside. He may be a little raw because of his lack of experience -- he showed just two pitches early in the season -- but the above-average fastball and strong early results will be enough to keep scouts coming and keep him moving up Draft charts all spring.
23 Conor Gillaspie 3b L/R 6-1 200 Wichita State grinder and a premium hitter MVP of
Cape Cod League, ballplayer skills over pure athleticism. After a strong Cape season, Gillaspie has followed up with an excellent junior campaign. He's a terrific hitter and has been over .400 for most of the year. His lack of power makes it hard to profile him anywhere other than as a Bill Mueller-type third baseman. There are worse things to be, of course, and a team that values what Gillaspie can do will surely take him.
24 David Cooper, L/L 1B, California - Great hitter, although scouts wish
he were bigger 20, 20 6' 1, 210, average speed and defense, probably
limited to 1st, good power, below avg arm He's got legitimate power to all fields and his advanced approach at the plate helps him avoid any slumps. Somewhat limited defensively, there's no doubt a team will take him fairly early just to get that bat into its system.
25 Jason Castro L/R C Stanford 6-3 215 plenty of bat & projects as a catcher in ML w/avg arm but good pop time could be a sleeper C pick in draft with Skipworth and Posey getting the press, fast for a catcher can steal on occasion. College catchers, especially those who hit left-handed, are always in demand and Castro has used a strong Cape League season to put himself in position to be one of the first backstops taken. He's got legit power and a good set of defensive skills. He might not be the first college catcher to go off the board, but he likely won't have to wait long. Has had some arm health issues