1 Kendall - LF Anier Romero: Everybody's choice as the top hitter in this draft. Romero led all high school hitters in batting average and tied for the lead in homers. Has outstanding power to all fields and superb contact skills. Arm is also excellent. Romero is not without holes in his game, however. He has a barely adequate knowledge of the strike zone, which could slow down his progress. He's also a liability on the bases, even at the high school level. Given the dearth of blue chip batting prospects in recent years, Kendall couldn't pass on a hitter with this much upside, but he is not without risks.
2 Redsand - P Bruce Devlin: Devlin was considered a guy who might legitimately go late in round one, but no one had mentioned him as a potential top 5 selection. Finished third among college pitchers with a 2.75 FIP, but that was against very weak competition. Slightly above average control, but not a big K guy, and somewhat prone to the long ball. Devlin might well make it into the major league starting rotation one day, but it hard to see him being a star.
3 Washburn - SP Allen Morales: Right-handed fireballer who has been clocked upward of 100 mph, Morales led all college pitchers in rate of strikeouts as well as FIP... and in avoiding walks! Yes, we are talking here about a dominant strikeout pitcher with plus control. Four plus plus pitches. And a heavy ball that stays in the park. In any other season, Morales would have been a certain #1 pick. For Washburn to snag him at #3 is one of the all time bargains.
4 Kingsbury - SP Nicolo Lanfranchi: Well rounded high school right-hander who relies on excellent breaking pitches rather than velocity. Finished third in FIP. Very tough to take long, but never going to be among the strikeout leaders. A tough pick to criticize -- Lanfranchi would be a valuable acquisition for any team. But we would have preferred Paco Torres.
5 Cottonwood - CL Ramon Guarneso: Top relief prospect in the draft, but it was a down year for relievers. Not dominant, but should be a contributor.
6 Denton - SS Vlad Madgearu: A surprising choice at #6, Madgearu has been a frustrating prospect. Led the NCAA in batting. Combines great speed, range, and contract skills with almost no sense of the strike zone, and a knack for piling up errors. Boom or bust.
7 Jenton - C Everardo Torres: Overachiever who finished third in batting average, second in homers -- although not against very strong competition. Scouts see him as only an adquate bat. However, if there is a catcher with a better arm, we'd like to see him. Not sure he was the seventh best player in the draft, but he ought to make it.
8 Yancey - SP Paco 'Slick' Torres: Fiery leader, truly dominant righty who led high school pitchers in strikouts and FIP. Excellent control, tough to take long... truly, the high school version of Allen Morales. At this point, he lacks the outstanding velocity of Morales, but then he is four years younger. The only bigger bargain than Morales at #3 is Torres at #8.
9 Hinsdale - CF Domingo Sarraganieves: Not among the leaders in any offensive category, although scouts believe he has a chance to wield an adequate bat as a pro. Fast, but not a good baserunner. Has some outfield range, which will help. Very green, and not quick to pick things up.
10 Greenwood - cf Ichizo Fukuhara: Not star material, but has well above average ability to get on base, and some pop. Good glove, great arm, pretty decent baserunner. Looks like a solid, regular right fielder in the making.
11 Hood River - 2B Wing-Fung Zhou: Solid bat for a middle infielder. Can hit for average, wait the pitcher out for a walk, or, on occasion, drill one. Not a liability in the field or on the bases, but those are not the skills that are going to keep him in the major leagues. A pretty good pick at #11.
12 Seneca Point - CF Donny "Milky" Wiggins: Promising high school bat, who can hit for power and for average. Refuses to swing at anything bad, and a strong baserunner. With development, can be a true offensive assett. Not the kind of glove you'd want in center, however. Given the lack of batters in recent seasons, it is surprising Wiggins lasted to #12.
13 Murray Creek - RF Cincinel Nica: Muscular, charismatic hardworking power hitter who led all high school hitters in homeruns. Reminds scouts of a stutue in the field and on the bases, but has the potential to be a 40 HR type of guy. A bit of a gamble, especially since he's still pretty green, but a gamble well worth taking. And, if he flops as a power hitter, he might fall back on his pitching, where he is regarded as a second or third round prospect.
14 Oakton - SP Hanno Metzler: Not well-known or widely scouted. Metzler did not finish too far down the list of high schoolers in terms of strikeouts, but was not generally dominant against questionable competition. Hard working but lacks the kind of movement on his pitches that other top prospects possess.
16 St. Bernard - SP Rupert Ocbroa: Finished second among high school pitchers in both FIP and strikeouts. Not as successful agains the long ball. Has a chance to rack up strikouts in the pros, but will need to improve his control.
17 Ritchford - 1b Jorge Rodriguez: Third in the NCAA in homers abeit against weak competition. Scouts agree that Rodriguez has some power potential. However, he will need to improve his vision at the plate and his ability to make contact, if he is going to make much of a splash in the pros.
18 Twin Falls - SP Yoshihide Takudo: Effective high school right hander with well-rounded skills, who will need to develop another pitch if he hopes to start in the pros. His odds are improved by the fact he is smart and hard-working.
19 Point Breeze - LF Ye Bian: Led the NCAA in homers this season, but scouts believe he will struggle in the pros unless he makes big improvements in his patience at the plate. Not a good defensive player, but no doubt he has some offensive possibilities, if he can only put it all together.
20 Northhampton - 2B Walter Reuther Jr.: Maybe the most controversial prospect in the draft, Reuther dropped all the way to #20 after some had predicted he'd be in the top 5. Second in the country in batting average, third in stolen bases. However, despite all efforts of his coaches, Reuther continues to swing at pitches far outside the strike zone, sure to cause him serious problems against good professional pitching. Fielding is similarly spotty -- he gets to his share of the balls and has sure hands, but is downright deficient at turning doubleplays. Cannot move to third due to a weak throwing arm. Smart and charismatic, but lacks the kind of training habits one looks for in a pro athlete. How this is going to turn out is anyone's guess.
21 Langlade - SP Fei Tah: Fourth in the NCAA in FIP, but only so-so against the long ball. Still, Tah is above average across the board and is more advanced at this point than any of the other top prospects, save Morales and Guarneso. Decent value late in round one.
22 Redsand - CF Manny Cortes: Fast and rangy, but Cortes will need some work with the bat if he is going to contribute.
23 Blackwood - SS Kay Richardson: Possesses strong contact skills -- finished third in batting average -- but kind of a one trick pony. Little power, poor batting eye, a liability on the bases, and a fish out of water in the field. One thing for sure, he's not going be able to stay at shortstop. Good character.
24 Red Willow - SP Marius Serbanescu: A bit of a projection, Serbanescu is going to have to get stronger and throw harder, but the basics are there. Given that he is only 17, this is certainly possible. However, he is also going to add some pitches to his arsenal, if he is going to start.
Steal of round two: SP Angelo Tellez (Northhampton at pick 2.20) - Never going to be a power pitcher, but second in the NCAA in FIP, second in BB/9, third in HR/9, third in ERA. Put a decent defense behind him, and this guy is going to put up some very good numbers.