Welcome back to Baseball Instinct’s preview of the 2010 MLB Amateur draft. We continue with #26-#50 on our list.
26. Ryan LaMarre OF Michigan - A real gamer, 6’2 and 200 lbs with plus plus speed, LaMarre might be the most exciting player taken in the first round. He combines solid hit skills with above average power and all out play. He should stick as a CF which will only add to his value.
27. James Paxton LHP Grand Prairie – Paxton probably shouldn’t even be falling this far in the rankings and I’ll probably look back and say that he was a mid 1st round talent. He wasn’t signed last year and all types of drama surrounded him. None of that has changed his talent nor does that drama even matter in the grand scheme of this draft. He’s had to pitch in the American Association of Indy ball this year and is still a 1st round talent. His fastball is low to mid 90s and he has been known to dial it up to as high a 97. His curveball is a plus pitch and his frame says that although he’s had some injuries he could be a workhorse lefty. He’ll need some time to develop into more of a groundball pitcher by commanding the movement of his fastball, but in time should provide a nice K/GB combo and eat some innings. Still nice upside and he’s a lefty.
28. Garin Cecchini 3B Barbe HS Louisiana – Cecchini has fallen on draft boards because of a torn ACL in his knee this spring, but the injury shouldn’t hurt him long term. His bat is his calling card but he has soft hands and good arm that play well at 3B. His left handed swing is smooth and it generates excellent power and contact ability. He’s considered a gamer by scouts and has shown to be an intelligent player. This is my 2011 sleeper offensive player. I love the bat.
29. Peter Tago RHP Dana Hills HS California – Tago is one of the easiest players in the draft to project as a future major league starter. He has a smooth delivery and throws effortlessly in the low 90s. He has room to add weight and strength so more velocity is on the horizon. He’s also going to be able to add additional velocity with some work to his lower body mechanics. His curveball is average but shows tilt and break so it could be an above average pitch. He’s going to need time to develop a changeup as well, but his fastball could see the mid to high 90s inside of a year of the draft. This is my breakout candidate for 2011 barring injury. (Geo’s note: The 13 k effort against a good hitting school like Placentia El Dorado in SoCal’s division 1 semi-finals was impressive. Dana Point will take on Mater Dei Saturday night for the state crown. This is a game of interest to follow.)
30. Kolbrin Vitek 2B Ball State - One of the top college hitters in the draft, Vitek is a solid average hitter with above average raw power and decent speed. He’s an all around player with a good arm and solid instincts in the field. He’s a safe bet to become an average major league outfielder and has the skill set with the bat to play at an All-Star level. The surest bet of any player that is a fringe first rounder.
31. Brett Eibner RHP/OF Arkansas - Two way player with a solid workhorse frame. As an OF he has a plus arm and hits with plus raw power. He’s maturing as a hitter and has used the whole field this season. There are thoughts that he might even be able to stick in CF due to solid speed and instincts. Even if he doesn’t he could be a solid power hitting RF. As a SP is where he’s most intriguing. He sits low to mid 90s, but a few tweaks to his mechanics and he’ll be more consistent in the mid to high 90s. He compliments with a possible plus slider and a solid changeup. His mechanics are smooth but he has difficulty repeating. Once he becomes more consistent he could be a mid rotation starter.
32. Justin O’Connor C Cowan HS, Indiana – O’Connor is the top HS catcher by default. He has a plus arm that would play up as a pitcher, but his fastball is flat with little life. So a move to C this winter proved to be the best decision. His size and tools play well, he’s athletic and keeps pop times low with his strong arm. He’s going to need a fair amount of time to realize his potential behind the plate, but could be an above average everyday receiver in time with a above average power at the plate.
33. Kaleb Cowart RHP/3B Cook HS, Georgia - A two way prepster with the idea that he’s better as a position player than a pitcher. As a 3B he’s a fringe corner and will probably have to move to a corner OF spot in time but has the raw hit tools to be an above average player. As a pitcher he has the frame to become a rotation fixture with a low to mid 90s fastball and control of a good slider and splitter. He’s going to be a tough sign and will be a project. Expect a team with multiple 1st round picks to take a shot at him though and the Angels have the money to sign him.
34. Seth Blair RHP Arizona State - The Sun Devils Ace this season, Blair, has the pitches to be very successful at the next level but as a college starter he’s still going to need a couple of years development time in order to better harness his pitches and work more efficiently. He can get the fastball into the mid 90s and the curveball is a second possible plus pitch. A couple of tweaks to his mechanics should help alleviate the command problems.
35. Jesse Hahn RHP Virginia Tech - Hahn has had an excellent season but has questions about his elbow hanging over his draft right now. He could be in the top 20 or fall out of the top 50. He has an electric FB sitting low 90s and sometimes high 90s in shorter stints. The FB has hard arm-side run and is very difficult on righties. He has 2 above average secondaries but each of them is spotty and if not on can cause him problems. While he has a chance to stick at SP it might be best to take his FB/SL combo to the bullpen and let him work in short stints letting the fastball really go.
36. Yordy Cabrera SS Lakeland HS Florida – Cabrera is big for a High School SS at 6’3, 200+ lbs so while has a good glove and a plus arm the chances of him sticking at SS are nil. But a move to 3B would be a good fit because he has the plus raw power to justify a corner spot and should be able handle the defensive transition pretty easily. He’s a very raw hitter at this point. With enough time he could become an average hitter with above average power.
37. Tyrell Jenkins RHP Henderson HS Texas – 6’4, 180lbs and oozes projection based on athleticism. 3 sport star in High School, he has a smooth delivery that cracks off mid 90s heat. While he’s slated to be a QB at Baylor the fact is that he’s going to go in the first round or the Supp and get a nice payday by a team willing to take his tools and turn them into skills. He’s going to need work on his secondaries but many feel that he’ll have at least 2 average pitches to go along with his plus fastball. (Geo’s notes: This kid has hit 95 mph a couple of times this season and has a very fluid arm motion. To me this has New York Yankees written all over it. I hate making projections on who will go where, because it just takes 1 team to throw a monkey wrench into things. However, given his skill set and his football skills, the Yankees seem like the team to me to get him to change his priorities.)
38. Zach Lee RHP McKinney HS Texas - Lee falls out of the first round based on a perceived lack of signability. He’s a Football and Baseball star in Texas and is probably destined for LSU as their QB. As a SP he has a low 90s fastball but projects in the mid 90s with a slider and changeup combo that is still raw, but his mechanics are polished for a QB. He has a ton of upside, but its going to take a large payday to even have a shot at keeping him from LSU.
39. Kyle Parker OF Clemson – Parker is Clemson’s starting QB and there are questions as to him continuing that path while becoming a pro in baseball. He has a good arm and has well above average power. He profiles as a LF so his bat will need to carry him, but he’s shown to date that he should have the bat to do that with both average and power at league average or better.
40. Jacob Petricka RHP Indiana State – Petricka has really moved up the boards this spring and I’m going to buy in and say that the uptick in velocity is legitimate. He has clearly learned to utilize his strong lower half and improved his mechanics. The uptick is the result. His fastball now sits mid 90s and touches the high 90s. He’ll need work on his secondaries and as a college product that may not give him a lot of time. So we may be looking at a RP here. But if he can tighten the CB and improve the changeup to an average pitch he could be a nice mid rotation starter.
41. Mike Foltynewicz RHP Minooka Comm. HS Illinios – Great pitchers frame. Very projectable and already can push his fastball to mid 90s. His mechanics are smooth and seemingly effortless. My biggest plus with Folty is a plus changeup that he already commands really well. He’ll need to master a breaking ball, but that’s easier than teaching the changeup. This is an excellent collection of tools. He could be a special pitcher.
42. AJ Vanegas RHP Redwood Christian HS California – Might be a difficult sign due to commitment to Stanford, but Vanegas is a very advanced pitcher for his age. HE has all three needed pitches for a starter and command his fastball to all quads. His fastball sits low 90s, but with advanced command it really plays up well. Upside is limited, but so is the downside.
43. Chad Bettis RHP Texas Tech – Bettis is a question mark for most because his fastball plays up as plus plus out of the pen but he has 3 above average pitches of which his slider can be a plus pitch. So he has enough to be a SP. But if he can gear it up in short stints and utilize the slider as a put away pitch he’s going to electric out a bullpen and sometimes that’s good enough. He’s going to be an overdraft based on possibility.
44. Perci Garner RHP Ball State – Although a college prospect, Garner is still learning how to pitch. But the results have been excellent. He’s a big kid at 6’2, 225 so he should be able to eat innings. His fastball sits low to mid 90s and he can push it to 97 with an above average to plus Curve. His Changeup up is average and bordering on someday being a plus pitch as well. With time he has #3 starter upside and should be able to reach that level.
45. Jarrett Parker OF Virginia - Toolsy OF that should stick in CF based on plus speed. But its his showing of above average power that make the package a possible above average MLB player. He’s got great size and when he’s going right can crush pitches. He’ll need to better command the zone and get good pitches. A few tweaks to his swing to shorten him to the ball would allow him more time to judge pitches and he has the power to spare if he does so which will also allow him to make better contact and utilize his speed.
46. Drew Vettleson OF Central Kitsap HS Washington – Vettleson is a package of mostly average tools. But he is a naturally good hitter. He squares up pitches, uses the whole field and has a short compact stroke. He could develop above average power in time and will need to in order to find a home in the OF. He should be a decent defender and has an average arm. His bat will need to carry him through his development. (Geo’s notes: Vettleson named the 2009-10 Gatorade Washington Baseball Player of the Year. He hit .490 with seven home runs, 28 RBIs and a 1.137 slugging percentage. Vettleson is an ambidextrous outfielder as well as a pitcher. He went 3-2 with 71 k’s, 2 saves and a 1.35 ERA in 41 1/3 innings. It kind of freaked me out when I saw him throw balls from the outfield as well as pitch with both hands. He also can switch hit. He has a letter of intent to Oregon State University, but the talk around the little town of Poulsbo is that he will likely skip OSU for baseball riches.)
47. Sammy Solis LHP San Diego – Former teammate of Brian Matusz, Solis also has a very deep understanding of the game behind pitching. His fastball is average but he located well and adds and subtracts from it while complimenting with a plus changeup that has great movement. He won’t be an ace type as Matusz is, but he is advanced and could move fast into the back end of a rotation with #3 upside.
48. Barrett Loux RHP Texas A&M - Loux has been plagued by injury, but is a a big player and is able to get his fastball into the mid 90s at times. He has a workhorse frame. His secondaries are only average at best so for a college product there is still work to do if he is going to be a SP long term.
49. Jedd Gyorko SS West Virginia – Gyorko is going to have to move off of SS when he’s drafted. His range is already fringe. But a move to 2B should be inside his skill set. His bat is above average and he’s shown improved power this season. If he can translate the power with his plate discipline he could become and excellent hitting 2B.
50. Delino DeShields, Jr OF Woodward Academy HS Georgia – DeShields is a name most of us know. The son of a former major leaguer, he already approaches the game in a confident way, sometimes seeming almost lackadaisical. His best tool is his plus speed, but he does have excellent bat speed as well. He profiles as a CF right now, but could hit for enough power to even warrant LF if his arm doesn’t play up enough in center. He still needs to refine his skills as a defender, but his speed should give him nice upside.