2012 MLB Draft Signing Deadline: Under the Radar – NL Central

With the draft signing deadline here and gone, we have taken to the final signings and are looking to see which of our draft tracker prospects fell to a zone that could make them absolute steals. Keep in mind that we are going way deep into the prospect and draft world here. Deep to the point that some of these players could become names the average fan will never ever here uttered. But we’re going to take a look at the NL Central now and make it through the 6 leagues over the next few days because this is what makes this interesting. Here is the AL West, AL Central and NL East.

Anyone can tell you that Joey Gallo is a powerhouse bat for the Rangers or that Mike Zunino has a shot at being a full time catcher with an excellent power/contact bat. As a matter of fact, we’ve already been there and done that. So now, you decide… “You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” -Morpheus

Houston AstrosHouston Astros

Austin Elkins 2B 12/21/1990 – While the Astros had a monster draft across the board, deep sleeper picks aren’t really here. But Austin Elkins could be a surprise prospect who had little fanfare but has sound baseball skills on both sides of the ball. He should hit for a solid average with gap power and some HR pop. His average speed will play on offense and defense as well.

Milwaukee BrewersMilwaukee Brewers

Jose Sermo SS 3/22/1991 – Drafted in 2009 out of Puerto Rico, Sermo passed on signing and headed to college for a couple of season before moving up to the 35th round. With a solid 6′ 190 lbs frame swinging it from both sides of the plate he could have a nice hit tool with a average power. Where he fits in defensively is still a question. He’s a SS right now but could move off to either side in time.

St. Louis Cardinals

Ben O’Shea LHP 9/9/1991 – O’Shea dropped from the 10th round in 2011 all the way to the 35th round this year. He was supposed to be at Maryland but didn’t qualify academically and ended up spending the season in obscurity at Tampa CC. But he did well and the big 6’6″ 255 lbs lefty has excellent command and uses an average changeup with a high 80s fastball. He’s touched the low 90s at times in the past and it could just be a mechanical tweak to bring that velocity out for good. He has the workhorse frame, just needs the velocity uptick.

Chicago CubsChicago Cubs

Duane Underwood RHP 7/20/1994 – Sometimes a steal comes early and Underwood could fit that bill falling to the 2nd round with pure 1st round talent. He was inconsistent in the spring but has a fastball that climbs into the high 90s and a curveball, while raw, at times is plus as well. He also has a premium frame at 6’2″ and 205 lbs and could be the best pitcher taken by the Cubs this year.

Pittsburgh PiratesPittsburg Pirates

Hayden Hurst RHP 8/24/1993 – Hurst fell to the 17th round which most thought would put him too far down to sign. But the Pirtaes got him inked and the 6’5″ 235 lbs workhorse high schooler could be a huge steal. He has a low 90s fastball that has touched 95 and while his breaking ball is still raw it has potential to be an above average pitch. His mechanics are clean and could be a true steal.

Cincinatti RedsCincinnati Reds

Jeremy Kivel RHP 10/16/1993 – A blow out of his ACL in his left knee caused a potential high draft pick to slip to the 10th round where the Reds took Kivel. He’s had surgery on both of his knees, but his mid 90s fastball gives him upside that many don’t have. He’s a raw product and will need plenty of time but is one to watch.

Stick with Baseball Instinct and we’ll keep you a step ahead of the game. Check back soon for more Prospect coverage. While you’re here, check out our Baseball Instinct 360° – it’s our top 360 prospects for 2012. Also check out a friend of ours for all of your fantasy sports needs. Fantasy Rundown is updated religiously and is truly an awesome resource. Thanks for checking Baseball Instinct. We’re working hard to bring you the best of the minor leagues and make the site the best experience it can be, so don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about. Email us now at mailbag@baseballinstinct.com. And while you’re at it head over to Facebook and join the Instinct page.

I was born and raised in NYC. My father was a diehard Yankees fan but not biased and raised me to love the game more than any one team. For that I'm truly thankful to him. My love for the game runs deep, and after crunching numbers all day long, I tend to spend my nights at the FSL ballparks.


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