You can say that this past Saturday was an unofficial start to the 2008 draft season. Seem early to you? It wasn’t to the 150 or so scouts who showed up at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. for the Jesse Flores Memorial All-Star Game. MiLB.com was on the scene and you can check out the article right here.
There were a number of top prospects on hand and most of them did what they’re expected to do and maintained that upper-echelon status. But as one scout put it to me, this event was more for the "middle guys, giving them a chance to stand out against this high level of competition." So who did stand out? Here’s a list, including some of the top-ranked guys and some who may have put themselves on the map a little bit:
Aaron Hicks, OF — Showed good tools
Anthony Gose, OF/P — Showed tools and didn’t even pitch. Just in OF. Tremendous arm strength in OF, can also run. Hit a triple and simply outran the ball to third. Showed some bat, which had been a question mark for him throughout the scout league season, whether he’s better on the mound. He wants to be an OF first. Prefers to be an every-day player.
Cutter Dysktra, 2B/SS — Hit ball well, solid defense. Held his own, like other top-rated players, and solidified position already had.
Miles Reagan, RHP — An arm strength guy, was up to 93 mph.
Ryan O’Sullivan, RHP/SS — Showed skills as two-way guy
Matt Cerda, INF — Little guy, could have been player of the game. Put himself on the map a little. elevated game against higher profile competition.
Isaac Galloway, OF — Very toolsy.
Tyler Chatwood, SS, OF, RHP — Showed tremendous versatility and maybe one of the most versatile guys in this draft class.
Zach Collier, OF — Relative "unknown" before this event. Hit really well with wood. Came into his own and elevated his play.
Sean Smith, LHP — Threw well, getting some play now.
All of this could act as a stepping stone to the Academy’s big event on Feb. 4, run by the Major League Scouting Bureau. That will feature even more top talent, including some guys who were shut down and not available for this game.
I’ll be back with reports from the Perfect Game Showcase in Ft. Myers in early January, followed by the Under Armour All-America event in Tucson, Jan. 11-13.