I’m a little bit late with this post, considering the event was last weekend and people are already focusing on the Area Code Games in California, followed by the AFLAC All-American Game in Dodger Stadium. But here’s what I heard from the event in Lakeland, Fla. …
Overall, it wasn’t a great group. Some of the biggest names like Donavan Tate and Austin Maddox were not there. Talking to a few scouts, here are a few guys who did perform well (Those who aren’t 2009 draft eligible are duly noted):
Luke Bailey, C: He’s got a plus arm and gets rid of the ball in a hurry thanks to a quick exchange from behind the plate. The LaGrange, Ga. native has some serious power now — we’re not talking projection and he made better contact than he has shown in the past.
Delino DeShields, 3B/OF: He’s a Class of 2010 kid and yes, the
name is familiar. Evidently, he’s got some of the same skills, most
notably some ridiculous speed.
Scooter Gennett, INF/OF: Showed a plus arm defensively. With a lean, athletic body, he showed some pop from the left side. He plays an all-out brand of baseball, giving him that rare combination of instincts and tools.
Brian Goodwin, OF: Out of Rocky Mount, NC, Goodwin is a toolsy outfielder. He’s pretty raw, still, but the tools were on display. Many of these players played in East Cobb recently, and one scout said Goodwin looked much improved, with better balance and approach, this time around.
Reed Gragnani, INF: Out of Richmond, Va., Gagnani showed plus defensive range, ran pretty well and showed a smooth left-handed stroke, squaring up balls all weekend.
Michael Revell, INF: The Floridian may have put himself on the map at the Showcase. He opened some eyes with an ability to swing the bat, with some pop, and some above-average athleticism.
Richie Shaffer, INF/P: He’s shown well in the past as a pitcher, but had a good weekend at the plate in Lakeland. The scout I talked to wasn’t sure about his ability to play third, though.
Mike Trout, INF: The New Jersey native had a strong weekend, showing a good swing and consistently putting the barrel on the ball.
Cameron Bedrosian, RHP: Yup, that’s Steve Bedrosian’s kid, and he’s eligible in 2010. He showed some serious arm strength, lighting the radar gun up to 95 mph.
Christopher Jenkins, RHP: He’s 6-7 and has a big, big arm. There are some questions about his delivery, but did I mention he’s 6-7?
Daniel Tuttle, RHP: The kid from North Carolina wasn’t great on the first day, but threw again on Sunday night and impressed with a fastball that touched 94 and a slider that was a plus offering at times.
Zack Wheeler, RHP: At 6-4, 180 pounds, the Georgia native had the best combination of stuff and projectability at the Showcase.
So there you have it, some names to consider for next year and beyond. I should be back on here frequently in the coming days as the draft signing deadline approaches.
I promised a post on 2009, and I like to (most of the time), live up to my promises.
In the interest of full disclosure, the folks over at Baseball America beat me to this one, writing about the underclassmen showcase at the Urban Youth Academy on Monday. I was able to talk to a scout that was at the event, to get his take on the players there. Here’s what he had to say, echoing some of the BA report and adding some additional names.
The biggest buzz indeed was around Bryce Harper, who the scout I spoke with said would have been the best high school player in the 2008 draft. Alas, he won’t be eligible until 2011, so we’ll have to wait on him. As for 2009 draft class guys…
The A List
Tyler Matzek, LHP: Polished, fastball 89-91 mph, plus curve and changeup
Beau Wright, LHP: Fastball 89-91 with a hammer. He struck out all five batters he faced and made them look bad in the process.
Matt Hobgood, RHP: Big-bodies at 6-4, 240, with a power sinker at 91-94 mph to go along with a curve, slider and changeup
The B list
Cameron Garfield, C
James Needy, RHP: Didn’t pitch well, but has been seen better and has a live arm and a 6-foot-6 frame
Tanner Rust, C: A switch-hitting catcher. Is something.
Jacob Marisnick, OF: Compared to Hunter Pence. A little raw, but with plenty of tools.