East Coast Showcase
While there are less than two weeks until the 2009 Draft signing deadline — and there are 20 unsigned first-rounders — serious work is already being done for the 2010 Draft. The summer showcase circuit is in full swing and the 2009 East Coast Showcase
was one of the first — and biggest. Held from Aug. 1-4, rest assured
there were several players at this event for high schoolers who’ll be
high draft picks next June.
Don’t believe me? How about these alumni from the 2008 East Coast
Showcase who were taken in this year’s Draft, with draft spot in
Zack Wheeler, RHP (No. 6 overall, Giants)
Bobby Borchering, 3B (No. 16 overall, Diamondbacks)
Mike Trout, OF (No. 25 overall, Angels)
LeVon Washington, 2B (No. 30, Rays)
And that’s just the first rounders; there were also two second-rounders
and three third- rounders who attended last year’s event. So knowing
who stood out at the recently completed ’09 version is a good head
start to knowing who the top prep picks will be next June.
I spoke with some scouts who were in attendance and here’s who they felt stood out in Lakeland, Fla.:
Stetson Allie, RHP/3B: One scout called him a freak. He’s been
around the showcase circuit for a while and is strong, physical young
man who can throw hard on the mound and hit the ball far from the
plate. On the mound, he’s touched 100 mph and threw 92-97 mph in the
Showcase. He’s got a slider he throws in the 88-91 mph range. He’s got
below-average command and some would rather let him hit first. He’s got
big, legit raw power.
Eric Arce, C/1B, Lakeland HS: The best hitter at the event, a
left-handed bat who was the most mature hitter there. He’s got a loose,
easy stroke and a professional approach at the plate. He’s got good raw
power and uses the entire field. He had lit it up at East Cobb and
has kept going. His arm is fringe average behind plate and can play a
decent first base. Right now, he’s a bat without a position.
Cam Bedrosian, RHP, East Coweta HS, Ga.: He looks a lot like
his dad, former big leaguer Steve. And he’s got the same aggressive
demeanor on the mound. He fills the strike zone with 92-95 mph
fastballs and a nice short breaking ball, thrown 77-79 mph.
Yordy Cabrera, SS, Lakeland HS: He’s physically impressive and
looks like a big-leaguer now. He’s got potential for all five tools. A
plus arm with a chance to stay at shortstop. Lots of strength with the
bat to work with. He’s got good bat speed and makes hard contact. He’s
got good actions, footwork at shortstop and runs well for his size.
Chevez Clarke, OF/INF, Marietta HS, Ga.: As toolsy as they
come, all the physical tools to be a star. He plays a very easy center
field with a good arm and above-average speed. He didn’t hit well in
the Showcase, but when he’s on, he’s exciting to watch with a very high
AJ Cole, RHP, Oviedo HS, Fla.: He’s got a power arm with average to plus breaking ball, up to 96.
Easy, no effort. A little Porcello like in body type. Clue up there,
Delino DeShields, INF/OF, Woodward HS, Ga.: Another exciting
toolsy player, much like his dad was in the big leagues. He’s kind of a
more physical and right-handed hitting version of Juan Pierre. He plays
center when he plays the outfield and that might be the best place for
him. He ran a 6.48 in the 60, to give you an idea of his speed.
Manny Machado, SS, Miami Brito HS: He may have played himself
into being a top first rounder at this showcase. He’s silky smooth and
does everything easy. He’s got a plus arm at short with good hands and
actions. He’s got a smooth, easy stroke at the plate and the ball just
jumps off his bat. He’s an average runner, but is better underway.
DeAndre Smelter, RHP, Tatnall HS, Ga.: He throws 92-95 mph with a quick arm. He’s got a good breaking ball (75-77 mph). Another power arm, kind of like a
more physical Edwin Jackson at this age. The ball jumps out of his hand and is very heavy when it crosses the plate.
Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley HS, Fla: He wasn’t at his best at
the Showcase, where he was up to 92 mph, but he’s been seen as high as
96 mph. The ball jumps out of his hand and he’s got a good hard
curve/slider that he throws 78-81 mph. He’s big and projectable and
repeats his delivery well, allowing him to throw strikes and keep the
ball down in the zone.
Bobby Wahl, RHP, West Springfield HS., Va.: He’s got a little more
pitchability than the other arms on this list, but that doesn’t mean he
doesn’ thave stuff. He was still up to 92-93 mph and with a projectable
frame, there might be more in the tank. He’s got a good breaking ball
and mixes his pitches well, throwing everything for strikes.
There you have it. Store these names in the back of your head for next
June. It will be interesting to see who continues to excel during the