Urban Youth Academy Draft Showcase

Yup, it’s that time of year again and I have to say, I’m loving it. Pitchers and catchers are heading to Spring Training facilities and the MLB Draft season is upon us. That means showcases, college seasons starting and, in the near future, the 2010 premier of our Draft Reports. The first set should run in about two weeks and the players in that first edition will be from the group that participated in this past Saturday’s showcase at the Urban Youth Academy. There were a ton of scouts on hand to watch SoCal’s finest among the high school ranks. Plenty of folks have already written about it:

  • There was our story on MLB.com, penned by Ben Platt, which gives a great overview of what the event is all about
  • Baseball America‘s man on the scene (as he tends to be in Southern California), was Dave Perkin. He filed this report on their Draft blog. (Their early Draft preview stuff is up, too.  You have to be a subscriber, but it’s worth it).
  • Keith Law filed a report as well on the ESPN Draft blog (You have to be an insider. Again, a worthy investment). He ran down some of the top performers at the event.

As for me, you’ll have to wait for the details when the first batch of Draft Reports come outWilson.JPG (complete with video et al, as always). For now, though, I’ve cobbled together this list of players scouts told me stood out at the event. This isn’t ranked, so I’m putting it in alphabetical order instead:

Cody Buckel, RHP — showed a really live arm.
Dylan Covey, RHP — top pitching prospect at event was solid.
Jake Hernandez, C — stood out defensively among the catchers there.
Lonni Kauppila, SS — good defense in infield; quality at-bats at plate.
Chad Lewis, 3B — a couple of base hits in game, good approach at plate
Griffin Murphy, LHP — put himself on map with strong outing
Aaron Sanchez, RHP — projectable righty starting to fill into frame
Vincent Velasquez, INF/RHP — two-way player who showed good velocity and sink on
Austin Wilson, OF (in picture) — toolsy outfielder showed off big power in BP, arm in field
Tony Wolters, INF — high energy infielder stood out
Christian Yelich, 1B — great frame, nice left-handed stroke, could be ready to bust out.
 mound.

A couple of things to note when reading this or any of the reports on the event. Pitching tends to do better at these things, since pitchers are only going an inning or four batters in one stint. Also, the old adage of pitchers being ahead of hitters at this time of year translates well to this kind of event. As one scout put it, “It’s a lot like Spring Training, but it gives you a snapshot of where kids are.” That scout wanted to be sure not to be too effusive with his praise,adding “You don’t want kids to think this event will make their season. You want them to continue to go out and play hard. You hope their parents, coaches and advisors help keep that in perspective.”

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