Results tagged ‘ 2009 Draft ’

Draft Aft: Luke Bailey possibly headed for surgery?

One of the strengths in this year’s draft class is the crop of high school catchers. That groupbailey_lucas.jpg may be taking a bit of a hit.

I’ve learned that Luke Bailey, one of the better of the prep backstops in the class, out of Troup County High School in LaGrange, Georgia, has hurt his elbow. He’s going to see elbow specialist Dr. James Andrews on Monday and word was that he’s got a tear of the UCL (Ulnar Collateral Ligament) in his right elbow.

It’s an injury suffered during his time on the mound, not behind the plate, and it seems like he might require Tommy John surgery to correct the problem. More will undoubtedly come out after his visit with Dr. Andrews. It obviously remains to be seen if he’ll end up honoring his commitment to Auburn, perhaps red-shirting for a year, or if a team will want to take a chance and draft him late and let him rehab the elbow under its watch.

More as it unfolds.

Update (5:15 p.m. ET): ESPN.com (Insider subscription needed) was reporting that Bailey will indeed have Tommy John surgery, performed by Dr. Andrews, on Tuesday morning.

Draft Aft: Weekend preview and stuff

A good friend suggested using “Draft Aft” — borrowing a nautical term — for when I’ve got draft news. I liked it, so I went with it (Besides, I got no other suggestions).

I have to admit I love this time of year. Not because of the weather here in my Pittsburgh home, that’s certainly not it. No, it’s because draft season is really upon us.

If you’re jonesing for some baseball and can’t wait for Spring Training games, you don’t have to. There’s some good amateur baseball to follow, with some top draft prospects in action. Some of it is even on TV.

This weekend, at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif., there’s the Urbanstephen_strasburg.JPG Invitational. The colleges involved are San Diego State, University of San Diego, Bethune-Cookman and Southern University. Games start Friday, but you’ll want to tune into the MLB Network on Saturday as they’ll broadcast the doubleheader. At 5 p.m. ET, you can watch USD take on Bethune-Cookman. The nightcap is SDSU vs. Southern. If you’re only going to watch one of them, that’s the one to watch because it looks like Stephen Strasburg will be starting for Tony Gwynn’s San Diego State team. Strasburg, in case you don’t know, is generally considered to be the top talent in the 2009 draft class and is a pretty good bet to be the top pick when all is said and done.

In the early game, San Diego sophomore Kyle Blair will start. Blair was a good high school prospect back in 2007 and was selected in the fifth round by the Dodgers that June, but opted to go to school. Throughout this tournament, you’ll also likely get to see how USD right-hander Matt Thomson looks. There’s also RHP AJ Griffin from San Diego and lefty Nate Solow from SDSU. A sleeper to watch is San Diego’s Darrin Campbell, a red-shirted sophomore who is coming off TJ surgery, but has been up to 93 mph at times.

Other college tourneys worth checking on (with draft prospects listed underneath):

Big East-Big Ten Baseball Challenge
Clearwater/St. Petersburg/Bradenton/Dunedin, Fla.

Teams: Michigan, South Florida, Cincinnati, Purdue, Connecticut, Michigan State, Georgetown, Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, West Virginia, Minnesota, Seton Hall, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, St. John’s… is there anyone NOT playing in this thing?)

Players to watch: Matt Bashore, LHP, Indiana; Sean Black, RHP, Seton Hall; Eric Decker, OF, Minnesota; Josh Phegley, C, Indiana; A.J. Pollock, OF, Notre Dame

Coca-Cola Classic
Mobile, Ala.

Teams: Liberty, Mississippi, Mercer, South Alabama

Players to watch: Aaron Barrett, RHP, Mississippi; Scott Bittle, RHP, Mississippi; Jordan Henry, OF, Mississippi

Grand Canyon Tournament
Phoenix, AZ
Teams:
Missouri, Nevada, Gonzaga

Players to watch: Trevor Coleman, C, Missouri; Kyle Gibson, RHP, Missouri; Aaron Senne, OF, Missouri

Other odds and ends…

Someone left a comment recently about Austin Maddox, out of Eagle’s View Academy in Jacksonville, Fla. (it looks like they play on Friday, also, in Jacksonville, if you want some HS ball). The comment was:

Where does Austin Maddox from Jacksonville Eagles View rank for this
upcoming draft? Is he likely to be drafted as a catcher or pitcher? Any
info would be appreciated. Thanks!!

Thanks for the question. Obviously, it’s early, but early signs point to Maddox being very highly regarded come June. With a plus arm (one scout said it rated 70 on the scale, 80 being the highest one can get) and legit power, people will be watching his performances. Catching usually gets over-drafted, and there’s not a ton of it in any draft class, particularly legit catchers coming out of high school. If Maddox performs well this spring, it wouldn’t shock me to see him at least be in first-round consideration… as a catcher.

If you’ve got more questions about the draft, or the Minors, don’t hesitate to leave ‘em in comments (I’ve got a question from a while back about LHP prospects that I promise to answer soon).

Finally, back a couple of weeks ago, our own Ben Platt covered the high school draft showcase at the Urban Youth Academy. He interviewd 3B prospect Matt Davidson. Been meaning to add it, so you can listen to it here:  020809_matt_davidson.wma 

Alright, kids, that’s it for me. Talk to you soon.

Draft update: UYA Showcase and other tidbits

I need to come up with a better way to show that i’m blogging about the draft, don’t I? I mean, just saying “Draft update” or “Draft alert” is extremely ho-hum. Any ideas? Let me know.

At any rate…. A few things I wanted to pass along. First, let’s talk about the showcase at the Urban Youth Academy. I was able to talk to some scouts and wrote up something that threw out 10 names to watch based on performances that day.

Aside from those 10 names, a couple of others who stood out were Aaron Wirsch, a LHP out of El Toro High School and Paul Strong, another lefty out of Marina High School. One of the bigger surprises was outfielder Austin Wilson. Don’t go looking on your 2009 draft lists for him. He’s not eligible until 2010. Dave Perkin did a nice job detailing that over on BA and I had one scouting director tell me that Wilson put himself on the radar quickly with good showings in BP and in infield/outfield. Wilson as a good, live, althetic body with tools aplenty. It sounds very similar to Aaron Hicks, the Twins’ first-round pick this past June. Hicks, an Urban Youth Academy product, played in this showcase as a junior in 2007, putting him on the map for ’08. We’ll have to see if Wilson can do the same thing in ’10.

Elsewhere, there was the annual Major League Scouting Bureau workout in Puerto Rico in late January. My apologies for not getting to it sooner, but better late than never. I talked to a scout who was there and he mentioned a pair of names. The good thing about the two-day event is that it brings together the players from the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy along with the top players from all over the island. The first day is dedicated to workouts and on Day 2, a game is played. There wasn’t much pitching to speak of, but a couple of outfielders opened some eyes. One is Reymond Fuentes from Fernando Callejo High School. He’s a speedy center fielder who is a Johnny Damon type, a future leadoff hitter with good running ability. The second is a name that might sound familiar to many: Ruben Sierra Jr.

The elder Sierra actually played in the bigs as recently as 2006, at age 40, and finished as a four-time All-Star who hit 306 homers, 2152 hits and 1322 RBIs. It seems that Junior inherited some of dad’s abilities. The scout I spoke with said he didn’t see Sierra Sr. as a kid, but could just imagine that this is what he looked like. He’s a five-tool guy who oozes ability and could be quite a draft, especially if the bat comes around. But he ran extremely well — he covered a lot of ground in the outfield gracefully, as well as posting a good 60 time — and he had a 60 arm (that’s pretty darned good for those of you scoring at home). Dad ended up as a corner OF guy, but at least right now, Junior seems to have more than enough to handle center.

Finally, on the college front, you can put Andrew Oliver back on the map. Originally supposedAndrew Oliver.JPG to be suspended for most of the 2009 season, the Oklahoma State lefty won his suit against the NCAA to be reinstated. The NCAA had suspended him over claims that his advisors had directly contacted a Major League club when he was drafted in 2006. Direct contact, according to NCAA rules, is a supposed no-no. The NCAA said they plan to appeal, but for now, pencil in getting to see Oliver pitching for Oklahoma State soon (their season opens on Feb. 20). If he’s able to pitch all season, he could be among the first college pitchers taken in the draft, and certainly among the first southpaws selected.

Draft Alert: Showcase at Urban Youth Academy

This is an exciting time, my first official draft-related blog post since the big merger. Draft season is fast approaching. For the third straight season, The Urban Youth Academy Draft Showcase in Compton, Calif., is serving as a kind of kickoff event. Last year’s showcase included 2008 first-rounders like Kyle Skipworth and Aaron Hicks. Other high picks included Tyler Chatwood and Cutter Dykstra. Clearly, this is an event that you don’t want to miss.

This year’s showcase, as always run by the Major League Scouting Bureau, is set for Sunday, Feb. 8. Rosters are still tentative, but it’s already shaping up to have some of the top high school talent in the 2009 draft class on hand.  Using early rankings from our friends at Baseball America and Perfect Game, here’s the best of the 50 or so players tentatively planning to attend the showcase, which in the past has had 150 or so scouts on hand (I’m including the players who’s average ranking between the two is under 100):

Tyler Matzek, RHP: No. 1 among BA’s High School Top 100; No. 3 among PG’s High School Top 500. Average rank: 2
Matt Davidson, 3B: No. 16 on BA; No. 7 on PG. Average rank: 11.5
Jacob Marisnick, OF:
No. 21 on BA; No. 17 on PG. Average rank: 19
Jiovanni Mier, SS:
No. 13 on BA; No. 32 on PG. Average rank: 22.5
Chad Thompson, RHP:
No. 23 on BA; No. 26 on PG. Average rank: 24.5
Tyler Skaggs, LHP:
No. 8 on BA; No. 43 on PG. Average rank: 25.5
Matt Hobgood, RHP:
No. 22 on BA; No. 40 on PG. Average rank: 31
David Nick, 2B: No. 46 on BA; No. 21 on PG. Average rank: 33.5
Brooks Pounders, RHP/1B:
No. 66 on BA; No. 18 on PG. Average rank: 42
Cameron Garfield, C: No. 63 on BA; No. 73 on PG. Average  rank: 69
Jonathan Singleton, 1B: No. 78 on BA; No. 61 on PG. Average rank: 69.5

Others of note:  RHP Justin Bellez was No. 71 on BA and No. 156 on PG for an average rank of 113.5. … C/3B Nolan Arenado was No. 90 on BA and No. 148 on PG for an average rank of 119. … 3B/C Jonathan Meyer didn’t crack BA’s Top 100, but was No. 67 on the PG list. …  OF Jeffrey Gelalich wasn’t on the BA Top 100, but was No. 89 on the PG list. … 13 other players tentatively attending are on PG’s list in the 100-500 range.

I’ll be back with a new set of Top 50 scouting reports later today…
 

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