Results tagged ‘ 2012 Draft ’

The Draft order is out! Woo-hoo!

There’s something about the official release of the Draft order that gets the blood pumping, doesn’t it?

OK, maybe that’s overselling, but it always signifies to me that Draft season is really, truly upon us (Draft season really begins the day after the Draft ends in June, but you know what I mean).

Every year, the Draft brings with it a good number of story lines. But this year has the added intrigue of the new system as dictated by the new agreement that was collectively bargained. Just how will the bonus pools will impact how teams do business remains to be seen, with no one really knowing how it’s going to go.

There are the usual interesting tidbits about who is picking where, who has the most picks (Padres, Blue Jays, Cardinals have six in the first two rounds). But what about the teams that don’t have many picks at all. The Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, for example, will have a wait on their hands before they get to make their first selection.

The Tigers, who are likely getting used to not picking until late (), don’t go until pick No. 91, close to the end of the second round. But that might seem early to the Angels, who’s first turn  comes at pick No. 114, in the third round (thank you, Mr. Pujols and Mr. Wilson).

If you think that’s really late, maybe some kind of record, think again. The Angels would come in at No. 4 on the “latest initial pick” list. Here’s the top 16, thanks to the fine folks at the Commissioner’s Office.

1)      San Francisco – 132 in 2005
2)      Tampa Bay – 132 in 1998
3)      Seattle – 116 in 2000
4)     L.A. Angels — 114 in 2012
5)      Houston – 111 in 2007
6)      NY Yankees – 105 in 1988
7)      Arizona – 103 in 1998
8)      Boston – 102 in 1978
9)      St. Louis – 102 in 2002
10)    NY Yankees – 99 in 1980
11)     Baltimore – 99 in 1985
12)    Kansas City – 98 in 1990
13)    NY Yankees – 93 in 1983
14)    Seattle – 93 in 2004
15)    L.A. Dodgers – 91 in 1991
16)   Detroit – 91 in 2012

Top performers at East Coast Showcase

Now that the East Coast Pro Showcase has come and gone and focus has turned to the Area Code Games and then to the pair of All-American Games this weekend (UnderArmour All-American Game is Saturday in Chicago and Perfect Game All-American Classic is Sunday in San Diego), I thought it would be a good time to look at the top performers from this year’s East Coast event in Lakeland.

First, feel free to check out this video interview/feature with Giants scout John Castleberry, who helps organize and run the event every year.

In general, it seemed like the position player crop was a little deeper than the arms, though there were a few really high-level pitchers on display in Lakeland. You’ll also see a good amount of tools on the hitter side and a lack of lefties on the pitching side. With that in mind — and knowing a huge amount can and will change between now and next June, here’s a list of the top hitters and pitchers at the East Coast Showcase.

Eventually, this will evolve into a 2012 Draft Top 50 in the near future. Many of these guys will be on that list with more detailed information about all of them.


1. Bryon Buxton, OF (Appling County HS, Ga.)

2. David Dahl, OF (Oak Mountain HS, Ala.)

3. Jamie Jarmon, OF (Indianriver HS, DE)

4. Albert Almora, OF (Mater Academy Charter School, Fla.)

5. Lewis Brinson, OF (Coral Springs HS, Fla.)

6. Gavin Cecchini, SS (Barbe HS, La.)

7. D’Vone McClure, OF (Jacksonville HS, Ark.)

8. DJ Davis, OF (Stone HS, Miss.)

9. Danny Rosenbaum, INF (Chestnut Hill Academy, Pa.)

10. Rhett Wiseman, OF (Buckingham Browne & Nichols HS, Mass.)

11. J.T. Phillips, SS (Columbus HS, Ga.)

12. Corey Seager, 3B (NOrthwest Cabarrus HS, NC)

13. Zack Bowers, C (Harrison HS, Ga.)

Others: Keon Barnum; Skye Bolt; Carlos Correa; Addison Russell; Chris Shaw; Xavier Turner; Jesse Winker


Lucas Sims, RHP (Brookwood HS, Ga.)

Lance McCullers, RHP (Jesuit HS, Fla.)

Walker Weickel, RHP (Olympia HS, Fla.)

Duane Underwood. RHP (Alan C. Pope HS, Ga.)

Ty Buttrey, RHP (Providence HS, NC)

Matthew Crownover, LHP (Rongold HS, Ga.)

Nick Travieso, RHP (Archbishop McCarthy HS, Fla.)

Clate Schmidt, RHP (Allatoona HS, Ga.)

Carson Fulmer, RHP (All Saints’ Academy, Fla.)

Justin Alleman, RHP (Holt HS, Mich.)

Others: Mitch Greer; Karl Keglovits; Nathan Kirby; Sean McLaughlin; Tucker Simpson; Robert Whalen;

Day Two at the East Coast Pro Showcase

The second day of the East Coast Showcase here in Lakeland was very much like the first, minus the 60-yard dashes and main-field batting practice. But there was plenty of baseball to watch — three games in total — and the rain stayed away this time around.

Day 2, however, didn’t really live up to the bar set on Day 1. The action could be best described as “blah” by most and there was a fair amount of sloppy play. The general consensus was that the player of the day was outfielder Byron Buxton. And he might not just be the player of the day — he could very well be the top prospect at this event. Other hitters who at least showed glimpses were Georgia catcher Zack Bowers, who missed a home run by inches and has generally looked solid at and behind the plate here, toolsy Delaware OF Jamie Jarmon, who’s shown good hit and run tools and Georgia infielder J.T. Phillips, who’s had some solid at-bats and had an RBI single on Tuesday.

Pitching-wise, it was just so-so, with no one really lighting up the radar gun and no one really impressing with secondary stuff. David Gonzalez (Georgia) was up to 91 mph and popped a 92 in his second inning. Justin Alleman (Michigan) was also up to 91 mph and out of any of the pitchers on Day 2, seemed to have a decent feel for pitching and mixed things up fairly well. If there was a pitcher of the day, it might have been Robert Whalen (Florida), who was up to 92-93 mph, but that was about it. One scout described his outing as “fair,” and that might have been the best there was on Tuesday.

Wednesday should be different, especially with the evening game (Rockies vs. Astros). It’s the game most are talking about with most of the top pitchers here going. The Rockies will throw Lance McCullers, Walker Weickel and Carson Fulmer. The Astros will counter with their own trio of great arms: Lucas Sims, Duane Underwood and Clate Schmidt. Suffice it to say the radar guns will be humming, with all of these guys able to crank it up into the mid-90s at least.

Last thing from here for now. I got the chance to talk to slugging first baseman Keon Barnum (and his dad) here. Here’s the story (and video interview) to go along with it.

First day at the East Coast Pro Showcase

It’s been a long couple of days, what with the trade deadine, the trip down to Lakeland, the heat (not complaining, just saying) and a whole lot of hours spent at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Why cover the East Coast Showcase, you ask? You’re not alone. Here’s really all you need to know: In the 2011 Draft, 19 players taken in the top two rounds played in last year’s East Coast Showcase. And that’s not an aberration, that’s be the norm. Make sense now? OK, let’s move on.

I covered this event for one day last year; I’m here for three this time around, allowing me tog et a better feel for the top players in the high school class (alas, I will not be making it to the Area Code Games), which come right after this. Having covered the USA Baseball Prospect Classic last month, though, I felt I was a lot more familiar with many of the players here than I was a year ago.

A quick primer: There are six teams here, arranged geographically (the team from Florida, by the way, is ridiculously stacked). For each of the four days, every team plays one game. Today, before each of the three games, all players ran 60-yard dashes before heading to batting practice and then their game.

Here are some early thoughts.

Best 60s (the players who clocked in with the fastest 60-yd times):

D.J. Davis, OF, Stone HS, Mass. — 6.38

Fernelys Sanchez, OF, George Washington HS, NY — 6.47

Rhett Wiseman, OF, Buckingham Browne & Nichols, Mass — 6.51

Edward Sappelt, Southern Alliance HS. NC — 6.58

Lewis  Brinson, OF, Coral  Springs HS, Fla. — 6.60

Richie Martin, SS, Bloomingdale HS, Fla. — 6.64

Adrian Marin, SS, Gulliver Prep — 6.65

Sam Gillikin, Hoover HS, Ala. — 6.65

David Dahl, Oak Mountain HS, Ala. — 6.67

Matthew Goodson, OF, Oxford HS — Ala. — 6.67

After that, it was BP and game-time. No one had a better first day than Albert Almora (perhaps you’ll remember him from the feature I did on him from USA Baseball land?). He homered on the first pitch he saw, then added a second homer to give the Rockies (that’s the aforementioned Florida team).

One of the best things about this event is that inevitably, players are “found” here. Obviously, these are known players in their respective regions, but players will often get on the national map with a strong performance. Lewis Brinson could be a guy like that, from that very deep Florida class. First, he ran a 6.6-60, impressive for a 6-foot-4 player. Then he put on an absolute show during BP, depositing several blasts on the berm beyond the left-field wall. One scout mentioned that he might be more of a workout player right now, but the raw tools are undeniable and worth watching over the next few days and beyond.

1B Matt Olson (Parkview HS, Ga.) also put on a BP display, then showed he can handle serious velocity by hitting some serious fastballs for a pair of doubles.

Other hitters who made a good early impression: Byron Buxton, OF, Appling County HS, Ga.; Vincent Jackson, OF, Luella HS, Ga.; Rock Rucker, OF, Redan HS, Ga.; Cam Gibson (Kirk’s son), Grosse Pointe South HS, Mich.; Brett Sunde, C, Madison Heights Bishop Foley, Mich.; Justin Alleman, 3B, Holt HS, Mich. (he’s also 88-92 mph off the mound); Jamie Jarmon, OF, Indianriver HS, DE; Corey Seager, INF, Northwest Cabarrus HS, NC; Addison Russell, SS/3B, Pace HS, Fla..

Many of the top-notch arms are going later (Wednesday is a particularly exciting day to come) in the event, but just like with the hitters, there were a couple of guys who really impressed. Ty Buttrey, out of Providence HS in North Carolina, was lights out, up to 94 mph and sitting comfortably in the 91-92 mph range. He broke a few bats as well. Sean McLaughlin (Northview HS, Ga.) popped a 96 on the gun and was 92-94 in his one inning. And Nick Travieso on that Rockies club touched 95 mph during his outing as well.

Obviously, this is far from complete, being that it was just one day and I didn’t get the chance to talk over every player with scouts. I hope to have more over the next couple.


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