A look at some of the top high school prospects, who played in San Diego this weekend.
Last Sunday Petco Park hosted the 11th All-American Classic, and the second since Perfect Game began headlining the event last summer. Always one of the most highly scouted events on the summer circuit, this year’s PGAAC saw more 225 scouts in attendance to evaluate 49 of the top amateur talents in the country, as well as the top draft-eligible talent north of the border.
The full showcase included multiple workout days at the University of San Diego, live-streamed (and archived) at Perfect Game’s website, along with the nine inning game itself, which was carried on MLB Network. Jason Parks and Chris Rodriguez attended the events in person, while Nick Faleris followed remotely. This is what they saw.
Well-Rounded Prep Class
Overall, the 2014 class is much deeper than 2013, with multiple first-round candidates emerging at the up-the-middle skill positions, and in particular at catcher, shortstop, and center field. While the focus will likely be on these high-value defensive positions, there is also a fair amount of corner talent, capable of growing into usable pop at the pro ranks.
Who were the standout prospects of the class of 2014 at the PG National Showcase?
Each summer, the scouting circuit kicks off with the Perfect Game Junior National Showcase and the Perfect Game National Showcase—back-to-back events (with rare exception held at the Metrodome in Minneapolis) highlighting the top underclass talent and rising seniors at the prep ranks. This year’s 2014 draft talents shined bright at PG National, with a bevy of arms and up-the-middle standouts portending a deep high school crop—the former being our focus for Part 1 of this two-part mini-series.
With over 300 players partaking in the five-day PG National Showcase, we are only scratching the surface with the notes and video in these two recap pieces. Throughout the summer and offseason, we will continue to introduce you to this exciting collection of 2014 draft prospects. To whet your appetite, check out the play of the showcase—an amazing highlight-reel grab by SoCal outfielder Derek Hill (Elk Grove HS (Elk Grove, CA)):
With one more day to prep before the draft, which pitchers do you need to remember before their names are called on draft day?
We conclude our Scouting the Draft positional preview with the second half of our look at some of the top arms in this year’s draft class, including five high school standouts, five collegiate starters, and five college relievers with varying projections at the pro ranks.
Five More High School Arms
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
Have any pitchers seen significant bumps or drops in their stock this year?
Our final entry in the Scouting the Draft positional preview covers some of the top arms to know for this week’s draft. We’ll conclude the 2013 Scouting the Draft series this week with a look at 15 more arms, as well as some odds and ends that I hope you’ll find interesting. On to the reports!
Have any center fielders distinguished themselves as worthy of first-round selection?
One of the areas of strength in this draft class is high school center fielders; there’s a strong case for as many as seven or eight being selected in the first two rounds. The collegiate ranks are drastically thinner; the only two potential first-rounders are likely to end up elsewhere on the diamond. Because the prep ranks are so deep, there is excellent potential for a strong scouting department to identify good value in the third or fourth round.
With less than a month until draft day, which players are making names for themselves in the corner outfield market?
This year’s draft class offers an interesting blend of talent at the outfield corners, particularly at the prep ranks, where we find a dynamic cross-section of thumpers, pure hit tools, and a little of everything in between. At the collegiate ranks, some of the top talents include current infielders and center fielders that project better to a corner at the next level, with perhaps the best current corner outfielder in the class representing one of the biggest displays of helium over the past 12 months.
Who has improved their draft stock with strong spring showings?
The 2013 draft class is shy on impact middle infielders, particularly at the collegiate ranks, where our three profiled players each stand a fair chance of shifting to another position once they begin their pro careers. The high schoolers carry a little more depth but still plenty of questions, with only one player seeming to fit a true first-round profile.
Who are the can't-miss corner-infield prospects in the upcoming draft?
The corner-infield position at the major-league level generally places a high level of import on offensive production. That means draft prospects that project to a corner are often viewed first as bats, with a secondary consideration given to their projected level of defensive contributions. This year’s draft class includes a wide variety of corner-infield bats, including some loud tools and some equally loud question marks.
Jon Denney heads a deep class of prep-school catchers in a draft for which the collegiate crop is thin.
The catching crop is deep at the prep ranks and light among the collegians this spring. Below is a look at some of the top names to know for the June draft, beginning with the cream of the catching crop.
From February 28th through March 3rd, the Rangers’ and Royals’ spring training facility in Surprise, AZ hosted the Coca-Cola Classic. It’s a round-robin event featuring four college programs—University of Arkansas, Arizona State, Gonzaga, and University of the Pacific—and several interesting draft-eligible talents. Dozens of decision makers were in attendance, both at Surprise Stadium and at games on the back fields to get early-season looks at top draft arms Ryne Stanek (Arkansas), Marco Gonzalez (Gonzaga), Trevor Williams (Arizona State), Colby Suggs (Arkansas) and Barrett Astin (Arkansas), as well as some interesting positional talent, including Razorbacks second baseman Dominic Ficociello.
Arizona State finished the weekend a perfect 4-0, while Arkansas, who entered the weekend ranked in the top five in multiple collegiate polls, dropped all four of their contests (two against ASU, and one each against Gonzaga and Pacific). Below, we highlight three performances of particular import for draft evaluators, and provide further scouting notes on various other draft talents, both present and future.