Many of our authors make a habit of speaking to scouts and other talent evaluators in order to bring you the best baseball information available. Not all of the tidbits gleaned from those conversations make it into our articles, but we don't want them to go to waste. Instead, we'll be collecting them in a regular feature called "What Scouts Are Saying," which will be open to participation from the entire BP staff and include quotes about minor leaguers and major leaguers alike.
Cardinals RHP Trevor Rosenthal: "It's not as easy for him as it was last year. He still has the big fastball, but it's not as big as it was last year and he doesn't seem to trust his off-speed stuff. It wouldn't surprise me if he's back in a setup role when Jason Motte returns."
Tigers Triple-A RHP Corey Knebel: "His curveball is so good that it even buckles the ump's knees."
Reds High-A RHP Ben Lively: "If I didn't know his numbers, I wouldn't give this guy a second look. His breaking balls didn't show any consistency. Curve flashed late. He throws a phantom fastball, but it lives up in the zone. Not sure how that can work at the higher levels."
Dodgers High-A LHP Julio Urias: "How many 17-year-olds do you see with plus changeups? How high would this guy go in the draft if he were eligible? I think you can make a case for him as the 1-1 in a class like this."
Southern Illinois University RHP Sam Coonrod
"Was good, but continues to find ways to walk people. A guy with fringe first-round stuff when right, he likely is a third-round pick based on stats."
Evansville University LHP Kyle Freeland
"Continues to impress, steady as a rock, and his consistency is beginning to wipe away any thoughts of a bullpen arm based on his arm slot and slight frame. With a quality outing vs. Sam Coonrod, he cemented a top-15 selection."
Louisiana State University RHP Aaron Nola
"I don't know why Aaron Nola can't be considered a 1-1 pick this year. He pitches at 91-94 mph and has a changeup that shows plus every time I see him. His curveball isn't a plus but there are things you can do with it to improve it. His command is plus/plus right now, it makes all his pitches grade up. The first thing that a professional team is going to teach him is to be to get more movement on his fastball. And he obviously performs at an extremely high level. What do you want? The rest of the top group (Rodon, Aiken, Kolek) all have major questions. Why not Nola?"
Rancho Bernardo HS (CA) C/OF Alex Jackson
"Without a clear-cut top player in this draft class we're seeing a lot of speculation about which pitcher is in line to go 1-1. But we never hear anything about a position player possibly going first, and it's not a foregone conclusion that it will be a pitcher. When you start looking at the upside of position players and their likelihood of reaching it, then Jackson looks like a believable darkhorse to go 1-1."
Holmen HS (WI) OF Jeren Kendall
"Is starting to warm up with the weather, boasting top-end speed and a handsy swing. It will come down to signability as he is committed to Vanderbilt and has Scott Boras (as his advisor).
Waiakeia HS (HI) LHP Kodi Medeiros
"Every amateur prospect has question marks. Mike Trout had question marks in 2009 and that's why he fell all the way to 25. Medeiros isn't flawless, but he is a rare talent and somebody is going to reap the benefit of organizations picking in front of them dwelling on the little things that they don't seem to mind about a lot of other guys."
Norwell HS (IN) RHP Jonah Patten
"Late-riser may be Jonah Patten. He struggled early during the cold weather, but the Indiana HS pitcher who is playing in the PG Spring League was solid this past weekend and has a chance for electric stuff. He works 88-93 mph with a whip-like arm action and a chance for two average breaking balls."