No. 1 Bryce Harper
Position: C School: CC of Southern Nevada State: NV Year: Fr. Height: 6'3'' Weight: 205
Bats: L Throws: R Birth Date: 10/16/92 Seiler Rating: 1A2 Last Drafted: Never
Bryce Harper is a little-known catcher from the Community College of Southern Nevada. Scouts always come to games not knowing who he is, and they leave unimpressed.
I'm obviously being facetious, but there's really nothing I can write about Harper that hasn't already been written. He's a junior college freshman who gave up his last two years of high school at Las Vegas High in order to jump ahead to the 2010 draft class, where he became the top talent in the class. He is easily the most physically talented player in this class, as well, and there isn't a bat that comes close to his talent.
He has a solid-average to above-average hit tool, plus-plus raw power that gets 80 grades on the 20-80 scouting scale, and he's an average to fringe-average runner. He's played catcher, third base, and the outfield spots this spring, but his positional home has been catcher for a number of years. He's made big strides this spring catching quality pitching, and even though he's roughly average with the glove, he has a plus-plus arm; a second tool that gets 80s on the scouting scale.
He is the odds-on favorite to be picked No. 1 overall by the Nationals, and everyone would be shocked for it to go down another way. He'll sign at the August deadline and make record money for a bat.
No. 2 Jameson Taillon
Position: RHP School: The Woodlands HS State: TX Height: 6'6'' Weight: 225
Birth Date: 11/18/91 Seiler Rating: 1A1 Commitment: Rice
Jameson Taillon is a huge right-handed pitcher from The Woodlands High School in The Woodlands, Texas, a suburb of Houston. The Woodlands has been well-known as a baseball school for some time, but they hit the radar big-time a few years ago with Kyle Drabek, a former Philadelphia first round pick.
Taillon is a better prospect than Drabek was, and that statement is strongly felt by the entire scouting community. The top pitching prospect in the 2010 class, he has massive upside combined with huge current stuff, and he has the rare quality of being considered a relatively safe high school pitcher.
His stuff is already so mature that he could conceivably get Major League hitters out right now. He has the upside of a true No. 1 starter, and it's not too hard to imagine that he could reach that ceiling in a relatively short amount of time. On the mound, his fastball is already a plus-plus pitch, sitting at 94-96 MPH, having touched 99 this spring. The velocity is generated so easily that there's even some thought that he might have a tick or two left in him as his body rounds into form. His body is already fairly close to being mature, though, so he's not a projection pick.
His best secondary pitch is a plus-plus curveball, and he adds in an above-average slider for effect. His changeup isn't very advanced to this point, but he's shown enough feel for it that projecting it to be above-average isn't much of a stretch.
He's the odds-on favorite to be the first pitcher selected, and he could go as high as No. 2 overall to the Pirates, though it's more likely he lands with Baltimore. His bonus demands are going to be extravagant, as he is a rare talent with a Rice commitment, but will be signable in the first round.
No. 3 Manny Machado
Position: SS School: Brito Private HS State: FL Height: 6'3'' Weight: 190
Bats: R Throws: R Birth Date: 7/6/92 Seiler Rating: 1B3 Commitment: Florida International
Manny Machado is an electric shortstop from Brito Private High School in Hialeah, Florida, which is just outside Miami. Machado has been on the prospect scene for a number of years, but it wasn't until about a year ago that he really started getting noticed as a potential impact player in this draft class.
Seen as part of the pack that included shortstops Yordy Cabrera and Justin O'Conner entering last summer, he had separated himself by the end of the fall tournament season, and he's only gone on to confirm that placement this spring.
He has all the tools and makeup to become a perennial all star shortstop at the next level, and it's only a matter of time before he's making headlines across the Major Leagues. At the plate, he's a plus hitter with average raw power, and those two tools together means he has some of the best offensive potential for a shortstop in all of baseball at this moment. Though he's only an average runner underway, when that is combined with his hitting tools, he's seen as an elite offensive player for an up-the-middle player.
Defensively, he's come a long way, and while many thought he'd have to move off the position last summer, he's made enough strides this spring to consider him a possible above-average defender with a plus arm. One of the major drawbacks about him is his signability, and even though he's expected to sign without any reservations, his adviser is Scott Boras, and his bonus is expected to be well above slot, even in the first five picks, where he's expected to go.
No. 4 Drew Pomeranz
Position: LHP School: Ole Miss State: MS Year: Jr. Height: 6'5'' Weight: 235
Birth Date: 11/22/88 Seiler Rating: 1B3 Last Drafted: 2007 (TEX-12
Drew Pomeranz is an elite left-handed collegiate pitcher from the University of Mississippi. Pomeranz came to Ole Miss from Collierville High School in Collierville, Tennessee, a small town about 30 miles southeast of Memphis on the Tennessee-Mississippi border. A well-known prospect in high school, he was helped by the fact that his brother Stuart had been a second round pick out of high school four years earlier. Drew had a chance to go in the top five rounds in 2007, but his Ole Miss commitment and lack of refinement dropped him to the twelfth round, where the Rangers took him and made an attempt at signing him. As with eleventh rounder Anthony Renaudo, they were unsuccessful in that attempt.
Pomeranz has gone on to make a big name for himself nationally, and he's poised to possibly be the first college pitcher taken in the 2010 draft. After two solid years that put him on the first round scene, a huge spring has put him in consideration for the top five, and as a potential number two starter, that is well-deserved. His fastball is a plus pitch that sits 91-94 MPH, touching 95, and he releases it close enough to the plate that it really sneaks up on hitters. His command of it is only average, but he shows that he has a good idea of where to throw it depending on the situation.
His secondary pitch is a plus-plus curveball that he throws with a knuckle-curve grip, and though his command of it is also just average, it can be a dominant pitch when on. His changeup has been used more this year than in the past, but it's only a solid-average pitch without much deception. Mechanics have been a long-time concern with Pomeranz, and even though he's long on the back side at times this year, he's been much better and has looked more fluid and athletic. He should go in the top seven picks, and is signable in that range.
No. 5 Chris Sale
Position: LHP School: Florida Southern State: FL Year: Jr. Height: 6'5'' Weight: 175
Birth Date: 3/30/89 Seiler Rating: 1B2 Last Drafted: 2007 (COL-21)
Chris Sale is a tall, lanky left-handed pitcher from Florida Gulf Coast University. Sale came to Florida Gulf Coast from Lakeland High School in Lakeland, Florida, the school that fellow Draft Notebook prospects Yordy Cabrera and Eric Arce attend as high school players this year.
Sale was a solid prospect with big projectability in high school, but his current stuff was rather short, and the Rockies justifiably took him in the twenty-first round of the 2007 draft. He didn't sign, and he headed to a small school that has since transitioned to Division 1 status.
After pitching fairly well in the bullpen as a freshman, he graduated to the rotation as a sophomore, having gained a few ticks on his fastball between the two years. The success he had as a sophomore was carried over on to the Cape, where he was the best pitching prospect in the league, vaulting him to likely first round status. With a second dominating year in the rotation, he's cemented himself as one of the top pitchers available, and he has upside as a number two starter.
His fastball is a plus pitch that generally sits 91-94 MPH, touching 96, and he commands it with plus precision. He gets a lot of life on it due to his three-quarters release point, and it's one of the best left-handed fastballs in this class. His best secondary pitch is a plus changeup with excellent depth and fade, and it's a Major League-ready pitch. His third pitch is an average slider that isn't commanded nearly as well, and there are concerns about his inability to spin a breaking ball. However, with his track record of success and the attrition of other pitchers in this class, he is a likely top ten pick, where he should sign in the neighborhood of slot money.
No. 6 Josh Sale
Position: OF School: Bishop Blanchet HS State: WA Height: 6'1'' Weight: 205
Bats: L Throws: R Birth Date: 7/5/91 Seiler Rating: 1B3 Commitment: Gonzaga
Josh Sale is a powerful high school outfielder from Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle. Sale lacks the general athleticism of a typical high school outfielder pick, but with a bat that's practically unrivaled for its balance, he's going to be a very high pick.
He comes from an interesting background, as both of his parents are bodybuilders, and he himself is a gym rat. That kind of work ethic also carries itself onto the field, where he's considered one of the best players for makeup. Putting this together with his physical tools, it's easy to project him as a potential all star at one of the corner outfield spots, depending on how one might rate his range. At the plate, he's easily the most well-rounded hitter in the class, even more than fellow prospect Bryce Harper. Harper has more power, but Sale isn't far behind. His hit tool alone is a plus tool, and when combined with plus-plus raw power, you have yourself an elite hitting prospect.
That's where the elite tools stop, however, and this is where the more traditional scouts that love athleticism start to pick. He's a below-average runner with a fringe-average arm and fringe-average fielding tools in the outfield, and while there's some belief that he could handle right field reasonably well, those that point to his arm think he'll play left field or even first base. If he even becomes an average defender, though, it will be a huge success, as his bat will be the thing that carries him through the levels of the minor leagues. He should be picked within the first twenty picks of the first round, and since he's reportedly signable for slot money, could go as high as the top ten overall.
No. 7 Deck McGuire
Position: RHP School: Georgia Tech State: GA Year: Jr. Height: 6'6'' Weight: 220
Birth Date: 6/23/89 Seiler Rating: 1B1 Last Drafted: Never
Deck McGuire is a tall, lanky right-handed pitcher from Georgia Tech. McGuire originally came to the university from Deep Run High School in Glen Allen, Virginia, a northern suburb of Richmond. Even though he was a known commodity in the scouting ranks in high school, there wasn't enough upside or current stuff to project him as a big-time arm, so he went undrafted and headed to Tech.
From there, he's gone from valuable arm to likely top ten overall pick, and though his upside isn't as high as many of the available options in the first round, his floor is considerably higher than the majority, as well. With a pro pitch mix that includes four above-average pitches, he should be a mid-rotation starter with a chance to be a number two starter if he regains a little zip on his fastball. His fastball is an above-average pitch right now, sitting 90-92 MPH, touching 94, and though his command can be plus at times, it's more commonly average, causing him to be more of a flyball pitcher. He's been a 91-94 mph pitcher in the past, and he's flashed that velocity at times late in the spring, but he's more comfortable on the lower end of that range, getting above-average movement. His best offspeed pitch is a plus slider that routinely sits in the mid-80s, and it's the most improved pitch in his arsenal.
His curveball also has the potential to be plus, but he has trouble staying on top of it at times due to his three-quarters release point. It gets two-plane break when on, and is a nice complement to his hard stuff. His changeup has flashed above-average potential, as well, but he's gone away from it as the spring has gone along. With this type of stuff, he's a likely top ten pick, and it would be shocking to see him fall below the Reds, who are picking at number twelve. He should sign quickly for close to slot money.
No. 8 Yasmani Grandal
Position: C School: Miami State: FL Year: Jr. Height: 6'2'' Weight: 210
Bats: B Throws: R Birth Date: 11/8/88 Seiler Rating: 1B2 Last Drafted: 2007 (BOS-27)
Yasmani Grandal is a top-level catcher from the University of Miami. Grandal came to Miami from Miami Springs High School in Florida. He was a very high-level prospect in high school, and he could have been a first round pick for a few teams if not for extravagant bonus demands and a strong commitment to play for the Hurricanes.
Though it has taken some time to fulfill his immense potential, it has finally come to fruition this spring after two years of disappointing seasons. He was even outperformed with Team USA by teammate Blake Forsythe from Tennessee at catcher, leading to questions about his chances of reaching the first round this year. However, he exploded offensively this spring, and he's now a lock for the first half of the first round, and he could be an all-star catcher with some development.
He flashes above-average potential with the bat, both with an above-average hit tool and above-average power, and even though he's a below-average runner, he's by no means lacking for some athleticism. He's an above-average receiver with an above-average arm, and his only negative is footwork, which isn't great, leading to some longer delivery times when throwing to second base. However, he's an elite prospect for the top half of the first round, and he should sign fairly quickly for close to slot money.
No. 9 Karsten Whitson
Position: RHP School: Chipley HS State: FL Height: 6'4'' Weight: 190
Birth Date: 8/25/91 Seiler Rating: 1B2 Commitment: Florida
Karsten Whitson is an accomplished projectable right-handed pitcher from Chipley High School in Chipley, Florida, a town in the Florida panhandle. Whitson has been a well-known commodity to the scouting community for some time, and one of the things that scouts love about him is a steady growth pattern that has seen his stuff gradually get better every year. He's by no means a pop-up prospect without a track history of having plus stuff. Rather, he's gradually added strength to his frame, and there's more room to grow. As he's grown, he's actually learned how to harness his stuff better and better, and while his command isn't quite plus, it's above-average on his good days.
He has the upside as a potential No. 1 starter, though most projections put him as a No. 2 starter due to a lack of a plus-plus fastball. Rather, his fastball is plus, sitting 91-94 MPH, touching 96, and while there's room to grow, few scouts believe he's going to actually sit in the mid-90s. He works with his current velocity very well, and that's reminiscent of 2009 first round pick Zack Wheeler.
His secondary pitch is a plus-plus slider that is one of the best breaking balls in the entire draft class, including Jameson Taillon's hammer curveball. He commands the slider very well, and al though some scouts prefer a curveball from a prep arm, there is a general love for the pitch from him. His changeup is rudimentary at this point, as he hasn't needed it, but there's enough feel for it that it could be above-average with time, giving him three above-average to plus pitches.
His stock faded a little late in the spring due to tiring, but he's still a legitimate top half of the first round arm, and the only way he'll fall out of the first round is if his bonus demands are higher than expected, though the expectation is already that he'll receive more than slot money.
No. 10 Christian Colon
Position: SS School: Cal State Fullerton State: CA Year: Jr. Height: 6'1'' Weight: 190
Bats: R Throws: R Birth Date: 5/14/89 Seiler Rating: 1B2 Last Drafted: 2007 (SD-10)
Christian Colon is an excellent shortstop from Cal State Fullerton. Colon came to Fullerton from Canyon High School in Canyon Country, California, which is right outside of Santa Clarita. He was teammates with Grant Green during his junior year, playing second base during that time, and it was during that year that he really began to be noticed as a prospect.
Once Green left, Colon established himself at shortstop, and after a solid summer that included being the MVP of the AFLAC All-American game, he was poised to be an early pick in the 2007 draft. However, he fell due to bonus demands and a lack of elite tools, and the Padres were unable to sign him as their tenth round pick. He headed to Fullerton, where he started immediately as their shortstop, putting up solid numbers from the beginning. He came into his own as a top prospect in the 2010 draft class with perhaps the best summer of any college prospect, continually hitting the ball hard with Team USA and playing excellent defense.
However, he broke his leg at the end of Team USA's season, and there were question marks about how he'd return this spring. After a slow start, he's answered those question marks, and he should be a first round pick as either a solid shortstop or offensive second baseman. His tools are still not top-notch, but he has a plus hit tool, average power, average speed, an average arm, and plus defensive tools, making him an intriguing package. His advisor is Scott Boras, which could scare a couple of teams off, but he's still expected to be an early pick that is signable for the neighborhood of slot money.