Saturday, August 22, 2009

MPH Draft Database: Rounds 1-10

Reports compiled from:

PGCrosschecker (first 10 rounds)
emailing coaches
Click the Links (the players name) to be taken to individual draft threads on NYFS.
Round 02, Pick 0072: LHP Steven Matz
Ward Melville HS, R/L, 6'2", 192, 5/29/91

SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Matz missed part of his junior season with some elbow soreness, and also was burdened with tendinitis in his pitching shoulder last summer and a broke a knuckle on his pitching hand in November. But he has been moving quickly up prospect charts, and seems to have established himself as the No. 1 high-school pitching prospect in New York-if not the entire northeast. Scouts have quickly come to realize that there are few young pitchers in the 2009 class that throw as easily as Matz does. "Effortless" is usually a word that works its way into any report or conversation on Matz's long, loose arm action and delivery. He currently throws his fastball at 88-92 mph, but it's very easy to project him adding more velocity as he gets older. Matz's build, which features long legs and a high, athletic core, point to more growth potential as well, which should equal more velocity. He came out of the gates this spring touching 92 mph, with good tailing life on his fastball. Matz also has three other pitches of note, including a low three-quarters sweeping slider he learned in the off-season working with former major-league lefthander Neal Heaton. His curveball is his more established breaking pitch. He gets good spin that results in a two-plane break, but he may need to throw it harder at the next level in order for it to be effective. He also throws a mid-70s changeup. As usual, Matz' fate with the draft may be linked to the late winter weather in the Northeast, but he will be on scouts' short list of players in that region to see early.--DAVID RAWNSLEY

UPDATE (5/15): As predicted, Matz clearly established himself this spring as the top high-school pitcher in the northeast. As he continued to throw harder with almost every outing, reaching 94 mph at times, his stock for the draft continued to climb to a point several clubs were looking at him seriously in the second round, perhaps higher. He dominated his competition, going 6-1, 0.47 with 81 strikeouts in 44 innings, while allowing just 26 base runners (11 H, 15 BB). Matz' obvious strengths were his live, lean body and above-average velocity from the left side, but his ability to throw his curve and change, and new-found slider for strikes was prominent in his climb up draft boards. He has a few mechanical issues that need to be refined and his durability will be questioned, but his positives far outweigh any perceived negatives.--AS

Round 03, Pick 0103: SS Robbie Shields
Florida Southern, R/R, 6'1", 195, 12/7/87

2009: .345/.448/.518/.966, 76 for 220, 65 runs, 19 2b, 2 3b, 5 HR, 37 RBI, 33/32 BB/K, 11 HBP, 10/15 SBs, 18 Es

SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Shields played in just 12 games in the Cape Cod League last summer, but it was readily apparent that he measured up with any shortstop in the league-even No. 1 prospect Grant Green. Green was the more athletic of the two and his tools were more obvious, but Shields may have been Green's equal as a player. He was the glue to the Cotuit roster, and the Kettleers struggled when Shields was lost for the season after he broke a bone at the top of his wrist on a head-first slide. He was hitting .349-2-11 with six extra-base hits at the time, and had not committed an error at shortstop. Shields displayed solid, all-around tools-at the plate, in the field and on the bases. He has good bat speed and deceptive power for a middle infielder, and can drive balls to all fields. His defensive actions are just average by shortstop standards, but more than adequate if a move to second or third might be in the works. His arm is strong and accurate, and definitely plays on the left side of the infield. He gets particularly good backspin on his throws, resulting in good carry. Though his speed (6.75 in the 60) is slightly above-average, he knows how to use it to advantage on the bases, though will not be a base stealer of any significance. Shields' makeup is one of his strong points and it was not lost on scouts that he remained with Cotuit the balance of the summer-working camps, taking ground balls, cheering on his teammates-rather than return home. Shields showed no hesitancy playing on a big stage last summer, but his limited time on the Cape and the Division II competition he plays against during the school year may prompt scouts to put him under a little closer scrutiny this spring. He hit .348-9-36, stole six bases in nine attempts and committed 18 errors as a sophomore at Florida Southern. Scouts say if it all comes together for Shields, he could be a player in the mould of big leaguer Aaron Hill, a former first-rounder.--ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): The Aaron Hill comparisons are still valid, though Shields is more likely a second- or third-round pick after an indifferent spring. He hit .345-5-37, similar to what he did as a sophomore but short of what scouts were expecting. He played a good shortstop, but it was apparent that he lacked the quick feet for the position. If anything, he showed he has the first step needed to become a very good third baseman. At the plate, Shields handled the outer-half well, but scouts had concerns over how he'll handle inside pitches with wood. If it all turns out well for him, Shields could become a solid all-around third baseman in the big leagues.--ANUP SINHA

Round 04, Pick 0134: CF Darrell Ceciliani
Columbia Basin CC, L/L, 6'1", 185, 6/22/90

2009: .374/.463/.612/1.075, 55 for 147, 37 runs, 11 2b, 6 3b, 4 HR, 40 RBI, 22/12 BB/K, 13/13 SBs

SCOUTING PROFILE: Ceciliani hails from Madras, Ore., which coincidentally, but perhaps appropriately is the same little town in rural central Oregon that produced former Oregon State first-rounder and current Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. The resemblances between the two extend well beyond growing up just down the street from each other. When the Major League Scouting Bureau slapped an OFP grade of 55 on Ceciliani in early April, creating a rush among Northwest scouts to check out Ceciliani, a number immediately compared his style and tools to Ellsbury. Not only does he bat and throw from the left side, but his 6.5-second speed in the 60 plays like Ellsbury's, as down his loose, easy compact swing and line-drive, pap-to-gap power. Ceciliani has fast hands at the plate and his power is evolving. Though he spent most of his freshman season at the junior-college level in right field, scouts say Ceciliani profiles as a center fielder. He was a little shaky on his routes at times, but generally gets good jumps and may one day make highlight-reel catches as he masters that aspect of his game. He's scrappy and plays the game hard in all phases. Ceciliani might have followed in Ellsbury's footsteps at Oregon State had he been eligible academically, but he settled on Columbia Basin and largely went unnoticed last fall. But as he grew an inch and his power started to evolve, and he began to show signs of becoming a five-tool talent, word quickly spread. Ceciliani hit .374-4-40 (with wood) this spring as a freshman, and not only led his 44-7 team in homers and RBIs while stealing 13 bases in as many attempts, but he was the driving force as Columbia Basin won seven straight playoff games to reach the championship game of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges championship, only for the team to lose two straight games to Bellevue to place second.--ALLAN SIMPSON

Round 05, Pick 0164: RHP Damien Magnifico
North Mesquite HS, L/R, 6'1", 180, 5/24/91
Round 06, Pick 0194: RHP David Buchanan
Chipola JC, R/R, 6'3", 190, 5/11/89

2008: 2-0, 6.93 era, 17/3 G/GS, 24.2 IP, 34 H, 23/19 R/ER, 16/27 BB/K, .301 BAA

2009: 4-2, 8.72 era, 15/4 G/GS, 32 IP, 37 H, 32/31 R/ER, 20/32 BB/K, .285 BAA
Round 07, Pick 0224: LHP Darin Gorski
Kutztown U, L/L, 6'4", 210, 10/6/87

2007: 4-0, 2.63 era, 14/6 G/GS, CG, 41 IP, 30 H, 17/12 R/ER, 15/35 BB/K, .197 BAA
2008: 8-4, 2.43 era, 12 GS, 7 CG, 81.1 IP, 63 H, 30/22 R/ER, 27/83 BB/K, .210 BAA
2009: 8-2, 2.17 era, 12 GS, 3 CG, 78.2 IP, 60 H, 24/19 R/ER, 24/100 BB/K, .208 BAA

SCOUTING PROFILE (3/1): Gorski was the dominant pitcher in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League last summer, topping that circuit in wins and strikeouts while going 7-0, 1.33. He also allowed just 40 hits in 61 innings, while walking 15. Though he didn't get a decision in his only playoff start for the eventual champion Kutztown Rockies in decisive Game 3 of the semi-finals against Lehigh Valley, he went six strong innings, walked none and struck out nine-giving him an aggregate 87 strikeouts in 67 innings on the summer. For his efforts, he earned the inaugural Darrin Winston Award as the league's most valuable pitcher. Winston, a former ACBL pitching star who made his major league debut at the advanced age of 31 in 1997, died of leukemia on Aug. 15. Gorski was no less dominant as a sophomore for Division II Kutztown, going 8-4, 2.43 with 27 walks and 83 strikeouts in 81 innings. The tall, projectable lefthander has command of four pitches, including a fastball in the 89-92 mph range, along with a slider, split-finger and changeup.--ALLAN SIMPSON

UPDATE (5/15): The Pennsylvania college ranks are noteworthy this year because of the greater attention that players at the NCAA Division II level received. Gorski and Slippery Rock catcher/first baseman Matt Adams were probably the state’s two most heavily-scouted college players. In one of his early-season outings, 22 scouts were on hand to see Gorski, who pretty much separated himself from the pack this spring and solidified his spot in the draft as a fifth- to seventh-round talent. He went 8-2, 2.17 with 24 walks and 100 strikeouts in 79 innings. His fastball was just fringy-average from the standpoint of velocity, for the most part, but he commanded it well to both sides of the plate, and mixed in a splitter, average slider and an above-average change to keep hitters off balance. He’s very projectable in his big, physical frame, has clean mechanics and a sound feel for pitching. AS

Round 08, Pick 0254: C Taylor Freeman
McNeese State, L/R, 6'0", 200, 8/24/87

2008: .372/.462/.639/1.101, 67 for 180, 30 runs, 20 2b, 2 3b, 8 HR, 52 RBI, 28/24 BB/K, 3 Es
2009: .333/.430/.605/1.035, 65 for 195, 50 runs, 13 2b, 2 3b, 12 HR, 56 RBI, 29/34 BB/K

SCOUTING PROFILE: Since hitting .610 with 23 homers as a high-school senior in Carney, Okla., Freeman’s ability to hit, and hit with power, has always been evident. After turning down an offer from the Detroit Tigers and enrolling at Oklahoma’s Seminole State JC as a freshman, Freeman has been a force in the McNeese State batting order, topping the Cowboys in batting (.372), doubles (20), homers (8) and RBIs (52) as a sophomore, while hitting .333-12-56 as a junior this season. His biggest areas of improvement have come behind the plate. He has solid catching skills and an above-average arm.--ALLAN SIMPSON

Round 09, Pick 0284: C Jeffrey Glenn
Winter Haven HS, R/R, 6'3", 185, 9/22/91

SCOUTING PROFILE: Winter Haven High has had its share of draft picks in recent years, with Atlanta Braves outfielder Jordan Shafer, a third-round pick in 2005, being the most graphic example, yet Glenn’s evolution as a prospect was not really evident until his senior year. He always had a solid approach to hitting, coupled with strong hands and wrists, and topped his high-scool team in homers (6) and RBIs (35) this spring. He has a good level, line-drive approach. The biggest advances in his game this spring came on defense, and came after working with ex-big leaguer Pat Borders on the finer points of catching. Glenn now has a solid-average arm with good carry and on-target accuracy, and his blocking ability has become a superior skill. He’s athletic and agile behind the plate, and plays the game aggressively. With a commitment to a junior college (Santa Fe CC, the runner-up team in the 2009 Junior College World Series), Glenn’s perceived signability status could be attractive to teams in rounds before his talent may warrant him being taken. ALLAN SIMPSON

Round 10, Pick 0314: RF Nick Santomauro
Dartmouth, L/R, 6'2", 205, 6/13/88

For his career, Santomauro is currently third all-time at Dartmouth with a .376 batting average, fourth with 76 walks, sixth with 19 home runs, ninth with 108 RBIs, 11th with 169 career hits, 12th with seven triples, and 14th with 107 runs scored and 32 doubles. As a sophomore, he tied the school record by hitting 11 home runs while leading the team to a Rolfe Division title.

Santomauro’s teammates voted him the team MVP and the top offensive player this year, while the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association selected him for the Division I Second Team, the third straight year Santomauro was picked for either the first or second team.

2008: .364/.464/.691/1.155, 59 for 162, 44 runs, 10 2b, 5 3b, 11 HR, 45 RBI, 30/46 BB/K, 6 Es
2009: .372/.447/.598/1.045, 61 for 164, 41 runs, 13 2b, 8 HR, 40 RBI, 20/32 BB/K, 2 Es

SCOUTING PROFILE: As a junior at an Ivy League school, Santomauro may be a difficult sign-unless he's picked in an early-enough round to justify buying him out of his final year at Dartmouth. That might be a difficult proposition normally, but Santomauro was selected the Ivy League player of the year and led Dartmouth to its most significant season in 22 years. He topped the Big Green in batting (.372) and the entire Ivy League in conference games only (.473), though he didn't quite match his school-record 11 home-run output that he had in 2008. He finished with eight, while driving in 40 runs. He has above-average power in his lean, loose frame, though it is overly-pronounced to the pull side. The remainder of his tools are at an acceptable level, though he has shown little or no base-stealing prowess with just one stolen base in the last two years combined.-ALLAN SIMPSON

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