This is an early breakdown of the baseball players participating in the Prospect Classic — a new event that places the best high school juniors and seniors against a hand-picked team of college prospects. The focus of this report will be from the first day with the attention more towards players available in the 2012 MLB Draft.
Overall, there are a ton of power pitchers from the high school ranks to go along with a great deal of raw power from high school hitters.
Albert Almora – CF, Mater Academy (FL)
Speed to burn and it plays well in the outfield. He shows the range and glove to be an above average defensive player. His approach at the plate will need improvements because he tends to pull his hips out early and it zaps some of his power. Shows solid bat speed, but likely limited to contact. He tends to pull away from pitches like a left handed slap hitter but he is right handed. The speed and potential contact rate could make him a solid leadoff hitter type.
C.J. Hinojosa – SS/2B, Klein Collins HS (TX)
Solid footwork and plus arm strength allow him to play shortstop at this stage, but range and speed likely force a move to 2B or 3B long term. He has a good batting eye, quick wrists, and bat speed to go along with respectable hip rotation and drive. Solid contact hitter and above average power is coming. Advanced at the plate with ability to really turn on an inside fastball.
Jesse Winker – OF, Olympia HS (FL)
Big, solid frame with a fair amount of room to build add weight. Shows good extension and plate coverage with the bat barrel, with power to all fields. Patient approach at the plate with quick, quiet hands.
Mitch Nay – OF, Hamilton HS (AZ)
Solid chance for plus-plus power down the road. Simply an intimating kid with the size and frame to mash the baseball. He’s a bit raw at this time, but clearly displays the aspects to hit for power. He will have to improve pitch recognition as he seems to be a dead fastball hitter at this stage. The time on Team USA and the national showcase summer circuit could greatly improve his game.
Nick Williams – OF, Galveston Ball HS (TX)
Could be one of the most explosive, athletic players out of the 2012 high school ranks; he’s a pleasant surprise at the plate. Short, compact swing with great bat speed that generates power and pop. He was a hitting machine in the batting cage, but will need to transition those skills into game situations against tougher pitching. He shows the foundation to hit for average and power. In game action, he is raw and very much a free swinger. His bat speed makes up for a lot of ground in other areas.
Gavin Cecchini – 2B/SS, Barbe HS (LA)
Solid height and build with solid footwork in transition. He showed solid instincts in turning the double play that he should be able to maintain 2B, but his bat could play at any position. Nice approach at the plate; could use a bit of slowing down as he pulls his hips out slightly early to zap a bit of power. Solid eye and good contact hitter. He has a level swing with a slight bit of uplift that could create some power with growth and slight refinements at the plate.
Lucas Sims – RHP, Brookwood HS (GA)
Tall and projectable right handed power pitcher with a low 90’s fastball that touched 94 mph. Has a true hammer curveball that is tight, but lacks consistency with overall need of command and control refinements in his approach to the plate. His slider is simply a pitch he throws that will have to improve and gain a better snap as he matures. He shows a collapsing delivery to first base that could plague his command and control. His arm action is smooth and there is a bit of pressure, but he does seem to pick up a bit more pace and accelerate harder after the ball leaves his hands.
Cody Poteet – RHP, Christian HS (CA)
Tall and lanky on the hill, shows a lot of projection at this time and should fill out nicely. Throws with power even with little effort behind the throw. Solid low 90s fastball that could improve. He has a very good curveball that he can command rather well. Has a very safe and clean delivery without added pressure on the arm; nice drive, but could use a bit more behind it. Seems to stop early after the release and could use an exaggerated follow through.
Kayden Porter – RHP, Spanish Fork HS (UT)
This kid has been better as I have seen him pitch up to the mid 90’s: this was just not his week. He is a 6’5” and 235 pound man child. He is a lot better than his effort at the Classic and should be a top right handed high school pitcher next spring. I think he has a great deal of projection, but is likely a relief pitcher. He has an elevated arm action that places a lot of stress on the shoulder and the elbow sometimes tends to whip through in the motion. His size makes it enticing to teach splitter or forkball.
Cory Seager – 3B, Northwest Cabarrus HS (NC)
Tall, athletic position player with massive amount of potential. He looks big, faster and more instinctive than his older brother, Kyle, who is a 3B in the Mariners organization. When all said and done, he should be one of the top prep hitters in the 2012 draft class. Effortless approach at the plate with quiet bat head, quick hands and great bat speed. He will need to bring the hips and lower half in play more, but nothing should keep him from having solid contact and power in the future.
Carson Fulmer – RHP, All Saints Academy (FL)
These pitchers are grown men and he is another tall, filled out power right hander that throws in the low to mid 90’s. Shows a very projectable slider. As with most guys that have this type of speed at an early age, he has a long arm with almost a downward extension in the loading phase of the delivery. His arm is rather safe and he doesn’t place any additional pressure on it, but generates a great deal of downward force in the delivery: a strong push from the lower half and so much that his arm has to catch up to it. He is placing too much pressure on his body to maintain his delivery and was “gearing up” too much.
Walker Weickel – RHP, Olympia HS (FL)
Showcased the best stuff in game one from the prep ranks. Big, prototypical power pitcher that oozes talent. Overhead delivery with high leg kick, full extension, and deception. Borderline slot on the shoulder and elbow; downhill plane. At times rushed. Lighter on the fastball than you would expect, but the deception made it seem a few ticks higher than the mostly 92 mph offering. Workable curve that had depth but lacked crispness. Change up needs some refinement, but there is foundation in the offering.
Deven Marrero – SS, ASU
Could take on Mark Appel as the top college prospect in the 2012 draft. A true plus-plus defender with great glove, range, and arm to stick as a major league shortstop. Solid batting eye, with very good bat speed and extension. Skills to be a very solid number 2 hitter with the ability, in the future, to hit for above average contact and average power for his position. Likely, the top position player in the 2012 class and top overall bat with the emphasis of his premium position.
Josh Elander – C, TCU
Wide body and thick athlete with surprising speed and agility for his size. He is highly versatile as he could catch and play outfield or possibly move to 3B in the future with his athletic ability. Open stance with some uplift in his swing. He has the chance to hit for plus contact and plus power and upped his stock in the last two days in front of a flock of scouts.
Tyler Naquin – CF/RF, Texas A&M
Could have one of the best defensive arms in baseball and I wonder what it looks like on the mound. He showcases enough speed to play CF, but the arm to be a lockdown RF. He has high hands and draws back loading in his approach at the plate, which should be reduced slightly as he turns professional with better pitching; has the chance to elongate the swing through the zone and some slight compaction would go long ways to maintain the high contact rate he has shown through his college years to this point. Really good eye at the plate with a patient approach, which showcases the high contact rate. Good extension with no little effort, but could use a bit more movement from the lower half. Could be a very good leadoff hitter and has the speed/arm to be highly versatile outfielder; value would play better in center though.