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Outside the 1st Round -- Some Names to Watch


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Ryan LaMarre, OF, Univ. of Michigan - Probably not on the BAL radar with the young OF already in place, but he recently returned from injury and has been a stud. Saw him against Purdue and have little doubt he can be a solid regular, and perhaps a well above-average player, in either CF or LF. He can hit for power, average, run and has good arm strength. Total package.

Kolbrin Vitek, 2B/RHP, Ball St. - Gets votes on both sides but I take him as a 2B. Some pop, commands the strike zone and has excellent arm strength. Great athlete. Could be gone in 2nd round but I think he's there early in Round 3.

Zach Alvord, SS/2B, South Forsyth HS (Ga.) - Won't be a SS as a pro, but he has BIG arm strength and showed power with wood this past summer and when I saw him down in Jupiter in October. Last August I hung a (pre-breakout his junior year) Gordon Beckham comp on him. Beckham looks like he's maxing out -- Alvord has a similar raw collection of tools and could profile at 2B or 3B as a pro.

Jose Dore, OF/RHP, The First Academy HS (Fla.) - Can run, throw and has pull-side power that projects. Good all-around athlete that could be in the next wave to take over for the current OF crop in BAL. FSU commit could be tough to pry, but I think he could be higher on boards than any of the well-known publications are indicating.

Derek Dietrich, SS, Georgia Tech - I don't think he projects well at any one position in particular -- LF is probably the best everyday fit. Power seems a little light for 3B and I don't see the footwork playing at 2B every day. I'd grab him in the 3rd Round, though, and turn him into the next Mark DeRosa. Give him a chance to stick at 3B or 2B, but you have a very nice super-utility fallback. His bat isn't elite, but there is ML potential and his power could be average -- all of which would be supremely valuable in a player you could rotate around SS/2B/3B/LF.

Phil Gosselin, SS, Univ. of Virginia - Handles himself well in the field, and could be a solid defensive pro. Commands the strikezone and has good on-base tool set. Not much pop, but can live gap-to-gap and has the speed to rack up some extra bases. Not an impact player, but could be a valuable MLer.

Wade Kirkland, SS/2B, Florida Southern Coll. - Showing HR power this year, but likely below-average with wood against advanced pitching. Definite pop to the gaps. Profiles best as 2B (arm strength probably fringy at SS), has struggled some in the field recently and could see him slip if teams think he's limited to LF. Walks more than he strikesout.

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Rick Hague, SS, Rice Univ. - Been a very rough year, but I gladly roll the dice on Hague if he is willing to sign for $500K or less in the 3rd Round. Potential power. Clean, deliberate actions at SS and plenty of arm strength. Needs to clean-up footwork. Power in the bat and ability to square, but doesn't command strikezone. Probably reconstruct swing (start LoA). Could pay big dividends and exactly the type of potentially dropping talent I'd want to grab. If he looks half-way decent over the last two months, he won't be there in the 3rd.

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Nice list. Vitek made BA's last draft tracker (trending up big time), so he might not be there at Round 3. Hague would be a great PU if he would sign for that. How about Garin Cecchini (he is out do to injury)? Or what about Devin Harris (I read recently he is moving up to 2nd-3rd round consideration) and of course Joe Leonard - he is moving up on your list to may be top 100 from your last post, he might still be available at Round 3. Any pitchers for Round 3 or beyond?

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Where is Alvord committed for college?

Any chance that he becomes an overslot candidate in Round Three or later?

Sounds like Dore might be available later too. I actually like the guys with commitments to big time programs. That makes it more likely that they'll be around in later rounds for a Coffey/Ohlman move.

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Nice list. Vitek made BA's last draft tracker (trending up big time), so he might not be there at Round 3. Hague would be a great PU if he would sign for that. How about Garin Cecchini (he is out do to injury)? Or what about Devin Harris (I read recently he is moving up to 2nd-3rd round consideration) and of course Joe Leonard - he is moving up on your list to may be top 100 from your last post, he might still be available at Round 3. Any pitchers for Round 3 or beyond?

All good names, there. Harris started off slow but has been warming. Like Leonard a lot -- not sure if he'll be Top 100. Right around there, though. Big fan of what he's done so far, and will be getting an up-close look May 7th and 8th against Seton Hall.

Cecchini would be a nice grab, but he'll be tough to pry away from LSU. Of course, BAL has shown a willingness to roll the dice with injured HSers, especially if they show good makeup. Here's what I recently wrote on Cecchini in my Ten Trending Down piece:

Garin Cecchini, SS, Barbe HS (La.) (#107 on PnR Preseason Top 300): Cecchini finds his way to this list as a result of an unfortunate knee injury and the resulting season-ending surgery. When healthy, Cecchini is one of the more dynamic prepsters in the class, projecting well both with the bat and with the glove (though he may fit better at third base as a pro), while also flashing upper-80s arm strength across the diamond and solid 6.8/60 footspeed. There is no reason to think he will not rebound post-surgery to be a productive pro, and Baseball America has reported that his rehab is already progressing well. But the injury will likely be enough to drop him down boards, as teams become less comfortable handing out a big enough bonus to the injured Barbe senior to buy him away from LSU. The silver-lining here is that an injury like this can allow organizations to get a feel for make-up and work ethic, and it seems like Cecchini could score high in each.

Will throw some pitchers names around later -- finishing up with some stuff for my site that takes priority right now. :)

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Ryan LaMarre, OF, Univ. of Michigan - Probably not on the BAL radar with the young OF already in place, but he recently returned from injury and has been a stud. Saw him against Purdue and have little doubt he can be a solid regular, and perhaps a well above-average player, in either CF or LF. He can hit for power, average, run and has good arm strength. Total package.

He really should be though. The team has potential but nothing written in stone. Honestly I consider LF/CF a team need.

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Where is Alvord committed for college?

Any chance that he becomes an overslot candidate in Round Three or later?

Sounds like Dore might be available later too. I actually like the guys with commitments to big time programs. That makes it more likely that they'll be around in later rounds for a Coffey/Ohlman move.

Alvord is committed to Auburn.

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Where is Alvord committed for college?

Any chance that he becomes an overslot candidate in Round Three or later?

Sounds like Dore might be available later too. I actually like the guys with commitments to big time programs. That makes it more likely that they'll be around in later rounds for a Coffey/Ohlman move.

Alvord is an Auburn commit. Could definitely be overslot -- BA has reported area scouts stating they don't like his swing as much this spring as they did last summer. He's a gamer and I could see him getting a thrill out of SEC ball, so maybe he demands high six-figures and drops (total speculation -- no inside info)?

I think Dore will pop much higher than publications are letting on, and he could end up signing. He could be a strong college arm, but I'm not sure the stuff is there for a pro org to develop him along those lines with his positional/offensive tools a decent amount ahead. Could just as easily be a 4-th to 10th Round overslot, or drop into the teens depending on his FSU commitment (again, speculation without inside knowledge).

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He really should be though. The team has potential but nothing written in stone. Honestly I consider LF/CF a team need.

I really like LaMarre -- I was way to soft on him preseason and am fully aboard the bandwagon after seeing him just 4 times (none live) this year. He faced a solid pitcher this past weekend in Bischoff (Purdue) and handled him well. Great head, good instincts, ball jumps and he can drive from pole-to-pole.

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A few quick hits:

Greg Peavey, RHP, Oregon St. Univ. - Came into OSU with rep as a flame thrower, has been low 90s (92-94) with some ability to throw to both sides. Command still inconsistent. SL has downer tilt and flashes late bite. Shows feel for CH with drop. Solid so far in 2010 after rough 2009 and meh summer. Probably still outside Day 1 at this point, but could be reasonable target Rounds 3-6.

Bobby Wahl, RHP, West Springfield HS (Va.) - Ole Miss commit. Very projectable frame -- broad shoulders and waist. Ball looks terrific coming out of his hand and sports four pitches that work (FB/CB/SL/CH). Velo climbed to 88-91 in Jupiter. Somewhat local kid (right outside DC) and could be a nice investment in the 4th - 6th round. Easy to picture him Top 50 guy coming out of Ole Miss.

Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Amherst Regional HS (Mass.) - Slender lefty with projection. Cold weather arm so his buzz is lagging some, but he was a big name in Jupiter. FB/SL guy with some arm action clean-up needed, but both pitches could be plus. Throws a soft CB he probably needs to just scrap since it doesn't work well with his low arm slot. Vandy commit that could be there in the early-3rd, but barring a rough two months or a rock solid commit, I'd be surprised if he's around in the 4th.

Drew Smyly, LHP, Arkansas - Sophomore eligible, so he could be over-slot. Putting up good numbers in 2010 and has the stuff to back it up. Last year I saw him late in May and he was mid- to upper-80s with a soft, slurvy breaking ball. He's tightened everything up and added a tick of velo. Long arm action but has found consistency in his release. Extended his stride a little and has made a nice step forward. Here's what I wrote in a recent article:

Through 5 APP and 4 GS, Smyly has logged 26 IP and has posted a SO/9 rate of 12.46 and a SO/BB rate of 2.77. He's upper-80s to low-90s with his fastball, showing some deception, while mixing a slurvy breaking ball that flashes above-average. Projected by many to be a bullpen arm as a pro, Smyly is making it tough on teams to ignore his potential as a back-end arm with a bit of upside.

Cody Wheeler, LHP, Coastal Carolina Univ. - Wheeler's results haven't been quite as expected, but the stuff he used with Team USA this summer and in notching his no hitter against Hawai'i last spring is still there. A bit undersized, he could end up in the pen but as a legit back-end arm, and not just a LOOGY. He started and pitched in relief with USA and did well in each role.Definitely think he is there in the 3rd (at this point), but again might not make it the 4th (speculation).

John Barbato, RHP, Felix Varela HS (Fla.) - Florida commit. FB/CB/CH guy with projection remaining and 88-91 when I saw him. Throws downhill on a tough angle and shows an decent understanding as to how to set up hitters. I think he's signable and is the type of HSer I like (shows feel for multiple piches, already has the velo and has good room for more growth in all facets).

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