It's way too early too predict any of the draft positions and players but it's never too early to take a look at some of the players that are part of what is supposivly the deepest draft we have seen in awhile. Thanks to my job as a college baseball blogger at my school, I got to see first hand of what these players really can bring to the table. It's a small collection of my scouting report that I gathered from watching practices, exhibitions, and games and while it's not complete as the season only begun two weeks ago, I thought it would be nice to share what I saw in them with you guys. So here it is, your 2011 MLB draft prospects report, after the jump.
***ADDED SCHOOL THEY ATTEND AS WELL***
As I write this report up only thing I can say is that it truly is one of the best times to hold the top 2 out of 7 picks as there are loads of talent in this draft board. It is especially deep in college arms and there are few outstanding positional prospects as well. High schoolers like Daniel Norris, Henry Owens, Bubba Starling, and Archie Bradely to name a few are also outstanding players from what I've heard but obviously it's a little more difficult to see them play in person. Again, this is collection of notes that I took from my personal scouting stand point as well as few notes from coaches and other players.
3B Anthony Rendon - Rice
Figured he'll be slowed down by ankle injury he suffered but he looked better than anybody on the field. He has such smooth hands and footwork which makes every play pretty much easy for him. Arm strength and throwing accuracy is also a plus and that's only half of this guy's baseball talent. He was shooting the ball all over the diamond. Short yet quick swing with plenty of power. His college season also started very well as he is already hitting over .394 with couple of round trippers.
LHP Matthew Purke - TCU
Looked taller and skinnier in person. He throws his fastball 93 to 94 MPH in the low arm slot which tends to make his pitches very deceptive. Also coming from the left side of the mound makes it seem much faster than it is. He was locating his fastball to perfection and curveball had some good movement in it. Heard he also throws plus slider but haven't got to see that yet. Threw four innings in his opening start to ease him into action but hit an early bump as he was scratched from his next start due to blister in his finger.
RHP Gerrit Cole - UCLA
Pretty much exact copy of Purke only from the right side. Since Purke is lefty and can make his fastball seem much faster throwing them around 93 MPH, Cole makes it up by throwing them around 95 to 98 and reaching 99 at times. Threw fastball exclusive from the short session that I saw but that alone was a major weapon. Definitely had the composure of an ace but struggled a little bit in his first start as he allowed five runs in shaky game.
LHP Danny Hultzen - UVA
Projectable lefty who has four above average pitches. He does not throw hard at all, usually stays around 90 MPH give or take couple but is extremly athletic and finesse. He has a smaller build but locates and throws all of his four pitches very well. He throws curveball and change up as his main secondary pitch with splitter when needed.
OF George Springer - Connecticut
Five tool center fielder with plus tools in every department. Runs well and has power to all fields. Little disappointed in his work in the batter's box in the first few games as he seemed to be struggling to find his rhythm but did hit couple balls hard only right to the fielder. He was impressive in the outfield as he was quick, instinctive and made some plays look easy. Slow start to season battling .130 but will pick it up soon.
OF Jackie Bradely Jr. - South Carolina
Fantastic player who I was overly impressed with. Great contact hitter with good power, his swings looked awfully smooth early in the spring. He was fast and seemed to have a pretty good idea of how to run the bases. He also had a cannon of an arm and like Springer, was silky smooth in the outfield. With all due respect to everybody, possibly most impressed with Bradely out of all the players.
RHP Sonny Gray - Vanderbilt
Extremly small framed righty (5-11 185lbs) reminds me of Oswalt and Lincecum. Although he lacks in size he makes it up with his baseball smarts and three plus pitches. He locates and throws his fastball in 92 to 94 MPH range and is extremly efficient mixing in his slider and change up to fool the batters. He was absolutely lights out in his first two starts of the season although he walked four batters in his first, that shouldn't be a trend as he controls his pitches very well.
RHP Taylor Jungmann - Texas
He is a tall right hander who pounds the strike zone with force using his stature. He throws his fastball around 96 MPH and uses similar repertoire as Gray but is much more larger which makes the two different. Confident and poised on mound and his slider and major cut in it right before it reached the batter's box. Shut out his opponents in his first two starts to start the season.
That's all I have for now and will try to write more up if I get a chance to see these guys or other players not listed here throughout the season. This will be an elemental part of out foundation as it can really help us get a jump start on building a winning team for years to come by adding these polished college players along with out current group of prospects. This is my favorite time of the year watching the young guys play and predicting how the draft will unfold. Thank for reading!