2009 #1 Draft Prospect Stephen Strasburg
Now that its February it means we are getting close to baseball. Pitcher and Catchers will be reporting in a couple weeks, and college ball gets underway on Friday the 20th. With all that in mind, its a great time to kick off this year’s draft coverage. We are starting off today with the initial Future Redbirds top 30 draft prospect lists. Of course there will be plenty of movement in these rankings as we make our way toward June, but this list should give you a good idea of some guys to keep track of as the games get under way.
1. Stephen Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State
Next in line behind Mark Prior and David Price as the super elite college pitching prospect. Has excellent command of great stuff. Scott Boras could be the only thing keeping him from being the #1 overall pick.
2. Matthew Purke, LHP, Texas HS
Think Scott Kazmir with a bigger frame. Purke has some effort in his delivery, but he throws mid-90′s from the left side and also has a nasty slider.
3. Alex White, RHP, North Carolina
Prototypical top college pitching prospect. 6’3″ righty with a fastball up to 94 and a devastating slider.
4. Grant Green, SS, Southern California
Think Evan Longoria with the ability to stick at short. Green is the complete package and the top position prospect in this draft.
5. Aaron Crow, RHP, Fort Worth (independent)
Top prospect in last year’s draft who couldn’t agree to a deal with the Nationals. Plus stuff with his fastball and slider as well as very good command. Some questions about his delivery, but he could be an ace.
6. Tyler Matzek, LHP, California HS
High school lefty pitches like a top college prospect. He doesn’t have the pure stuff of Matthew Purke, but he does have a 4-pitch mix from a 6’3″ frame, excellent mechanics, and can touch 94 with the heater. He is the total package.
7. Dustin Ackley, 1b/OF, North Carolina
As pure of a hitter as they come, Ackley could be the next John Olerud. He can pepper the gaps all day long, and could go even higher if he proves he can play the outfield this spring and his power starts to develop.
8. Donavan Tate, OF, Georgia HS
The best athlete in the draft, Tate has committed to play football at North Carolina next year. Has all the tools, but is also one of the riskier picks at the top of the draft.
9. Jacob Turner, RHP, Missouri HS
The next big thing out of St. Louis. He is very polished and has good stuff. Hopefully he avoids having a senior season like Tim Melville had last year.
10. Andrew Oliver, LHP, Oklahoma State
Oliver is the top college lefty in the draft. He is well built at 6’4″ 200 pounds, throws strikes, and can run his fastball up to the mid-90′s.
11. Zack Wheeler, RHP, Georgia HS
High upside high school righty has a big time arm and plenty of projection. He has shown an ability to sit at 94-95 mph with the heater and also flashes a power breaker.
12. Kyle Gibson, RHP, Missouri
The Mizzou ace can touch 94 mph with the fastball, but usually works at 88-92 mph. His best pitch is a slider that could be the best breaking ball in the draft. Rail thin at 6’6″ 195, Gibson still has a lot of projection left for a college hurler.
13. Shelby Miller, RHP, Texas HS
Arguably the fastest rising prospect in the draft. Miller came out of nowhere last summer to hit 94 mph with his fastball and show an ability to throw 3 pitches for strikes.
14. Mike Minor, LHP, Vanderbilt
Extremely polished lefty with a nasty change. Minor has gained velocity and now sits at 89-92 with the fastball. He may still add a little velocity as he fills out his 6’4″ frame, but his stuff and polish is plenty good right now.
15. Kentrail Davis, OF, Tennessee
The sophomore eligible Davis isn’t the tallest guy, but he is built like a tank. After a monster freshman season he was Team USA’s best hitter before going down to injury. He may not profile in center due to his arm, but he can flat out hit and is also a threat to swipe a bag.
16. Mychal Givens, SS/RHP, Florida HS
The super athletic Givens has both great speed and a 97 mph fastball. Questions about his hitting ability lead many to believe he will end up on the mound, but some team may fall in love with the extremely exciting package in the field.
17. Kendal Volz, RHP, Baylor
Tall and built like a horse Volz looks like the prototypical power pitcher, and he has the stuff to back it up. He works at 90-93, touching higher, and he also has a power breaking ball.
18. Austin Maddox, C, Florida HS
Big, strong catching prospect with a power bat and a power arm. May not hit for average, but catchers with power are always in demand. Could also be drafted as a pitcher.
19. Matt Davidson, 3b, California HS
Similar prospect to former California prep star Matt Dominguez, Davidson is polished at the plate and at the hot corner.
20. Luke Bailey, C, Georgia HS
Another member of the strong prep catching crop. Bailey is solid defensively and has a lot of offensive upside.
21. Jason Stoffel, RHP, Arizona
The top relief prospect in the draft possesses a plus fastball and a plus curve. Was the wildcat closer last year over Diamondbacks’ first rounder Daniel Schlereth.
22. Blake Smith, RHP/OF, California
One of the top hitters for Team USA last summer, Smith profiles perfectly in right field with his power bat and power arm. He is also a first round candidate on the mound where he can touch 95 mph with the fastball.
23. Mike Leake, RHP, Arizona State
Smallish Sun Devil hurler has drawn Tim Hudson comparisons for his heavy sinking fastball. Like Hudson, he is also a good hitter and was a star 2nd baseman for Team USA over the summer.
24. Brian Goodwin, OF, North Carolina HS
The Aflac All-American game MVP has all the tools except power. Projects as a prototypical leadoff hitting center fielder in the Kenny Lofton mold.
25. Keyvius Sampson, RHP, Florida HS
Super athletic righty has a power arm that easily blows mid-90′s gas. He also possesses a filthy curveball. Has as much potential as any prep hurler in the draft, and if he maintains his velocity this spring he could go a lot higher than this.
26. Tanner Scheppers, RHP, St. Paul Saints (independent)
Would have gone in the top 10 last year if not for a stress fracture in his shoulder. Before the injury he dominated hitters with a 96 mph fastball as well as a plus slider and curve. If he shows he’s healthy he will fly back up the charts.
27. Ben Tootle, RHP, Jacksonville State
Tootle may actually have more potential than Stoffel as a major league closer. His fastball has been clocked in the high-90′s at times, and he compliments it with a devastating slider.
28. D.J. LeMahieu, SS, LSU
The draft eligible sophomore profiles as an offensive minded shortstop. A new age shortstop at 6’4″ he could eventually provide 20+ homer power from the premium position.
29. Bryan Morgado, LHP, Tennessee
Another draft eligible sophomore, Morgado throws strikes and has good stuff for a lefty. His fastball can touch 94 and he features a big hook.
30. Ryan Jackson, SS, Miami (FL)
Jackson is a slick fielding shortstop who makes good contact, but doesn’t have much power. He profiles as an Adam Everett type at the next level.