2007 Draft Mailbag: More Potential Picks

Todd Morgan's mailbox has been full since he published his 'Pre-Season 2007 First Round Draft Projection.' He answers some of those questions in this mailbag.

What about Zach Cozart from Ole Miss? Great range at shortstop, good bat, and a dominant player in a super conference. Not taking anything away from the other SEC players you mentioned but Cozart is a player.

Cozart is probably a third or fourth rounder right now. He's a premium defender at shortstop and could play there as a late-inning defensive replacement in the big leagues right now with little difficulty.

He doesn't offer much projectability as a hitter right now because he generates all his power thanks to a pull mentality and the aluminum bat. When he switched to wood bats while playing for Team USA, he looked pretty weak. If he starts using the whole field with the aluminum bat it will help him when he uses wood bats as a pro. For him that will be the difference between spending a chunk of time as a major league regular and being a career utility/AAA guy.

Hearing anything about Chad McLin, LHP, Red Oak HS, TX?

Chad is not a top-300 high school prospect at this point, and since he's signed a letter of intent to pitch for Marshall next year, my guess is that he'll go the college route. He has the physical size to offer some projectability, but right now his fastball tops out at 86 mph while his offspeed stuff is average at best.

He's going to have to commit to being in better physical condition to improve his draft stock. If he can start incorporating his lower half into his delivery with consistency his velocity will likely improve as he matures, which will only help his future as a baseball player.

Hello nice article about the 2007 MLB Draft. I was wondering if you could give me some names of guys that will be drafted from the Midwest (Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, etc.) either High School players or College players. Thanks.

There are only a few players from the Midwest and Great Lakes regions that look like potential first rounders right now. Topping the list is RHP Jarrod Parker, a prep pitcher from Bluffton, Indiana. He is smallish at 6'1, 175, but he generates a mid-90s fastball and a strong slider. I'd say he's probably a sandwich round pick at best right now, but he could rise with a solid season.

Righty Jordan Zimmerman, who pitches at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, is right there with Parker, with a 90-95 mph fastball and a very promising change-up.

Derek Dietrich is a prep shortstop from Parma, Ohio who is as polished as any prep position player available in the 2007 draft. He's shown flashes of power, and as a lefty hitter who will play on the left side of the infield (possibly at third base if he outgrows shortstop) that's a very attractive tool.

Here are a few more players who could be taken in the top five or six rounds:

Jon Gilmore, SS, Iowa City, IA
Tom Farmer, RHP, Akron University
Connor Graham, RHP, Miami (Ohio) University
Cory Luebke, LHP, Ohio State
Tony Watson, LHP, Nebraska
Jeff Fischer, RHP, Eastern Michigan
Josh Collmenter, RHP, University of Central Michigan
Kyle Day, C, Michigan State
John Baird, RHP, University of Cincinnati
Chris Kupillas, RHP, Central Michigan
Chad Dawson, RHP, Indiana State

High School
Tanner Stevenson, 2B, Wichita, KS
Sean Yost, RHP, Lincoln, NE
Tyler Bevard, RHP, Bettendorf, IA
Nicholas Jensen, LHP, Appleton, WI
Seth Blair, RHP, RockFalls, IL
D. J. LeMahieu, SS, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Cody Scarpetta, RHP, Rockford, IL
James Coleman, OF, Chicago, IL
Benjamin Klafczynski, OF, Medina, OH

Upon reading your projections of the 2007 Draft, I was surprised not to see Irving, TX. HS Blake Beavan. What are your thoughts on him after his performance against Cuba in the AAA World Jr. Championships? Thanks.

Beavan was definitely in the running for my first round projection, and I gave him a lot of consideration at the 20th (Dodgers), 24th (Rangers) and 28th (Twins) slots. Ultimately I went with other players at each slot because: 1) I see more risk with Beavan than Phillippe Aumont, 2) If Brackman falls like I think he will, someone is going to be elated to grab him that late, and 3) Because there are so many good comparably talented lefties available that choosing one of them over a righty is almost a no-brainer.

The jury is still out on whether Beavan will be a better fit in the rotation or the bullpen as a pro. He offers a lot of projectability for interested teams, but I didn't think there was a first round team that matched up well with him at this point. One scout I talked with saw him as a potential number three starter, while other reports I read thought he'd be better suited to the bullpen where his size and fastball/slider combo would play well. He could obviously change that by out-pitching some of his prep pitching competition, but right now I see him as a sandwich round pick. Last year he probably would've gone in the top 20, so a lot of this has to do with the quality of this particular draft class.

Are there any ball players in the draft next year from Longview , Washington out of our community college or each of the high schools?

The closest player with first round potential to the Longview area is probably Greg Peavey, a prep righty from Hudson's Bay High School in Vancouver, Washington. I don't know of anyone from Mack Morris High School, R.A. Long High School or Lower Columbia Community College that currently rates as an early-round pick.

I have heard that Lower Columbia has a pretty strong program for a CC and have a great incoming group of recruits, so it wouldn't surprise me to see a Red Devil or two get drafted at some point this year. If you know of any players in particular, pass along their names and I'll keep an eye out.

More questions about the draft? Email Todd directly.

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