2009 Draft Review Prospects No. 15-18

The Dodgers Class of 2009, numbering 31 in all, compares favorable with the last several year classes. Today we take a look at four players from the middle rounds who had good debut seasons, including third baseman Jeff Hunt, catcher/DH Michael Pericht, RHP Steve Ames and LHP Greg Wilbourn. Selections 11-14 will appear Monday.

15. 3B Jeff Hunt. When L.A. scout Matt Paul called Hunt to congratulate the power-hitting third-baseman for being drafted by the Dodgers, he said, "I'm as surprised as anyone. They called two days before the draft. I talked to a guy for a minute and a half. That's the only time I ever talked to anyone."

The young (18) third baseman from St. Benedictine HS, Ontario was ranked the second-best position prospect in Canada in the class of 2009 by pgcrosschecker.com and played for the Canadian Junior National Team.

A left handed hitter with excellent size at 6'2, 190, he was overwhelmed by the Arizona Rookie League and finished with a .172 average over 18 games. Didn't play until July, then saw most of his action in August.

JEFFREY HUNT  6-2  190  bl  tr
Born- February 13, 1991 in Cambridge, Ontario
School- St. Benedictine High School, Ontario, Canada

team		 ave   obp  gm  ab  r   h  2b 3b hr  bi  sb
AZ Rook		.172  .243  18  64  4  11   1  1  0   2  2
16. C Michael Pericht was drafted as a catcher out of St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana where he carried a .337 batting average this past season for the Pumas, hitting 10 doubles and a team high 12 homeruns.?

?During the last three years at St. Joseph's, Pericht played in 147 games starting 145 and was amongst the all-time leaders in several offensive categories. His 22 homeruns ranks him third all-time. ?

While he served mostly as a designated hitter, he has a strong arm and a quick release and could move back behind the plate in 2010.

Pericht started slowly in the Arizona Rookie League, hitting .214 in June, peaked in July with a .263 average plus five doubles and a home run, then fell off again in August (.132), finishing with a .211 average but with good power. Ten of his 23 hits went for extra bases, including six doubles and 19 RBI in 114 plate appearances.

MICHAEL PERICHT  6-5  225  br  tr
Born- May 23, 1988 in Palos Park, IL
School- St. Joseph's College, Indiana

team		 ave   obp  gm   ab  r   h  2b 3b hr  bi  sb
AZ Rook		.211  .345  35  109 16  23   6  0  4  19   0
17. RHP Steve Ames was drafted out of Gonzaga where he earned All-West Coast Conference honorable mention honors after posting an 8-2, 3.91 record over 15 games, 14 of them starts, with a team-high three complete games. He struck out 70 and walked 21.

Sent to Ogden, he worked 17 games, all in relief, and acquitted himself nicely. He gave up only 20 hits in 30 innings, walked but six and struck out 47.

He allowed one run in June and his second run in July, taking a microscopic 0.28 earned run into the final four games. He allowed four runs over his final 4.2 innings and finished with a 2.10 earned run average while allowing opponents only a .192 batting average.

Some scouts think his upside will be limited because his fastball is timed in 89-91 but the young man can pitch, which is somewhat rare in young pitchers who often record gaudy college record with a blazing fastball.

And the Dodgers remember that Greg Maddux crafted a pretty good record with a fastball in the 85 mph range.

STEVEN AMES  6-1  2105  br  tr
Born- March 15, 1988 in Vancouver, WA
School- Gonzaga

team	w-l   era  gm  gs  sv   in   h  bb  so  ave
Ogden  1-1  2.10  17   0   7  30.0  20  6  47  .192
18. LHP Greg Wilborn, had nearly given up on the second day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft but then Los Angeles Dodgers scout Matt Paul sent Wilborn a text message with a question: What would you do if the Dodgers drafted you? Wilborn texted back: "We'll talk about it." They did and he did.

Wilborn, who was projected by some draft experts to go between the sixth and 12th round, is a hard-throwing left-hander who had 46 strikeouts in 46 innings this season. But he also hit 15 batters and walked 34. In his first year back from elbow ligament reconstruction surgery, going 3-4 with a 7.83 ERA in 12 appearances.

Wilborn, who was projected by some draft experts to go between the sixth and 12th round, received a text message with congratulations from Louisiana-Lafayette coach Tony Robichaux. "The thing they like about him is that he has a loose arm that will throw very hard," Robichaux said. "He's been up to 92-93 (miles per hour) before. Once you hit that velocity range and have a loose arm, they will look past everything else."

Jim Callis, executive editor of Baseball America", said Some scouts have heard that he's touched 94 (miles per hour), but he's a Tommy John (surgery) guy and has some durability questions because of that. He didn't have a great year, but sometimes it helps for a guy like that to be able to go and throw some innings (in the minors) and not worry about winning or losing."

The 6-2, 175 pounder was sent to Ogden, bypassing the Arizona Rookie League, and appeared in a dozen games, allowing 25 hits in 19.1 innings and striking out 23 while walking 16.

He took a 4.74 earned run average into his final two games and was battered, boosting his ERA nearly three runs

GREGORY WILBORN 6-2  175  bl tl
Born- June 3, 1987 in Albuquerque, NM
School- Louisiana-Layfayette

team	w-l  era   gm  gs   in    h  bb  so  ave
Ogden	2-0  7.45  12   0  19.1  25  16  23  .302