CF Donavan Tate, Cartersville (Ga.) HS
Son of NFL running back Lars Tate, this two-way star is the best athlete in the draft. Tate is a plus runner and has great range to cover center field. Did I mention he has a plus arm? Tate has good bat speed. He tends to get pull happy and needs to work on his approach. His hitting is not a raw as people are saying, as he puts the barrel on the ball. He is committed to play both football and baseball at North Carolina. Tate's agent is Scott Boras so he is going to cost some money to get him to forego college. Tate ran a 4.4-40 and sports a 94 mph fastball – no wonder Kevin Towers has been watching him closely.
RHP Keyvius Sampson, Forest HS, Ocala, Fla.
Is a top arm in the state of Florida. This two-way player could be drafted as either a pitcher or as a hitter. He has more value as a pitcher. This 6-foot-1, 180-pound athletic player sports a fastball that sits 90-92 and can touch 96. He has an easy, effortless delivery, and with his athletic frame ,he should be able to throw even harder. He as a power curve that is 16-20 mph slower than his fastball. He has a feel on his changeup that will get better later on. He has average to good control. He needs to be more consistent with his arm angle. He has a committment to play for the Seminoles of Florida State. He will likely go pro if he is drafted in the first three rounds.
RHP Dylan Floro, Buhach Colony HS, Atwater, Calif.
This 6-foot-1, 170-pound pitcher has been on the radar for a while with scouts. He was the ace of the team for the last two years, even over last year's Padres 15th round pick Brett Mooneyham. He throws a three-quarters arm angle that sits low 90's and tops out at 94. He has a good slider that will be a plus pitch. He likes to throw his changeup, which is a positive. His command is good. He was rated as a supplemental to early second round pick but his fastball mph has been up and down so far this year. With his frame, he should be able to add more zip on his fastball. He is committed to play at Cal St. Fullerton.
RHP Robert Stock, USC
Stock was rated in the first two rounds of this draft as a catcher. This year, hitting .226, his stock take a major drive. Then USC had him working as a pitcher and now his stock is rising. His fastball sits 92-93 and he hits 95 regularly. He has a good curveball that can be a plus pitch and the workings of a changeup. Stock likes to throw his breaking pitch in any count. Stock may be raw as a pitcher but you have to remember he is only 19 year old (He skipped his senior High School year to go to USC). He can be a starter or at least a good closer.
SS Deven Marrero, American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla
Brother of Nationals 2006 first round pick Chris Merrero. Chris was known for his bat and not his glove. Well Deven is the opposite; he has a plus arm, good range and quick hands. He can stay at the shortstop position. His problem is he was slow in hitting department the first part of his High School senior year. He has good bat speed. He is wiry 6-foot-1, 180-pounds and will have add weight to his frame. He is a tick above average runner but ran a 6.7 60-yard dash this spring so he does have untapped speed. He is does get pull happy and will need to work on his approach. Merrero comes from a High School that has graduated recent players like Adrian Nieto, Juan Carlos Sulbaran, Eric Hosmer, and Chris Marrero.
Player that might fall to later rounds due to signability or injuries.
Catcher Luke Bailey, Troup HS, LaGrange, Ga
Bailey is considered one of the top prep catchers to come out of the draft. A good hitter, he has power that will eventually blossom. He has an above average arm and is also a good runner for a catcher. Bailey did lose some of his power during the season because he was changing mechanics in his swing. The reason why he is falling is he just had Tommy John surgery in April. He has a commitment to Auburn U. Bailey is a good talent that the Padres should look at.
Players to watch
RHP Jacob Tuner Westminster Christian Academy, St. Louis
This 6-foot-5, 205-pounder was listed as late to middle first rounder last summer. Now, he is one of the top right-handed pitchers in the draft. His fastball sits 91-94 and top out at 98. He has a plus curveball and an average changeup right now. He likes to mix in all of his pitches, which is a plus. He lacks control on his secondary pitches. With his tall frame, he has difficulty repeating his pitching mechanics. He has lots of projection in his body so he may end up throwing even harder. He has Scott Boras as an agent and is asking for Rick Porcello type money.
RHP Zack Wheeler East Pauling HS, Dallas GA
Georgia has recently become a hot bed of High School talent with Wheeler the top pitcher. His fastball sits 90-93 and tops out 95. He has a curveball that is 77-80 mph – also a plus pitch. He has some feel for as changeup but needs work on it. He command is good with the fastball and ok with the secondary stuff. Wheeler is tall with long arms. He has tons of projection to his body.
LHP Tyler Matzek Capistrano Valley HS, Mission Viejo CA
Matzek and Matthew Purke came into the summer as the top HS left-handers. Now, Matzek is considered the top southpaw thanks to a fastball that sits 90-93 and just hit 98 in his last outing. He has a good curveball that has a good snap. He has a slider that is good that has some bite. His has a feel for the changeup but does not throw it often. He has very good pitching mechanics that help him with his control.
RHP Bryan Berglund, Royal HS, Simi Valley, Calif.
He was not known until this summer and now is one of the fastest risers in the draft. This duel citizen (born in Sweden) sports a fastball sitting 90-92. He has a good changeup, which is rare for a high school pitcher. He has a slider that is good and has a chance to be a plus pitch. He has projection to his 6-foot-4 frame. He needs to work on his stamina. His fastball loses 3-4 mph in the later innings. He needs to mix his pitchers more and not stick to his fastball. He is committed to Loyola Marymount.
RHP Matt Thomson, USD
Thomson did not have a great year at USD. He was a relief pitcher then became the Friday starter because of injuries. Thomson's fastball sits 91-92 and top off at 94. He has a good slider and change. He curve is loopy and needs some work. His command as relief pitcher was better than as a starter. He needs some work on his pitching mechanics. He still has projection in his body. When I saw him, his stuff was better as a relief pitcher. I see the Padres looking at Thomson after the first five rounds of the draft.
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