Red Sox Prospect No. 25: David Mailman

Editor's Note: Diehard Magazine is in the midst of its third annual countdown of the top 50 prospects in the Red Sox chain today. Subscribe to our print magazine in order to learn even more on the top 50! Today: The countdown continues with the no. 25 prospect, outfielder David Mailman.

Every year, scouting directors talk about landing players who have a limitless desire for the game. The Red Sox actually landed one in David Mailman.

"He's such an excitable kid, he could sleep on the field if you let him," Sox director of amateur scouting said of Mailman, whom the Sox selected in the seventh round of the 2007 draft out of a North Carolina high school. "He loves being out there, to the point where you've got to slow him down some times, tell him to relax."

As a high school product, the Sox will take it slow with Mailman, who turned down a scholarship offer to Wake Forest in order to sign with the Sox just before the Aug. 15 deadline. But there's reason to believe he could move quicker than Jason Place, the high school outfielder the Sox selected in the first round of the 2006 draft.

Mailman has already tested himself against the best prep talent in the country: His coach at Providence High School, Danny Hignight, believes Providence played in the most competitive conference in North Carolina. And during the summer after his junior season, Mailman played for Allied Impact Baseball, which finished third in two of the top tourneys in the land in Florida and Georgia.

In addition, Mailman is further along offensively than Place, who spent most of his first full pro season working on a hitch in his swing. The Sox are excited by Mailman's left-handed stroke, and club officials and Mailman alike believe he will hit for more power as he matures.

"Everyone talks about my swing," Mailman said after the draft last year. "I'm a left-handed hitter [who has the] ability to hit to all fields. My power is going to come, I'm not physically mature yet, but that's going to happen someday."

Defensively, Mailman was listed as a first baseman and an outfielder in draft literature, but he spent his senior season at Providence in centerfield and projects as a corner outfielder going forward. Given the Sox' willingness to challenge teenagers with an assignment to Greenville in their first full season, don't be surprised if Mailman is patrolling the Drive's outfield less than a year removed from his high school graduation.

"For me, he's too athletic to kind of limit him to first base," McLeod said. "And I'm not sure, with his frame, if he's going to have the kind of first base power that you would want. But he's got a really pretty swing, a really good idea of what he wants to do as a hitter.

"He's another kid that we think we should be excited [about]."


Previous prospects ranked No. 25:
2007: Ryan Kalish, OF
2006: Adam Stern, OF (traded to Orioles in October 2007)
2005: Cla Meredith, P (traded to Padres in May 2006)

DIEHARD 2008 TOP 50 PROSPECTS
50.) Travis Beazley, P
49.) Beau Vaughan, P
48.) Ty Weeden, C
47.) Mike Jones, 1B
46.) Tommy Hottovy, P
45.) Chad Spann, 3B
44.) Yamaico Navarro, SS
43.) Chad Rhoades, P
42.) Mike James, P
41.) Jay Johnson, OF
40.) Jeff Natale, IF
39.) George Kottaras, C
38.) Bryce Cox, P
37.) Daniel Haigwood, P
36.) Che-Hsuan Lin, OF
35.) Edgar Martinez, P
34.) Andrew Pinckney, 3B
33.) Dusty Brown, C
32.) Jason Place, OF
31.) Jeff Corsaletti, OF
30.) Argenis Diaz, SS
29.) Daniel Bard, P
28.) Brock Huntzinger, P
27.) Adam Mills, P
26.) David Pauley, P
25.) David Mailman, OF


Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.

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