Draft Notes: Brady Rodgers, Mitch Nay

TEMPE, Ariz. - The draft is less than three months away and scouting season is in full swing. Two of the best prospects in Arizona, Brady Rodgers of ASU, and Hamilton High School's Mitch Nay, were in action this week and I was able to get a good look at both of them. In this edition of draft notes, we evaluate these two prospects, as well as Deven Marrero, and Justin Jones.

- Brady Rodgers was exactly as advertised on Friday night. His command was impeccable and he was able to effectively locate three pitches. Rodgers is not going to blow away professional hitters, and in that regard reminds me of Ian Kennedy in his collegiate days. Rodgers worked mostly at 90-91 mph, dropping to 88-89 a handful of times and topping out at 92. It's not a pitch he's putting past college hitters right now, nut his good movement and location allowed him to lock up a few Cal hitters. And, this is what he'll have to rely on as a professional.

What makes Rodgers such an attractive prospect, however, is his command of his secondary pitches. He locates an average curveball at 74-76 mph and has an uncanny ability to drop it in against lefty hitters on the outside corner. His changeup was also an impressive offering in this one, throwing it at 81-83 mph with strong two-seam action.

It would be a very conservative choice to take Rodgers in the first round in June. Realistically, he makes more sense as a sandwich or second round pick. Whoever takes him is probably going to get a fast moving arm who could be a third or fourth starter in the big leagues rather quickly.

- Mitch Nay, a righty swinging third baseman out of Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona, has been creating some serious buzz early in this scouting season. I dropped in for a look to see what it was all about this week and came away impressed. Nay is a long, projectable athlete who already has some good present strength. He showed some good actions at third base, as well as a plus arm that will obviously play well at the position.

His bat, while a little green, stood out. Nay shows present pull power, but also showed a good right-center field approach in game action. He stays inside the ball nicely and shows some decent pitch selection. He'll require some thorough scouting from interested teams to see how consistent his bat is, but the tools are clearly very impressive.

- California's Justin Jones was opposing Brady Rodgers and ASU on Friday night, but was not nearly as impressive as expected. The lefty has been known to reach 94 mph with his fastball, but on this night didn't break 88. He mostly pitched at 84-87 mph, mixing in a good downer curveball. The command was also an issue, but mainly you have to wonder about the lack of velocity.

- Last and certainly not least, I got another look at Deven Marrero. Despite an uncharacteristically careless throwing error, Marrero still looks like an elite defensive shortstop. And, the approach at the plate this spring looks even better than it did last summer.

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