2007 MLB Draft: Sizing up the OF Prospects

The 2007 draft class is absolutely loaded with outfielders. Whether you're looking for toolsy prep players, polished college stars, or anything in between, there figures to be plenty to choose from next June. Now, let's take a closer look at next year's outfield crop.

Michael Burgess - Burgess already has big league tools at the age of 17. When he swings the bat, scouts rave about his explosive hands and ultra compact stroke. When he unleashes a throw from the outfield, every head is turned. He is essentially the prototypical big league right-fielder. At 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Burgess isn't built for speed, but he can still get around the bases and move in the outfield at an average to slightly above average pace. Most scouts project middle of the lineup type production from the toolsy outfielder and they feel that he is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential.

What may impress scouts the most about Burgess are his baseball instincts. Those instincts have shown up big time in recent showcase events on the bases, in the outfield, and at the plate. He can hit the ball to right field, as well as turn on a good fastball, but the best has still yet to come.

Brett Krill - Krill, who has already given a verbal commitment to UCLA, has also drawn attention from professional scouts. He's a strong, rangy outfielder with tremendous raw power that is playable to all fields. His speed projects as a plus tool despite his large 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame, but he will need to learn some base running savvy down the road.

Most teams will scout the California standout for his projection, not for his polish. He may be a project, but there are no questions about his raw skills. If he can reach his ceiling, many scouts believe that Krill could be a player similar to Moises Alou, a long time big league run producing outfielder.

Closest To The Majors

Corey Brown - In Corey Brown, scouts will find everything they could possibly want in an early round draft selection. Many players continue to receive attention merely because of their huge upside and potential, others may put up gaudy statistics but offer little upside at the professional but Brown offers the tools and the statistics, becoming a star at the collegiate level for Oklahoma State.

Mechanically, he shows very few flaws at the plate and has advanced base running instincts to go along with plus speed. Following two splendid college seasons, he looks like a player on the fast track to stardom. Just about everything he does is more advanced than the typical amateur player, but his upside may also match some of the top prep outfielders in the draft class.

Michael Taylor - Since his high school days, Taylor has been considered an elite professional prospect. Only his unrefined ability as a high schooler kept him from the pros two years ago, and it appears that college was exactly what the doctor ordered. Taylor has grown leaps and bounds as a player for Stanford, refining his raw tools and becoming a far more polished all around ballplayer.

At 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, he resembles a young Frank Thomas and is just beginning to learn to use his huge raw power. The speed is there, although he hasn't mastered the art of base stealing and may have better first to third speed as a professional player. He looks like a future right-fielder, but if he adds some bulk to his already extra large frame, teams may look to move him to first base.

The "Sleepers"

Todd Frazier - It has been a while since Todd Frazier starred for Toms River in the Little League World Series. Since then, most scouts believe that he has outgrown the shortstop position and possibly even third base as well, and that he projects much better as professional outfielder. Only time will answer that question for sure, but one thing not in doubt about the Rutgers standout is his offensive talent.

He's been a quality run producer in college and figures to move quickly up the minor league ladder barring any unforeseen developments. He'll need to cut back on his strikeouts to successfully hit for average as a pro, but most scouts agree that his power is a plus tool at any level.

Sequoyah Stonecipher - One of the toolsiest prospects in the mix for the 2007 MLB Draft, Stonecipher could potentially have it all. He is also a classic example of a player with extremely raw tools that scouts aren't sure wheher he'll learn to use.

If he can learn to utilize his speed, strong build, and raw power, we could be looking at a potential future star. Many questions remain, however, about the usability of those tools. He'll be one to keep a very close eye on.


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