Note: The first five selections are featured here, picks six through ten will be named in next week's draft notebook.
This is all speculation on my part and will likely vary from other people's opinions on these players, but this will also provide a glimpse as to where the draft's strengths and weaknesses lie, so without any further ado, here are my round-by-round selections:
1. Chris Marrero, 3B, Monsignor Pace HS, Florida
Even though Marrero has fought hamstring injuries and has been overshadowed somewhat by teammate Adrian Cardenas this year, he has a great chance at finishing in double figures in homers and his team is ranked second in the country. Marrero is a potential five-tool performer at the hot corner, and those types of players don't come along very often. Marrero would be a welcome addition to a franchise that badly needs to add above-average players to the organization.
2. Jason Place, OF, Wren HS, South Carolina
This is the trickiest pick to pick because so many players can be at this spot. Like Marrero, Place is a potential five-tool performer and has had several teams, including the Tigers, work him out privately at his high school. The biggest question with Place will be his signability. He has signed with South Carolina, and the Gamecocks usually keep their recruits, especially those from South Carolina. If Place is signable, he would be a great get here, and there would be a good chance that he could go earlier.
Kyler Burke, OF, Ooltewah HS, Tennessee
Burke is one of the top two-way players in the Southeast and has touched 93 as a left-handed pitcher. However, his power from the left side is more attractive and he has dominated his competition this spring, hitting .585 with 13 homers and 41 RBIs. He has also drawn 18 walks and fanned just seven times in 53 at-bats, and has swiped six bases. Complicating Burke's draft status is his commitment to Vanderbilt, which rarely loses recruits to the draft, so that will be the biggest obstacle.
4. Steven Wright, RHP, Hawaii
Wright has made a great transformation from closer to starter for the Rainbows this spring. After going 3-0 with a 0.63 ERA and 12 saves for Orleans, the Cape Cod League champions last summer, Wright is 6-2 with a 3.12 ERA and has 79 strikeouts and only 12 walks in 72 innings. He also owns a win over USC's Ian Kennedy, when the two hooked up in February. Wright can touch the mid-90's with his fastball and has a good slider as well. He also throws a curveball and a changeup.
5. Ben Snyder, LHP, Ball State
A draft-eligible sophomore, Snyder has had a rough go of it lately, getting roughed up in a head-to-head showdown with fellow MAC prospect Keith Weiser, and a tough outing last week against Kent State. In spite of his recent struggles, he owns a win over Vanderbilt's David Price, a likely choice for the top pick in the 2007 draft, and he has allowed 53 hits in 59 innings with 59 strikeouts. Snyder was the top prospect in the Great Lakes League last summer according to Baseball America, and owns a fastball that sits in the 89-91 range with a cutter and a slider.