As the days toward the draft dwindle, there is one college pitcher who has done more than solidify his status as a first-rounder.
Stanford's Greg Reynolds has always been coveted by the scouts. Most pitchers who stand 6-foot-7 and have the potentially overpowering stuff he has will get you a lot of notice. Reynolds fell to the Phillies in the 41st round as a prep star due to his firm commitment to the Cardinals.
After winning just six games in his first two years, Reynolds has already won six this spring with a solid 3.17 ERA, but he has been spectacular in his last three starts. On April 28, he fired a three-hitter to beat Arizona State and he followed that by beating Brandon Morrow and California with a six-hitter on May 5. However, Reynolds saved his best for last Friday night, when he struck out nine and threw his first shutout in college with a win over Tim Lincecum and Washington.
Overall, Reynolds has allowed just 17 hits and three runs in in his last three outings, all of which were complete games. Reynolds not only projects to go in the first round, but there has been talk of him moving up near the top 10 picks.
Another right-hander that is trying to work his way back up draft boards is Missouri's Max Scherzer, who has missed several starts due to shoulder problems. He made his return to the mound in a relief effort against Baylor, racking up six strikeouts in four innings of work. Scherzer has made two starts since his relief effort, and has pitched well. He had seven strikeouts in six innings against Mississippi Valley State, and went seven innings and allowed just five hits and a run to Texas Tech last Saturday. Scherzer will get his toughest test of the year when Texas comes to town this weekend, and if he has a good outing, he will move up, even though he is a Boras client.
One of the best stories of the draft belongs to left-hander Scott Maine, a draft-eligible sophomore at Miami, Fl, who has had a Murphy's Law-type career with the Hurricanes. As a prep star in 2003, he was drafted by Seattle in the 15th round, but elected to go to school. That summer, he appeared in the inaugural AFLAC All-American High School Game, and was struck in the face by a line drive.
After enrolling at Miami, he had to undergo Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2004. Maine worked limited innings in 2005 as he rehabbed, and he seemed to be on the way back, but a car accident last summer nearly took his life. Because of the facial injuries he suffered, Maine wears a protective mask on the mound to shield him from batted balls hit at him. Maine has been somewhat inconsistent this spring, but has flashed the vast potential he has in several starts this year. Last Friday, Maine had the best outing of his career, as he combined with Jon McLean on a one-hitter, which Maine gave up the lone hit on the first pitch of the game to Matt Antonelli. Maine also recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts in the victory, and could go in the first five rounds of the draft, if he's signable.
Two high school player that have shot up many draft boards this spring are first baseman Lars Anderson from Jesuit High School in Fair Oaks, California and right-hander Sam Dyson from Tampa Jesuit in Florida.
Anderson is hitting .451 and has launched 14 home runs this spring with 42 RBIs, and in a hitting-starved draft, he has gotten a lot of attention. Once thought to be a good bet to get to school at California, the Bears may lose him with Anderson possibly going in the first five rounds.
Like Anderson, Dyson was considered a safe bet to reach South Carolina, but his velocity has jumped as high as 96-97 range, and more importantly, he has sat in the mid-90s deep into games. Dyson hasn't gotten the national attention that Florida pitchers Colton Willems and Matt Latos have, but he could surpass them on draft day, depending on how signable he is.