TigsTown Draft Notebook: The Boras Factor

Scott Boras is well known for being baseball's super agent, and that doesn't just apply to the staggering amount of big league stars he represents, it also extends to the draft, where he has racked up several of the draft's biggest names this year.

What does it mean? Well, there are always the potential spots where his clients could windup due to the signability issues that always surround them. There could also be some interesting negotiations due to the new August 15 signing window, as teams will have to ultimately decide whether to pull the trigger on signing someone from his stable with the real possibility of raising the ire of the Commissioner's Office with a higher bonus than baseball will recommend.

Among Boras' crop this year are Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters, who still ranks as one of the top position players available, and he should be one of the first players off the board in June.

Florida slugger Matt LaPorta should be one of the first seniors to be drafted thanks to his power bat (.426 BA, 16 HR's), but you can bet he won't sign for what you would typically see a senior sign for.

It is an incredibly thin year for college right-handers, but Boras could have the top two in this year's draft. Max Scherzer still hasn't signed with the Diamondbacks and will make several starts for the Fort Worth Cats of the American Association before the draft, just as Luke Hochevar did last year. If he shows his explosive stuff, he could enhance his value as Hochevar significantly did.

One right-hander who will be in the draft regardless is giant-sized Andrew Brackman from N.C. State, who has flashed a fastball that has been clocked at 98, but has also been hit hard in a few outings and does have a bit of an injury history. Another right-hander Boras has is TCU's Jake Arrieta, who like Brackman has been up and down.

Boras also represents two of the top college closers available this year in Georgia's Josh Fields and South Carolina's Wynn Pelzer, although Fields has struggled mightily this spring. Boras also has Tennessee outfielder Julio Borbon, who is still rounding into form after breaking his ankle before the season started.

Boras' high school crop might be where he makes the most impact, as he will be advising power right-handers Matt Harvey (Connecticut), Rick Porcello (New Jersey), and Greg Peavey (Washington). Harvey and Porcello each could be among the first 10 picks in the draft, and Peavey's low-90's heat to go with a nasty slider makes him a candidate to go in the first round as well.

One of the biggest risers this spring has been Chatsworth (Ca.) shortstop Mike Moustakas, who broke his own school record for the third time by crushing 15 home runs so far this year. Some scouts think his future lies behind the plate, but there is no question he has put himself in a position to go in the first round.

Kentrail Davis (Alabama) missed the first month of the season after a car accident led to whiplash and a minor back injury, but is back playing, and showcasing his five-tool talent. Two years ago, Boras had a deep crop of college players that included the likes of right-handers Mike Pelfrey and Mark McCormick, as well as first baseman Jeff Larish, whom the Tigers tabbed in the fifth round.

Before the draft, Boras put word out to all teams that his players were ready to sign, and almost of them signed early with the exception of Pelfrey. With the stellar high school crop he has, I doubt Boras will put this type of notice out this year, and there is no question his clients will be definite wild cards in the draft as they always are.

Will the Tigers be able to turn one of his clients into a steal as they did with Larish? The likely answer is no, as the majority of his players should be taken by the time the Tigers make their selection (27th overall), but if Moustakas falls to them, or if Harvey or Porcello inexplicably lands at their spot, they will have a hard time not making that selection, despite the heavy price tags both will carry.


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