As the 2012 high school and college season progresses, I will post more about players available this year. Some will separate themselves from the pack, others will fade or get hurt, but a few have already looked a cut above for next season. Here are five that I have noticed.
Whitson was polished out of high school and turned down $2.1 million to attend Florida. It looks like that choice will pay dividends as he should go in the top three picks. He has three average to plus pitches with a low to mid 90's fastball with very good movement, a nice breaking ball and a good change already. He cuts off his delivery by not following thru, but that is about the only knock against him.
Wilson also turned down a large sum out of high school to attend Stanford. Wilson is a physical specimen and looks the part of a future superstar standing 6'5" and 245 pounds. He is athletic, has a rocket arm, huge raw power that is translating into usable power and doesn't strike out a ton. His swing can get long but all power hitters that use their long levers for power tend to do this.
Hollon isn't a big guy like the top high school pitcher this season, Lucas Giolito. He is 6'1 and 190 pounds but has a big arm. He sits in the 92-94 MPH range and can get up to 97. He has good command for his age and stuff. He has a plus breaking ball and good feel for a change. He uses his athleticism to unleash this velocity from an easy delivery and he should be one of the first high school players taken in 2013.
Ficociello is a much better athlete than you would think for a college 1B. He isn't C.J. Cron that is for sure. He was a high school SS and could potentially play 3B at the next level. Wherever he plays, the bat will work. He has a smooth line drive swing, makes great contact, works counts and can hit a few out of the park. He won't be a prototypical 1B but could be above average there or be a great 3B if a team tries him there.
Austin Hedges has recieved rave reviews for his defensive prowess behind the plate out of high school. Before that it was Max Stassi. Next in this line is Jeremy Martinez. He is very advanced with his actions defensively and knows what he is doing at the plate as well. He has a balanced easy swing that stays in the zone for a long time. His stance kind of resembles another player that just landed in California. Any guesses who I am talking about? He doesn't have huge power but he could develop above average power while hitting a ton of doubles in the mean time. I think he will hit for average and be a solid backstop for a long time.