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Last Book Excerpts

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Here are the last three players in the 2008 Baseball Prospect Book. I am still working on the sleeper report for the newsletter.

Lance Zawadzki, SS, San Diego Padres
Bats: S Throws: R HT: 5-11 WT: 185 DOB: May 26, 1985

Zawadzki was drafted in the fourth round last June, out of Lee University in Tennessee. He had previously played at San Diego State, but injuries cost him playing time there and he didn't really thrive until transferring to Lee. Scouts like his tools, especially his speed and arm strength. He needs to get more consistent with the bat, and he might not develop much home run power, although his pop to the gaps can be impressive. His pro debut was OK, and he's worth keeping an eye on with some sleeper potential. Grade C.

Danny Zell, LHP, Detroit Tigers
Bats: L Throws: L HT: 6-5 WT: 210 DOB: November 27, 1981

Zell was picked in the fifth round of the '03 draft, out of the University of Houston. A big lefty with a mediocre (85-89 MPH) fastball, he has a good curve and can be tough on lefties, holding them to a .183 mark last year for Erie. He made huge improvement with his control last year, and if that remains intact he will be a LOOGY candidate for the Detroit bullpen in '08. Keep track of his K/IP and K/BB ratios; if they remain strong, he will continue to pitch well and will get a shot soon enough. Grade C.

Jordan Zimmerman, RHP, Washington Nationals
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-2 WT: 200 DOB: May 23, 1986

I love this guy. Zimmerman was a second round pick last June, from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. A strong overall athlete, he was dominant in college but didn't go higher in the draft because he pitched for a small school. He's got great stuff: a 91-94 MPH hard sinker, a good curveball and an improving changeup. He had a nasty slider in college, but the Nationals wouldn't let him use it much as a pro, wanting him to concentrate on his other pitches. His pro debut in the New York-Penn League was excellent, with sharp K/BB, K/IP, and H/IP marks across the board. Great numbers, good stuff, what more could you ask for? If he stays healthy I think he will move rapidly. Grade B.