Rob Rasmussen of UCLA
Here is a Baker's Dozen to round out the 25 Additional Pitching Prospects for the 2010 draft I posted last night.
Kevin Munson, RHP, James Madison University
Munson's 95-97 MPH heater and nasty slider give him overpowering stuff, though a high-effort delivery and concerns about his durability will likely confine him to relief as a pro. He's done great in that role this spring, with a 0.76 ERA and a 51/17 K/BB in 35 innings for James Madison, allowing only 18 hits with six saves. He is a first-day option for any team looking to add a power arm to their farm system relief corps.
James Paxton, LHP, Grand Prairie (American Association)
Unsigned lefty drafted by the Blue Jays from the University of Kentucky last June, he tried to return to school at Kentucky but ran afoul of the newly-enforced "can't have an agent" regulations and is now in independent ball. We won't get to see him pitch before May. Last year he had a terrific 115/20 K/BB ratio in just 78 innings at Kentucky, but with an oddly high 5.86 ERA. Has a 92-96 MPH heater and a big-breaking curve, but can be erratic. Could go anywhere from late in the first round to the third round depending on what happens in May and what his bonus demands are.
Adam Plutko, RHP, Glendora HS, Upland, California
Overshadowed by other high school pitchers, Plutko throws 88-92 MPH but should get faster as he fills out. He has a good curve but needs to improve his changeup. A UCLA commitment and his relatively rawness compared to other preps could hurt his stock, but if deemed signable he could go late in the second round or in the third.
Rob Rasmussen, LHP, UCLA
Not a big guy at 5-10, but gets people out with a 90-94 MPH heater, a plus curve, and a decent changeup. He's 6-0, 2.52 with a 69/21 K/BB in 50 innings with 37 hits allowed for the 27-6 Bruins. His lack of size will keep him out of the first round, but he could go in the supplemental round or in the second to anyone looking for a live-armed lefty who could advance rapidly.
Seth Rosin, RHP, University of Minnesota
Rosin may have the best command in the college ranks this year, at least if his stunning 49/2 K/BB ratio in 56 innings is any indication. On the other hand, his 4.15 ERA is just okay by contextual standards, and he's given up 57 hits. He has an average fastball and breaking ball, a big durable-looking body, and obviously throws strikes with ease. His fastball is a bit too short for him to go in the first two rounds, but he could be picked anywhere from the third round and beyond. The Twins have a long-standing interest in local players and picked Rosin out of high school back in 2007. He went in the 28th round then, but will go much higher this year.
Andrelton Simmons, RHP, Western Oklahoma State Junior College
A terrific athlete with a lively 93-95 MPH fastball, Simmons is raw and needs refinement with his secondary pitches and command, but has tremendous upside. He is also an effective hitter, but scouts like him on the mound. From the Netherlands Antilles, Simmons could go as early as the second round under the right circumstances, and has at least a chance of sneaking into the supplemental round.
Jordan Swagerty, RHP, Arizona State University
Arizona State's closer has performed great statistically with a 1.29 ERA, a 28/8 K/BB in 21 innings, 17 hits allowed, and 10 saves. He has good stuff, too, working at 92-95 MPH with a plus breaking ball and good control. He has the attitude scouts want in a reliever, and although he's not a huge guy at 6-1, 180, he has a chance to close at the major league level. He could go in the supplemental round and won't gets past the fourth.
Jake Thompson, RHP, Long Beach State University
Thompson has been one of the brighter spots for the 16-17 Dirtbags, though his 4.76 ERA and 50/16 K/BB with 59 hits in 57 innings are just okay, but he's always had a very good arm, with a 90-96 MPH fastball, solid changeup, and erratic-but-promising breaking stuff. This is another guy who hasn't received as much notice as he perhaps deserves, but looks like a candidate for late in the second round or the third round. He might go a notch higher to a team with multiple picks.
Daniel Tillman, RHP, Florida Southern College
Another college reliever who could advance quickly in pro ball, Tillman has a 90-95 MPH fastball with sharp control and a very good curveball. He's picked up 12 saves with a 3.30 ERA and a 49/17 K/BB in 30 innings with 29 hits allowed. The walks are a bit high, but the K/IP rate is excellent. Tillman is well-known to scouts from the Cape Cod League, and coming from a smaller school (although one with a good baseball tradition) should not hinder his draft stock very much.
Cody Wheeler, LHP, Coastal Carolina University
Coastal Carolina is having a great year with a 33-5 record, and Wheeler is a big part of that, going 6-0, 3.88 with a 61/21 K/BB in 60 innings with 56 hits allowed. He has an 88-91 MPH fastball, but his slider is one of the better ones in the college ranks. His changeup isn't bad, and he looked great last year for Team USA. Projected to go in the third or fourth round, I think he's a sleeper who could end up exceeding expectations.
Austin Wood, RHP, St. Petersburg Junior College
More and more teams are paying attention to the junior college ranks, and one of the best arms there this year is Wood, who has a low-to-mid-90s fastball and a workable slider and changeup. He has good size at 6-4, 220, but has problems with erratic command. He is relatively raw and will need development time, but has enough upside to go as high as the late second round.
Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Amherst Regional High School, Massachusetts
A cold-weather high schooler, Ziomek has a Vanderbilt commitment and may be tough to sign if he doesn't go early enough in the draft. He features an average fastball at 86-88 MPH, but his slider, curveball, and changeup are all advanced considering his background and he has a good feel for pitching. He may best be served going to college, but someone interested in a good cold-weather arm could take a stab early enough to sign him. The Red Sox often grab New England guys and aren't afraid to take signability risks.