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Brief Notes on the Top High School Prospects for 2011

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I will be working on longer write ups with more information on these players for my draft prospect book but here is a little information on about 50 of the best high school players available this season. They aren't in any specific order. The season is still young and I don't have a lot of updated information on many of these guys. It is mostly where they were last season but some have been updated this spring.

Daniel Norris, P , Science Hill HS, Johnson City, Tenn.: Norris has a 92-96 MPH FB with a plus CB and a good change for a HS pitcher, especially a lefty. He has room to get better and he needs polish.

Travis Harrison, OF/3B , Tustin (Calif.) HS:(draft prospect book write up) Harrison is right handed swinging power hitter and that is becoming more valuable all the time. There are fewer and fewer right handed power hitters all the time and that is his calling card. He is physically mature for a high school hitter and he has power to all fields. He has above average bat speed although his swing looks a little stiff sometimes. He lets the ball get deep into the zone before unleashing his swing and driving the ball. Though his swing is a little stiff and he can get his weight out front, he still has the power to drive the ball. At the Power Showcase in early 2010, Harrison hit a ball 504’, breaking Bryce Harper’s record by 2’. His record fell this year to fellow prep prospect Dan Vogelbach. He is a very good athlete and could play 3B in pro ball but I think he will likely be a corner outfielder down the line. He has the arm to play RF and would be an above average defensive LF. He isn’t a quick player but he can run well once he gets moving. He won’t steal many bases but he won’t clog them either. He is a good athlete and uses his athletic ability well. His biggest knock is the fact that he is inconsistent. He has all the tools to be a superstar offensively, but he needs refinement. He is more advanced than most high school hitters, but he still needs a lot of work. Once he works out his mechanical issues, watch out. As it stands, Harrison is my favorite prep bat and should be a mid to late 1st round pick.


Archie Bradley, P , Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS: Bradley is a great athlete who has a plus mid 90's fastball and a plus breaking ball. He's a two sport star committed to Oklahoma.

Bubba Starling, OF/P , Gardner Edgerton HS, Gardner, Kan.: Starling is a great athlete who can pitch, but will be an Outfielder if he doesn't end up a QB. He reminds me of a more athletic David McCarty, the former top Twins Prospect.

Joshua Tobias, 2B , Southeast Guilford Greensboro NC: Tobias is a 3B now, but I think his arm will relegate him to 2B. He is short and stocky and has a really quick bat. He is really fast and has a lot of raw power. He could be a 20-20 guy at 2B.

Dylan Bundy, P , Owasso (Okla.) HS: Stocky righty with great velocity. I don't love the arm wrap behind his body but he has held up well so far. Stuff is top of the draft.

Michael Kelly, P ,  West Boca Raton (Boca Raton Fla.): Very good delivery with no mechanical flaws and top velocity. Big breaking curve with good command. Top of the draft talent. Could even add to the 96 he currently throws.

Henry Owens, P , Edison HS, Huntington Beach, Calif.: Big lefty sits low 90's but could add a few MPH's when he adds strength. He knows what he's doing on the mound. He has a big, slow breaking ball as well.

Dillon Howard, P , Searcy (Ark.) HS: Howard is a tall righty who can run it up to the mid 90's but sits more 92-93. Has a powerful low 80's slider as well as a solid changeup from a high schooler.

Dillon Maples, P , Pinecrest HS, Southern Pines, N.C.: Maples has a low 90's fastball and a sharp slider. He needs some polish but he has a lot of potential.

Nick Burdi, P ,  Downers Grove South Downers Grove IL: His upper 90's velocity will take him a ways in pro ball. Low 3/4 delivery gives him a solid slider. Top of the draft talent

Blake Swihart, C , Rio Rancho, N.M.: Swihart has a line drive swing with potential for home run power. He is a solild defensively and is one of the best catching prospects in the 2011 draft.

Derek Fisher, OF , Cedar Crest, Rexmont, PA: Fisher has a beautiful swing. He's already 6'3, 205 and could end up outgrowing the OF. He should hit enough for any position though. Huge raw power.

Francisco Lindor, SS , Montverde (Fla.) Academy: Lindor has a lot of value defensively but doesn't have much of a bat at this point. He's mostly a slap and run guy. Some scouts project 20+ HR's though.

Joshua Bell, OF , Jesuit HS, Dallas TX: Really athletic player. Nice swing with huge potential. Great arm in the OF. Top of the draft talent. Reminds me of Preston Wilson early in his career.

Austin Hedges, C , JSerra Catholic, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.: Hedges is loose and athletic for a catcher. He may not be built like a rock, but he can catch and he's a good hitter. He reminds me a little of Buster Posey.

Tyler Beede, P , Lawrence Academy, Groton, Mass.: Beede has a projectable body and already has a 4 pitch mix that he has command of. He is polished and has the upside of a #2 starter.

Austin Slater, 3B , The Bolles HS, Jacksonville, Fla.: Slater has a really nice swing with some power. I like his strong two handed finish. His range may make him more suited for 3B and he definitely has the arm for the hot corner.

Brandon Nimmo, OF ,  East HS,Cheyenne, Wyo.: Nimmo doesn't have high school ball where he is from, so he is raw since he only plays summer ball. He has a great feel for hitting though.

Bryan Brickhouse, P , The Woodlands (The Woodlands, Texas): Brickhouse is a loose lean righty with potential. His command is lacking and doesn't have the stuff of his former teammate Jameson Taillon. He needs to gain polish but has a good ceiling.

Christian Montgomery, P , Lawrence Central HS, Indianapolis: Montgomery has a 92-95 MPH fastball with a really good breaking ball and a nice changeup. His biggest flaw is his weight but it doesn't bother me as long it doesn't hurt his endurance.

Greg Bird, C , Grandview HS: Bird is a big catcher that is a decent defender but may outgrow the position. His biggest asset is his bat. He has a short left handed swing and is a really good hitter.

Hawtin Buchanan, P , Biloxi HS: Hawtin is all projection. He's 6'8" and throws low 90's. He's athletic for his size and is definitely a project worth taking a shot on.

Dwight Smith, OF , McIntosh HS, Peachtree City, Ga.: Sweet swing. Good power potential. Very good runner with a very good OF arm. One to watch.

Tanner English, OF , St James, Murrels Inlet, SC: Great speed, plus arm and very quick bat.

Jose Fernandez, P , Alonso HS, Tampa, FLA: Fernandez is a big physical righty from Cuba. He has power on the mound and at the plate but has more on the mound. Could be a big durable righty and a front of the rotation type.

Billy Flamion, OF , Central Catholic (Modesto, Calif.): Flamion is a stellar athlete and could pitch, but I think his future is in the OF. He has some moving parts in his swing that need tweaking but he could have huge potential with the bat.

Carson Baranik, P , Bossier HS, LA: Strong frame. Plus breaking ball and good fastball. Easy delivery, built to eat innings.

Charlie Tilson, OF , New Trier, Wilmette, IL: Tilson is a sweet swinging lefty with pop. He has plus speed and can cover ground in centerfield. He is the high school version of Jackie Bradley and his stock will soar come spring, I guarantee it.

Jake Cave, OF/P , Kecoughtoan Hampton VA: Cave can run it up to 94 on the mound and has a decent BB and a really good change. At the plate he has a shot quick swing with power potential. Classic two way player is commited to LSU.

Javier Baez, C , Arlington Country Day HS, FLA: wrist wrap, gets out front on some pitches but has huge power. Very strong arm and good actions as SS. May be a fit at catcher. All around solid player. Top of the draft talent.

Christian Lopes, SS , Edison HS, Huntington Beach, Calif.: Really nice bat speed with gap to gap power and good speed. May be a 2B in the future though.

Rookie Davis, P-IF , Dixon HS, Holly Ridge N.C.: Davis is a massive kid who can hit for enormous power with good bat speed. He is also a pitcher. He throws in the low 90's with a nice curve.

Adrian Houser, P , Locust Grove, Locust Grove, OK: Long loose arm and projectable frame. He can run it up to 94 and has two solid secondary pitches. Uses a lot of shoulder in his delivery. That could be an issue in the long run.

Connor Castellano, INF , Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.): Castellano is a good contact hitter but he lunges forward when he swings. That will be corrected or exploited as he advances in his career. Even though he gets his weight forward, he still hits the ball with power. Defensively, he can play all the infield positions but is best suited long term at 2B.

Dylan Davis, P , Redmond HS, WA: Great delivery. Sits in the mid 90's and can run it to the upper 90's. Has a sharp breaking slider. Top of the draft talent.

Julius Gaines, SS , Luella, Locust Grove, GA: Good actions at SS. Rocket arm and great speed. Could raise havoc on the bases. Nice swing with some potential to be an above average hitter.

Phillip Evans, SS/P , LaCosta Canyon Carlsbad CA: Evans has a nice short swing and produces good pop for his size. He has good enough skills to stay at SS in the short term but he may outgrow it in the long run though.

Tyler Greene, SS , West Boca Raton (Fla.) HS/Roswell Ga. HS: Greene is a potential 5 tool talent that could stick at SS. He has a ton of power potential. He has trouble with anything that isn’t a fastball. Defensively he has a solid arm and a good first step. He is also an above average runner.

Aaron Nola, P , Catholic, Baton Rouge, LA: Nice movement on fastball that is between 88-91. Very good polished change and solid breaking ball.

Adam McCreery, P , Bonita (La Verne, Calif.): McCreery is a tall, thin lefty who is very projectable. He has a solid breaking ball but the velocity is a little short for a high first rounder. If he gains a couple MPH's he could fly up draft boards.

Cody Kukuk, P ,  Free State HS, Lawrence, Kan: Kukuk has a solid fastball and a decent slider. His CB and chance need more work. He is a 2-way guy with a pretty good swing from the left side as well.

Kyle Smith, P , Lake Worth, Fla.: Smith can't compete with many of the other prep arms with stuff, but he has advanced pitchability. He has a good 3 pitch mix. His fastball is a 88-91 mph offering with some late movement. He has good movement on his changeup as well. His breaking ball gives him a third potential average pitch. He is an athletic guy who should succeed quickly in pro ball if he doesn't head to Florida.

Taylor Guerrieri, P , North Augusta, N. Augusta, SC: Guerrieri has a strong fastball that has some movement. His breaking ball has potential and he is athletic, so he could improve with repetition. His velocity has jumped up to the mid to upper 90's this spring compared to low 90's last summer. He could be moving up draft boards.

Adam Griffin, P , Forsyth Country Day, Clemmons, NC: Has good life on his fastball from a 3/4 delivery. Breaking ball has good movement but it may be better as a slider due to his arm angle. His change has similar movement to his fastball and he has good feel for it. Finishes tall, almost awkwardly.

Dante  Bichette, 3B , Orangewood Christian, FL: Just as his father, he is a physical power hitter. He has a lot of movement before he swings but it has worked for him so far. I don't see that it needs to be corrected unless it gets in the way of success. I don't like it though. He has a very good arm and could get looked at on the mound, but I see him as a 3B and potentially a RF if he keeps getting bigger.

Dominic Jose, OF , Boca Raton, Lake Worth, FL: The son of former MLB player Felix Jose, Dominic is a tall athletic OF. He has the arm for RF and he has a solid bat from the left side. He isn't as good from the right side but he has a ton of potential.

Hudson  Boyd, P , South Fort Myers HS, FL: Boyd is a thickly built pitcher. He is 6'2, 230 but sits in the 91-94 range and has a bit more when he needs it. He has a solid breaking ball as well.

Johnny  Eierman,  SS  ,  Warsaw (Warsaw, Mo.): Long strong swing. Good potential at the plate. Above average speed that plays up. His actions at SS needs some work but he has the arm to stay there.

Ricardo Jacquez, P/SS , Franklin El Paso TX: Jacquez is a very small guy. His arm is huge though, running it up to 94. He also has a hammer curve. If he gains strength, he could gain velo. Kinda reminds me of  Julio Teheran.

Shawon Dunston, OF , Valley Christian (San Jose, Calif.): Dunston is a great athlete and has great bloodlines. He is a plus runner and has a rocket for an arm just as his dad did, only Jr. will be using it from the OF. His bat needs work but it isn't anything time and refinement can't work out. He is a high upside player that may be hard to sign condsidering he's a Vanderbilt guy.

Tyler Marlette, C , Oviedo, FL: great swing really fast bat. The ball flies off his bat. Really good defensively. Fast pops, good arm. Big fan. Should have bat and arm if he needs to move to 3B

Joe Ross, P , Bishop O'Dowd HS, CA: Ross is the younger brother of A's prospect Tyson Ross, and is a comparable prospect. He has a big arm and can run it up to 94 but his command is below average and needs work.

Dan Vogelbach, 1B , Bishop Verot: Huge 1B. Good swing and good actions at 1B. Very fast for his size and a good athlete. Could be better with conditioning. Huge raw power and good hitting mechanics.