Here is Part One of a look at the Top High School Hitters for the 2011 Draft. Part Two will follow Monday morning.
I'm trying to cover everyone who looks like a potential first round pick. For more on the draft, check in at MLBbonusbaby.com, part of the SBNation network.
I am covering these alphabetically. This is NOT a ranking. Stay tuned for Part Two on Monday.
Javier Baez, SS-3B, Jacksonville, Florida: 6-1, 205, bats right. No four-year commitment, will go the JC route if he doesn't sign. Mixed opinions about this one. Some observers say he has strong across-the-board tools, good offensive and defensive potential, can hit for at least a decent batting average with some pop and defensive ability. Others say his tools are overrated and seem to doubt that he'll be more than a utility guy. A wild card who could go anywhere from the late first round into the third. VIDEO:
Josh Bell, OF, Dallas, Texas: 6-3, 190, hits both. University of Texas commitment. Big draw here is switch-hitting power. Other tools will probably make him a left fielder, but scouts really love the bat and most project him as a mid-first-round talent. Might slip a little lower, given the depth of the draft, depending on what he wants to skip the Longhorns, but I doubt he gets out of the first round. VIDEO:
Dante Bichette, JR, 3B, Orlando, Florida. 6-1, 215, hits right, University of Georgia commitment. Power hitter, reminds scouts of his dad at the same age. Might not hit for a great average at higher levels, but power should push him forward. Good throwing arm, not a bad third baseman right now though some project him as a right fielder. Would be a first rounder in some drafts but more likely a supplemental or second round guy this year. VIDEO:
Derek Fisher, OF, Lebanon, Pennsylvania: 6-3, 205, hits left. University of Virginia commitment. Cold-weather player but has a good blend of power and speed. Also has a strong throwing arm, draws comparisons to players like Jay Bruce and Larry Walker. Projected late first round or early supplemental, and could be a bargain there. VIDEO:
Bill Flamion, OF, Modesto, California: 6-1, 180, hits left. University of Oregon commitment. Another tools player with left-handed power and above average speed, throwing arm good enough for right field. Candidate for the supplemental area or early second round, would go sooner in some draft classes. VIDEO:
Nicky Delmonico, C, Knoxville, Tennessee: 6-3, 215, hits left. University of Georgia commitment. From a baseball family and scouts are very familiar with him. Best feature is a strong power bat and relatively polished approach. Not everyone believes he'll remain behind the plate, but a team that does could pick him in the supplemental round. VIDEO:
Shawon Dunston JR, OF, Fremont, California. 6-2, 160, hits left. Vanderbilt commitment. As you would expect given his major league bloodlines, he's very athletic, very fast, wiry strong. A good student and won't be cheap to sign away from Vanderbilt. Any team that values bloodlines should be attracted here. Doesn't have the power potential of some of the other prep outfielders but he's not punchless. VIDEO:
Julius Gaines, SS, Luella, Georgia: 6-0, 150, bats right. Florida International University commitment. Considered an excellent defensive shortstop pre-season but with a questionable bat, he's made progress with the stick and is starting to draw notice as a potential sleeper pick for the early rounds.VIDEO:
Granden Goetzman, OF, Palmetto, Florida: 6-4, 195, bats right. Florida Gulf Coast University commitment. Toolsy outfielder with intriguing power/speed combination. Was seen as headed to college pre-season but has been moving up draft boards rapidly and should go early enough to keep him away from college, with some chance to get into the late first round.
Tyler Greene, SS, Boca Raton, Florida. 6-3, 175, hits right. University of Georgia commitment. Another toolsy guy, has speed, raw power, good throwing arm. Size may dictate a shift to third base if he outgrows shortstop in the long run. Some scouts question his approach at the plate. Would be a first-round candidate in many draft classes but more of a second round guy this year. VIDEO: