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Potential Early Round Reaches

by Steve Garrity on Jun. 7, 2010
It has been said over and over, “The 2010 draft class lacks big time star players. Outside of Bryce Harper no one is a sure thing.” etc. etc. Similar to the 2009 draft class, the 2010 class is pretty thin on big time college bats and left-handed pitching. The strength of this class will be pitching, mostly of the right-handed variety, and mostly from the high school level with players such as Jameson Taillon and Karsten Whitson. The one thing this year's class has going for it, is that it could produce a lot of serviceable players; one scout said Basically, only the top three picks are 100 percent certain, with Harper, Taillon and prep short-stop, Manny Machado. Harper is expected to be the top pick with Taillon and Machado going two and three (in what order is unsure right now). You could make it the top four picks if the reports that the Kansas City Royals and University of Miami (FL) catcher, Yasmani Grandal, have made a pre-draft deal to take him with the fourth overall pick. After that nothing is certain, with the lack of that real difference making prospects after the top three. It is suspected that many teams will try not to spend as much as usual this year and save for next year’s class, which is suspected to be much better. Because of this we could see some teams reach, and call some names earlier than expected. These names are likely to be players that may be a better fit with an organization's philosophy or some that just might be easier to sign, rather than more highly ranked prospects.

Below is a list of names in no particular order, which could possible fit that mold.

Jesse Biddle LHP, Germantown Friend High School (PA)
Biddle has pretty much everything a team could hope for. He has tremendous size at 6’6 and 220 lbs. which gives him a very projectable frame and as a lefty it makes it all the better. He has a nice two pitch mix with a fastball that sits in the low 90’s and a changeup he has a good feel for. He is working on a curve but it has been inconsistent. He also has inconsistencies with his delivery and command at times which has pushed him down on the list of top prep hurlers. The Phillies have been said to be very high on him.
Projection: Mid-second round
Possibility: Supplemental/ late-first

Joe Leonard 3B, Pittsburgh University
The 2010 Big East player of the year has been everything for the Panthers. He has great size at 6’5 and 220 lbs, with very good power potential. He also has a very strong arm, as he has been asked to pitch for Pittsburgh on occasion and can reach 92 with his fastball. He has been compared to Troy Glaus, both in terms of physical appearance and style of play, and like Glaus may have to move to first as a professional. As the draft has crept nearer, he has moved up draft boards.
Projection: Early third – late second round
Possibility: Early-second round

Andy Wilkins 1B, Arkansas University
Wilkins is a just a good baseball player. He has good size at 6’2 and 220 lbs. He also will be able to offer the team that takes him plenty of versatility because he can play both infield corner positions as well as designated hitter. Speaking of hitting, Wilkins is a very knowledgeable one; he comes to the plate with a plan and has great strike zone awareness. At the next level, Andy Wilkins will be a player that will be able to hit for average and power. As the draft approaches solid college bats tend to move up draft boards and that could help out Wilkins.
Projection: Mid/early- third round
Possibility: Mid-second round

Taijuan Walker RHP, Yucaipa High School (CA)
Taijuan Walker has been a pitcher that has driven people crazy with his inconsistencies since everything he needs to succeed is right there. He has a nice two pitch mix with a fastball that has reached 95 and curveball that has flashed plus potential. Yet the curveball too has been inconsistent to the point where it was scraped for a slider that is suffering from the same afflictions. As many troubles as he has had though, he seems to have gotten it together as of late and has moved up team draft boards. The reason for this rise is his great size at 6’5 and 200 lbs and athleticism, along with his experience playing shortstop the year before. Walker offers plenty of projection and if a team thinks they can help him get everything together, he could go off the board early.
Projection: Third-round
Possibility: Mid-second round

Hunter Morris 1B, Auburn University
Drafted by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2007 draft, Hunter was a top rated prep bat and has continued his success as a hitter in college. Morris goes to the plate with a plan and is able to make adjustments having very good strike zone awareness. As a professional he should be able to become a player that will hit for average with decent power. He has a stocky body at 6’2 and 208 lbs, but he has sneaky athleticism and can play a variety of positions including first and third base as well as the outfield. He is also a very solid defender at first base.
Projection: Mid/late-second round
Possibility: Supplemental first-round

Todd Cunningham OF, Jacksonville State University
Todd Cunningham is just a very solid hitter. He knows what to do when he gets to the plate and utilizes a smooth, balanced swing which should help him hit for average with the potential to hit around 15 home runs. In the outfield he uses his speed and athleticism to cover a good range and has a solid arm. His speed and instincts on the base path should also allow him to be a decent base-stealer at the next level. Many think Cunningham profiles best as a leftfielder with the only question being, whether or not he has enough power to play a corner position. If a team likes him better as a centerfielder or believes he will be fine in left, they will get a very solid player.
Projection: Early-second round
Possibility: Supplemental/late-first round

Cameron Bedrosian RHP, East Coweta High School (GA)
At only 6ft, 190 lbs, he doesn’t have the size that scouts love. Yet he does have Major League bloodlines; His father Steve was a CY Young winner in 1987. The younger Bedrosian has one of the stronger arms in the draft and a fighter's mentality that has led some to think he could be a closer in the making. His two pitch mix includes a fastball with good movement that has touched 96 with good late life, to go along with a plus slider with good lateral movement and depth. He is working on a change and has some feel for it. If Cameron Bedrosian was two inches taller, he would be a sure fire first round pick.
Projection: Early second-round/ mid-supplemental first round
Possibility: Late first round

Derek Dietrich SS, Georgia Tech
Dietrich has been someone who has been on people's radar for sometime, being a third round pick by Houston in 2007. With the Yellow Jackets he has been somewhat up and down but seems to be coming together at the right time. He has decent size at 6’1 and 195 lbs, and many predict he should be a hitter that will hit for average as a professional due to his nice compact swing. Defensively he should have the range and arm to handle third-base, which is where everyone thinks he will end up. The only question about Dietrich, like Todd Cunningham, will be if he can hit for enough power to handle a corner position. He should be a solid player and if a team thinks he will hit for power he could go earlier than assumed.
Projection: Early-third round
Possibility: Mid-second round

The 2010 draft is shaping up to one of the more unpredictable drafts in recent memory, since teams are so unsure of what they want to. Many teams don’t want to show their hand early, so it should be fun to see which direction each team goes in. After the top three picks or four picks, things could get really get crazy.