the weeks leading up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a
detailed overview of each state in the U.S., including the District
of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will
list the state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best
tools, as well as providing scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2
players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.
Connecticut State-by-State List
2011 Connecticut Overview
Year for State With Limited Contribution From UConn
10 players drafted off last year’s club, including a pair of
first-rounders, the University of Connecticut can be excused if it is
taking a year off in this draft.
as the fortunes of the Huskies go, so pretty much goes the draft
fortunes of the rest of the state, and this will predictably be a
down year overall for Connecticut with the likelihood of only one,
and possibly two selections in the top 10 rounds—one being UConn
middle infielder L.J. Mazzilli, son of former major leaguer Lee
year ago, the first seven players off the board from state were all
members of a University of Connecticut team that long-time Northeast
observers labeled the most-talented college team ever assembled in
New England. The Huskies alone produced 10 of the state’s 15 draft
picks, and all but one of UConn’s 10 selections signed.
the mass exodus of talent, the Huskies were just a shell of the team
this spring that they were a year ago, yet managed to make another
run at the Big East Conference championship, finishing just two games
off the lead. Overall, they went 31-27, and were the only Division I
college team in the state to post a winning record.
Mazzilli and righthander David Fischer, the lone unsigned pick from a
year ago, the only other potential UConn draft pick of note this year
is closer Scott Oberg, who missed last season while recovering from
Tommy John surgery, and led the team in ERA (0.99) and saves (9).
of the more curious draft picks in the state this year is expected to
involve the selection of catcher/first baseman Justin Morhardt,
grandson of former UConn star and ex-big leaguer Moe Morhardt, and
the son of Los Angeles Angels cross-checker Greg Morhardt. The
younger Morhardt wasn’t even considered a serious candidate to play
baseball at the college level as late as last summer, and signed with
Oral Roberts mainly because of the school’s music program, not its
grandfather recognized untapped talent in Justin, and encouraged him
to pursue the game more aggressively, and there have been rumblings
this spring that the Angels, the team his father scouts for, may make
a serious run at him with one their early selections, possibly even
their first pick—even though that selection won’t come until the
third round, stemming from the off-season signing of free agents
Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.
in a nutshell:
University of Connecticut talent.
(1-to-5 scale): 2.
HIGH SCHOOL TEAM:
Salisbury Prep, Salisbury.
OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Connecticut Connection:
Matt Carasiti, rhp, St. John’s University (Attended high school in
Ryley MacEachern, rhp, Salisbury Prep, Salisbury.
Willie Burger, 3b, New Canaan HS.
Bobby Valentine, ss, Rippowam HS, Stamford (1968, Dodgers/1st round, 5th pick).
Norton, rhp, University of Connecticut (Yankees/7th round).
Harvey, rhp, Fitch HS, Groton (Angels/3rd round).
Hewitt, 3b, Salisbury Prep (Phillies/1st round, 24th pick).
Mahoney, rhp, University of Connecticut (Marlins/4th round).
Olt, 3b, University of Connecticut (Rangers/1st round, 49th pick).
Springer, of, University of Connecticut (Astros/1st round, 11th pick).
College Players Drafted/Signed:
School Players Drafted/Signed:
PROSPECTS, GROUPS ONE and TWO
GROUP ONE (Projected
ELITE-Round Draft / Rounds 1-3)
GROUP TWO (Projected
HIGH-Round Draft / Rounds 4-10)
1. L.J. MAZZILLI,
2b, University of Connecticut (Jr.)
was a major contributor to the best team in UConn history a year ago,
hitting .338-3-32 with 23 doubles. With most of the talent around him
moving on to the pro ranks, he was installed in the No. 3 spot in the
Huskies batting order this spring and responded by hitting .339-9-38
with 19 doubles, all team-leading figures and a noteworthy
accomplishment because he was afforded much less protection in the
Huskies order. As the son of former big-league outfielder Lee
Mazzilli, L.J. has obvious bloodlines and athleticism, but is
considered a much different kind of player. Mazzilli’s best tool is
his bat. He has a good feel for hitting, and has a good, balanced
approach, capable of hitting balls to all fields. His raw power is
considered marginal, but he is capable of driving balls a long way
occasionally. In an ideal world, he would profile as an
offensive-minded second baseman with solid feet, hands and arm
strength for the position, but after committing 20 errors this
spring, the outfield may be his eventual destination.
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