All American Game : : Story
AFLAC All-Star Game - Outfielders
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Steve Chapman (East) Marianna HS, Marianna, FL: Chapman is the latest star out of Marianna, a small town on the Florida panhandle. RHP Alan Horne and C Jeff Mathis were 1st round picks out of Marianna HS in 2001. Chapman may have the purest left handed swing in the country. Most intriguingly for scouts, he has natural lift in his swing and projects to hit with plus power as he gets stronger. Chapman is a good athlete and average runner who will probably end up in left field down the road.
Comparable Major League Player: Luis Gonzalez (Ariz). Sweet left handed hitting corner outfielder.
Joseph Dunigan (West) St. Ignatius Prep, Chicago, IL: Dunigan is one of the strongest players in the country. He has the broad, thick shoulders and size 20 neck that you see on serious football prospects, but Dunigan neither plays football nor started lifting weights until recently. He’s just naturally strong. On the baseball field, Dunigan has average big league speed and a surprisingly strong throwing arm, but it will be his bat that carries him. He hasn’t seen the quality pitching with wood that many of his all-star peers have seen, but has shown tremendous improvement over the course of the summer and can hit the ball as far as any left handed high school hitter in the country.
Comparable Major League Player: Rondell White. Dunigan’s left handed, but the rest compares well.
Dexter Fowler (East) Milton HS, Alpharetta, GA: Fowler is the type of player who gets the scouts attention right off the bus and doesn’t give it back. He’s a lean 6-4 ½, with broad shoulders and no waist to speak of. He already has two above to well above average Major League tools in his arm strength and running speed. Fowler plays right field on the national champion East Cobb Yankees summer team but will be put right into centerfield at the next level. Fowler has a slashing gap to gap swing that promises to develop more power as he adds more upper body strength. A good way to put Fowler’s athletic ability into perspective is to realize that he was not only named County Player of the Year in baseball as a junior, he was also the basketball Player of the Year.
Comparable Major League Player: Mike Cameron (Sea). Cameron, too, was a Georgia product. Eric Davis (Cin) is just as good a comparison among retired players.
Greg Golson (East) Connally HS, Austin, TX: The title of “Fastest Player” in the 2004 draft class has been solidly laid upon Golson, who has turned in a couple of sub 6.30 60’s this summer and is consistently under 4.0 to first base. Golson is more than just a one tool player, though. He has an above average throwing arm and profiles to be an outstanding defensive centerfielder. Golson’s offense isn’t as polished as his defense at this point but he was outstanding at the plate in the Area Code Games in early August and similar performances with the bat could make him an elite draft in 2004.
Comparable Major League Player: Kenny Lofton (ChiC). Maybe a step slower at the same age, but still stepping pretty quickly and much more polished.
Andy Lentz (West) Woodinville HS, Woodinville, WA: The experience of being a top prospect, dealing with scouts and college recruiters and going through the draft will be nothing new to the Lentz Family. Andy’s father was the 2nd pick in the nation in 1975 (Padres) and his older brothers Ryan (5th round, 1998) and Ritchie (a sophomore RHP at Washington) were also top level prospects. Andy is a versatile and projectable athlete with a quick, short left handed swing. He’s played outfield primarily but scouts would love to see him play more second or third base, where his actions and arm strength play well and his bat would become a major plus.
Comparable Major League Player: Bill Mueller (Bos). Well rounded bat who may end up in the infield.
Warren McFadden (East) Nova HS, Plantation, FL: McFadden is a strong five-tool player who has excelled in summer competition with wood bats the last three months. He doesn’t have a classic loose, easy swing but has such good bat speed and strength that he can handle all types of pitching. McFadden has above average speed and an above average throwing arm and plays both center and right field, but looks to be better suited for right in the future.
Comparable Major League Player: Reggie Sanders (Pitt). Very strong comparison, even down to the swing types.
Michael Taylor (East) Apopka HS, Apopka, FL: Taylor is a manchild, with a physique that’s hard to quantify for baseball at 6-6, 235. He’s falls into the same category off the field, a world class athlete who ranks 4th in his graduating class of 785 and learned how to play piano and chess before he put on his first baseball uniform. Taylor obviously has superior strength but has made significant strides this summer adapting his strength and long arms to wood bats and harder throwing pitchers. His two most polished tools at present are his defense, which is above average in all areas, and his baserunning, where his above average speed and hustle make him a threat after he hits the ball.
Comparable Major League Player: Dave Winfield or Jason Taylor (Miami Dolphins). Not many possible baseball comparisons.