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Draft : : State Preview
MLB Draft Preview: Virginia
Published: Wednesday, May 08, 2013

In 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.  Please visit this page for all of the links to Perfect Game's 2013 Draft Preview content.



Virginia State-by-State List

While it’s not an overwhelming class, Virginia’s crop of talent this spring offers an interesting variety of choices for teams. There’s a chance that the state could have their first high school pitcher taken in the first round since the Brewers took Jeremy Jeffress 16th overall in 2006. And, the most recognizable schools in the state, like Virginia Tech, Virginia, Liberty, and Richmond, all have players that are drawing interest in the top five rounds.

What has boosted this crop, however, is the spring performances of many of the top players. Connor Jones entered the season as a highly touted arm, but has seen his stock skyrocket this spring as he’s turned in one impressive performance after another in front of large crowds of scouts. The same can be said for players like Chad Pinder and Josh Richardson, who have answered questions and seen their stock steadily rise through the spring. In a year where many touted players around the country have faded for one reason or another, Virginia has seemingly been the home of players improving their draft stock.

Virginia is also showing signs of being a state on the upswing, as programs like the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech both boast impressive underclass talent, and more high school talent appears to be on the horizon. Outfielder Derek Fisher at Virginia looks like one of the next year’s elite players, and prep arm Jacob Bukauskas is already making an impression as a top 2015 draft talent. And, No. 6 ranked Virginia in Perfect Game’s May 6th national rankings, is setting themselves up to be a powerhouse for years to come.


STRENGTH:
Prep pitchers
WEAKNESS: Group 1 College pitching
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 3

BEST COLLEGE TEAM:
Virginia
BEST JUNIOR-COLLEGE TEAM: Patrick Henry Community College
BEST HIGH SCHOOL TEAM: Great Bridge High School, Chesapeake

PROSPECT ON THE RISE: Scott Silverstein, lhp, Virginia.
It’s been a long and winding road for Silverstein as a prospect. He was a Perfect Game All-American way back in 2007. After opting to go to Virginia, Silverstein did not pitch for the entire 2009 and 2010 seasons following shoulder surgery. Since then, he’s slowly made his way back and has had an outstanding year as a redshirt senior. His fastball has reached 94 mph, and when you couple that with his 6-foot-6 frame, it makes him an awfully intriguing commodity.

WILD CARD: Artie Lewicki, rhp, Virginia.
Lewicki seemingly made a rapid recovery from Tommy John surgery, returning this spring just eight months following his procedure. But, his elbow has acted up again somewhat and he’s seen limited action for Virginia. He was reportedly in the low-90s upon his return, and if that’s the case, it will be interesting to see just how scouts evaluate his talented arm.

Best Out-of-State Prospect, Virginia Connection:
Bobby Wahl (attended West Springfield HS
Top 2014 Prospect: Derek Fisher, of, University of Virginia
Top 2015 Prospect: Jacob Bukauskas, rhp, Stonebridge HS, Ashburn

HIGHEST DRAFT PICKS

Draft History:
Justin Upon, SS, Great Bridge HS, Chesapeake (2005, Diamondbacks/1st round, 1st pick)
2008 Draft: David Adams (3rd round, New York Yankees)
2009 Draft: Andrew Carraway (12th round, Seattle Mariners)
2010 Draft: Jarrett Parker (2nd round, San Francisco Giants)
2011 Draft: Danny Hultzen (1st round, Seattle Mariners)
2012 Draft: Eddie Butler (Supplemental 1st round, Colorado Rockies)

2012 DRAFT OVERVIEW

College Players Drafted/Signed:
23/23
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 0/0
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 4/4

BEST TOOLS

Best Athlete:
Ryan Cordell
Best Hitter: Chad Pinder
Best Power: Tyler Horan
Best Speed: Ryan Cordell
Best Defender: Ryan Cordell
Best Velocity: Connor Jones
Best Breaking Stuff: Eddie Campbell
Best Pitchability: Scott Silverstein


TOP PROSPECTS, GROUPS 1 and 2

GROUP 1 (rounds 1-3)

1. CONNOR JONES, rhp, Great Bridge HS, Chesapeake
Jones has been a known commodity for some time now and starred at last year’s Perfect Game National Showcase. But, the right-hander has taken another step forward this spring, reaching 96 mph with his fastball and showing a better feel for his off-speed pitches. In terms of performance, he’s been nearly flawless for Great Bridge High School. Over his first 31 innings of work, Jones did not surrender an earned run. He’s consistently worked at 90-94 mph and has placed himself firmly in contention for the back of the first round. For more on Jones, click here for David Rawnsley’s Perfect Game Draft Focus feature.


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