2004 National PreDraft Showcase
- OF - - Arlington, TX
Ashman is a 24 year old college senior with a nice collection of baseball skills. He caught pretty well and showed the ability to play all three outfield positions with a good balance of speed and arm strength. Ashman hits from the left side of the plate with a line drive type of swing.
- C - - St. Michael, MN
- RHP - - Cedar Rapids, IA
Doonan is a sophomore JC right hander who is under control to the Pittsburgh Pirates and has signed to attend University of Iowa. Doonan has a very long, whippy arm stroke that generated a tailing 88-89 mph fastball at the Showcase and we’ve seen him touch 92 mph in the past. Doonan also throws a 75 mph curveball and an 81 mph change up. Doonan’s long arm stroke and complicated mechanics make his command inconsistent but his stuff is very strong.
- LHP - - Phoenix, AZ
Goodman is a 21 year old left handed pitcher from Benedictine College in Kansas. He has a mature array of stuff that overmatched the high school hitters he faced at the Showcase. Goodman’s fastball was in the 83-86 mph range with good life and he threw a 73 mph slider that he spotted well. Goodman also threw a 75 mph change up. Goodman isn’t projectable but his stuff and command can get college hitters out.
- 2B - - Boca Raton, FL
Holtzman is a 20 year old junior college infielder from Iowa. At 6-1, 190 lbs, he doesn’t fit the profile for second base but he has good overall speed and fairly short actions on defense, along with playable arm strength. Holtzman has a contact approach at the plate with a little bit of loft in his swing to get the ball up the alleys.
- RHP - - Fountain, CO
Kennedy was a 90 day release (prior injury) player by the Dodgers in 2002 after throwing 25 innings in the Gulf Coast League. He pitched in junior college in 2003 but has not thrown for a team this spring. Kennedy is a big, strong Jose Mesa lookalike with a strong arm. When he got his arm in a standard ¾’s arm slot as opposed to over the top, Kennedy’s fastball reached 90-91 mph at the Showcase with good life. His curveball was 74 mph. He’s eligible to be selected in the 2004 draft.
- OF - - Winona, MN
Plemmons is a 20 year old junior college sophomore outfielder with some nice physical tools. He has a strong, mature 6-1, 195 lb. frame and uses his strength well to generate some bat speed with wood. Plemmons hit the ball solidly during batting practice and lined a nice double off David Conroy in the game. Plemmons is a strong runner at 6.88 and has a close to average big league throwing arm from the outfield. It’s a nice tool set that should play well at the Division 1 level over the next two years.
- SS - - Oxnard, CA
Sanchez is a 24 year old infielder from Grandview College. He’s a very polished infielder with some nice physical tools and actions. Sanchez made the defensive play of the Showcase with a sliding Roberto Alomar style stop in shallow right field and strong throw to first base. At the plate, Sanchez is a singles hitter with a controlled line drive swing that’s going to hit the ball where it’s pitched.
- RHP - - Lancaster, OH
Sanders is a 24 year old college pitcher from Union College in Kentucky. He has a quick arm that generated a fastball that touched 88 mph from a low ¾’s release but is an effort thrower with some pretty severe recoil on release. Saunders’ curveball was hard at 76-77 mph and had a sharp, hard bite to it.
2000 Top Prospects
- OF - 2000 - Clive, IA
Woods, an Iowa native who plays at Grandview College, was the top college prospect at the Showcase. He has two big league tools right now in his running speed (6.81) and throwing arm (93 mph from the outfield) and at 6-2, 200 lbs has very good present strength. At the plate, Wood has a high leg lift trigger trigger and generates very good raw bat speed through the zone. He can be a little long to the ball but showed definite power potential and even did a good job of keeping his hands back on breaking stuff. This kid is an athlete who deserves a chance to show what he can do in pro ball.
2003 Top Prospects
- OF - 2003 - Cedar Rapids, IA
Walser is a freshman first baseman at Kirkwood JC with good physical strength and overall athletic ability. He took a strong batting practice, lining a couple of balls into the left field stands during batting practice and picking up a couple of hits during the Showcase game. Walser’s good speed (7.09) and good arm strength make him a candidate to play the corner outfield slots as well as first base. He’ll play at Kirkwood again next spring and should make a good middle of the order run producer at any number of Midwest Division 1 schools after junior college.
2004 Top Prospects
- RHP - 2004 - Sturgeon Bay, WI
Cordier was the top prospect at the Pre-Draft Showcase, the same spot he claimed after the Indoor Showcase in February. In fact, it was pretty much a duplicate performance. Cordier topped out at 94 mph on his fastball and was solid around the strike zone with the pitch. Cordier’s change up has a chance to be a special pitch. He gets over and inside the ball from his high ¾’s to overhand release point and it turns over hard at 79-80 mph. Cordier’s arm speed is good on the pitch and it’s going to be a big league weapon against left handed hitters. And just like at the Indoor, it took Cordier about 6-8 curveballs to figure out his release point on his curveball and bring any quality spin and command to the pitch. Once he found his rhythm with the breaking ball, it was 78 mph with sharp, tight spin. Cordier’s arm strength, secondary pitches and pro-style body put him among the elite high school pitchers in the country.
- RHP - 2004 - Grennwell Springs, LA
This young right hander from Louisiana put on an impressive performance at the Showcase. We’ve heard scouts talk about him as a potential top 3 round draft pick and the talent he showed us fits well with that evaluation. Walker has a great pitcher’s body at 6-3, 190 lbs, with long angular features that can add strength in the future. He has a nice balanced delivery and a high ¾’s to overhand release point. If anything, Walker’s release point on his curveball is a bit lower. This young man can really accelerate his arm once he gets his body moving towards the plate. Walker’s fastball topped out at 92 mph and didn’t loose anything from the stretch. His curveball is a hammer at 76-78 mph, with a sharp, deep break to it. Walker even flashed a change up with nice tailing action. He’s signed with Southeastern Louisiana but developments on June 7 could definitely change that.
- SS - 2004 - Coppell, TX
Garrison has added pitching to his baseball resume this spring and the Perfect Game “Pitcher vs. Player” debate on Garrison is perhaps stronger than on any other 2004 prospect in the country. The switch-hitter swung the bat very well from both sides of the plate in Cedar Rapids, perhaps better than we’ve seen him swing it before. We found out afterwards that Garrison has been swinging exclusively right handed this spring but it didn’t show in his left handed cut. Garrison’s defense at short or third is smooth and polished. While he didn’t touch the 92-93 mph velocity we’ve heard he’s thrown this spring during his high school schedule, Garrison hit 89 mph and has very polished secondary pitches and pitching mechanics for someone of his relative experience. Overall, this is just a quality athlete with a wide range of skills and tools who has the potential to get much better. Garrison has signed to go to Arizona State depending on the outcome of the draft.
Juan Carlos Portes
- SS - 2004 - Moulden, MA
Portes commuted from Massachusetts a couple of times during the spring to play in the Iowa Spring League, so we’ve got a long look at him over the last few months. This young Dominican native is a ball player. Along with his defensive skills, above average arm strength (he hits 92 mph off the mound) and quickness, Portes has surprising power. He’s hit home runs at virtually every event he’s played in since last August…..ECPBBS (Wilmington), Jupiter, a couple of bombs during the Spring League and a shot to left field at the Pre-Draft off an 88 mph fastball. He’s a hard worker who loves to play baseball.
- 1B - 2004 - Waukesha, WI
Beranek put on a prodigious power display during batting practice, starting off with two 425 foot shots just to the left of the centerfield batting eye and finishing off with a string of line drive shots to left field that completely left the stadium and left in a hurry. Remember this is a professional park and wood bats and Beranek makes it look easy. In the games, Beranek didn’t lift the ball but lined two sharp singles off high 80’s fastballs, one of which registered 101 mph off the bat. His hamstring still keeps him from fielding or running the bases, but there can’t be any draftable player in the country with more raw power. In this college/performance based draft era, it’s virtually impossible to predict what’s going to happen with Beranek in the upcoming draft, though. He’s signed to attend UNLV.
- C - 2004 - Miami, FL
Arencibia is coming off a great high school season where he tied Alex Rodriguez’s career home run record at the powerhouse Westminster Christian program in Miami. He has a strong, mature body and a maturity about the game that’s a perfect match. Arencibia’s made some subtle changes to his swing this spring and they work for him. He’s more spread out and generating better bat speed with some natural loft to his swing. Arencibia is a polished defensive player with very good arm strength as well and he’s used to playing at the highest levels of elite high school baseball. He’s signed to attend Tennessee.
- RHP - 2004 - Mt. Vernon, IA
Conroy took a step forward at the Spring Showcase in early May and took another step forward at the Pre-Draft. Conroy pitched at 88-90 mph with his fastball and it was his third best pitch. His slider was a sharp strikeout pitch at 76-78 mph and Conroy’s change up is a quality pitch as well. This 6-5 right hander has quality stuff and plenty of room to get better in the future. The scouts have definitely taken notice! Conroy has signed to attend University of Iowa.
- OF - 2004 - Atlanta, GA
McDowell swung between both pitcher and player at the Showcase, as he usually does in most games and events. Off the mound, McDowell was steady in the 87-88 mph area, down a couple of mph’s from when we’ve seen him consistently in the past. He didn’t throw especially well from the outfield, either, so we suspect that all his high school innings from the spring have taken a temporary toll on his arm strength. McDowell took an impressive batting practice, launching several balls well over the left field bleachers with an aggressive, strong swing. He’s signed to play football at Troy State but appears serious about pursuing a baseball career as well.
- RHP - 2004 - Rosemount, MN
Radmacher was his usual dominating self at the Showcase. He sat at 88 mph on his fastball, threw a 76 mph curveball that overmatched every hitter and dropped in an 81 mph change up. Radmacher didn’t show the cutter he’s working on that he showed us at the Indoor Showcase in February but he didn’t need it. He’s a quality pitcher. Radmacher has signed with Nebraska.
- RHP - 2004 - Oregon, WI
Bradender moved up the prospect charts as fast as any pitcher in the country last fall, as befit a 6-6 athletic pitcher who was starting to hit 90 mph with a quality curveball. The Brabender we saw in Cedar Rapids and the Brabender that scouts have been telling us about this spring has a significantly different arm action that what we’ve seen before, though. He’s much more restricted and short in his arm stroke and throws with more effort. Brabender still pitched in the 85-88 mph range with a 73 mph curveball that has a big, sweeping break to it and mixed in an 81 mph change up. That’s still good stuff, but he has a much higher ceiling with his previous pitching mechanics. Brabender has signed to attend Minnesota.
- RHP - 2004 - Bryn Mawr, PA
Ellis is an impressive athlete, with a well cut 6-2, 195 lb. frame, 6.91 speed in the 60 and a good line drive swing at the plate. We’ve heard some very good things about him this spring but didn’t see the velocity we expected from him in Cedar Rapids, as Ellis pitched in the 85-87 mph range. Ellis has a complicated delivery with his lower half, with lots of leg twists and extensions, but his arm works well and quickly with a short, quick arm stroke and good downward plane to the plate. His best pitch was a 74-76 mph curveball that had tight spin and bite to it. Ellis also threw an 80 mph change up. He’s signed with Virginia.
- C - 2004 - Algona, IA
This is the best that we’ve seen Geelan play, and we’ve seen him play a lot. He threw outstanding in the workout, showing a very strong arm and quick release that put every pop time in the 1.87 – 1.92 area with throws right on the bag. Geelan caught top prospect Matt Walker like a polished pro, as well. Geelan’s bat has never been his strong point but he really hit well during the games, hitting three line drives to the outfield, one of which found the left centerfield gap for a double. Geelan’s projectable body and outstanding makeup give him a great chance to keep improving as he gets older. He’s signed with Iowa.
- RHP - 2004 - Cedar Rapids, IA
Sweet’s control was a little off, perhaps the result of large crowd of scouts in the stands, but he pitched in the 88-89 mph range with his usual abusive curveball in the mid-70’s. He doesn’t look like a very comfortable pitcher to hit off at all. Sweet also continued his emergence as a legit position prospect. He ran 6.77 on the wet track, the second fastest time at the event, and took an excellent batting practice, showing the best power we’ve seen from him thus far. Sweet’s tools play high and he’s an intense competitor. He’s signed with Iowa.
- LHP - 2004 - Cedar Rapids, IA
Bales threw a quick inning, pitching between 83-85 mph on his fastball with some of the best moving life of any fastball at the Showcase. His curveball was 68-71 mph and had a sharp, big break to it that mismatched the left handed hitter he faced. Only facing a couple of hitters probably kept Bales from unveiling his change up, which might be his best pitch. We’d be really challenged to remember the last time we’ve seen this southpaw allow a run at any type of event. Bales has signed with University of Iowa.
- OF - 2004 - Columbia, MD
McPhearson, a college football recruit to Florida as a wide receiver, furthered his claim as one of the fastest high school baseball players in the country with a 6.48 60 on a wet outfield track that had absorbed 3” of rain the night before. McPhearson is a fun athlete to watch run and move around the field. His hitting and defensive skills are very raw at this point, although he certainly has the physical strength and hand/eye coordination to improve with more repetitions in the future.
- RHP - 2004 - Ft. Worth, TX
Langford is an aggressive and talented athlete who is a legit two way player at the college level. He throws 88-90 mph off the mound with a sharp low 70’s curveball and his aggressive approach can be intimidating to hitters. Langford’s natural arm strength carries over into the field, although his infield actions are a bit rushed and max effort. Needless to say, when Langford swings the bat, he swings it hard but he does a good job staying inside the ball and hitting line drives. Langford also ran a 6.89. This is a great makeup player who has signed to go to Notre Dame.
- MIF - 2004 - Courtenay, BC
Green’s a left handed hitting middle infielder from Canada with a strong left handed bat. He’ll probably end up at second base or third base at the next level but his bat is going to produce enough to carry him there. Green’s stroke is short and quick to the ball and he has good present strength in his hands and hips to generate raw bat speed. His first two at bats were against Matt Walker and Eric Cordier, the two top prospects at the Showcase, and he hit the ball hard both times. Green tells us that he ran 6.88 at a Major League Scouting Bureau camp the previous week, so we’ll take his 60 time from Cedar Rapids with a grain of salt. He’s signed to play college ball at Stetson.
- OF - 2004 - Spring, TX
Gause is a big time football recruit (running back) to Georgia Tech who is slated to play baseball as well. He’s a very athletically built player with great strength in his thighs and hips. Along with his athletic ability and body life, Gause showed us a really good bat from both sides of the plate. He has a very short, quick swing from both sides and stays inside the ball well, producing plenty of hard hit balls up the middle and to the opposite field. Gause showed some polish in the games as well, working counts and waiting for pitches he could line hard somewhere.
- OF - 2004 - Fort Mill, SC
Baldridge got everyone’s attention right away with one of the top workouts. He ran the 60 in 6.79 on the wet outfield track and showed what PG Director Jerry Ford said later was “one of the best outfield throwing arms we’ve seen in a long time.” Baldridge’s throws hit 92 mph and they had excellent low on-line carry and accuracy. Baldridge’s batting practice and game at bats showed a slashing hitting style from the left side but not much pop. Probably a dozen scouts waited around the stadium just to see Baldridge pitch but his athleticism and arm strength doesn’t translate to the mound because of mechanical problems. Baldridge has touched 87 mph in the past but was 81-82 mph at the Showcase. There’s a lot more physical ability here that this young prospect isn’t showing. He’s signed with Coastal Carolina.
- C - 2004 - Arlington, TX
Armstrong is a multi-talented ball player who is a prime candidate to play all 9 positions in a game sometime in the future. We’ve had him at many events in the past, including the AFLAC All-American game last year. He’s a primary catcher with solid catching skills but his overall speed, athleticism and baseball skills let him play anywhere on the field in addition to pitching. Armstrong has some power potential in the future, although we’re not sure his present approach at the plate will enable him to fulfill it. The ball jumps off his bat well on contact and Armstrong has always been a good performance player. He’s signed to play college baseball at Southwest Missouri State.
- RHP - 2004 - Price, UT
Grundy is a medium build right handed pitcher from Utah with good natural arm strength. He has a very long arm stroke in back but generates good arm speed coming through to the plate. Grundy will fall off to the first base side fairly regularly in his delivery, which causes his fastball to be up and in to right handers, but his velocity is solid at 86-88 mph. When he’s directional to the plate, Grundy’s curveball is sharp at 71-73 mph and is probably his best pitch. He also throws an 81 mph change up. Grundy has signed to attend University of Utah.
- C - 2004 - Milwaukee, WI
Hall is a senior switch-hitting catcher from Wisconsin who has shown us above average power potential in the past, especially from the left side. He looked like he was having some balance issues swinging the bat at the Showcase and didn’t show his normal swing plane and quickness, though. Hall’s arm strength and release are good and he can consistently turn pop times under 2.00. Hall has signed to attend Lake City CC in Florida next year.
- LHP - 2004 - West Hills, CA
Hans is a big, lanky 6-6 left hander from California. He has a big time wrap in back which keeps his arm from working smoothly and generating good leverage to the plate. Hans’ fastball was 82-83 mph at the Showcase, with a 62-63 mph curveball that had a big, rolling break. Hans also threw a 67 mph change up.
- OF - 2004 - Cedar Rapids, IA
As expected, Harrington geared up his swing to the higher velocity pitching he saw at the Showcase as compared to what he’s been seeing in Iowa this spring and hit the ball very well. His front foot approach costs him some power but he hit a couple balls out in batting practice and laced two solid line drives to the outfield off mid to high 80’s stuff in games. Harrington also ran 7.06, the best time we’ve recorded for him and threw well from the outfield. He’s signed to College of Charleston.
- OF - 2004 - Kenosha, WI
We discovered Heller at a Perfect Game ID camp a few weeks before the Pre-Draft Showcase. This senior outfielder from Wisconsin has had no contact with college coaches before mid-May but his tools definitely play at the Division 1 level. We’re expecting things will start happening pretty quickly for him. Heller is a strong 6-3, 200 lb. athlete who showed us impressive bat speed and power potential. The ball jumped off his bat with wood and he’s going to make the field look small with metal in his hands. Heller’s secondary tools are solid, too. He threw 85 mph from the outfield and ran 7.24 in the 60. College coaches need to get on this young prospect quickly.
- RHP - 2004 - Kennesaw, GA
Jackel is a big, strong high school senior who has signed with Florida State. He has a long, flat arm stroke and generates good arm speed with some effort in his delivery. Jackel’s best pitch is his hard sinker that he threw around 86-87 mph at the Showcase and that we’ve heard can be faster than that. Jackel’s curveball was kind of soft at 68-69 mph and he might be the type of pitcher who might learn a slider and become a classic sinker/slider pitcher in the future. He also mixed in a 74 mph change up.
- LHP - 2004 - Idaho Falls, ID
Pullen is a 6-4, 200 lb. left hander from Idaho with a top flight athletic body. His arm stroke was short in back but he got good extension out front. Pullen’s fastball was only 81-82 mph at the Showcase; we’d expect to see more after looking at him and watching him warm up. Pullen also threw a 69 mph curveball that had pretty good spin to it and a 75 mph sinking change up.
- 1B - 2004 - Brookfield, WI
Schweikert is a big and strong 6-4, 220 lb left handed hitting first baseman from Wisconsin. He’s always shown us good raw power in batting practice and did so again at the Showcase, consistently pulling the ball hard. Schweikert does tend to step out and hit around the ball and this habit magnifies itself in games, which takes away from his bat speed and power potential. Schweikert is agile and quick around the first base bag and has good hands and playable arm strength.
- LHP - 2004 - Orange, TX
Thibodeaux is a tall and slender left hander who has signed to go to Oklahoma. He has a very long arm action, one of the longest in back that we’ve seen in a long time, and opens his front side very early. Thibodeaux’s fastball was in the 82-85 mph range with some cutting action and he’ll turn over a 75 mph change up off his fastball. His long arm stroke makes it difficult for him to spin the ball and his 67 mph curveball is fairly lazy. The cutting action on his fastball might be a good indicator that learning a slider is a possibility.