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Early Follow List for 2011 MLB Draft

Jul 3, 2010 – 11:00 AM
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Frankie Piliere

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The follow list is a key component of how amateur players are evaluated. At this point in the scouting season, it's about identifying the players to focus on next spring. Some of these players will be viewed as high-level follows or guys who could go in the top few rounds (like LSU's Mikie Mahtook, right), and others as follows that could go a little later in the draft.

As of July 1, my personal follow list stands at 144 players, coming off scouting the Perfect Game National Showcase and a week of Cape Cod League action. Following the Team USA Trials, further coverage of the Cape League, and other amateur events the list will continue to grow. For now, here is my initial follow list and my notes on the players I consider elite-level talent after the first three weeks of scouting for the 2011 draft.

(Note: This list only includes players I have scouted, and it is not a full representation of the 2011 class. Tier 1 players are what scouting departments generally consider top-four-round type talents. Many more players will make their way onto this list in the coming months.)

Overall Top-Level Follow List - Tier 1
No. Player Position School
1. Daniel Norris LHP Science Hill HS (Tenn.)
Electric stuff from the left side, 93-95 w/ the fastball and command of plus curveball and quality changeup.
2. Matt Barnes RHP UConn
Front of the rotation stuff. 93-96 w/ the fastball, throws breaking ball for strikes. Swing-and-miss stuff.
3. Alex Dickerson OF Indiana
Easy, game-changing type power and the ability to hit for average at the next level.
4. Travis Harrison OF Tustin HS (Calif.)
Very advanced prep bat. Physically mature w/ big present power and athleticism.
5. George Springer OF UConn
Fast hands, explosive power. Outstanding athlete w/ wiry strength. Impact hitter at next level. Plus present power.
6. Brett Mooneyham LHP Stanford
Command issues seem to be improving. Sits 90-92 w/ fastball. Lanky, projectable frame and throws a sharp 75-78 mph curveball from a three-quarters arm angle.
7. Dylan Davis RHP Redmond HS (Wash.)
Big arm strength. 92-95 mph fastball w/ late life. Smooth delivery and showed a tight 82-83 mph slider.
8. Phil Evans SS LaCosta Canyon HS (Calif.)
Very complete player, carries himself like a big leaguer. Plus glove at shortstop and outstanding line drive approach at the plate. Good power potential.
9. Josh Tobias 3B Southeast Guilford HS (N.C.)
Not tall, but a physical powerhouse. Tobias has huge raw power and a short, but powerful swing. Has plus-plus speed. Tremendous upside, still getting better.
10. Hudson Boyd RHP South Fort Myers HS (Fla.)
Thick body is a concern but big fastball at 92-93 mph. Uses lower half well and commands good 77-79 mph breaking ball. Swing-and-miss stuff.
11. Ricky Oropesa 1B USC
Pure power bat w/ big lift and carry from the left side. Lacking in other tools but power will play big at next level.
12. Mikie Mahtook OF LSU
Brings a gritty, gamer attitude to the game and handles the wood bat well. Line drive hitter w/ power to the gaps.
13. Blake Swihart C Cleveland HS (N.M.)
Has the arm and body to stick behind the plate, but even more impressive power and consistent lasers to all parts of the field.
14. Christian Montgomery RHP Lawrence Central HS (Ind.)
Soft midsection, thick body is a question mark but stuff is outstanding. Comfortably at 91-93, commands potential plus breaking ball at 77-81. Plus pitchability for age.
15. Dillon Maples RHP Pinecrest HS (N.C.)
Fast arm, produces easy velocity from right side. Command a bit spotty, still learning. Sits 92-93, up to 95. Heavy ball, breaks bats. Flashes potential plus slider at 80-81.
16. Christian Lopes SS Edison HS (Calif.)
Great line drive stroke produces loud shots to the gaps. Above average speed and good hands.
17. Jason Esposito 3B Vanderbilt
Shows impressive raw BP power and takes it into games. Profiles as a 3B long-term.
18. Joe Ross RHP Bishop O'Dowd HS (Calif.)
Plus arm strength, fastball sits 91-92 mph, bumps 94. Easy velocity, command a bit inconsistent at this stage.
19. Ricky Jacquez RHP Franklin HS (Texas)
Very small frame, very big arm. Unusual profile given his size but attacks with 90-94 mph fastball and has a solid feel for pitching.
20. Michael Kelly RHP West Boca HS (Fla.)
Polished power arm. Fastball up to 94, attacks the zone w/ good late life. Ideal pitcher's frame. Mixes secondary pitches well.
21. Tyler Greene SS Roswell HS (Ga.)
Big raw power, puts on a show in BP. Some off-speed trouble in game action. Plus speed, raw tools to play SS. A bit crude, but potential five-tool talent.
22. Henry Owens LHP Edison HS (Calif.)
Big projection. Sits 88-91 mph with the fastball. Advanced feel for pitching, should be more velocity to come.
23. Javier Baez SS Arlington Country Day HS (Fla.)
Loud bat, big power to the middle of the field. Plus speed and good arm strength. Has the tools to stick at shortstop, but the bat stands out.
24. Deshorn Lake RHP Menchville HS (Va.)
Easy delivery, ball jumps out of his hand. Sits 91-93, but velocity plays up. Velocity suffers in the stretch. Sharp slider at 78-80 and changeup at 80-81.
25. Jose Fernandez RHP Alonso HS (Fla.)
Big, physically mature frame. Jumping fastball at 91-94 mph, touches 95 consistently. Also shows big raw power at the plate but will pitch long term.
26. Michael Goodnight RHP Houston
Very intriguing arm who may be coming into his own. 90-94 mph fastball w/ feel for a sharp 79-82 mph slider. Command is key. Extra-large frame, easy velocity.
27. Levi Michael 3B North Carolina
Power potential w/ wood bat. Good carry, consistent line drive stroke. Looks more advanced from the right side.
28. Chris McFarland SS Lufkin HS (Texas)
Shows outstanding in-game feel w/ the bat. Hard line drives to all fields, let's the ball track deep. Shows opposite field power. Plus athlete.
29. Francisco Lindor SS Montverde HS (Fla.)
Excellent hands at shortstop, has the range and arm to stick there. Not a lot of pop; slap approach.
30. Tyler Beede RHP Lawrence Academy HS (Mass.)
Tall, wiry and projectable. Sits 90-91, more there. Knows how to pitch, and locates good 74-77 mph curveball and 83-84 mph changeup. Advanced feel w/ upside.
31. Dwight Smith OF McIntosh HS (Ga.)
Toolsy outfielder with strong frame. Complex swing, high leg kick, gets out in front at times. Big sound off bat.
32. Brandon Sedell C American Heritage HS (Fla.)
Solid swing mechanics, big power to his pull side. Shows surprising quickness behind the plate, gets rid of the ball in a hurry.
33. Dusty Robinson OF Fresno State
Big-time power. Stocky frame, big lift to all fields. Plus power at next level, handling transition to wood bat well.
34. Daniel Mengden C Westside HS (Texas)
Lightning-fast hands. Has some Gary Sheffield in his setup and swing. Ball explodes off his bat. Strong arm behind the dish.
35. Jake Cave OF Kecaughtan HS (Va.)
Good speed, smooth left-handed swing. Power will come, room to grow. Drives the ball consistently to the gaps.
36. Austin Slater 3B The Bolles School (Fla.)
Good breaking ball, mistake hitter. Big power to right-center field. Quick, powerful stroke.
37. Robert Stephenson RHP Alhambra HS (Calif.)
Easy velocity at 91-93 mph. Athletic, long pitcher's frame, could be some more velocity to come.
38. Wallace Gonzalez OF Bishop Amat HS (Calif.)
Body and raw power resemble Mike Stanton, but very crude. Good physical tools, struggles with off-speed in game action. Physical specimen.
39. Cameron Gallagher C Manheim Township HS (Pa.)
Big raw power, and beginning to take it into game action. Physically mature, strong frame. Swing mechanics need work, big offensive upside.
40. Austin Hedges C Junipero Serra HS (Calif.)
Very strong arm and good catch-and-throw skills in general. Good instincts. Line drive, lacks lift currently.
41. Eric Snyder OF Edison HS (Calif.)
Very consistent hitter in game action against top-notch pitching. Good bat speed.
42. William Flamion 1B Central Catholic HS (Calif.)
Two-way player, profiles much better as position player. Quick hands, good extension and plus power potential from left side.
43. Martin Viramontes RHP Loyola Marymount
Crisp fastball at 91-92, touches 93 w/ a nice, easy delivery. Good feel for 80-82 mph changeup, lacks third pitch.
44. John Magliozzi RHP Dexter HS (Mass.)
Power arm, up to 94 mph with the fastball and sits around 91-92. Still learning to pitch. Mixes a good changeup for strikes.
45. Sean Trent 3B Bishop Moore HS (Fla.)
Quick to the fastball inside. Big pull power, produces good backspin. Strong arm, could stick at third.
46. Garrett Boulware C T.L. Hanna HS (S.C.)
Has the skills and solid frame to stick behind the plate. Shows big power to deepest parts of the field. Disciplined approach.
47. Tyler Goeddel 3B St. Francis HS (Calif.)
Consistent line drive hitter w/ power potential. Good carry to the opposite field.
48. Shon Carson OF Lake City HS (S.C.)
Much more advanced from right side. Quick hands, hard line drives to the middle of the field. Blazing speed. Good approach against advanced pitching.
49. Kolten Wong OF Hawaii
Some good, game-usable power. Handles the wood bat and advanced pitching.
50. Jacob Anderson OF Chino HS (Calif.)
Long, rangy athlete w/ big power potential to middle of field. Good bat speed, consistent line drive stroke.

Frankie Piliere spent the last three seasons working as a scout, most recently in the professional scouting department for the Texas Rangers in 2009. He now serves as the National Baseball Analyst here at FanHouse.
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