Ten names to watch for 2010 Draft
Buzz already beginning for notable college stars and preps
With the 2009 First-Year Player Draft just finishing, there's no doubt everyone is already looking ahead to 2010, right?
In all seriousness, while teams and their scouts get to catch their breaths, they won't rest for long. In addition to working on signing the host of players they just finished drafting, work on next year's Draft class starts up almost immediately with summer leagues and showcases.
Things will obviously change from now until next June, but it's always good to look ahead and whet the appetite for next year's Draft.
And if you want to see these future prospects in action, there are some terrific options this summer to check out. The elite wood bat Cape Cod League is the best place to go for the top college talent. For high school talent, the Under Armour All-America Baseball game will take place in Wrigley Field on Aug. 8 and the annual AFLAC All-American Game is always a hot spot for scouts, though its time and place have yet to be announced officially.
The most interesting name that could end up in the Class of 2010 is phenom Bryce Harper. The Las Vegas-area high school catcher has already captured national attention because of his skills. He was going to be a part of the 2011 Draft class, but there was word that he had received his GED in the hopes of moving up a year. If that comes to fruition, he automatically goes to the top of every Draft board.
For now, this will be a Harper-less list. Here are 10 names -- five from high school, five from college -- to keep in mind for next year.
Cameron Bedrosian, RHP, East Coweta HS, Ga.: That's right, it's Steve's son and the kid can throw. He's not a real big right-hander, but he's got good stuff with a low-90s fastball, and his breaking ball, a hard power curve, is a serious out pitch. He's also got a changeup and he's a real strike-thrower, learning how to do things the right way from his dad.
Yordy Cabrera, SS, Lakeland HS, Fla.: Another young player with bloodlines, as his father is a Minor League coach in the Tigers organization. Cabrera is an infielder and pitcher, though most see his future in the field rather than on the mound. He's a strong right-handed hitter with good bat speed that produces some power and there should be more there in the future. He's got good arm strength, throwing up to 94 mph from the mound, but he'll probably have to move over to third in the future. It does seem like he'll have plenty of bat to play a corner infield position if necessary.
AJ Cole, RHP, Oveida HS, Fla: Cole might have the one of best arms in the class. The athletic right-hander is tall and projectable at 6-foot-5, 190 pounds. His fastball sits comfortably in the 90-93 range, but he can reach back for more when he needs it. His curve has good depth and bite. His changeup is OK, but lags behind since he doesn't need to use it much, though it should be just fine down the line. He's a good competitor and has already pitched well on some big stages.
Kaleb Cowart, SS/RHP, Cook County HS, Ga.: He's a two-way player who some may like as an infielder, others as a pitcher. Cowart has made it known he'd prefer to be a position player. He's athletic and smooth defensively with good hands and obvious arm strength (he throws in the 90s from the mound). He swings the bat well, though his hitting ability won't jump out at you as much as Cabrera's will. A really good athlete, he's got a little Casey Kelly look to him, and he might project at third base as he matures physically.
Jameson Taillon, RHP, The Woodlands HS, TX: What's a draft class without at least one big, hard-throwing right-hander from Texas, right? Taillon fits the bill coming from The Woodlands, the same school Kyle Drabek attended. He pitches in the low 90s, can touch the mid-90s and there might be even more in the tank there. A power 12-to-6 curve is a good out pitch now. Power is his game, but he does flash a changeup. It needs work, but right now it looks like Taillon should have three pitches and be a starter in the future.
Christian Colon, SS, Cal-State Fullerton: A 10th-round pick of the Padres in 2007, he would have gone much higher if not for his strong commitment to Fullerton. He was a freshman All-American and started every game for a Team USA team that went undefeated over the summer. He hit .352 as the sophomore shortstop for the College World Series-bound Titans, but might be a second baseman at the next level. Either way, he gets plaudits for playing the game the right way.
Matt Harvey, RHP, North Carolina: Another player fans can see in Omaha later this month, Harvey was a first-round talent taken in the third round of the 2007 Draft by the Angels, who couldn't lure him away from his commitment to be a Tar Heel. The big right-hander was a freshman All-American a year ago, but had an uneven sophomore season, going 7-2 with a 5.35 ERA, striking out 78 in 70 2/3 IP.
Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Mississippi: The lefty was the ace of the Ole Miss staff as a sophomore, going 8-4 with a 3.40 ERA over 16 starts. He struck out 124 and walked just 37 over 95 1/3 innings of work. He got Ole Miss to a Super Regional by tossing a complete game with 16 strikeouts against Western Kentucky. The Rangers took him in the 12th round of the '07 Draft and he's now perhaps the best college lefty to look out for in 2010.
Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, LSU: When Ranaudo was taken in the 11th round of the '07 Draft by Rangers, he was all projection and arm strength, but didn't have much more than the fastball. He's 6-foot-7, so there was a lot to dream on, but he opted to go to work on his pitching at LSU. After not pitching all that much as a freshman (he had some elbow tendinitis), he took off this year, going 10-3 with a 2.95 ERA, striking out 147 over 109 2/3 IP and keeping hitters to a .198 average. Watch the College World Series if you want to glimpse at perhaps the best college right-hander in next year's Draft class.
Victor Sanchez, 3B, San Diego: A shortstop in high school who was drafted in the 25th round by the Cubs in '07, Sanchez has settled into third base as a collegiate player at San Diego. He's played every day right from the get-go and started showing the raw power people liked with 12 homers as a freshman. He wasn't able to build off of that in his sophomore season, as an injury shut him down after just 28 games, but the preseason All-American will be 100 percent to try to become the best college power bat next year.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.