SaberScouting’s 2008 MLB Draft Coverage

By Kiley McDaniel & Frankie Piliere

Welcome to the 2008 draft main page. The top 25 capsules are listed below and here are links to the rest of the draft content, though you could find all of them through the first link:

- All articles tagged 2008 MLB Draft
- The Draft Review Podcast
- The Draft Liveblog
- The Final SaberScouting Draft Top 100
- The Final Mock Draft Part One and Part Two
- Pedro Alvarez Profile
- Early Mock Draft
- Top 25 prospects spreadsheet screenshot

Here’s a link to the SaberScouting Draft Coverage Introduction that covers an outline for our coverage. Here’s our previous attempt at a Mock Draft.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions and wear out our e-mail addresses listed on the About Us page.

We’ll also made a sortable list-style spreadsheet available for download and will update it with each batch of new information. As always, refer to the handy Scouting Tutorial for clarification on some of our terms, and here are some draft-specific notes that apply to the information we’ll be rolling out. Here’s a screenshot of the spreadsheet for the top 25.

There’s links at the end of each capsule to the player profiles that will be rolling out in the upcoming days, and the links will become active as the profiles are created and featured on the front page of the site. Before we get started, a few notes on our methods:

- The position listed is the position we project the player to play in the big leagues

- The Adjusted OFP is just that, adjusted. So, an average of the tools will get you a raw number, and it is then adjusted to reflect the player’s overall value.

- Also, many players are in-between grades. Half grades every 2.5 points would be more detailed, but we could never be completely accurate with a quick look, using just a number. Reference the player profiles’ extended blurbs for more information if there is a discrepancy.

- The tool grades are present/future on a major league scale, except for the present hitting tool. For more information, click on the Scouting Tutorial link above, but the present bat grade is a peer tool (i.e. among top college players) to keep from being burned projecting a bat too much.

1. Tim Beckham, SS, Griffin HS (GA)
Bio: 6′0, 188, Bats R, Throws R, 18 years old
The Skinny: Beckham has been coming on hard toward the top spot since the pre-season high school showcases, where he was wowing scouts at each stop. Beckham flashed elite glovework that will play at short in the big leagues, an advanced bat, and the athleticism, makeup, and aptitude to project across the board. Some question his power projection and prefer surer bets from the college ranks. On the other hand, there’s a chance for 5 plus tools and a team willing to take some risk has a good chance at having a future star at the most premium position. Beckham’s the favorite to go #1 to Tampa Bay.
Pros: Athleticism, Glove, Bat
Cons: Power, Distance from MLB
Comparison: Edgar Renteria with more power
Adjusted OFP: 63
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

2. Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Vanderbilt
Bio: 6′2, 212, Bats L, Throws R, 21 years old
The Skinny: The consensus top prospect at the start of the year has shown an impact bat that makes scouts salivate, but they have been salivating less lately due to a mid-season hand injury sapping some of Alvarez’s power and hurting his timing. He’s hardly falling down draft boards with a special bat and a track record with wood bats to match, but a possible move to 1B and the $9.5 million demands advisor Scott Boras has floated could make teams pause. That being said, he’s got a special bat and won’t get out of the top 3.
Pros: Bat, Power, Track Record
Boras, Injury, Position
Comparison: Lefty-Hitting Aramis Ramirez
Adjusted OFP: 62
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

3. Buster Posey, C, Florida State
Bio: 6′1, 205, Bats R, Throws R, 21 years old
The Skinny: Posey simply continues to gain steam from being a fringe first rounder at the beginning of the season, possibly even enough to make himself the top pick in the draft. With a close-to-sure-thing compact stroke, gap power, good athleticism, plus skills behind the plate, excellent makeup, and a affordable price tag, he is a safe pick for teams and as good a bet to reach his ceiling in the draft. His package of tools compares favorably an athletic MLB backstop like Russell Martin, but Posey is more of a .280 hitter with 12-15 home runs, with more a chance to be a 15-20 home run guy everyday with the all the bombs he’s dropping late in college season.
Pros: Athleticism, Glove, Bat
Cons: Power, Ultimate Upside
Comparison: Russell Martin with a less impact bat
Adjusted OFP: 61
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

4. Brian Matusz, LHS, San Diego
Bio: 6′4, 200, Bats L, Throws L, 21 years old
The Skinny: Matusz has been on the radar for the top of the 2008 draft since he didn’t sign out of high school as a 4th round pick by the Angels in the 2005 draft. Matusz operates with above-average stuff for a lefty, in the low 90’s with the fastball, and flashing a plus curve and plus changeup. He also uses a slider as a fourth pitch and has good command, but relies more on overwhelming college hitters with stuff rather than feel. His command is inconsistent and his mechanics are stiff, two problems that feed off of each other. Along with that, his stuff can play down with these issues and Matusz tends to touch and feel his way through a lineup, when he doesn’t have to. He also frustrates scouts by pitching backwards rather than off of his fastball. He shows the ability to underachieve with big time talent, but has all the makings of an elite lefty starter if it clicks, and is a safe bet to contribute in a big league rotation.
Pros: Stuff/Polish Combination
Cons: Loses Feel at Times
Comparison: Andy Pettitte or Jeff Francis
Adjusted OFP: 61
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

5. Kyle Skipworth, C, Patriot HS (CA)
Bio: 6′3, 195, Bats L, Throws R, 18 years old
The Skinny: Skipworth is the best prep catching prospect since Joe Mauer; that seems to be a good place to start with the highest ceiling in the draft. Skipworth passed the biggest test for a high school hitter when he proved elite hitability with a 18-for-18 stretch against tough southern California prep pitching. He also flashes big power from the left side and a plus arm behind the plate, giving him three plus tools. Along with that, Skipworth has also passed the biggest test for prep catchers by showing drastically improved receiving and throwing skills that now allow you to project him comfortably behind the plate in the big leagues. The only reason he isn’t ranked higher is the track record of high school catchers; there’s a lot of things that go wrong and it’s just hard to successfully project prep catchers—it speaks volumes that he’s in the top 5. The Marlins are known to love him at #6; he won’t get past the Fish barring a weird set of occurrences.
Pros: Bat, Power, Arm
Cons: High School Catcher
Comparison: Brian McCann
Adjusted OFP: 60
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

6. Justin Smoak, 1B, South Carolina
Bio: 6′4, 215, Bats B, Throws L, 21 years old
The Skinny: Aside from Pedro Alvarez, Smoak may be the most potent bat in this draft class. To go along with tremendous upside at the plate, the switch hitting first baseman also is a plus defender at first base with a good arm. He also has raked for three years at South Carolina and in the Cape Cod League after his freshman year, but had some trouble making contact with Team USA after his sophomore year. Many think his swing will need some adjustments to using wood, but just about every college hitter does. Smoak displays plus power to all fields and projects as a relatively safe power bat, especially after yet another big year for the Gamecocks.
Pros: Bat, Power, Defense
Cons: Can Only Play 1B
Comparison: Switch-Hitting Paul Konerko
Adjusted OFP: 59
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

7. Gordon Beckham, SS, Georgia
Bio: 6′0, 185, Bats R, Throws R, 21 years old
The Skinny: Everyone loves players at premium positions who can swing the bat and Beckham fits that description perfectly. There’s some question as to whether he can remain at shortstop, but he continues to answer any and all questions about whether his college production at the plate is for real, as he’s put up a huge season at Georgia. He may be a fringy shortstop, and not every scout is sold on his sometimes awkward swing mechanics, but Beckham put up some big numbers with wood bats in the Cape League and has done all he can to prove he can be an everyday big league bat up the middle.
Pros: Bat/Power/Position Combo
Cons: Swing Mechanics, Can he play SS?
Comparison: Michael Young with less batting average
Adjusted OFP: 58
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

8. Aaron Crow, RHS, Missouri
Bio: 6′2, 205, Bats R, Throws R, 21 years old
The Skinny: Crow exploded onto the prospect scene when he lit up the radar guns in the Cape Cod League and hasn’t missed a beat since. He’s showed a 93-95 mph fastball, plus slider, and good command; he isn’t just another thrower with velocity at the top of the draft. That being said, he’s slipped from top 3 consideration with some inconsistency late in the season, an over-reliance on the slider, and some funk in his delivery. Despite a few concerns, every pitcher has some warts, and not many show the ability to dominate with three pitches and command, so Crow won’t get out of the top ten.
Pros: Fastball, Slider, Track Record
Cons: Delivery, Inconsistency
Comparison: John Maine with more velocity
Adjusted OFP: 58
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

9. Shooter Hunt, RHS, Tulane
Bio: 6′3, 200, Bats R, Throws R, 21 years old
The Skinny: Collegiate power arms with a track record of success are always a commodity in the draft, and behind Crow, Shooter Hunt is the best of that crop. Hunt continues to rack up the strikes out for Tulane, and despite a few too many walks, he is still a potential front of the rotation starter with two plus pitches in a low 90s fastball and hammer curve along with an average changeup. His delivery has some effort in it and that causes some command and control issues, but the stuff borders on unhittable when it’s on and he can be a closer if he changeup and third pitch don’t work out. Texas is rumored to be on Hunt and he probably doesn’t get past #11. Here’s Frankie’s report on Hunt.
Pros: Power stuff, Long track record
Cons: Command/Control, Delivery
Comparison: Max Scherzer with a better breaking ball
Adjusted OFP: 57
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

10. Eric Hosmer, 1B, American Heritage HS (FL)
Bio: 6′4, 215, Bats L, Throws L, 18 years old
The Skinny: Hosmer has been targeted as a top pick for the 2008 draft since he was a freshman in high school. His American Heritage squad is a baseball factory that will likely take home the National Championship this year, as the clinching out for this season’s state title was a Hosmer 94 mph fastball. While he has been up to 95 on the mound with a sidearm delivery and average slider, his calling card has been his bat all along. Hosmer has big power and contact skills that have been proven against top competition with wood bats for years. He also has a propensity to chase high fastballs and his mechanics will break down at times. He won’t be limited only to first base; he has the plus arm to play in the outfield, but is a 40 runner and would be fringy defensively so first base is the best fit. Advisor Scott Boras has reportedly asked for $7 million and that could cause Hosmer to fall a long way or even honor his commitment to Arizona State.
Pros: Bat, Power, Track Record
Cons: Position
Comparison: Justin Morneau
Adjusted OFP: 57
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

11. Yonder Alonso, 1B, Miami (FL)
Bio: 6′2, 215, Bats L, Throws L, 21 years old
The Skinny: Consistency is the name of the game for Yonder Alonso, and that is exactly why a team is likely to make him a top 15 pick. There are many big bats to choose from this year but Alonso is considered by most to be one of the safest to reach their ceiling. There’s a lot to like about this slugging first baseman, including the fact that his big bat may only cost slot money. He also has an advanced approach at the plate, plus power to all fields, above-average defense, and great makeup. He won’t wow you with any of his tools and is a below-average runner, but is in the top tier of talent and will land easily in the top half of the first round.
Pros: Polished bat, Consistency, Full Package
Cons: Problems with advanced arms, Lack of standout tool
Comparison: Adrian Gonzalez
Adjusted OFP: 57
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

12. Casey Kelly, SS, Sarasota HS (FL)
Bio: 6′3, 195, Bats R, Throws R, 18 years old
The Skinny: Like Hosmer, Kelly has also been on the radar for the top of this draft for years. He has a scholarship to play Quarterback for Tennessee in the fall, and is a mid-first round talent as a pitcher, but his calling card is his standout play as a premium shortstop. In a slender 6′3 frame, Kelly flashes present high-level defense that some say is already big league ready with solid range, great hands, and a plus arm that reaches the mid-90s on the mound. With long limbs and some present strength, Kelly flashes present average raw power with projection for more and also has average speed and the makeup that allows many to project him as a Derek Jeter-like star shortstop. Many scouts question how much Kelly’s bat will play in pro ball, but there were similar concerns on Jeter and other athletic all-around players coming out of high school as well—all the elements are there for success with the bat. That being said, at this juncture, Kelly can look tentative and weak with the bat at times, like more of a slap hitter. That may just mean he projects as a solid contact guy as he fills out, rather than a HR threat. Kelly has the confidence, swagger, dynamic personality, and work ethic to be the superstar his tools suggest, and this allow scouts to project the necessary improvements. If Kelly ends up not having a big league bat, a Michael Main-level pitching prospect with a lightning quick arm action, no injury history. 91-93 mph fastball, and present plus curveball is a pretty nice backup plan. The Tigers, Cubs, and Yankees are all known to be on Kelly, and all appear willing to meet his over-slot pricetag to buy out his commitment to play QB and SS for the Vols, but would get some relief by being able to spread the bonus over five years under the dual sport provision by MLB. Here is Kiley’s in-depth Kelly update with video along with other mentions here, here, and here
Pros: Defense, Arm, Full Package
Cons: Bat, Distance from MLB
Comparison: Derek Jeter
Adjusted OFP: 56
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

13. Christian Friedrich, LHS, Eastern Kentucky
Bio: 6′3, 210, Bats R, Throws L, 21 years old
The Skinny: Here comes the second tier of college lefties following Brian Matusz. Mainly because he lacks the power fastball that Matusz possesses, Friedrich is a notch behind. But, armed with a filthy plus curveball and a fastball that hovers around 90, the Eastern Kentucky southpaw looks very attractive considering he still has a ton of projectability for a collegiate player. While scouts like Friedrich’s changeup as a solid third pitch, some have concerns about his consistency with fastball command and reliance on his go-to curveball, along with the low level of competition at small Western Kentucky.
Pros: Curveball, Knack for strikeouts
Cons: Control, Bad college competition
Comparison: Barry Zito, Oakland Version
Adjusted OFP: 56
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

14. Zach Collier, RF, Chino Hills HS (CA)
Bio: 6′2, 185, Bats L, Throws L, 17 years old
The Skinny: Collier burst onto the scene late, jumping from a solid mid-round prospect to a first-rounder after getting 3 hits off of Aaron Hicks (#16 on our list) and taking a Hicks 93 mph fastball deep in front of a gaggle of scouts. He was under the radar because of a short track record (due to not attending the big high school showcases), and is a 17 year old senior that hasn’t had much high level instruction. That being said, scouts caught onto Collier due to his smooth, short left-handed stroke with a high finish and backspin loft. His projectable frame allows scouts to dream on his best tool, raw power, that is mostly pull-side pop, developing into a consistent, pole-to-pole plus tool. He has present above-average speed and an average arm that will play in center, but as he fills out and the power develops, he’ll likely move to right field, where he fits as a solid defender. You could compare Collier’s late rise to earlier versions of late-rising, smooth-hitting, left handed prep OF prospects: in 2005 there was Jay Bruce and in 2002, Jeremy Hermida. Collier is a rawer prospect, as mentioned above, but has the same profile and while not as tooled up or known as fellow Southern California prep outfielders Aaron Hicks and Isaac Galloway, he’s gifted in the right places with big raw power, present hitability, and projection. Bruce and Hermida were more highly-regarded at draft time, ranked 12th and 13th respectively by Baseball America in deeper drafts, but the upside and profile is the same. Collier is a risk/reward pick, but one that has shown, despite being raw, that he can hit better than more polished and instructed prospects, and that’s the tool teams want to bet on. He’s wowed a number of teams in pre-draft workouts and, in a shallow draft like this, he’s a prospect teams are willing to take as high at #9 (Nationals) and the 10-20 range has multiple interested teams.
Pros: Advanced Bat, Power, Projection
Cons: Distance to MLB, Will likely move to corner
Comparison: Raw Version of Jay Bruce
Adjusted OFP: 56
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

15. Ethan Martin, RHS, Stephens County HS
Bio: 6′2, 195, Bats R, Throws R, 18 years old
The Skinny: Martin was a known top prospect coming into the year due to his powerful bat at third base, but burst onto the scene as a top pitching prospect when he shut down Eric Hosmer’s American Heritage HS with a 93-95 mph fastball and above-average slurve and changeup the flash plus. He’s a good athlete that projects as a plus defender at third and repeats his delivery well. The delivery does have some effort in it and it affects his command, but Martin has made strides in refining his approach. Being somewhat new to full-time pitching, his stuff isn’t always crisp everytime out, and there are some rough edges to his game, but scouts like his aggressive demeanor and, like Kelly, Martin has top-round talent as a hitter and pitcher that gives teams a backup option if pitching doesn’t work out.
Pros: Power Stuff, Full Package
Cons: Feel for his craft
Comparison: Micah Owings or GIl Meche
Adjusted OFP: 56
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

16. Aaron Hicks, CF, Wilson HS (CA)
Bio: 6′2, 175, Bats B, Throws R, 18 years old
The Skinny: Hicks has been highly regarded for years and is a tools factory. He’s been up to 97 on the mound and many scouts grade his arm in center as an 80. He has 70 speed that gives him big-time defensive and baserunning potential and has flashed above-average power and hitting ability against the best competition southern California has to offer and as a regular on the national showcase circuit. He also flashes a plus slider along with his plus-plus mid-90’s fastball, but lacks polish on the mound and also has said he has no interest in pitching professionally. So, he projects slightly better as a center fielder and wants to be a cente rfielder, you just get a backup plan on the mound built it if he can’t hit. Hicks gets a lot of comparisons to a similar talent from southern California in the 2003 draft, Adam Jones. Scouts have serious reservations about Hicks’ bat and that devalues all the flashy tools if he doesn’t show the refinement to make contact (or show command on the mound). This ranking is a hedging of sorts, but teams have more polarized opinions of Hicks, who has an enormous upside.
Pros: Arm, Speed, Elite Specimen
Cons: Lacks hitability and polish
Comparison: Adam Jones
Adjusted OFP: 56
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

17. Brett Lawrie, C/UT, Brookswood HS (Canada)
Bio: 5′11, 200, Bats R, Throws R, 18 years old
The Skinny: Lawrie has a lot of helium headed into the days before the draft, but if you asked most scouts who saw him last summer, they may tell you that they saw this coming. The Canadian slugger has played catcher effectively and has showed big upside on offense and defense, flashing plus raw power and a plus arm behind the dish. He also has above-average speed, solid contact skills, plate discipline, and developing defensive skills behind the plate. Lawrie also is surprisingly refined at the pate for a Canadian prospect that hasn’t had as many at-bats as most elite American prep prospects. His advanced bat was made known to teams when he had a 21-for-30 hitting streak on one swing through spring training camps, and hit 3 homers in a double-header on another trip thorough camps, facing some extended spring and low-minors arms, but also some high-level arms, including extra base hits off of Luke Hochevar and Kyle Davies. Lawrie continues to allay fears of a minor league flameout with all-out makeup and some scouts think he may work too hard. The advanced bat and periodic loss of interest defensively may even push him off of catcher to speed up the path to the big leagues, but Lawrie could play almost anywhere on the field except shortstop. Toronto and Minnesota are known to have interest in the mid-first round.
Pros: Bat, Power, Arm
Cons: Raw Tools, Lack of competition
Comparison: Upside of Eric Byrnes or Russell Martin
Adjusted OFP: 56
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

18. Brett Wallace, 1B, Arizona State
Bio: 6′2, 235, Bats L, Throws R, 21 years old
The Skinny: Wallace is the annual “bad body, big bat” player of this year’s draft. To be fair, though, Wallace does not have the awful body or lack of athleticism that people act like he has and his bat is just too good to last long in the first round. Following another video game like season for Arizona State, Wallace is firmly established as one of the best pure bats in the class with elite contact skills and patience that will be his meal ticket. Some scouts question his power, but all agree it’s at least average. He’s played some third base this season, but will ultimately be a serviceable first baseman. Wallace’s body and power work together to elicit a wide range of projections on power and longevity, but everyone thinks he’s a big league hitter.
Pros: Track record, Pure hitter, Patience
Cons: Body, Position, Upside
Comparison: Will Clark or Lefty-Hitting Kevin Youkilis
Adjusted OFP: 56
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

19. Andrew Cashner, RHR, Texas Christian
Bio: 6′5, 185, Bats R, Throws R, 21 years old
The Skinny: This 6-foot-6 righty has been flying up the boards of late, and at least in our eyes, is now the top college reliever in the class. With a fastball that’s been reportedly touching 98 MPH, the TCU righty has been close to untouchable out of the pen. Teams may balk at his lack of track record and closing experience, but others will salivate over his electric arm, projectable frame, and makings of an out-pitch slider. Many teams like his clean arm and feel for a changeup enough to project him as a starter with his newfound velocity, but Cashner lacks feel and command at times and is still raw. Some teams think he could start, which would boost his profile significantly, and there is reportedly interest in the top 10, all the way up to #6 (Marlins). Otherwise, teams like Seattle, Philadelphia, and the Mets are rumored to be looking college reliever in the late teens and early 20s.
Pros: Fresh arm, Fastball velocity
Cons: Track record, Polish
Comparison: Chris Ray
Adjusted OFP: 55
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

20. Tim Melville, RHS, Holt HS (MO)
Bio: 6′5, 210, Bats R, Throws R, 18 years old
The Skinny: Melville has not had the spring that everyone anticipated, and with that in mind, his stock has slipped from the top half of the first round. On the other hand, given the weakness in prep pitching this class has, he still may be the first of that crop to go, and that still may come in the top 20 picks. Projectable arms with fastballs that touch the mid 90’s will always be hot commodities. Melville is a good athlete that would play both ways if he were not sign and go to North Carolina. He has good command of a low 90s fastball and a curve that was plus in the pre-season showcases. Melville’s stuff has been down some during the season while his command and changeup have been inconsistent. He has shown flashes this spring and has shown the stuff, feel, and big projection to be taken in the middle of the first round.
Pros: Projection, Two-pitch combo, Shows feel
Cons: Lackluster spring, changeup
Comparison: Adam Wainwright
Adjusted OFP: 55
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

21. Reese Havens, 2B, South Carolina
Bio: 6′1, 195, Bats L, Throws R, 21 years old
The Skinny: After some so-so college seasons in his freshman and sophomore years, Havens really seemed to turn a corner in the Cape Cod League last summer and this spring with a new batting stance. It looks like second base is a more likely landing spot than shortstop, as he’s rough around the edges defensively. Havens is more quick than fast with good instincts and solid professional makeup. Some teams think his arm is enough to team with his athleticism and savvy and stick him behind the plate. His bat from the left side is more than enough to carry him to the elite levels as a professional player and he has the advanced hitting ability, approach, solid gap power, and good athleticism to entice a team to pop him in the 20s. Boston is known to have interest in Havens since he was in high school, and the worst-kept secret in the draft is the Red Sox intention to take him at #30 (if he’s still there and a premium talent didn’t fall) and convert him into a catcher. Here’s Frankie’s breakdown of Havens’ swing.
Pros: Pure hitter, Top competition
Cons: Position, Power, Upside
Comparison: Kelly Johnson
Adjusted OFP: 55
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

22. Jemile Weeks, 2B, Miami (FL)
Bio: 5′10, 175, Bats B, Throws R, 21 years old
The Skinny: Weeks is known by most as Rickie Weeks little brother, but their games are very different. Jemile has a long track record at Miami and with Team USA of success against top competition. Weeks is a switch-hitter with a quick short stroke and a contact approach with surprising pop for his size and gap power. He’s a plus runner and a heady baserunner that could steal 30 bases. He’s a good fit at second base as he has a below-average arm and no better than average range at the keystone, but has the quick feet and good hands to be a solid defender.
Pros: Bat, Speed, Experience
Cons: Lacks upside at the plate and in the field
Comparison: Chone Figgins without defensive flexibility
Adjusted OFP: 55
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

23. Conor Gillaspie, 3B, Wichita State
Bio: 6′1, 195, Bats L, Throws R, 20 years old
The Skinny: When speaking of Gillaspie, there seems to be a split among teams on just how good he is. However, those who like him like him a lot. Gillaspie, in our eyes, profiles as an outstanding pure hitter, but one who may never hit for more than average power, though. He has an advanced approach and uses the whole field and has a gritty and aggressive approach to the game. He also projects to stay at the hot corner as he’s a solid athlete with an average arm.
Pros: Proven with wood bat, Athleticism, Makeup
Cons: Lacks upside at the plate and in the field
Comparison: Paul O’Neill offensively
Adjusted OFP: 55
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

24. Josh Fields, RHR, Georgia
Bio: 6′0, 180, Bats R, Throws R, 21 years old
The Skinny: Fields was a highly regarded talent in last year’s draft as a sometimes dominating, sometimes baffling college closer. As a Scott Boras client, his demands turned teams off and he went unsigned as a 2nd round pick to the Braves. He showed the same flashes of brilliance this season with a fastball hitting 98 and a Brad Lidge-level two-plane slider, but now lacks leverage as a senior and while his command is improved, it still needs some work. The command issues stem from his max effort mechanics that cause Fields to leave the ball up—a pitch that will get hit more and more often at higher levels. He also has a slight build that gives some pause about his durability, but scouts universally praise his makeup. He has a chance to pitch this season in a big league bullpen, but could also languish in the minors longer than expected with command problems like recent first round college relievers like Ryan Wagner, Joey Devine, and Craig Hansen. Fields is a high risk/high reward pick that contenders in the second half of the draft may pop hoping for big league bullpen help this season.
Pros: Fastball/Slider Combo, Top Competition
Cons: Control, Mechanics, Size
Comparison: Brad Lidge with less command
Adjusted OFP: 55
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

25. Brad Holt, RHS, UNC-Wilmington
Bio: 6′4, 195, Bats R, Throws R, 21 years old
The Skinny: Holt burst onto the scene this season as a legitimate high pick when his projectable frame, smooth mechanics, and clean arm were sitting at 93-95 and hitting 97 late in games for UNC-Wilmington. He now has serious helium with his newfound velocity, and shows uncommonly good command for a big body with a velocity spike. Holt’s slider shows the potential to be above-average but it’s inconsistent now, while he also shows feel for a changeup and a good approach to pitching. Teams are poised to pop Holt as high as the late first round and he seems like a lock to be gone by the 50th pick. Once you get past the top tier of talent in the draft, teams looking for pitching want to bet on starters with clean deliveries and good command of a plus fastball with the ability for three pitches. While he hasn’t faced elite competition and lacks a present out-pitch, Holt meets those criteria, and he has a fresh arm, solid makeup, and no injury history. The Mets and Brewers are known to have interest: both clubs draft players of Holt’s type and both have multiple high picks and a budget where Holt would be attractive as a high upside arm that would be signable in the top 50 picks. Here’s an earlier mention from us of Holt’s meteoric rise.
Pros: Velocity, Fresh Arm, Command
Cons: Lack of high level experience and go-to out pitch
Comparison: Max Scherzer
Adjusted OFP: 55
SaberScouting Prospect Profile

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26 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jeff // May 27, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Posey=Russell Martin?? wow
    i prob just have a problem cause im a Dodger fan that is not high on Posey haha.

    This draft really does not seem very deep or talented. But at the same time im surprised safe picks like smoak are not higher

  • 2 kileymcd // May 27, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Martin is the higher end for Posey, and yes this draft has about 20 first round picks for 30 slots. We’ll see if that assessment hold true about 5 years from now.

  • 3 Uncle John's Band // May 27, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Don’t understand the comments about Hosmer’s batting mechanics. I’ve seen him numerous times and he has an almost picture-perfect swing that will translate extremely well to pro ball.

  • 4 kileymcd // May 27, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    I saw Hosmer for a few games last week and will get more into what I meant by mechanics breaking down in the report I’ll post in the next few days. He obviously wouldn’t be 10th unless he was very talented, but he has room for improvement in his swing, like any HS hitter.

  • 5 erik // May 27, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Wow, a Jay Bruce comp for Collier. I can see why the Nats are so on him. Very nice work, guys. Thanks!

  • 6 kileymcd // May 27, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    The Bruce comp is like the Martin comp, it’s higher end if things work out, but I think that’s what a comp is for.

    Collier isn’t the prospect coming out of HS that Bruce or Hermida was—I hope that comes through in the comment. He just fits that profile of player and could become that, but it’s tough to say what a guy like him will become.

    He does have a better bat probabilty than Aaron Hicks and isn’t a fat corner guy, so we’ll bet on him first.

  • 7 Daily Farm Report 5/27/08 « Future Redbirds // May 27, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    […] rolled out their top 25 for the upcoming draft, with OFP’s for the whole lot. They have Friedrich down as the 13th best player overall, […]

  • 8 that guy // May 28, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Great stuff.

    Couple questions:

    Where would a healthy Scheppers be?

    Do you guys plan on going a 100 deep? Just curious because at the top of the spreadsheet it says top 100.

  • 9 JP // May 28, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Are Meyer and Cole not here due to alleged signability/makeup?
    What about Odorizzi?

  • 10 Scott // May 28, 2008 at 11:22 am

    As always, great insight!

    While Beckham and Hosmer seem young, they also seem to be pretty polished HS players, in that they are coming from strong HS programs playing against other top HS teams. Would it be fair to say (signability aside) that they would take about 3-4 years in the minors before they get a sniff of ML’s., or possibly sooner/longer? Thanks!

  • 11 Scott // May 28, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Also, BA just featured a piece on Melville. Taking into account the wet weather in iowa this spring, and the fact that he took a puck in his eye earlier this spring, I think he has more upside than Adam Wainwright, don’t you?

  • 12 kileymcd // May 28, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    that guy,

    Healthy Scheppers is right behind Hunt for me, right about where everyone seems to have him, in that 10-12 area.

    Yep, 100 is the plan. I’d say the nest 50 is out this week and the rest over the weekend.

    Cole is certainly makeup. Signability isn’t a issue in the list. Meyer will be in the top 50, Odorizzi just missed the top 25.

    We’ve seen HS bats in the recent past zoom through the minors b/c they have a track record almost like college players, with all the wood bat tourneys and the top players playing each other more and more often. That being said, neither Beckham nor Hosmer are the Delmon Young or Justin Upton type, but both should be accelerated, 3-4 sounds about right.

    Adam Wainwright is pretty darn good. He’s a 6′8 #2 or #3 starter with three pitches that are above-average to plus. I’d take that at #20 three times on Sunday. (

  • 13 Scott // May 28, 2008 at 2:11 pm


    The debate rages, I agree with you 100% that Wainwright is a solid #2, I just question whether that is a low ‘upside’ comparison for Melville.

    If you go back to April 2006, Jim Callis at BA wrote a column about the upcoming prep class in that draft. I recall that Kershaw was the top prep arm in a confusing class. That’s not to compare Melville to Kershaw, but Melville is the top prep arm in this class. Taking into account the weather this spring, the passing of his grandmother, and the fact that he was hit in the eye with a puck forcing him to miss some time, he really shouldn’t be falling as far as #20. Prior to this year, he was dominating, and has recently shown he is coming around. In terms of ‘upside’ comparison, with two plus pitches and room to add velocity that he has more upside than Wainwright.

  • 14 kileymcd // May 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    I think the reason we’re not quite as bullish is the diminished stuff this spring, despite the circumstances, is still diminished stuff when other guys stepped forward. You just ding him less than you normally would. It’s just tough to put him ahead of others that were better, and we already took his showcase performances into play.

    As for the comp, I mentioned above that Martin and Bruce comps for Posey and Collier made me uncomfortable because they were top-end if everything worked out, and were meant just to give you an idea of the profile. I just don’t want people will take those and go crazy saying that I’m nuts not to have the next Jay Bruce in the top 10.

    I want to do that as little as possible. No one thinks Melville is going to be a #1 and there’s all kinds of prep pitcher attrition to take into account, so a #2 like Wainwright with comparable size and arsenal is fine for me.

    And, this isn’t just us, all the people we’ve talked to have said there isn’t a consensus #1 prep pitcher, and more have said Martin than Melville.

  • 15 Prospect Profile: Pedro Alvarez | Saber-Scouting // May 30, 2008 at 4:34 am

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  • 16 Jeff // May 30, 2008 at 5:02 am

    Lawrie reminds me a lot of Moustakas from last year. His bat is less developed but they both have the same body type with plus power and hitting ability. also position wise they both are without a true position and both could be catcher but their bats are too good to waste while they learn the position.

    what do you guys think of the comp?

    also i really see lawrie as a 2B not a catcher at all i think he could be a more athletic dan uggla type

  • 17 OBM // May 31, 2008 at 12:54 am

    Melville is a very solid prospect. He isn’t in Porcello’s league by any means, but far better than overblown hype like Homer Bailey.

  • 18 MLB RUMOR // May 31, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    posey will go #1 garunteed. Draft will focus on closers.

  • 19 MLB RUMOR // May 31, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    terrible top 25 by the way. Whoever posted this, figure it out, do some more research

  • 20 CK // May 31, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Christian Friedrich is a pitcher from Eastern Kentucky University. Please don’t insult this EKU alum by getting our school mixed up with our arch-rivals.

  • 21 kileymcd // May 31, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Most scouts don’t make LH/RH comps, like it’s some sacred line you don’t cross (like the cross-racial comp line). Lawrie’s arm is a tick or two lower than Moustakas, but that’s no problem since Moustakas hit 97 on the hill. And the bat is less-developed as you said. Otherwise, it’s an apt comparison defensive tools-wise. Uggla has also been mentioned for Lawrie.

    My bad on the Friedrich thing, it’s fixed. I was just fixated on that fantastic Hilltopper mascot when I typed out his school. The EKU mascot appears to be Colonel Sanders’ hipper cousin, so maybe I’ll choose that one as my new favorite over WKU’s blood vessel with eyes.

    As for that other commenter…nevermind, already wasted too much time.

  • 22 RoyalsRetro // Jun 2, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Any thoughts on where Anthony Hewitt goes? He seems to be a fast riser. Could he crack the top 25? Any projections on what position he’ll end up?

  • 23 kileymcd // Jun 3, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    He certainly could crack the top 25, I’d say there’s a good chance there’s a team willing to gamble on teh upside in the top 30, certainly the top 40.

  • 24 The Draft Liveblog | Saber-Scouting // Jun 5, 2008 at 2:14 pm

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  • 25 Okay, nobody saw that coming « A lonestar in california // Jun 5, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    […] is what has to say about Smoak (they ranked him at #6 on their list of top 100 prospects): 6. Justin […]

  • 26 Ask Us Questions! | Saber-Scouting // Jun 5, 2008 at 10:07 pm

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