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Class of 2007 Draft Report

Weekly look inside this year's crop of future prospects
February 6, 2007

For most, the draft season doesn't really start until June, maybe May for the real fan. But for scouts around baseball, it's already upon us.

The college baseball schedule got going over the weekend, and with it, scouts started racking up the frequent-flyer mileage. Many went straight from the college weekend to a big high school workout at the MLB Academy in Compton, Calif.

Just what are they seeing in this first go-round? That's what the Draft Report hopes to uncover and share with you. Every week, the report will give you, the draft fan, the buzz regarding the draft class of 2007. Between now and June, we'll bring you what the scouting industry is saying about those vying to enter the pro ranks this coming summer.

As you'll be able to tell in this first edition, there are often varying opinions about the same player. Two scouts can see one performance and come away with two different evaluations. That's the beauty of scouting, and we hope we can share that with you as well.

James Adkins, LHP, Tennessee
Class: Junior
Height/weight: 6-foot-6/225 pounds

Draft history: Phillies, 2004 (13th round)

2007 season stats: 0-1, 1.80 ERA, 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Scouting report: Big college lefty who likely raised his profile with his start against Florida State. He features a fastball in the 88-92 mph range and a plus, plus slider. College southpaws are always in high demand and if Adkins keeps this up, he'll rise on draft charts everywhere.

Scouts say: "He threw the ball well. He's got fourth-starter potential. ... He certainly made some noise and people will be seeing him now. ... He put himself on the map pretty well with that one. ... With that slider, he's more of a left-on-left bullpen guy."

Projected round: Top three rounds, but on the rise.

JP Arencibia, C, Tennessee
Class: Junior
Height/weight: 6-1/195

Draft history: Mariners, 2004 (17th round)

2007 season stats: .200 (2-for-10), 1 HR, 2 RBIs, .500 SLG, .385 OBP

Scouting report: The USA Baseball Athlete of the Year is all about his bat. He profiles as an average defender, at best, but has very good pop at the plate.

Scouts say: "He showed the plus raw power in BP that everyone knows he has. ... He didn't have a very good weekend, but it was very cold. ... He's an offensive guy. At that position, you have to give and take. ... He has arm strength, but his defensive skills are slightly below average."

Projected round: Chance to be a first-rounder, but will have to improve performance moving forward.

Matt Cusick, 2B/3B, USC
Class: Junior
Height/weight: 5-10/190

Draft history: Never been drafted

2007 season stats: .214 (3-for-14), 2 RBIs, .214 SLG, .313 OBP, 0-1 SB

Scouting report: Cusick is an offensive-minded infielder who could hit for average in the future. He doesn't have much power and cannot run that well. Defensively, he needs work at second base, but with plus makeup, could work hard enough to become average there.

Scouts say: "I liked his bat. He can control the bat, both pulling the ball and going the other way. He's got a good swing and could be a No. 2-type hitter, maybe a Mark Lemke type. ... He's a one-dimensional player. He'll be a stats guy because he gets on base, but I didn't see a whole lot of tools."

Projected round: Three through five

Nolan Gallagher, RHP, Stanford
Class: Junior
Height/weight: 6-3/200

Draft history: Never been drafted

2007 season stats: 0-1, 18.00 ERA, 3 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Scouting report: 88- to 89-mph fastball, curve, change-up. Heading into his start vs. Cal State-Fullerton, the thought was that he could take a big leap forward this season.

Scouts say: "He'd have to have a complete metamorphosis to be a prospect. He pitched scared, afraid of contact. His off-speed stuff was below average. There just was nothing there."

Projected round: Not at this point

Brad Meyers, RHP, Loyola Marymount
Class: Junior
Height/weight: 6-6/195

Draft history: Mets, 2004 (14th round)

2007 season stats: 1-0, 4.50 ERA, 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Scouting report: Meyers has a fastball that has been clocked as high as 92-94 mph, but was at 88-91 over the weekend. He throws a slider and a change-up and his fastball has some sink.

Scouts say: "He was Derek Lowe-ish. ... He had no real out pitch. ... He was just OK for a guy being considered in the first round."

Projected round: Supplemental first or second round

Adrian Ortiz, OF, Pepperdine
Class: Junior
Height/weight: 6-1/165

Draft history: Cubs, 2004 (5th round)

2007 season stats: .333 (4-for-12), 1 2B, 2 3B, 1 RBI, .750 SLG, .385 OBP

Scouting report: Fairly touted out of the Puerto Rico Academy in high school; opinions vary on how much he's improved since going to college. He can run, but won't hit for much power.

Scouts say: "Nobody's talking about him. I liked him in high school, but it sounds like people don't like him as much now as I did then. ... He's kind of a poor man's Pedro Borbon (the injured center fielder from Tennessee). He needs to get going, but I think he's going to."

Projected round: Top five rounds

Wes Roemer, RHP, Cal State-Fullerton
Class: Junior
Height/weight: 6-1/200

Draft history: Never been drafted

2007 season stats: 1-0, 4.50 ERA, 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

Scouting report: A command-and-feel pitcher with three decent offerings. His fastball sits in the 89-90 mph range, though he can get to 91-92 mph on occasion. He can back-door his slider, an extremely tough pitch for left-handed hitters. He also has good command of his changeup and is a very good competitor.

Scouts say: "He got a little tired at the end of his start. ... His delivery, body type and arm action are not conducive for starting. He's a prototypical setup guy."

Projected round: Second half of the first round

Brant Rustich, RHP, UCLA
Class: Senior
Height/weight: 6-6/225

Draft history: Indians, 2006 (13th round)

2007 season stats: 2 G, 2 IP, 1 SV, 1 H, 3 K

Scouting report: The senior closer features a 93- to 94-mph fastball and a slider that can be a plus pitch. In the past, he's thrown a change-up and a split, neither of which he threw in the opening weekend of play. He may not be throwing split because of a finger injury that required surgery in 2006.

Scouts say: "He threw the ball well. With his size and stuff, he could be a back-of-the-bullpen kind of guy. ... His delivery is better than it was a year ago -- his arm slot is a little higher. He doesn't have power closer stuff and lacks deception. His value would go up if he were a starter."

Projected round: First or supplemental first round

Joe Savery, LHP, Rice
Class: Junior
Height/weight: 6-3/215

Draft history: Dodgers, 2004 (15th round)

2007 season stats: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Scouting report: Coming off shoulder surgery, the key will be if Savery can get back to the pitcher he was pre-injury. When healthy, he's a big, strong lefty with a fastball in the 90-94 mph range and a slider that's a real out pitch.

Scouts say: "It's a start. It was promising. You're looking for how he looks physically, not his stuff (yet). Was he loose? Was he laboring? That sort of thing. All of that was positive, so we'll see."

Projected round: Top 10 pick if he's healthy.

Nick Schmidt, LHP, Arkansas
Class: Junior
Height/weight: 6-5/230

Draft history: Never been drafted

2007 season stats: 1-0, 6.00 ERA, 3 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K

Scouting report: Has two above-average pitches -- a fastball that sits around 91 mph and a change-up. He's a pitchability lefty who will have to show the ability to throw a breaking ball more consistently to go high in the draft.

Scouts say: "It was 30 degrees when he pitched. He didn't show anything, but it was his first outing of the year -- he had a strict pitch count of 65. He should pick it up as it warms up. ... The concern is the breaking ball. It wasn't ideal conditions to see it, but people will look for that in the spring."

Projected round: First round

Michael Taylor, OF, Stanford
Class: Junior
Height/weight: 6-6/260

Draft history: Never been drafted

2007 season stats: .231 (3-for-13), 2 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, .769 SLG, .333 OBP

Scouting report: Scouts have known Taylor since he was a sophomore in high school and a teammate of Royals pitcher Zack Greinke. Those who like him see a big, strong, corner outfielder who has a good arm and can hit with power. Those who don't see a big player who hasn't improved during his time at Stanford.

Scouts say: "He's a big, raw, crude athlete who hasn't gotten better at all. ... He's basically a big guy who swings the bat hard, but his bat and body have slowed. ... Is he a legitimate hitter? There's enough there for some to be intrigued by."

Projected round: Opinions are so varied, it's hard to rate, but he'll be helped by the dearth of college bats in this draft class.

On Feb. 5, the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton held a showcase for the state's top high school prospects. More than 100 scouts and executives -- as many as 200 by some counts -- attended to get an early look at what the prep class of 2007 might have to offer. Here are some of the findings.

Christian Colon, SS/2B
Canyon HS, Anaheim, Calif.
Height/weight: 5-11/175

Scouting report: While Ryan Dent (below) is more of a toolsy middle infielder, Colon is not. He doesn't run well, but has a good arm and can play shortstop. Like Matt Dominguez, he's more of a "baseball player" than a toolsy player.

Scouts say: "He looked the same as he always does. There's not a lot of projection, but he's a good player. I don't know how much upside he has, but he's solid."

Projected round: Second-third round

Ryan Dent, SS/2B
Wilson HS, Long Beach, Calif.
Height/weight: 5-10/180

Scouting report: Dent was hurt last year and missed some of the bigger showcase events, so this was a big opportunity for him in front of a large audience, many of whom hadn't seen him in the past. There is a debate over whether he'll be able to play shortstop in the future, though he has the skills to play second or even the outfield. He can hit and has plus speed.

Scouts say: "He had one of the better 60 times there. It's a nice addition to the knowledge file as we move forward. ... He's very athletic, and he's got some life in his bat. He's a very intriguing guy."

Projected round: Sandwich-second round

Matt Dominguez, 3B
Chatsworth HS, Chatsworth, Calif.
Height/weight: 6-2/185

Scouting report: Dominguez has played some shortstop but profiles as a third baseman because of his size. He has solid tools across the board -- power being the best of them -- but none of them overwhelm scouts. He reminds some of Travis Fryman at the same age.

Scouts say: "I saw a little more power than I'd seen in the past. He runs average and throws average, but he'll be able to stay at third. He's got a lot of good assets, a lot of good pieces to his game."

Projected round: Second or third round

Kyle O'Campo, RHP
Poly HS, Riverside, Calif.
Height/weight: 6-2/175

Scouting report: He came in behind some of the other arms, even in California, but his performance at the showcase may have put him ahead. He has the makings of a power arm, with a fastball he keeps down in the zone that sits in the 90-94 mph range. His slider could become an out pitch, but he gets on the side of it. His third pitch, a change-up, is far behind. The development of his secondary stuff will determine where he goes in the draft.

Scouts say: "He stepped it up more than some of the others. ... He's cleaned his delivery up and added positive weight. His fastball was jumping out of hand."

Projected round: As high as a sandwich pick, second round

Victor Sanchez, 3B
Gahr HS, Norwalk, Calif.
Height/weight: 6-1/175

Scouting report: While he's played some shortstop in high school, he'll have to move to third or maybe left field in the future. He's got a good arm, but isn't agile enough to stay at short. Offensively, he has some definite power projection.

Scouts say: "He's big and he's got some power. He can catch the ball, but he just doesn't move well."

Projected round: Rounds three to five

Josh Vitters, 3B
Cypress HS, Cypress, Calif.
Height/weight: 6-3/195

Scouting report: Vitters entered the year as one of the top few high school hitters in the draft class. He has the potential to hit both for average and lineup and profiles as a middle-of-the-lineup hitter. Defensively, he's got a strong arm, though fielding is not his strength, mostly because he hasn't worked as much on his defense as he has his hitting.

Scouts say: "He showed advanced hitting attributes in BP, with plus power. ... He's got some tools. And he even played some first base at the end, too."

Projected round: First round

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for