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High-profile prep stars showing off for scouts

With season underway, Northeast high school players getting chance to impress
April 11, 2007

Is eight enough?

For The Draft Report as a whole, it's not, but it's plenty for this week's edition.

We're hitting the prep ranks hard this week, with seven of the eight players coming from high school. As hinted last week, the seasons are getting underway in the Northeast, affording the opportunity to learn about some interesting arms. If you noticed a caravan of rental cars going from West Orange, N.J. to Groton, Conn. and then up to West Roxbury, Mass., those were the dozens of scouts who were trying to check out Rick Porcello, Matt Harvey and Jack McGeary in a three-day span. We've got reports on Porcello and Harvey and will update you on McGeary next week. Throw in one of Porcello's teammates, an intriguing arm from the Virginia Beach baseball hotbed and a long-followed high schooler in the Pacific Northwest and fans of high school pitching will certainly get their fill this week.

More interested in offense? No problem there. Check out reports on a pair of toolsy high school outfielders in Florida and Alabama. And we didn't want to ignore the college ranks completely, so we've got all the info on one of the hottest hitters at any level, Beau Mills.

In other draft-related news, there's another college bat to start tracking. Tennessee OF Julio Borbon isn't an impact power bat, but he's the best top-of-the-order speed guy from the university ranks. He missed the first month of the season with an injury, but he's been back since March 20 and has hit .286 over 56 at-bats with three steals. We'll have a report on him next week. ... We've covered a lot of the amateur talent in California so far. If you want to see a bunch of it in one place, head to the Phil Nevin National Classic, which runs through Thursday. Kyle O'Campo is there with his Poly High School team. Another pitcher to watch is Tanner Robles from Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. OF/1B Andrew Lambo is there with Newbury Park High School, as is catcher Travis d'Arnaud from Lakewood. Rest assured the Draft Report will have the latest from the Classic in next week's edition.

Now onto this week's report:

Michael Burgess, OF, Hillsborough HS, Tampa, Fla.: Hillsborough High School has produced some high-profile talent like Dwight Gooden, Gary Sheffield and, more recently, Elijah Dukes. Burgess, a powerful outfield prospect, could be next. Complete Report.

Evan Danieli, RHP, Seton Hall Prep, West Orange, NJ: Danieli might get overshadowed by his teammate Rick Porcello, but he's a prospect in his own right. Facing Columbia High School on April 4, he went five innings in the snow, allowing one run on two hits, three walks and eight strikeouts. Complete Report.

Kentrail Davis, OF, Theodore HS, Theodore, Ala.: Davis is a tremendous athlete with all five tools, though some feel those tools are a little on the raw side. Complete Report.

Matt Harvey, RHP, Fitch HS, Groton, Conn: Harvey's first outing of the spring was a little uneven, allowing two runs over four innings, but he certainly showed enough to make sure scouting decision makers come back a second time. Complete Report.

Beau Mills, 3B, Lewis-Clark State College: After spending two years at Fresno State, Mills transferred to NAIA powerhouse Lewis-Clark State and has kept on hitting, and hitting with power. After a four-homer weekend, Mills, the son of Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills, is hitting .460 with 15 doubles, 16 homers, 64 RBIs and a .914 SLG over 33 games. Complete Report.

Greg Peavey, RHP, Hudson's Bay HS, Vancouver, Wash.: The right-hander from the Pacific Northwest has been on the scouting radar screen for some time. This report comes from an outing on March 20 against Bellevue High School, in which Peavey went five innings, allowing one hit and striking out 10. Complete Report.

Rick Porcello, RHP, Seton Hall Prep, West Orange, NJ: It's a shame when a pitcher struggles in his season debut, but Rick Porcello did no such thing. With the Northeast high school schedule getting under way, scouts flooded New Jersey to see Porcello's first start on April 9 and he didn't disappoint, pitching a complete-game (seven innings) four-hit shutout, yielding no walks and striking out 16. Complete Report.

Neil Ramirez, RHP, Kempsville HS, Virginia Beach, Va.: Virginia Beach has become a hotbed of amateur baseball talent and Ramirez sits atop the list of possible draftees in 2007. He faced the top-ranked team in the state, Cox High School, in this outing. Complete Report.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for