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Spotlight intensifies as draft draws near

College, high school stars making most of showcase tourneys
April 18, 2007

Things are really heating up in The Draft Report for a number of reasons.

First, with each passing week, we're getting closer and closer to draft day so the information-gathering process takes on more importance with each edition. We're getting to the point where we can start trying to figure out (some would say guess) who's going to go where in the first round.

Second, The Draft Report keeps getting better and better in the way we provide this information. Added to many of our reports is exclusive draft video, courtesy of the Major League Scouting Bureau. Not only can you read about some of the top names in the draft class, you can watch them as well. And navigation has been simplified, with a drop-down menu of all the reports being added to each individual report. Hope you enjoy the improvements!

And we also hope you enjoy this week's report, which is brimming with 10 potential draftees. We've got a couple of college players coming back from injuries this year, one big college bat returning for a huge senior season, a few catchers to consider and much, much more.

Last week, we mentioned the Phil Nevin National Classic. There were several good performances in the Southern California tournament and some of the names are included below. One eyebrow-raising tidbit to come out of the event, though, was right-hander Kyle O'Campo throwing 131 pitches in his start.

The biggest draft-related news of late came out of Clemson University. The Tigers have moved Daniel Moskos out of his usual closer role and into the starting rotation. He's made two starts as Clemson's Friday starter with some pretty good results -- 10 innings, 12 hits, two earned runs, just one walk and 11 strikeouts. It's a win-win situation for both school and scouts. Clemson has been having trouble scoring runs and with Moskos in the bullpen, they were often not using their best pitcher with any regularity. Many scouts have thought Moskos had the pitches to be a starter, but weren't sure whether his mechanics would hold up when he was stretched out. The coming weeks should help answer those questions, and if his first starts are any indication, Moskos' draft status has certainly improved with the move to the rotation.

Now onto the 10-pack of reports for this week:

Julio Borbon, OF, University of Tennessee: Borbon's game on Friday night against Mississippi State was just his 13th of the season as the speedy center fielder suffered a fractured ankle before the year began. He appeared healthy and running full speed over the weekend. Complete Report.

Gary Brown, OF, Diamond Bar HS, Calif.: A riser in the draft class -- with helium, as they say -- Brown is a speedster who has shown the ability to handle the bat as well. Complete Report.

Travis d'Arnaud, C, Lakewood HS, Calif: Scouts flocked to a matchup between Lakewood and El Toro High School in the championship game of the La Palma Kennedy/Anaheim Lions tournament to see d'Arnaud and fellow California high school prospect Austin Romine. Complete Report.

Edward Easley, C, Mississippi State: Easley's been having a good year at the plate this season, hitting .400 with some power. College catchers always draw interest and Easley is no exception. Complete Report.

Matt LaPorta, 1B, University of Florida: LaPorta entered the 2006 season as one of the top college bats in the nation, but he had an awful junior year because of an injury. He's bounced back with a vengeance, hitting .433 with 16 homers and slugging .882 for the Gators. Complete Report.

Jack McGeary, LHP, Roxbury Latin HS, West Roxbury, Mass.: Drawing dozens of scouts in his first start, McGeary didn't allow a hit and struck out 15 in 6 2/3 innings. Complete Report.

Austin Romine, C, El Toro HS, Calif.: Though Romine's El Toro team lost to Travis d'Arnaud's Lakewood squad in the championship game of the La Palma Kennedy/Anaheim Lions tournament, he still showed some good skills. Complete Report.

Cole St. Clair, LHP, Rice University: The big lefty reliever recently came back from a shoulder injury, but seems to be close to returning to form. He pitched 1 2/3 innings on Sunday against the University of Houston on Sunday, just his third outing of the year, then came back and threw three hitless frames on Tuesday night against Texas. Complete Report.

James Simmons, RHP, UC Riverside: Riverside's Friday-night starter is a command specialist with a decent fastball-changeup mix. How well he can throw his breaking ball in the future could determine his success as a pro. Complete Report.

Josh Smoker, LHP, Calhoun HS, Ga.: There are a number of outstanding prep lefty pitchers and Smoker could be near the top of the list with a decent fastball, good slider and a strong arm that looks like it should be durable in the future. Complete Report.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for