High school stars, college bats take the stage

Focus of 2007 draft could be younger pitchers

(Aflac)

By Jonathan Mayo / MLB.com | March 7, 2007 9:40 AM

We're reaching into the vault and going back a few weeks to make sure all the draftniks out there are getting the scoop on all the top names in the Class of 2007.

The college bat group doesn't seem to be all that strong, so the few good ones out there are sure to fly off the board in June. We're bringing you two more in this week's report, one from Oklahoma State and one from Rutgers. Both, coincidentally, play on the left side of the infield.

We also thought it was time for us to check out Carolina. This week, there's a left-handed pitcher who's creating a lot of buzz and a shortstop who's getting some mixed reports. Then, before it's done, the Draft Report shoots over to Texas to break down an intriguing right-handed hurler from the prep ranks.

A quick programming note -- The Draft Report will be on a short hiatus for two weeks after this edition. But fear not, draft nuts. We'll be back in full force the week of March 26. Now, let's not waste any more time and get right to the quintet of prospects for this week.

Madison Bumgarner, LHP, South Caldwell HS, Hudson, NC: Lefties with fastballs that can touch the mid-90s don't grow on trees. Those who have that ability in high school get a lot of attention, like Bumgarner. Complete Report.

Todd Frazier, SS, Rutgers University: A draftee out of high school that has two brothers with pro experience (Jeff is now in the Mariners organization), Frazier has been generating buzz due to a good start and lack of strong position players in the college ranks. He did go 7-for-16 with a homer -- his fifth of the year -- in a weekend series against Georgia Tech. Complete Report.

Justin Jackson, SS, Roberson HS, Asheville, NC: The Draft Report's been hearing different things on Jackson. He didn't show well a week ago, but then in a marquee matchup against fellow prep prospect Sam Runion, he stepped it up a bit. Complete Report.

Matt Mangini, 3B, Oklahoma State: Mangini might be behind only Matt Wieters in terms of college bats and is now hitting .433 over 14 games. Our report comes from Feb. 17, when scouts liked what they saw, but also had some concerns. Complete Report.

Chris Withrow, RHP, Midland Christian HS, Midland, Texas: With a strong outing in a scrimmage back on Feb. 17, the right-hander firmly put himself on all follow lists with return trips planned. Complete Report.

Other draft notes: If you head to the University of Georgia on Wednesday, you'll see plenty of scouts. That's because usual closer Josh Fields, profiled in the Draft Report from a Feb. 9 game, will be starting the game. He has not been throwing the ball well out of the pen so far this year and this could give scouts an interesting look. ... A pair of top college lefties seem to be moving in different directions. Vandy's David Price pitched a complete game last Friday and struck out 13. Rice's Joe Savery, on the other hand, is showing he's not quite ready to be truly evaluated as a top pick after coming off recent shoulder surgery. He went 3 1/3 innings on Sunday and gave up three runs on three hits and four walks. ... Tennessee played without two of its top draft-eligible talents over the weekend. Catcher J.P. Arencibia hasn't played since Feb. 18 because of a back problem. Outfielder Julio Borbon, expected to be one of the top college bats to go in June, hasn't played yet because of an ankle injury. There have been mixed reports about when he will return, but he was still on crutches over the weekend.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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