2/20/12

Draft 2012: Brian Johnson, Lance McCullers, Austin Dean, Mac Williamson

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3. Brian Johnson, LHP/1B, Florida - Johnson is a guy that I think may have a shot at Danny Hultzen fever (a guy that catches fire and ends up  in the top-5 discussion). He’s a guy that has a few things going for him on the mound and again he may just really lighting up the compitition on his way to a June payday. But he’s always been a tweener, never really one way or another, in therms of pitcher or position player and he’s not been real consistent. He’s not got the bat to stick long term at first base. He’s just got too many question marks to sit  inside the top-10 for me. Again this is purely my opinion, based on statistics, seen on both TV/youtube and what I’ve read online.  http://sodomojo.com/2012/02/13/more-mlb-draft-talk-and-a-quick-little-top-5/

8. Lance McCullers, RHP, Jesuit HS, Tampa, FL - McCullers utilizes a classic, old fashioned "drop and drive" delivery, his right knee scraping the dirt as he follows through, a la Tom Seaver. His father, also named Lance, was a major league pitcher for seven seasons and the younger McCullers also possesses big time stuff: A heavy mid- to high-90's fastball coupled with a biting low-80's breaking ball. In his pitching motion, McCullers severely cocks his arm behind his back prior to releasing the pitch, raising concerns of a future shoulder injury. As a professional, McCullers could be a fine starter but he profiles best as an elite closer. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/highschool/02/13/baseball.top.10.prospects/index.html#ixzz1mJYi8Rky

 7. Austin Dean, 3B, Klein Collins (Spring, Texas)  I liked Dean more than most at the Area Code Games. He showed no glaring weaknesses despite the lack of a standout tool, but the power potential is apparent and he stings the ball consistently in batting practice. He's adept at going the other way and reminds some of a young Casey Blake. If he shows he can stick at third, he's a Day 2 pick. Dean is committed to the University of Texas. http://espn.go.com/blog/high-school/baseball/post/_/id/1108/joey-gallo-is-nation%e2%80%99s-top-corner-infielder  

Wake Forest JR OF Mac Williamson - Not exactly a banner year for ACC outfielders, but Thomas, Ramsey, and Williamson all do enough well to warrant early round draft consideration in 2012. Thomas, the most heralded outfielder in the conference by a long shot, comes by his high praise honestly. I’ve been told his tools have been consistently overrated by the national media (it is admittedly a minority view, but he’s been described to me as a “tweener” outfielder, i.e. not enough power for a corner, not enough speed for center), so I look forward to seeing him for myself this spring. Even as a tweener, he’s still worth mentioning as a great athlete who put up pretty darn impressive numbers last year as a sophomore. Ramsey’s best tool is easily his bat, though I’m not sure there is enough to it if he’s locked into left field always and forever. This is sort of the Devon Travis dilemma all over again: interesting prospect at one position only who is risky because of the unlikelihood of being able to transition to a utility role. Rumors of improved range (better jumps and increased mobility, most notably) and his forthcoming trial in center field for the Seminoles give some hope that he shows enough this spring to get pro teams believing he can at least hold down the fort at center and right. Williamson is another player who I’ve spent a disproportionate (compared to his prospect stock) amount of time writing about over the years. His tools, most notably the arm and power, continue to shine, and his improved approach in 2011, though not yet quite where you’d like to see in terms of BB/K numbers, is encouraging. Rumors of him being tried behind the plate at Wake Forest seem to be officially dead and buried, but I wonder if a pro team might see things differently.

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