Top 10 C in 2014 MLB Draft - Updated 4-26-14

1.       Alex Jackson – Rancho Bernardo (CA) HS –

9-4-13 – Mack’s Mock Draft v1.0 – 5 – Brewers – C Alex Jackson – Rando Bernardo (CA) HS – We can talk all day about what a great catcher Jackson is, but this a future corner outfielder in the making. He probably will rate out as an average outfielder, but he does have a ++ arm that will work well out there. But, you’re drafting this guy for his bat. Is one of the top projected power hitters of the draft.

1-27-14 – BP - Positional Preview: High School Catchers - Alex Jackson | C/OF | Rancho Bernardo (San Diego, CA) | Commit: Oregon  Height/Weight: 6-foot-2/210 pounds  B/T: R/R  Draft Day Age: 18y 5m  Jackson boasts one of the best blends of offensive and defensive upside in the draft class, with a chance to hit for average and power while providing solid defense behind the dish and a strong catch-and-throw game. The Oregon commit routinely impressed in batting practice throughout the summer showcase circuit, with big pull side power generated through a leveraged swing. In-game the load can get a little deep, with the swing length causing some issues with velocity, but the bat-to-ball ability and bat speed give hope that the Oregon commit will figure things out as he continues to log reps against quality arms. Behind the plate Jackson moves well side-to-side with and shows an ability to impact the game with his arm, clocking pops as low as 1.77 for me over the summer and routinely sitting in the 1.85 to 1.95 range with low, level lines on his throws. There’s work to be done, no doubt, but the San Diego prepster has the body and athleticism to grow into a solid receiver and defender. Should a team desire to shift him to a corner to expedite offensive development, he is athletic enough to handle right field and possesses more than enough arm. Jackson was a worthy recipient of the first annual Baseball Prospectus Prospect of the Year Award last August as an impressive athlete with a chance to grow into an impact bat at a premium defensive position. He currently profiles as a solid top half of the first round talent. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22662

2.       Kyle Schwarber – Indiana –

             (up from #3)

B/R – 11-21-13 - Kyle Schwarber, C/1B, Indiana - Possessing arguably the best raw power in the 2014 draft class, Kyle Schwarber is loaded with strength at 6’0”, 235 pounds—and it shows when he hits the ball. Furthermore, because he has a relative flat bat path and keeps the barrel in the zone for an extended period of time, he projects to hit for a decent average at the highest level. Even though he’s currently a catcher, Schwarber is adequate at best defensively, lacking the agility and athleticism needed to be a full-time regular in the majors. So while he’s likely ticketed for a career at first base, his potent bat has the potential to support the position change.  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1860341-2014-mlb-mock-draft-early-first-round-projections-for-all-30-teams/page/10

3.       Max Pentacost – Kennesaw State –

                (down from #2)

9-4-13 – Mack’s Mock Draft v1.0 – 30 – C Max Pentacost – Kennesaw State – Players earn their summer stripes in different ways and Pentacost earned his at the Cape Cod Games. He dominated offensively and was also named the Perfect Game College Summer Player of the Year. You can’t do better than that.

2-5-14 - Max Pentecost, C, Kennesaw State - If scouts believe Pentecost can stick behind the plate, he has an outside chance to go this high with a strong junior season. His offensive potential alone makes him a first round pick. He picked up MVP honors at the Cape Cod League after hitting .346 over 35 games with six home runs, 29 RBI and five stolen bases. He also drew 16 walks to 22 strikeouts, showing off a solid approach at the plate. The 6’-2”, 195 pound right-hander is a very good athlete who has been clocked at 6.8 in the 60. Over 57 games as a sophomore, he hit .302/.374/.410 with 14 doubles, three home runs and drew 22 walks to 27 strikeouts. More of a line-drive hitter right now, many believe more power is going to come. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-draft-dark-horse-candidates-chicago-cubs-first-pick/41075#UeYBipV5rOuYd7xE.99


4.  Chase Vallot

        (up from #5)

9-4-13 – Mack’s Mock Draft v1.0 – 22 – C Chase aellott – St. Thomas More (LA) HS – There’s a lot of good catching in this draft and Vellott is one of them. Has a strong arm capable of pop times in the 1.9-2.0 second range. Vallot is one of the youngest players in the class and will not turn 18 until the end of the minor league season next year

12-10-13 – TTF – Top 50 HS Players - 31. Chase Vallot, C/OF, St. Thomas More HS (LA) - One of the youngest players in the draft, the 6’-0”, 205-pound right-hander generates a ton of raw power due to his bat speed and strong wrists. His strong arm, size and footwork could allow him to stick at a premium position but many believe a move to a corner outfield position is likely. Another player I got to see at Wrigley, he hit a couple bombs out of the park with ease and showed a polished approach at the plate during the game. Committed to Mississippi State. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-draft-top-50/40532#zz88YJZTOG8iEa1Z.99  

5.       Jakson Reetz – Norris (NE) HS –

               (down from #4)

1-27-14 – BP - Positional Preview: High School Catchers - Jakson Reetz | C/OF/RHP | Norris (Firth, NE) | Commit: Nebraska  Height/Weight: 6-foot-1/195 pounds  B/T: R/R  Draft Day Age: 18y 5m  Reetz is one of the better athletes in the draft class at the catcher position, and showed good growth in his game between June and October. The Nebraska commit is an instinctual player who has no trouble slowing the game down on both sides of the ball. Throughout the summer and fall Reetz showed a knack for squaring up pitches and effectively working the whole field. Perhaps most impressive was how strong he finished the long summer, with a monster August/September that included a standout performance for the gold medal USA Baseball 18U National Team, a loud Area Code Games, and MVP honors at the Perfect Game All-American Classic. He’ll enter the spring as the top draft prospect in the Cornhusker State. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22662

    6.  Grayson Greiner -

9-29-13 – XMLBScout – 6.)C, Grayson Greiner, South Carolina, 6'5 215, R/R, one of best catchers in collegiate baseball for 2014, throws well above ave with sub 2.0 pop times and presence to be a strong ML catcher for a long time, has enough bat speed and strength to hit 250 and drive in some runs from the 6-7 hole spot and hit 15-20 HR's on occasion, best suited as a defensive guy, a gamer with good hands and shifts well defensively to be solid ML catcher. Top 10 picks for 2014!!  http://xmlbscout.angelfire.com/

7.  Aramis Garcia - Florida International

 Prior to FIU: Attended Pines Charter High School in Pembroke Pines, Fla. where he was coached by Carlos Iglesias... Drafted in the 20th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals... Garcia is a rarity; an athletic high school catching prospect with remarkably quick feet and fluid receiving skills... His home-to-second-base throwing times range from 1.85 to 1.95 seconds, already above major league average... 2011 Rawlings Florida Region Honorable Mention All-American... Finished his high school career a .414 hitter (106-for-256) with 15 home runs, 89 RBI and 79 runs scored... Hit .508 with seven home runs, 25 RBI and a 1.071 slugging percentage his senior year... As a senior, was named team MVP as well as All-County First-Team by the Miami Herald and the Sun-Sentinel... Also named All-Broward First-Team and All-District First-Team by BrowardHighSchoolBaseball.com in addition to being selected to numerous all-tar squads... Qualified for the Connie Mack World Series with the Florida Legends in the summers of 2010 and 2011... Was team MVP in 2011.         

8.  Garrett Boulware - Clemson

Catcher who emerged as one of the team's best hitters in 2013 after playing sparingly in 2012 ... a career .290 hitter with a .366 on-base percentage in 89 games (77 starts) over two seasons ... has 14 doubles, one triple, eight homers, 47 RBIs, 50 runs, 27 walks, nine hit-by-pitches, and four steals ... has committed only three errors and has a .993 fielding percentage ... showed his versatility as a freshman by playing most of his action in the outfield while serving as the team's third-string catcher in 2012 ... sidelined for the 2013 fall practice season due to a shoulder injury, but recovered in time for the 2014 season ... team co-captain for 2014  

9.     JJ Schwarz – Palm Beach Gardens (FL) HS –

11-19-13 - J.J. Schwarz (C) - High School: Palm Beach Gardens - I admit it. I took a look at this guy strictly because of his first initial and last name (J. Schwarz). However, upon further review, this 17-year-old University of Florida signee looks to have quite the potent bat with gap-to-gap power. Early reports from this summer’s East Coast Pro Showcase indicate that he has quite the arm as well–picking off two runners in a game. He was also a key performer on the Gold-medal winning 18-and-under Team USA squad at the World Cup. I am almost certain he will end up playing college ball at Florida instead of signing, but like I said, I just had to check out a guy with the same name as me. Here is a Baseball America video of Schwarz taking batting practice this summer. http://stlcupofjoe.com/2013/11/19/2014-mlb-draft-five-prospects-to-keep-an-eye-on-part-2/

 10.   Mark Zagunis – Virginia Tech –

5-28-13 - Mark Zagunis, C/OF, Virginia Tech - One of the more athletic catchers you will find, the 6’-1”, 200-pound right-hander stole 17 bases in 22 attempts as a freshman. He also hit .344 with 13 doubles, five home runs, 34 RBI with a slash line of .430/.513/.943 over 49 games, striking out just 25 times. He has started the year out hitting .415 (22-for-53) for the Hokies with five doubles, a home run, 14 RBI and six stolen bases. It remains to be seen if he will stick at catcher or end up in a corner outfield position. His bat and athleticism will find a way into a lineup at the next level. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-draft/29840#fm24otWuYCEocLQZ.99


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