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Baseball amateur draft

Teams have sights set on Southland players

June 05, 2008|Eric Sondheimer, Dan Arritt and Gary Klein

The Southland figures to be well represented in the 2008 Major League Baseball amateur draft, today and Friday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Tampa Bay will have the first selection for the second year in a row -- the first team to have that distinction after the Rays finished with the worst record in baseball again in 2007.

The Dodgers pick 15th, but the Angels will have to wait until the 74th pick, having given up the 27th pick to the Minnesota Twins for signing free agent Torii Hunter.

ESPN2 will broadcast the first round and the compensation first round from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The draft will continue until approximately 6 p.m. today, then resume at 8:30 a.m. on Friday and will continue until all 30 teams have passed on making a selection or after the final pick of the 50th round.

Local prospects

Here's a look at the top Southland players among Baseball America magazine's top 100 draft prospects:

Kyle Skipworth

C, Riverside Patriot HS

In the last year, Skipworth's stock has skyrocketed from virtual unknown to the top high school catcher in the draft. Tall and athletic, he possesses an easy swing that produces power from foul pole to foul pole, as well as a strong throwing arm and natural leadership skills behind the plate.

Ranked as the No. 9 prospect by Baseball America, which projects him to be selected with the sixth pick by the Florida Marlins.

Tanner Scheppers

RHP, Fresno State

The former Dana Point Dana Hills High standout was regarded as one of the top pitching prospects in the draft before he suffered a stress fracture in his right shoulder a few weeks ago. His fastball is consistently in the low-to-mid 90s.

Ranked as the No. 10 prospect by Baseball America, which projects him to be selected with the ninth pick by the Washington Nationals.

Aaron Hicks

RHP-CF, Long Beach Wilson HS

One of the most athletic outfielders in the draft, Hicks can cover plenty of ground and brings a strong throwing arm. Bats from both sides of the plate, where he lacks power but has blistering speed. With a fastball in the low 90s, some speculate he could wind up on the mound.

Ranked as the No. 13 prospect by Baseball America, which projects him to be selected with the 15th pick by the Dodgers.

Gerrit Cole

RHP, Orange Lutheran HS

Cole's fastball is routinely clocked in the low to mid-90s and shows late action. He also possesses a lively slider and an improving change-up. His delivery has some mechanical flaws but nothing that can't be tweaked. Won't turn 18 until September, leaving plenty of ceiling.

Ranked as the No. 17 prospect by Baseball America, which projects him to be selected with the 26th pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Zach Collier

RF, Chino Hills HS

Elevated his stock with a solid senior season, blasting seven home runs in 80 at-bats. His short swing and high finish results in good power, especially to center field. Underwent open-heart surgery in 2006. Won't turn 18 until September, giving him ample time to develop.

Ranked as the No. 22 prospect by Baseball America, which projects him to be selected with the 13th pick by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Isaac Galloway

CF, Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos HS

Unlike some of the other top prospects from Southern California, Galloway has been under the microscope for several years.

A talented center fielder who can run down most balls, he also has a strong arm and good instincts. His swing sacrifices power for contact but still has a few holes. Ranked as the No. 36 prospect.

Mike Montgomery

LHP, Newhall Hart HS

His fastball has been clocked in the low 90s, but movement makes his pitches especially tough to hit. Needs better control of his off-speed pitches, which include a curve, changeup and palm ball. At 6-5, he generates plenty of leverage. Will turn 19 next month. Ranked as the No. 40 prospect.

Brett Hunter

RHP, Pepperdine

Hunter, who played at Moorpark High, missed nearly all of the season because of arm problems and appeared in only five games, so his draft status is unpredictable. But a mid-to-high 90s fastball still makes him an intriguing prospect. Ranked as the No. 51 prospect.

Anthony Gose

LHP-CF, Bellflower HS

His fastball reaches the mid-90s, but Gose has made it clear that he'd rather be an everyday player. He's a line-drive type hitter with less-than-average power, causing him to swing too hard at times. One of his best assets is his speed and his ability to cover the gaps in the outfield. Ranked as the No. 53 prospect.

Tim Murphy

LHP, UCLA

Murphy went 5-6 with a 3.34 ERA for a Bruins team that performed below expectations for most of the season until making a run to a regional final. Murphy recorded 111 strikeouts in 102 1/3 innings. Ranked as the No. 63 prospect.

Shane Peterson

1B-OF, Long Beach State

The versatile left-hander has touched 90 mph off the mound and he batted .390 with seven homers and 50 runs batted in this season. The former Temecula Chaparral High standout could also play outfield as a pro. Ranked as the No. 75 prospect.

Tyler Chatwood

RHP-SS, Redlands East Valley HS

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