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Unranked Ranking of 2009’s Top Twenty Prep Prospects

I’m still trying to get a feel when some of this year’s top prep talent will go off the board this June, so excuse me if this post comes across as little more than just some nut thinking aloud. The tiers below the jump are even more arbitrary than earlier iterations of the tier system, but they exist primarily as a means of separating the top talent while still allowing plenty of wiggle room in the future. Between not having any kind of worthwhile stats to go on, conflicting scouting reports, and fewer opportunities to actually see the guys play, evaluating the draft stock of high schoolers can be a real pain. Saying that one high school lefty is beyond a shadow of a doubt a superior prospect than another similarly ranked prospect is a fool’s game at this point in the process. (IMPORTANT NOTE: I am a fool who enjoys engaging in fool’s games very much, far more than I should probably, so expect plenty of Player X is better than Player Y talk on this site in the future…just not with high schoolers two months before the draft).

Instead, you get tiers for now. It’s mostly just an organizational piece for me, or a way of creating a launching pad (I love the mental imagery that evokes) for future high school draft talk. For now, mull over a quick top twenty of 2009 high school draft prospects – consider it a mix of where industry insiders have players ranked (Stevenson and Hobgood being two players with tons of helium right now that I’m not buying as elite prospects just yet) and a personal set of rankings chock full of my own special herbs and spices (as of now, I’m one of the very few on board with believing a player nicknamed Scooter is a top two round talent). It’s a difficult happy medium to reach, going with the consensus while also interjecting your own — hopefully informed — personal take, but ideally the end result is something worthwhile. Remember, the end goal here is simple…as the great Herm Edwards once said, “WE CAN BUILD ON THIS!”

Unranked ranking of the top twenty prep talents of 2009 after the jump

  • LHP Tyler Matzek/LHP Matthew Purke/OF Donovan Tate/RHP Shelby Miller/C Luke Bailey/C Austin Maddox
  • LHP Tyler Skaggs/RHP Jacob Turner/RHP Mychal Givens/RHP Zack Wheeler/RHP Trent Stevenson/3B Bobby Borchering/3B-1B Matt Davidson
  • C Max Stassi/RHP Scott Griggs/RHP Keyvius Sampson/INF Scooter Gennett/C Jonathan Walsh/OF Brian Goodwin/RHP Matt Hobgood


    • ABrand says:

      To you all whom wonder about Zach, he comes from a wonderful family, one of his older brothers was drafted by the yankees and Zach has learned so much from his brother. Zach throw 95 with ease. He will be a great asset to some major league program

  1. Jimmy says:

    Trust me when I say that Zack Wheeler will surprise everyone… His draft spot in these mock drafts are way off. Watch and see. Love the site!

  2. Joshua B. says:

    I certainly hope he doesn’t go any higher, I am still holding on to the hope that he finds himself at 21 to the Astros.

  3. rfozga says:

    Jimmy – Wheeler’s got a ton of helium, so you may be right when it’s all said and done. Thanks for the comment and, of course, thanks for reading…

    Joshua – You are a far better authority on me than this, but certain players in this draft just give off a bit of an Astros vibe to me. Wheeler is one of them, Rex Brothers is another, and one of the Big XII arms that may fall (Oliver or Volz) complete the group. I can’t explain any of that rationally, but I can close my eyes and envision any one of those players wearing an Astros uniform someday. Weird, I know.

    Now that I think about it, I think Wheeler to Houston is interesting. The newest buzz has Wheeler maybe going as high as the top ten, but “no way” falling out of the top 20. Well, who picks 21? Could it be that the unnamed sources who are claiming Wheeler won’t fall past the top 20 are employed by a team that knows they’d snatch him up if he was there at 21? Sure, I know that 21 isn’t technically “top 20″…but it’s a thought.

    • JImmy says:

      At the end of the summer and beginning of spring, Jacob Turner was considered a better pitcher than Wheeler. Now, it seems those roles are reversed a little. Why do you think that is? Did Turner not improve much or did Wheeler just show that much more this spring?

  4. Joshua B. says:

    The buzz on Wheeler is Atlanta, if Donovan Tate is picked up before 8 (I believe, 6 Giants, 7 Reds, 8 Braves, right?). It suits their MO, Wheeler being a Georgia player and all. Wheeler would certainly be the pick over Shelby Miller – Wheeler can’t be that far off talent wise, and the Braves see him more often. If Wheeler was picked up at 8, that may cause Matt Purke (or Tyler Matzek but, not both) to slide out of the top 10, which would make things interesting.

    Because 2008 was Ed Wade and Bobby Heck’s first year in Houston, you can’t peg their philosophy yet. But, based on that draft, the trend is college hitters and high school arms. The Astros obviously have a very thin farm system, and it would bode them well to take the best prospect available, the question is, who is the best player on THEIR board (last year, they insist Castro was the best guy on their board). I have thought Zach Wheeler would be the perfect guy to drop for them, and I have stuck to that belief — on a related note, I don’t create a mock until the week of the draft because once my head makes an impression, like Wheeler to the Astros, I can’t shake it. So I create one mock, not long before the draft.

    Anyways, great blog keep up the good work.

  5. Pdaddy says:

    Max Stassi is having another solid season but I hear he’s been a little nicked up with a groin strain and some tendonitis. No matter he’s been DHing a little and from the looks of his groin strain it must not be too serious. He looked like he was running all out when we played them the other night. He’s surprisingly fast for someone with his body dimensions. As a 9th grader he was just kind of a skinny kid who had a tremendous arm and bat and would steal some bases from time to time. In fact he was so good as an 8th grader he was better than the starting varsity catcher at YC. I see he’s slipped a little in the mock MLB draft but he shouldn’t have. He’s still batting .600 even with 10 doubles and 8 HRs. I read that he had been working out with the Florida Marlins catcher, John Baker who has some SF Bay Area connections. Baker graduated from Cal and lives there, I think. Stassi was playing for Starmaker Academy from time to time, which is in San Mateo. Whatever MLB team signs him is getting an ultimate gamer, he added 20 pounds of muscle through the winter and is a workout fiend. Good luck Max!

  6. Joshua B. says:

    I’ve turned my attention to two two-way prep players recently, who I am very high on, David Renfroe SS/RHP (Mississippi) and Slade Heathcott OF/LHP (Texas). I like both of them better as position players, but it seems like most experts like them on the mound. My thought is that they are both five-toolers in a weak prep hitters class. Do you have any thoughts on them? Both of them would easily be among my top 20 prep hitters list.

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