Lincoln's 2009 MLB Draft Board

February 24, 2009
2009 MLB Draft Board
No.   Player   Pos   Comments   Age   School
1   Stephen Strasburg   RHP   37.4 K% 4.53 BB%, 100 mph FB, SL maybe be best pitch, injury concerns only red flag   20.6   SDSU
2   Dustin Ackley   CF   High average, and walk hitter with speed for CF, dominated last year (.477 wOBA*)   20.9   UNC
3   Grant Green   SS   Athletic true shortstop w/ power (.254 IsoP),  35/15 K/BB must improve, likely will   21.4   USC
4   Andrew Oliver   LHP   Plus velocity and command of fastball with rapidly developing breaking ball (25% K)   21.2   OKST
5   Donavan Tate   CF   True 5-tool talent, two sport star has strong commitment to UNC, upside rivals Stras   18.4   HS
6   Tyler Matzek   LHP   Projectable California lefty with plus velocity, deep repitroire and clean mechanics   18.3   HS
7   Josh Phegley   C   Numbers tell the story, .522 wOBA*, .308 IsoP, 12.4% BB, 8% K, should stay at C   21.0   IU
8   Matt Davidson   3B   David Wright starter kit, beautiful right handed stroke should hit for power and AVG   17.9   HS
9   Alex White   RHP   Great velocity and sink on FB, plus SL, 2.7/1 K:BB, mechanical concerns lower rating    20.4   UNC
10   Matt Purke   LHP   Top Texas hurler, 6'3" hit 94 mph w/ sink in showcases, plus SL and solid change   18.6   HS
11   Zach Wheeler   RHP   FB hit 95 mph w/ sink in AFLAC game, plus curve and control, smooth mechanics   n/a   HS
12   Tanner Scheppers   RHP   Elite '08 prospect before injury, mid 90's FB and plus slider, 40.1% K and 12.8% BB   22.1   St. Paul
13   Austin Maddox   C   Massive catcher, 6'4" 220 lbs, tremendous raw power, advanced approach at plate   17.7   HS
14   Jason Stoffel   RHP   Arizona had two 1st round picks in their bullpen but Stoffel was closer, 14.8 K/9   20.4   ARIZ
15   Ben Tootle   RHP   Broke out in Cape Cod League, FB hits 98 w/ good SL and command, closer potential   21.1   JSU
16   Jacob Turner   RHP   Advanced and polished Missouri righty with low 90's FB, good curve and change   17.7   HS
17   Kentrail Davis   OF   Short but strong & athletic, .477 wOBA*, .253 IsoP, 9.76 BB%, must improve 22.76 K%   20.6   TENN
18   Kendal Volz   RHP   FB 92-94 w/ +sink, plus SL, 27.8 K% 9.2 BB%, good athlete, mechanics lower ranking   21.2   BAY
19   Aaron Crow   RHP   Unsigned 9th overall pick in 2008, potential #1/2 starter, really bad mechanics   22.2   FW Cats
20   Mychal Givens   RHP/SS   Talented 2-way player, hits 96 mph from mound, defensive whiz at SS, likely pitcher   18.7   HS
21   Jake Marisnick   OF   Toolsy Cali outfielder with plus power and the speed for center and arm for right   17.9   HS
22   Brad Boxberger   RHP   Closer turned starter, mid 90's FB and plus cutter, 25.5% K and 12.7% BB in 2008   20.7   USC
23   AJ Pollock   CF/2B   Speedster, nearly impossible to strike out (4% K), not toolsy but very well rounded   21.2   ND
24   Jiovanni Mier   SS   Plus defensive shortstop with loads of range, showed improved bat in showcases   18.5   HS
25   Matt den Dekker   CF   High School All-American w/ plus speed (20-20 SB), walked (29) more than K (24)   21.5   UF
26   Rich Poythress   3B   Slugger dominated SEC in '08, .509 wOBA* w/ power (.252 IsoP) & keen eye (14% BB)   21.5   UGA
27   Bobby Borchering   3B   Advanced switch hitter w/ power from both sides, 6'4" 190 lbs may outgrow 3B   18.3   HS
28   Scott Bittle   RHP   Unsigned 2nd round pick (NYY), closer with plus-plus cutter, 52.6% K and 1.34 FIP   22.4   MISS
29   Max Stassi   C   Polished defensive C with strong arm, good approach at plate, power potential   17.9   HS
30   Ryan Oritz   C   Offensive first catcher, .480 wOBA*, as many walks and strikeouts last year (13.06%)   n/a   OSU
HM: Jason Kipnis OF USC, Kevius Sampson RHP/OF HS, Chad Thompson RHP HS, Mike Minor LHP Vanderbilt        
<<< Discuss these rankings            


Stephen Strasburg

I love lists as much as anyone but at this early point of the draft process it’s better to think of these rankings in tiers.

The first tier is Stephen Strasburg and there’s a significant drop off between Strasburg and the No. 2 slot.

The second tier goes from Dustin Ackley to Zack Wheeler. There are as many as 10 guys vying for the second overall selection in this draft. There’s an argument to be made about arranging this group in any order, but all these players represent the best combination of polish and upside other than Strasburg.

The third tier goes from slots number 12 to 17, everyone in the group -- Scheppers thru Davis -- has sizable upside but need good springs to solidify their standings as elite prospects. Tanner Scheppers must prove healthy, Ben Tootle must maintain the progress he showed in the Cape Cod league, Kentrail Davis must make better contact, the high school players need to show a little more consistency, Stoffel needs to show improvement in his changeup .

The fourth tier is two guys who are probably ranked higher other places, Kendal Volz and Aaron Crow. Both Big 12 college pitchers have good stuff and a solid track record of success. Unfortunately both pitchers have long arm action and hyperabduct their elbows as they get into an inverted W position. Both fail to get their arms in the vertical, high cocked position before their shoulders start to rotate. Consequently, I believe both pitchers will have a hard time staying healthy and may end up in the bullpen. The fifth tier, from 21 to 30, represents players who would normally get supplemental first round to early second round grades. The weakness and lack of depth of this draft class will result in teams in the last third of the first round not getting full value for their picks. These players are a grab bag of relievers -- Boxberger and Bittle -- all hit no defense guys -- Poythress, Borchering and Ortiz -- guys with questionable upside -- Pollock, den Dekker, and Stassi -- and athletic, raw high schoolers -- Marisnick and Mier. Each of these groups has value but is also missing something.

These rankings will change much over the next few months. Orders will shift and new names will appear and disappear. Keep track of the changes all year long at Project Prospect and in our College and Draft Talk Forum.


Lincoln Hamilton can be reached at