Today we will delve into my Top Ten list with the back four. You can read the four notable names I omitted from the top ten from my post yesterday.
10) Alex Gonzalez, RHP, 6'3", 200, Oral Roberts
Having pitched the last three years in my backyard, I have seen plenty of quality outings from Gonzalez. He ranks here ahead of more famous college names for his consistency, steady growth, and high floor. While Ryne Stanek, Sean Manaea, Jonathan Crawford, and Chris Anderson generated early headlines they have struggled to live up to, Gonzalez continues to impress with each outing. The profile puts him ahead of several names on this list even on their best day: a 90-94 mph fastball with plus cutting movement and one of the best sliders in the draft. Add solid build and command, and you have an easy forecast for a number three pitcher.
Game Video, BLFutures (5/11/13)
9) Trey Ball, LHP, 6'6", 175, New Castle High School (IN)
8) Reese McGuire, C, 6'1", 190, Kentwood High School (WA)
7) Dominic Smith, 1B, 6'0", 195, Serra High School (CA)
At this point in the rankings, the college players that were once seen as top ten guys have begun showing considerable flaws (see yesterday's post), so three straight upside plays fill the board, starting with Smith. Recently, Keith Law linked Smith's name to the Rockies, and to the casual observer, this would make sense considering Smith's best fit position and Helton's eminent retirement, however this theory places undue pressure on Smith's bat while also diminishing his candidacy as the pick outright. With Coors Field as his home park, Smith's ceiling is that of a perennial batting title threat, thanks to his bat speed, barrel control, and searing line drive batted ball profile. Smith also gets high marks for his defense and, as a bonus, can throw up to 92 mph off the mound.
The downside with Smith is that given the demands of playing outfield at Coors Field, Smith is well short athletically to attempt it, and his could fill out his 6'0, 190 lbs. frame even further, leaving him stuck at first base. The first base profile is exceedingly hard to fill, and HS first base prospects don't have the greatest track record, but I like Smith's chances because of the stoutness of the hit tool presently, with power to come. One thing to consider with Smith is that he's very young for his HS class, and statistically, this has been a significant indicator of future upside.
My next post will cover prospects I ranked #4-6. Look for that Monday morning.
Make sure to follow David Oh No on twitter at @davidchood. He is best reached there for questions.