Northern Calif. Players in 2013 MLB draft

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Not all of these players listed are originally from the Northern California scouting region (such as Braden Shipley) and some were drafted out of colleges outside of the region.  Many of our high school players leave the region to attend college somewhere else while other players come from high schools out of the region to attend the outstanding college programs in Northern California. If a player is from the region his high school will be listed.  I've also listed the college commitments for the drafted high school players.

Round (overall), Team, Position/Player, School(s), College Commitment

(Bold = BAWS/RNWS participant during my time with each event)

1 (1) - Astros - RHP Mark Appel, Stanford (Monte Vista HS) - signed

1 (15) - Diamondbacks - RHP Braden Shipley, Nevada - signed

1 (32) - Yankees - OF Aaron Judge, Fresno State (Linden HS) - signed

1s (35) - Marlins - LHP Matt Krook, St. Ignatius Prep (Oregon) - DID NOT SIGN

2 (49) - Mariners - OF Austin Wilson, Stanford - signed

2 (53) - Phillies - C Andrew Knapp, Cal (Granite Bay HS) - signed

2s (69) - Padres - OF Jordan Paroubeck, Serra HS (Fresno State) - signed

2s (70) - Rockies - RHP Alex Balog, USF (Archbishop Mitty HS) - signed

3 (102) - Braves - RHP Carlos Salazar, Kerman HS (Fresno State) - signed

4 (121) - Phillies - C Jake Sweaney, Garces Memorial HS (Oregon) - signed

4 (132) - Giants - 1B Brian Ragira, Stanford - signed

5 (144) - Royals - OF Amalani Fukofuka, James Logan HS - signed

6 (169) - Rockies - 3B Dom Nunez, Elk Grove HS (UCLA) - signed

6 (192) - Giants - RHP Nick Vander Tuig, UCLA (Oakdale HS) - signed

9 (268) - Padres - RHP Adam Cimber, USF - signed

9 (270) - Diamondbacks - C Grant Nelson, Saint Louis (Serra HS) - signed

9 (272) - Brewers - LHP Tyler Linehan, Fresno State (Sheldon HS) - signed

9 (276) - Tigers - RHP Will LaMarche, LSU (Amador Valley HS) - signed

10 (299) - Pirates - RHP Shane Carle, Long Beach State (Scotts Valley HS) - signed

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Local Players in ESPN Top 100 Prospects

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Each new season now brings an abundance of top prospect lists and the one that gets the most public attention is compiled by ESPN draft analyst Keith Law.  Having been part of a company that publishes public rankings, I can tell you that it is impossible to make everyone happy when it comes to a ranking.  Law puts in the time and has an opinion and that makes his rankings worth checking out.  Here is a link to his Top 100 Prospects of 2013 ranking, but you have to be an ESPN "insider" to access it.

The list includes four players with local ties, including three pitchers who are from Bay Area high schools and two players who played at one of our local universities, both of which are in the West Coast Conference.

Former USF right-hander Kyle Zimmer checks in at #27 overall.  Zimmer wasselected fifth overall by the Royals in the 2012 draft and he had a really nice first professional season.  He is on the fast track to Kansas City and I would expect to see him reach the big leagues during the 2014 season.

Former Alhambra High right-hander Robert Stephenson is ranked #48.  Stephenson was a selected by the Reds in the first round of the 2011 draft.  His former summer baseball teammate Joe Ross is ranked #88.  Ross, a right-hander, was also selected in the first round in that same 2011 draft, by the Padres.  Both Ross and Stephenson are likely looking at 2015 for their potential big league debuts, though it is conceivable that Stephenson could reach Cincinnati toward the end of 2014.  Ross is the younger brother of Oakland A's right-hander Tyson Ross.

The fourth local player on the list is former Livermore High and Santa Clara University right-hander J.R. Graham, who checks in at #94.  Graham was a good two-way player in high school (shortstop) and he also competed as a two-way player at Santa Clara.  However, it was his raw arm strength that got him first drafted by the A's out of high school and then eventually drafted and signed by the Braves in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. 

Graham participated at Bay Area World Series 2007 and both Ross and Stephenson participated in the event in 2009 when BAWS had merged with another organization for a two year period. 

Here are Law's scouting reports for each of these players...

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Seniors recommended by HS coaches - part 2

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

This post is part two of me releasing the names of seniors listed by their coaches as college caliber players.  The comments are those of the coaches, with anything I have to offer also written at the end of each comment section.  I am basically taking the comments verbatim from the coaches.  Again, I have not seen most of these players, but when I have and I have something I want to offer, I will write it.

The reason I didn't post all the names the other day is simple... it was the end of my work day and I had to go pick up my son from pre-school.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

Without further ado, here are the rest of the names given to me by HS coaches.  Good for these kids that their coaches care enough to go a little bit further trying to help them get some recognition and exposure.  All it took was responding to my email and then the names and comments get posted at a blog that is getting more and more views each day.  The schools are not in alphabetical order.  The last one, was the first one that was sent to me.  I just worked backward through my emails.  Click the read more tab for the lists. no comments

Rowland is Rollin'

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

On Wednesday (April 14) RHP Robby Rowland of Cloverdale HS threw a perfect game against Clear Lake HS.  Now, Clear Lake and the the competition in Rowland's league is not strong, there is no denying that.  For the season Rowland has not yet given up a run, is 3-0 with that sparkling 0.00 ERA in 27 innings so far.  He has allowed only nine hits and four walks (all singles) while striking out 49 batters.  On Wednesday he struck out 13 and needed only 71 pitches for the CG, 53 of which were strikes.

rowlandcencalIf you have been reading this blog since January, you know how I feel about Rowland, as a kid, as a prospect, as a competitor and athlete.  He would have been the #1 high school player on my preference list had I continued scouting with the Braves, ahead of RHP A.J. Vanegas or Redwood Christian HS and RHP Eric Jaffe of Bishop O'Dowd HS.  No doubt I would have been been pushing him as a 2nd round pick because he is a PERFECT Braves pitching prospect.  I have said it before... think Adam Wainwright and Tommy Hanson... athletic, talented, competitive, plus make-up 6'6" right-handers with front of the rotation stuff and feel for the game.

I was texting with Rowland on Friday morning, asking him how many scouts were there on Wednesday.  The newspaper reported about a dozen were on hand but Rowland estimated it was more like 25.  He could very well surpass my projected first Bay Area high school player picked in the 2010 draft, Eric Jaffe.  I would take Rowland over Jaffe but to me, the industry will favor Jaffe, which was why I picked him.  We shall see. 

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Seniors recommended by HS coaches

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

A few weeks ago I sent an email out to over 200 high school coaches and though only a shamefully low number of them responded to me, I want to get the names out of the players mentioned by their coaches.  I have not seen most of these kids play and I hope to see some of them the remainder of the spring, so this is not me saying all these kids are legitimately D1 or four-year college caliber players.  If this list spurs some college coaches to look into a few of these kids and something comes of it for a few of them, that is the goal.  Since I had emails from a couple dozen coaches I don't want to put together a huge post, so I will list all the kids and their coach's comments over the next few days.  Here are the most recent emails I received and I will just work backward through my email inbox.  Go to the read more link below for this first list. no comments

Top high school draft pick 2010

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Yesterday I mentioned Cal RHP Dixon Anderson as my pick (at this point) to be the first college player drafted from a Northern California school in the 2010 draft.  Today, I will take a stab at the first high school player that will go off the board in June.  With high school players it is not simply a matter of figuring out who is the top talent, it is a combination of the player with the most talent that is also the most signable and not just signable, but signable near the slot where his talent suggests he should be drafted.  That is a long way of saying a kid that does not have to be overdrafted and subsequently overpaid, based on talent.

If you recall, the top high school player drafted in the area last year was Menlo School SS Kenny Diekroeger, who was selected in the 2nd round by the Tampa Bay Rays.  Diekroeger reportedly even received calls from teams that wanted to take him in the first round but Kenny and his family (they didn't have an advisor/agent) could not guarantee any team that he would sign, even as a first round pick.  The Diekroeger's were not bluffing and Kenny is now at Stanford.

In the third round Scotts Valley HS LHP Robbie Erlin was selected by the Rangers and he signed.  Edison HS (Fresno) OF Marquise Cooper was taken by the Marlins four picks after Erlin and he also signed.  Yuba City HS C Max Stassi was seen as a borderline 1st round talent and was assumed to be signable for where he was being valued.  My club at the time (Braves) was not in on Stassi so I do not know what made him slip to the 4th round, where the A's selected him and eventually signed him.  A lot of local scouts had made an assumption or guesstimation that the Red Sox were in on him and would take him at the end of the 1st round.  no comments

USF's Doug Murray is dealing

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Pitching coaches all over the world preach strikeout to walk ratio as one of the keys to success for any pitcher. It becomes even more important to non-power pitchers and that can be defined as pitchers that do not rack up the strikeouts. As for what can be considered "racking up the strikeouts" I would say a 1:1 ratio in terms of K's to innings pitched. Senior RHP Doug Murray of USF is off to a Drew Storen-like start to the 2010 season.

After three starts, he has a 2-1 record and an impressive 1.57 ERA. Those are solid numbers, no doubt. Murray is a side-armer and gets tremendous sink and run on his fastball. He can pitch with that fastball and get groundball outs all day long, but also has a slider and the ability to finish hitters himself, which he is doing at a much higher rate than he did in 2009. As a junior, Murray (El Cerrito HS & Diablo Valley College) had an excellent year, finishing with a 9-0 record and 3.77 ERA in his first year at the D1 level. He pitched 88.1 innings in '09, allowed 95 hits and finished with 45 K vs 21 BB. Batters hit .271 against him, which is an indication of pitching to contact.

Fast forward to 2010 and now look at the peripheral numbers... 23 IP, 18 H... and here comes the WOW stat... 21 K vs 1 BB. He is not only pounding the zone, but is also missing bats. Murray also has 2 complete games. When draft time comes, Murray will not get big time public attention, but he is going to get drafted and is going to succeed in pro ball. I would guess he is going to go sometime from the 8th to the 15th round, will sign quickly (he is a senior), will report soon and will advance a level or two this summer (he will be a reliever).

I remember talking to his coach at DVC, Mike Neu (a former big leaguer) and also to his former pitching coach at USF (Greg Moore) and both mentioned Murray's tremendous make-up... competitiveness and toughness and focus. That was in addition to the nasty movement and feel for the ball.

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Freshmen LHP Justin Jones update

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

A few weeks ago I posted an all-freshman preseason team and though the D1 season is just underway, one of my picks is off to a very strong start. LHP Justin Jones of Cal has been dominant so far, with a 2-0 record, 19 K in 14 IP, with only 4 BB. Opposing hitters are hitting .180 against him and though I have not seen Justin yet this spring, I saw plenty of him last year and know that his curveball is what is giving hitters a lot of trouble.

The spin and bite Jones gets on his big overhand CB is tremendous and hitters just don't see a lot of them that are that big and that sharp. It is truly a swing and miss CB. Granted, Jones has faced Southern Utah and Saint Mary's so far and no disrespect to those teams, but they aren't quite ASU or Oregon State. That being said, if Jones continues to have that type of K:BB ratio, he will be good all year. The challenge will be to stay that aggressive in the strike zone with his fastball in Pac-10 play. It is hard for freshmen to stay aggressive when their fastball starts to get hit.

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BAWS IV, a look back

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

If you were a college coach or a MLB scout or fan in attendance at Bay Area World Series IV (June 8-10, 2007) you saw a tremendous collection of high school baseball talent. So far, of the 145 participants in BAWS IV, 78 (53.7%) of them have received an opportunity to play D1 baseball. That number will grow next year due to the numerous BAWS IV players that have attended a JC and will move on to a D1 next fall... which means over half the players in BAWS IV were D1 caliber (some better) players. Incredible.

Some of the those players were upper round draft picks and signed right out of high school: Kevin Eichhorn, Aptos HS, Diamondbacks (3rd) Robbie Erlin, Scotts Valley HS, Rangers (3rd) Max Stassi, Yuba City HS, Athletics (4th) Some were highly touted, among the most highly recruited players and also valued by MLB, but ultimately proved to be unsignable after being drafted.

These players are now in college and many of them are going to be higher round picks when they become draft eligible again: Clay Cederquist, Fowler HS (Mariners, 46th), Fresno State Bobby Crocker, Aptos HS (Athletics, 38th), Cal Poly Kenny Diekroeger, Menlo School (Rays, 2nd), Stanford Drew Gagnon, Liberty HS (Pirates, 10th), Long Beach State J.R. Graham, Livermore HS (Athletics, 46th), Santa Clara Scott Griggs, San Ramon Valley HS (Mariners, 34th), UCLA Mitch Haniger, Archbishop Mitty HS (Mets, 31), Cal Poly Matt Jensen, Clovis East HS (Mariners, 11th), Cal Poly Brett Mooneyham, Buhach Colony HS (Padres, 15th), Stanford Matt Nadolski, Casa Grande HS (Orioles, 32), San Diego State Stephen Piscotty, Amador Valley HS (Dodgers, 45th), Stanford Josh Poytress, Fowler HS (Astros, 16th), Fresno State Marcus Semien, St. Mary's HS (White Sox (34th), Cal Crocker (2011, 1s), Diekroeger (2012, 1), Jensen (2011, 2), and Mooneyham (2011, 1) to me project as the highest round picks (in parentheses, year and my round projection), provided they all stay healthy.

There is also a group of players that was not as highly touted or valued at the time by the scouts and D1 programs, yet these players are making quite a name for themselves now: Kyle Barraclough, Wilcox HS, Saint Mary's Tyler Bremer, Berkeley HS, Yavapai JC Matt Flemer, St. Mary's HS, Cal Lucas Herbst, Monterey HS, Santa Clara David Hurlbut, Concord HS, Cal-State Fullerton (Twins, 35th, '09 from DVC) Zack Jones, Santa Teresa, San Jose State (Royals, 24th, '09) Chadd Krist, Petaluma HS, Cal Jordan Pries, Alameda HS, Stanford Joe Sever, Bellarmine Prep, Pepperdine

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Diamond Hoopster Rowland

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

A little more on Robby Rowland with some information that comes from a couple of articles in the Press Democrat in the last week.  I gave my thoughts on multi-sport baseball players and one of the qualities I have seen prevelant in those kids is humility and incredible work ethic, not to mention great competitiveness.  Because those kids tend to be all about competition and desire to win, I truly believe their work ethic tends to be a little better than kids that are streamlined in only one direction. Back to Rowland and how all this applies to him, or better, how he is an example of exactly what I am talking about. 

It would also be a good time to acknowledge that Robby comes from an athletic background.  His father spent time in the big leagues as a catcher and his older brother is a college ballplayer.  Some of what he has comes from bloodlines and genes.  But only some of it.  A lot of what he is about comes from good parenting too because I am a believer that "the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree." Last Friday Rowland scored 39 in a 93-50 Cloverdale win. 

Some background info... Cloverdale lost last year to eventual sectional champion St. Joseph on a last second shot in the Division V semi-finals.  After the game he was interviewed and Rowland said, "We took that loss last year real personal.  You make one stop and you're that much closer to reaching your goal.  When we come to practice, that's our focus."  Now remember that Rowland is also a standout baseball player and has signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Oregon and will be one of the most scouted players in the area by MLB scouts this spring.  Most baseball only kids just play baseball all summer. 

What did Rowland do last summer? His coach says that he has a much improved outside game due in part to focusing on his shot all summer when playing AAU basketball.  The coach says he has not stopped working since school started and "he's the last guy in the gym.  I want to eat dinner and I've got to kick him out.  It's like, 'OK, time to go home, buddy.' It's a credit to him.  He's worked so hard to develop his shot."  How many star pitchers spend their summer and fall honing their outside shot because they are focused on winning a Division V basketball championship?  Not too many.

Furthermore, here is an example of Rowland's humility, as he talked about his point guard, "I owe so much to this guy.  He makes it so much easier.  Trust me, I would not be where I am without him."  This from one of the most talented and sought after high school athletes that had his choice of many of the top D1 baseball programs in the region and also reportedly had offers in basketball to schools like San Jose State, Hawaii, and Sacramento State. Rowland is 136 points away from breaking a 13-year old Empire (North Bay region) record for career points.  He has started for four years and is currently averaging 26.4 points.  Last year as a junior he averaged 25.5 points. 

Am I on the Robby Rowland bandwagon?  Obviously, but his talent on the baseball diamond is only part of the reason why.  In person he is humble but has a very engaging, playful, and confident personality.  He is respectful and looks you in the eye but keeps his sense of humor and can give and take with and adult.  Last thing about Rowland for now (until I go out and see him pitch this spring)... when talking to him during a scout ball game last fall when he was playing for the Rockies team and I was running my Braves team, he gave up a home run to one of my players, Caleb Natov of Vallejo HS.  As he came off the field at the end of that inning, he looks at me and says, "He did that to me in Pony All-Stars too!" 

Great competitors have a long memory.  Of course I had to say to him, "then you should have known not to pitch him away like that."  He smiled sheepishly and with a little twinkle in his eyes he said, "I know."  Something tells me he won't make the same mistake again.

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