2011 MLB Draft Top 30 Prospects

1) Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice

Rendon is an above-average hitter with above-average power. He plays Gold Glove caliber defense and has all the intangibles you look for in a number one pick. The only concern with him is his ability to stay healthy.

2) Gerrit Cole, RHP, UCLA

Cole is the best of a star-studded college pitching crop. Big (6-4, 220 lbs) Hard-throwing right-hander who can touch triple digits with his fastball. Compliments it with one of the draft’s best sliders. Beast on the mound with pitbull mentality. A true innings eater.

3) Sonny Gray, RHP, Vanderbilt

Undersized (5-11, 180 lbs)  power-pitcher with tons of draft momentum. Clearly number-two RHP behind Cole. Tim Lincecum-like on the mound. Fastball sits mid 90s, can touch 96-97 mph. Above-average slider and average changeup.

4) Matt Purke, LHP, TCU

Lanky left-hander with a thin frame (6-4, 180 lbs). Best LHP available in 2011. Throws low-to-mid 90s with two potential above-average pitches (curveball and slider). Dominant as a freshman in college (16-0, 142 K in 116 IP). Durability concerns place him behind Cole and Gray.

5) George Springer, OF, Connecticut

Excellent all-around athlete. Plays centerfield for Huskies, profiles as a corner-outfielder. Above-average hitter with chance for above-average power. Speedy, but that will diminish as he progresses as a power-hitter and packs on the pounds. Potential middle-of-the-lineup hitter.

6) Daniel Norris, LHP, Science Hill HS (TN)

Norris is top high-school pitcher. Throws low-to-mid 90s with some projection left on his lean frame (6-2, 170 lbs). Compliments fastball with two potential above-average offerings, curveball and changeup. Easy delivery. Also an excellent hitter with day-one potential there.

7) Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, South Carolina

Hero of Gamecock’s CWS championship run. Potential five-tool star. Range and speed to play centerfield with cannon for an arm. Uncommon plate discipline with above-average power to all fields. Proven to be pretty good with wood bats in Cape Cod League.

8) Matt Barnes, RHP, Connecticut

Barnes exploded onto the scene during Team USA trials this past summer. Low-to-mid 90s fastball and three other potential above-average pitches: slider, changeup and curveball. Solid command of all four offerings. With a strong showing in 2011 could catapult to top of draft class.

9) Bubba Starling, OF, Gardner Edgerton HS (KS)

Starling is a two-way player (OF/RHP) who also has commitment to play QB at Nebraska. Five-tool stud. Best speed in high-school class. Also has light-tower power. Amazing athlete with great fielding ability. Needs to sharpen all of his skills. Touted as a Josh Hamilton-type talent.

10) Henry Owens, LHP, Edison HS (CA)

Owens is neck and neck with Norris as HS top LHP. Better size (6-6, 190 lbs) and projectability than Norris. Fastball just a tick behind, in low 90s. Solid curveball with chance to be above-average. Near above-average changeup. Durability could be a concern with his lean frame.

11)  Tyler Beede, RHP, Lawrence Academy (MA)

Up-and-coming RHP. Succeeded at every stop, including multiple high-schools. Mid 90s fastball. Average off-speed pitches with potential for above-average. Never really experienced failure. Easy delivery. Frame (6-4, 200 lbs) conducive to more projection. Top ten sleeper pick.

12) Danny Hultzen, LHP, Virginia

Safest pitcher in draft. Similar to 2009 pick Mike Minor. Impressive control of average fastball that sits 89-92 mph. Smaller frame guy (6-2, 190 lbs), with little projection left. Excellent control of secondary pitches, each with the potential to be above-average: curveball, changeup, split-finger. Deceptive delivery. Keeps hitters off-balance.

13) Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Texas

Great stuff, bad mechanics. Top ten pick based on his repertoire, including mid 90s fastball, above-average slider, and improving changeup. Sloppy delivery that is all over the place at times. Needs to clean his mechanics or he could turn into one of the drafts biggest busts.

14) Nicky Delmonico, C, Farragut HS (TN)

One of high-school crops purest hitters. Sweet swinging lefty with above-average power potential. Clutch hitter with good eye at the plate. Great athlete. Played 1B and SS, but profiles as a catcher long-term. Great arm and excellent leader. Buster Posey-type build.

15) Archie Bradley, RHP, Broken Arrow HS (OK)

Bradley has possibly best velocity of HS crop. Throws 95-98 mph with four-seamer. 93-95 mph with two-seamer. Low 80s changeup with unconventional grip. Filthy knuckle-curve (low 80s). Great athlete with football scholarship to Oklahoma. Beast on the mound (6-4, 225 lbs).

16) Christian Lopes, SS, Edison HS (CA)

Teammate of Henry Owens. Been in spotlight for a few years now. Five-tool SS in the mold of 2010 first-round pick Christian Colon. Scouts see more upside in Lopes. Rivals Delmonico as best pure HS hitter. Change for decent power. Has the athleticism to stay at shortstop. Strong arm, improving footwork. Hard-worker.

17) Dillon Howard, RHP, Searcy HS (AR)

Rivals Bradley for top HS velocity. Regularly throws mid 90s, touches 97-98 mph. Above-average slider. Potential above-average changeup. Good feel for all his pitches. Smooth delivery and excellent mechanics. No injury history or concerns.

18) Dylan Bundy, RHP, Owasso HS (OK)

Two-time OK pitcher of the year. Great pitcher’s frame (6-2, 205 lbs) with great velocity. Sits 93-96, occasionally touches 97 mph. Two potential above-average pitches in changeup and curveball. Horse on the mound. Once threw 293 pitches in three games, in four days.

19) Trevor Bauer, RHP, UCLA

Quickly rising up draft boards. Could end up as top-ten pick. Another pint-size guy (6-2, 185 lbs) with big-time velocity (93-97 mph). Throws as many as six pitches, including an above-average curveball. True scientist of pitching. Always looking for ways, including alternative methods to succeed. Led NCAA in Ks in 2010.

20) Josh Bell, OF, Jesuit Prep (TX)

Another potential five-tool HS star. A bit raw and unrefined at the plate. Switch-hitter who shows some promise at both sides. Potential above-average power from left-side. Athletic build, could still add some more weight to his frame.

21) Peter O’Brien, C, Bethune-Cookman

Solid all-around athlete. Great power, chance for above-average. Solid contact hitter. Solid behind the plate. Had great performance in Cape Cod League, proving he can hit with wood bats. Power should be the main tool that gets him drafted.

22) Dante Bichette Jr., 3B/OF, Orangewood Christian HS (FL)

Son of former Rockies All-Star. Excellent, disciplined hitter. Potentially the best power-stroke of any HS hitter. Amazingly disciplined at the plate. Crushes fastballs and curveballs out of any park. Somewhat limited defensively. Not the most graceful runner.

23) Dillon Maples, RHP, Pinecrest HS (NC)

Best prospect from NC, hands down. Mid 90s fastball with one of the drafts best curveballs, regardless of class (HS/College). Well-polished with easy, simple delivery. Easy to repeat. Could stand to add some more weight to increase durability and stamina.

24) Blake Swihart, C, Cleveland HS (NM)

Switch-hitter with extremely quick bat. Consistently makes solid contact, even against the best pitchers. Potential above-average power from the right-side, great speed from both. Incredible athlete who profiles behind the plate. Amazing arm with great pop times. Time as an infielder improved his footwork.

25) Francisco Lindor, SS, Montverde Academy (FL)

Incredible athlete. Gold Glove caliber defense at shortstop. Makes tough plays look incredibly easy. Rocket-arm, great at throwing on the run. Switch-hitter with solid contact skills from both sides. Shows some surprising pop. Won Aflac HR derby.

26) Austin Wood, RHP, USC

USC is third stop in as many years for Wood. FSU transfer who found his rhythm as a reliever for St. Pete College. Throws in mid 90s, touches 97 mph. Had a great showing at the Cape. Solid secondary pitches. 2011 will mark his third time being drafted.

27) Zach Cone, OF, Georgia

Huge potential, just starting to show at collegiate level. Above-average power and above-average arm will make him a day-one pick. Decent speed. Tough competitor, playing for one of the SEC’s worst teams. Tons of helium headed into 2011.

28) Alex Dickerson, OF, Indiana

Could play his way into first-round consideration with strong 2011 showing. Potential above-average hitter with definite above-average power. Raw power as good as anyone in college crop. Not the most athletic in the OF. Might see move to 1B as a pro.

29) Phil Evans, SS, LaCosta Canyon HS (CA)

Another athletic shortstop capable of remaining at position. Big-time raw power. Can make all the throws, really soft hands, really polished fielder. Long swing could damage his stock. Excellent worker. Definite baseball rat. Solid all-around athlete.

30) Jack Armstrong Jr., RHP, Vanderbilt

Excellent size (6-7, 220 lbs), excellent genes, excellent stuff. Throws in mid-to-high 90s, touches 98 regularly, even 99 mph. Potential above-average curveball. Struggles with changeup. Struggles with control of all his pitches. Very hot-and-cold performances so far at Vandy, often against lesser competition. Amazing athlete.

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