An Elite Eight: Mass HS draft prospects to watch

With the high school baseball season always comes that one elite prospect, a kid who eats up the high school competition and is a sure thing to see his name come across the ticker on draft day.

Suffice it to say this season is quite the anomaly. Some major league scouts have mused that we haven't seen a crop of high school senior talent in Massachusetts this deep since the 1980's; one mused that as many as 12 high schoolers form this state could see their name get called in June's amateur draft.

With that in mind, I went over the prospects with an American League scout last week, before the MIAA season officially got underway. Some, like Lawrence Academy's Tyler Beede, Dexter's John Magliozzi and St. John's Prep two-sport superstar Pat Connaughton -- all guys ranked in the top 100 for high school prospects by Baseball America -- are obvious. But overall, he identified eight prospects that could definitely see their name get called two months from now.

Below are the eight, with scouts' comments.

Tyler Beede, RHP, Lawrence Academy

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 205 lbs.

Bats: Right

Hometown: Auburn, Mass.

College: Vanderbilt

2010 stats: 6-1, 87 K, 45.1 IP, 1.08 ERA; .429, 8 HR, 30 RBI, .880 SLG

Scout's Take: "For his age, Tyler Beede has the prototype pitcher's body. Six-four, 205, and an effortless, balanced delivery, with a loose arm. There's alot of talk about his fastball and velocity as being plus, but its his secondary stuff, the refined curveball he's been throwing and the feel for the changeup, that shows he's advanced. You look at how he utilizes and balances his body for a complete delivery, and you look at him as really a potential first-rounder, but top three rounds in particular."

John Magliozzi, RHP, Dexter

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 181 lbs.

Bats: Right

Hometown: Milton, Mass.

College: Florida

2010 stats: 7-0, 73 K, 6 BB, 42 IP, 3 SV, 0.95 ERA; .427, 36 RBI, 3 HR, 11 SB

Scout's Take: "Here's a kid that doesn't have a prototypical pitcher's build, but he's a classic go get 'em, gimme the ball and go right after the hitter. He's someone who's a competitor on the mound, who has shown a 92-95 mph fastball. He has a very good curve with a lot of depth, good feel to it. Combine that with a good changeup, and commitment to the hand speed, and you've got a solid three pitch mix. The only question long-term with the scouts is if he will have durability issues. But the kid's proven to be willing to work at it, and take care of his body."

Pat Connaughton, RHP, St. John's Prep

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 190 lbs.

Bats: Right

Hometown: Arlington, Mass.

College: Notre Dame

2010 Stats: 4-4, 52.3 IP, 51 K, 34 BB, 52.3 IP, 1 SV, 3.08 ERA

Scout's Take: "Here's another 6-3, 6-4 lean pitcher with a loose frame, pretty clean arm action. Nice loose, low three-quarter delivery, shows he gonna have the ability to throw the ball harder as he gets older. Once he decides on basketball or baseball, the sky's the limit for him. He shows the making of a curve and change that have come along in the last year or so. He's a three-pitch guy with unbelievable athleticism for a pitcher, something any kind of scout will enjoy. Those guys make a quick adjustment at the next level. He's a smart kid willing to work hard, and those kinds of intangibles can put a kid like that into a full-time job as a pitcher."

Adam Ravenelle, RHP, Lincoln-Sudbury

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 185 lbs.

Bats: Right

Hometown: Sudbury, Mass.

College: Vanderbilt

2010 stats: 5-0, 55 K, 22 BB, 48.2 IP, 1.67 ERA

Scout's Take: "We're kinda blessed with all of the arms this year in Massachusetts. It's uncommon to have this many tall, lean pitchers who run 90-plus on their fastball. As he continues to put weight on, I think you'll see him be able to repeat his delivery more consistently, and that's paramount for his success. He's got a curveball with solid depth and spin for his two-pitch, and as he continues to add that changeup as a third pitch, you're looking at a potential professional starter. As it stands, he could be a power reliever."

Barrett O'Neill, RHP/3B, Dexter

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 205 lbs.

Bats: Right

Hometown: Ashland, Mass.

College: Virginia

2010 stats: 6-1, 59 K, 9 BB, 40 IP, 2 SV, 1.30 ERA; .420, 34 RBI, 6 HR, 5 SB

Scout's Take: "He has that classic athletic background, as he played hockey growing up, so he fits the profile of some of these gritty northeast kids. He's obviously smart going to the University of Virginia. He has a hard fastball in the upper 80's, low 90's, and athletically he's pretty well developed. Obviously, he's shown commitment to his craft by taking the winter off from hockey, to straighten out his future on the mound."

John Gorman, RHP/3B, Catholic Memorial

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 215 lbs.

Bats: Right

Hometown: Norwood, Mass.

College: Boston College

2010 Stats: 8-0, 113 K, 18 BB, 65 IP, 1.18 ERA; .395, 26 RBI, 3 HR, 7 SB

Scout's Take: "Gorman's another classic northeast kid, just a bulldog on the mound who always wants to win. He's a good two-way guy, so he knows how to attack hitters. He has the feel for being a leader every day; last summer [at showcases with the New England Ruffnecks] he went right at top-100 hitters and took control of the game. He was born to be in the strike zone all day. He's not afraid to dust the best hitters in country. I wouldn’t be surprised if he's at 90, 91 by the spring, with three pitches."

Devin Perry, RHP/IF, BB&N

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 195 lbs.

Bats: Right

Hometown: Newton, Mass.

College: Boston College

2010 Stats: 8-0, 85 K, 19 BB, 49 IP, 0.71 ERA; .351, 17 RBI, 3 HR

Scout's Take: "At 6-3 and about 195 pound, he might have the most electric arm of all of them, but he has to make sure to take care of his body, the way he throws slightly across himself in his delivery. If he gets his delivery squared away though, you could see him throwing a 95 mile per hour fastball as he continues to get stronger."

Andrew Chin, LHP, BB&N

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 180 lbs.

Bats: Left

Hometown: Newton, Mass.

College: Boston College

2010 Stats: 7-0, 94 K, 29 BB, 59 IP, 0.59 ERA

Scout's Take: "Chin might be the most complete pitcher at this point. Maybe he's not the same type of thrower or class as these other guys -- he tends to be in the upper 80's with his fastball, good in and out, good with the changeup -- but he understands the craft and is willing to work at it. He's a classic left-hander with good feel for how to set hitters up."