Each Friday from now until the end of May, Jason A. Churchill, who covers the MLB draft for ESPN Insider, will look at the high school prospects whose stock is up and whose stock is down heading into the draft, which begins on June 4.
With the 2012 MLB draft a little more than a week away, it’s coming down to the wire for top prospects to making one last impression on scouts in the hopes of raising their draft stock.
Two players from the Golden State -- left-hander Cole Irvin of Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) and Daniel Robertson of Upland (Calif.) -- have done just that. Irvin showcased a wide array of pitches during the spring, while Robertson hit .560 with six homers and 31 RBIs this season.
Check back next Friday for our final high school Stock Watch before the draft.
Cole Irvin, LHP, Servite (Anaheim, Calif.)
Irvin, who stands 6-foot-4 and 170 pounds, battled all spring. He impressed scouts late in the season by showing consistent fastball command and a competitive approach to go with an improved set of secondary pitches, including the occasional changeup in a two-hitter tossed earlier this month. Irvin is committed to Oregon, but his arm speed and projectable frame could be enough for a late Day 1 or very early Day 2 selection.
Daniel Robertson, 3B, Upland (Calif.)
Robertson's season just ended, but the third baseman finished strong. He gathered six hits in his final seven at-bats and finished the year with a .560/.669/1.000 triple slash (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) that includes six home runs and a 29-6 BB/K ratio. He's strong, moves well laterally on defense and has a plus arm, suggesting he'll stick at the hot corner in pro ball. He's committed to UCLA but could go early enough to warrant signing a pro deal instead.
Kolby Copeland, OF, Parkway (Bossier City, La.)
Copeland's season was over last month, but his stock is rising as a result of his signability and the strong college commitments of others (see Stock Down). He's signed on with Baton Rouge Community College and could re-enter the draft next year if he feels he can improve his stock, but may go off the board as early as the second round this June. He's a bit raw at the plate, but he’s also a very good athlete who generates good bat speed.
Carson Fulmer, RHP, All Saints Academy (Winter Haven, Fla.)
Fulmer fits on both ends of the spectrum here. He's a Vanderbilt signee, and they tend to lose stock as the draft nears due to their strong commitment to playing college ball. Fulmer, however, has pitched his way into consideration for the sandwich round, and if he's among those that strikes a pre-draft deal, he could easily be a top 60 selection. He lacks projection at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, but is otherwise an advanced and polished prep arm.
Others Trending Up
Anthony Alford, OF, Petal (Miss.)
Walker Buehler, RHP, Henry Clay (Lexington, Ky.)
James Kaprielian, RHP, Beckman (Irvine, Calif.)
Kyle Twomey, LHP, El Dorado (Placerville, Calif.)
Skye Bolt, OF, Holy Innocents’ (Atlanta)
Bolt's stock is sinking a bit due to signability concerns, as the speedy outfielder's commitment to North Carolina may be his ticket to the first round in three years. This could all change with a pre-draft agreement for a slot in the top few rounds, but the payoff appears too great for him to settle. Bolt, a switch hitter, profiles well in center field and has good present strength. His quick, smooth swing produces line drives and promises future power.
Daniel Starwalt, RHP, Granite Hills (El Cajon, Calif.)
Starwalt, not unlike fellow Stanford commit Freddy Avis, may be a tough sign unless he's a first-round pick, and Starwalt will not carry such a profile into draft day. There are clubs that have tossed a fourth-round grade on the right-hander, despite his low-90s velocity and 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame. Barring an overdraft or money-saving deal, Stalwart is probably headed for Day 2 and likely Palo Alto.
Austin Barr, C, Camas (Wash.)
Barr's stock hasn’t fallen because of his play -- most clubs are off him entirely because he's committed to Stanford, and the industry believes he'll pass on pro ball for now and re-enter the draft in 2015. Otherwise, Barr would have been a consideration in the top 100 picks, perhaps as high as the end of the sandwich round.
Others Trending Down
Tyler Gonzales, RHP, James Madison (San Antonio)
Trey Williams, 3B, Valencia (Calif.)
Jason A. Churchill covers scouting, player development and the MLB draft for ESPN Insider, as well as Prospect Insider, where he's the founder and executive editor. You can follow him on Twitter @ProspectInsider and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.