Thursday, May 5, 2011
Inland Empire: Top baseball prospects of 2011
By Dan Arritt
The Inland Empire has been well represented during the last few Major League Baseball drafts.
Chino Hills first baseman Chris Parmelee was selected 20th overall by the Twins in 2006, Riverside Patriot catcher Kyle Skipworth was chosen sixth overall in 2008 by the Marlins, and Norco right-hander Matt Hobgood went fifth overall to the Orioles two years ago.
A number of other I.E. high school players were selected in the latter parts of the first round in recent drafts.
This season’s crop of seniors might not have a sure-fire top 10 pick like Skipworth and Hobgood, but there should be a few local names called out during the this year’s draft June 6-8 in New Jersey.
Here’s a look at some of the top prospects from the region.
Jacob Anderson, Chino: Slick, speedy and powerful, Anderson can play a corner outfield spot or first base. He madea name for himself by winning the home run derby at the Under Armour All-American Game last August at Wrigley Field in Chicago and might just be the first I.E. player drafted next month. Anderson has committed to Pepperdine but it’s more likely he’ll be playing minor-league ball next spring.
Daniel Arellano, Corona Centennial: At 6 feet 2, 205 pounds, pro scouts like Arellano’s size and raw power. A right-handed hitter and left-handed thrower, Arellano slammed 12 home runs as a junior at Centennial, splitting time between first base, the outfield and the mound. He committed to Long Beach State prior to his junior season.
Ryan Garvey, Palm Desert: As the son of Steve Garvey, the legendary Dodgers first baseman, Ryan has inherited his father’s smooth swing and natural power. An outfielder and first baseman, Garvey has seven home runs for a Palm Desert team that’s ranked No. 1 in Southern Section Division 4. Garvey has signed with USC.
Brandon Martin, Corona Santiago: Martin’s soft hands and strong, accurate arm has placed him in the upper echelon of middle infield prospects. He also passes the speed test with ease, but needs to continue cutting back on his strikeouts. Martin signed with Oregon State in November after de-committing from Cal State Fullerton.
Best of the Rest
Austin Bailey, Temecula Great Oak: A lean middle infielder with a lightning-quick release, Bailey entered the week hitting .493 with a team-high three home runs after connecting twice last week against Vista Murrieta. He signed with San Diego.
Scotty Burcham, Palm Desert: Another member of a star-studded team, Burcham plays shortstop for the Aztecs, hitting .329 with three homers and 20 RBIs. He has signed with Sacramento State.
Kevin Davidson, Yucaipa: Davidson, the younger brother of 2009 supplemental first-round draft pick Matt Davidson, came into the week hitting .525 in 24 games. In addition to playing third base, the UC Riverside recruit also owns a 6-1 record on the mound with a 1.94 ERA.
Kyle Ferret, Corona Santiago: Ferret is another big-bodied catcher who hits more for average than power. He’s smooth and steady behind the plate as well.
Steven Pallares, Corona Santiago: Another top player for the Sharks, Pallares came into the week hitting .473 while splitting time between third base and the mound. He has signed with San Diego State.
Chris Rabago, Riverside Poly: Rabago has seen his numbers dip after hitting .425 with five home runs as a junior and then signing with UC Irvine last fall. The shortstop came into the week hitting .292 with one home run for the 12-10 Bears.
Michael Jordan, Murrieta Valley: A 6-1 right-handed pitcher who signed with Pepperdine, Jordan has a 2.18 ERA in 45 innings this season.
Dave Schuknecht, Palm Desert: Another steady catching prospect, Schuknecht usually bats behind Garvey and came into the week hitting .390. He signed with Arizona.
Next year’s crop
R.J. Ybarra, Riverside Poly, C
Cody Bruder, Corona Santiago, 2B
Vahn Bozoian, Chino Hills Ayala, OF