Discussion

Francisco Lindor could go in the top five

Updated: June 1, 2011, 1:51 PM ET
By Jason A. Churchill

While the depth of the 2011 draft class remains with the college pitching and the top two picks may remain UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole and Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon, the top prep players in the class are in the conversation for selection in the top five. The buzz is that the Pittsburgh Pirates are considering Kansas high school centerfielder Bubba Starling at No. 1 overall, and both Dylan Bundy, a right-hander from Owasso (Okla.) High School, and Monteverde (Fla.) Academy shortstop Francisco Lindor are being strongly considered by clubs drafting in the top 5, including Seattle at No. 2.

But the top prep talents aren't getting such consideration simply because Cole and Rendon have slipped or because clubs have decided to change philosophies, or anything of that nature. The kids belong.

Starling profiles as a power-hitting centerfielder who has drawn some comparisons to defending American League MVP Josh Hamilton for his athleticism, advanced approach and raw power. Bundy brings a four-pitch mix to the table, including a plus-plus fastball that has reached the upper 90s.

Lindor, however, lacks the plus-plus power and as a shortstop obviously doesn't throw four pitches for strikes. But he's unique and at the second most difficult position to fill on the field he stands out like no other high school player has in years.

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