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Scouting the Sunshine State

Updated: March 15, 2012, 6:59 PM ET
By Kiley McDaniel

Florida is a powerhouse of amateur talent year after year, and this season it is no different. Continuing on my prep talent first impressions tour around the I-4 corridor of the state (caveats covered in an earlier post), I've got notes on four Sunshine State standouts who could find themselves in the first round come June.

Many teams have idiosyncratic approaches to the draft, and it shows in their track record. Some are velocity-centric, stats-focused, tools-heavy, size-obsessed, etc. But the one type of player every club universally drafts is the projectable high school pitcher. Most teams believe you have to draft for upside, and the projectable high school arm is the easiest way to find it -- fill out the frame with good weight, and velocity can soar.

Keith Law recently posted his top 50 prospects list for the 2012 MLB draft, and these four players made it into his top 30. Let's take a look at them in the order that Keith ranked them, starting with two of the best projection plays in this year's draft class who hail from opposite sides of Orlando.

Walker Weickel is a lanky 6-foot-6, 205-pound righty from Olympia High School on the west side of Orlando. Keith ranked Weickel ninth on his list, and at Weickel's season debut the scouting community appeared to agree, with more than 50 scouts in attendance, including a number of crosscheckers and scouting directors. The thing that gets scouts excited about Weickel isn't so much what he does well (which is plenty), but what he doesn't do poorly.

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