Draft Report: Preparation for 2008 begins
Urban Youth Academy showcase kicks off Draft season
Leading up to the 2008 First-Year Player Draft on June 5, the Draft Report will take a weekly in-depth look at some of the most promising high school and collegiate talent that could comprise this year's Draft class.
Ask any scout and they'll be quick to tell you: Preparation for the next Draft begins the day after the previous one comes to an end.
The Draft Report isn't quite that ambitious, but we are back for our second season of providing you the buzz surrounding the Draft class of 2008. Between now and June, we'll bring you what the scouting industry is saying about those vying to enter the pro ranks this coming summer. The Draft Report promises to scour the country -- and Canada -- for high school, junior college and college talent who could go early in this year's draft.
In the last two years, the high school showcase at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif., has become the unofficial kickoff event to the Draft season. With the college season (junior colleges being the exception) not getting under way until this weekend, the southern California event on Feb. 10 was a hot ticket, with more than 150 scouts in attendance. The Draft Report was there in person as well and was able to gather information on eight prepsters who could hear their name called in June.
Tyler Chatwood, RHP
Redlands East Valley HS, Yucaipa, Calif.
Very impressive on the mound with a good fastball and even better curve, Chatwood also gets some attention as a super-utility player offensively. This time around, we look at his attributes on the hill. Complete Report
Video: Tyler Chatwood
Cutter Dykstra, SS/2B
Westlake HS, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Lenny's son has some of the same grit and can swing the stick a bit. He got things off to a good start by homering on the first pitch he swung at in batting practice. Complete Report
Video: Dykstra on the showcase
Video: Cutter Dykstra
Anthony Gose, OF
Bellflower HS, Bellflower, Calif.
The toolsy outfielder can also hit the mid-90s from the mound, but he didn't pitch at this event. Instead, he showed a solid swing and his usual array of intriguing, yet raw, skills. Complete Report
Video: Gose on showcase, getting drafted
Video: Anthony Gose
Aaron Hicks, OF
Woodrow Wilson HS, Long Beach, Calif.
Like Gose, Hicks is another exciting and athletic outfielder with tools to spare. He, too, shows plus arm strength from the mound, but only showed it from the outfield in this event. Complete Report
Video: Hicks on the Urban Youth Academy
Video: Aaron Hicks
John Lamb, LHP
Laguna Hills HS, Laguna Hills, Calif.
While the pitching at the event didn't provide too much "wow factor," Lamb may have put himself more firmly on the map with a strong performance. The two-way player showed improvement from last summer, most noticeably with his breaking ball and command. Complete Report
Video: John Lamb
Ryan O'Sullivan, RHP
Valhalla HS, El Cajon, Calif.
He'd love to follow in the footsteps of his brother, Sean, who was a third-round pick of the Angels back in the day of draft-and-follows. This O'Sullivan also has a pretty good idea of how to pitch, especially for a high schooler. Complete Report
Video: Ryan O'Sullivan
Kyle Skipworth, C
Patriot HS, Riverside, Calif.
Left-handed hitting catchers are always a hot commodity and Skipworth was the cream of the crop at the showcase, showing off terrific power at the plate and plus arm strength behind it. Complete Report
Video: Skipworth on the Urban Youth Academy
Video: Kyle Skipworth
Michael Tonkin, RHP
Palmdale HS, Palmdale, Calif.
In the past, he's been watched because of his size and arm strength. In Compton, though, he looked like a more confident, polished pitcher than he has in the past. Complete Report
Video: Michael Tonkin
Looking ahead: With the college schedule set to begin this weekend full-tilt, scouts will certainly be revving it up into high gear. One of the top stops might be the DeMarini Invitation at Arizona State's campus in Tempe, Ariz. You'll be able to see top draft prospect Pedro Alvarez from Vanderbilt along with several of his Commodores teammates (RHP Brett Jacobson, for one). They kick things off against highly-ranked Oregon State. Host ASU has several highly thought of prospects, like OF Ike Davis, 1B Brett Wallace and C Petey Paramore. ... If you're more interested in top-rated Friday pitchers, there are plenty of options. San Diego LHP Brian Matusz will take the hill at San Diego State. Missouri and RHP Aaron Crow faced Connecticut in the Stetson Tournament in DeLand, Fla. Arizona's Ryan Perry (at Georgia) and Pepperdine's Brett Hunter (vs. Wake Forest) both can crank it up into the upper 90s.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.