6. Matt Foust, RHP, Nebraska
– Foust, despite being a college junior, had thrown only 12.2 innings for the ‘Huskers before the 2007 season. Foust redshirted in 2004 following shoulder surgery, but barely took the field in ’05 and ’06 due to poor conditioning. Foust got himself in shape prior to the 2007 season, dropping 20 pounds to a more reasonable 225 on his 6-3 frame. Foust throws an 90-94 MPH fastball as well as a hard slider that sits in the mid-80’s. Foust’s fastball is described as “true” (meaning it’s fairly straight) and PG Crosschecker notes that Foust’s slider can flatten out when he drops his elbow lower than normal from his three-quarters delivery. Foust is said to project better as a reliever. Foust posted a 4.02 ERA with 53 strikeouts and 32 walks in 65 innings.
7. Juan Garcia, C, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
– Garcia is abnormally fast for a catcher (6.5 in the 60-yard dash, 4.1 seconds down the first base line, according to PG Crosschecker.) Garcia uses that athleticism behind the plate, as he is fast out of the crouch and gets rid of the ball quickly. At 5-10, 180 pounds, Garcia would not appear to project as a power threat. PG Crosschecker calls Garcia a “slashing hitter”, though they also note that he has been showing scouts more power than expected this spring.
8. Maurice Bankston, RHP, Texarkana (Texas) CC
– Bankston is a 6-4, 190 pound Junior College sophomore that offers a good deal of projection. Bankston’s fastball sits in the 91-93 MPH range, and his curveball has been showing signs of improvement as well, though PG Crosschecker says Bankston’s breaking ball and command “aren’t considered average yet.”
9. Tony Watson, LHP, Nebraska
– The second Cornhusker pitcher selected by the Pirates, Watson was a draft-eligible sophomore in 2006 who was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 17th round. Watson turned down a six-figure bonus to return to Nebraska, and has seen his stuff take a step back. The 6-4, 220 pound Watson does not have the power repetoire that his frame would suggest. Watson’s fastball sits at 86-88 MPH (down a tick or two from ’06), though he spots the pitch well. Watson’s best pitch is his changeup, and he also throws a fringe-average slider. Watson has an injury history, having torn his labrum before he reached college. Watson posted a 4.09 ERA with 81 strikeouts and 30 walks in 99 innings.
10. Sean Giblin, RHP, Pearl River HS (NY)
– Giblin is a 6-3, 200 pounder with a scholarship to the University of Rhode Island. Giblin’s fastball has been clocked at 93 MPH (according to Lower Hudson Online.) Giblin’s projectable frame gives hope that he can add a tick or two to his fastball and improve the command ofhis 12-to-6 curveball.
Late Round Picks of Note
20. Brian Tracy, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
– Jim Tracy’s son. This would appear to be a favor pick, as Tracy was not ranked among the top 160 players in the state of California by PG Crosschecker, and he posted a 5.03 ERA with more walks (38) than strikeouts (26) in 53.2 innings.
28. Matt Clark, 3B, Riverside CC (CA)
– Clark began his collegiate career at UC Santa Barbara, but transferred after one season as a part-time player. Clark has a smooth lefthanded stroke with good bat speed and power. At 6-5, 230 pounds, Clark has below average speed and range, and will more than likely have to shift across the diamond to first base. As is the case with all first baseman, Clark will have to rake to be considered a legitimate prospect.
43. Cameron Rupp, C, Prestonwood Christian Academy (TX)
– Rupp (6-3, 230 pounds) is a very intriguing late-round selection, possessing very good raw power, bat speed, arm strength, and athleticism. However, Rupp is a raw receiver, and some scouts question if he’ll be able to make use of his power, as Rupp can be jammed by mediocre fastballs. Rupp is a Texas Longhorns recruit, and is considered a tough sign.
47. Robbie Broach, RHP, Archbishop Rummel HS (LA)
– Broach (6-1, 195 pounds) possesses an 87-90 MPH fastball with a curveball that can be a plus pitch at times. Broach’s frame does not lend itself to projectability, so it seems unlikely that he will add additional velocity to his fastball. Broach’s delivery looks somewhat violent, and would be considered “max-effort.” Broach’s stuff was inconsistent this spring, which PG crosschecker attributes to his playing third base when he didn’t pitch. Broach has a strong commitment to Tulane, and would require a significant bonus to sign.