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June 9, 2014
MLB Draft Roundup
This year's MLB First-Year Player Draft featured 13 high school draftees from the Northern California region. Here's our recap of where each prospect landed:
Derek Hill, Elk Grove, CF, Detroit Tigers (Round 1, Pick 23) - The top prospect in Northern California was the first player from the region off the board. Hill is an excellent defensive centerfielder with range, speed, and a plus arm. MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds went as far to call him, "The best high school centerfielder since Torii Hunter." At the plate, Hill was equally impressive, with a .500 batting average as a senior to go with 30 RBIs, 11 doubles, and seven triples. The 6-foot-2, 185 pounder is signed to play at Oregon next season, but as a first round pick, Hill is expected to begin his professional career. He has the potential to become a leadoff hitter and stellar defensive asset at the MLB level.
Logan Webb, Rocklin, RHP, San Francisco Giants (Round 4, Pick 118) - Webb threw 57.2 innings at Rocklin this season where he held a 0.49 ERA and fanned 73 hitters. He surrendered only four earned runs and one extra base hit as a senior. He came onto the scene late in the draft process after his fastball began to reach the mid-90s. Also a quarterback on the football team, Webb threw for 3,767 and 47 touchdowns in his two varsity seasons. The 6-foot-2, 180 pound right-hander is committed to Cal Poly.
Casey Soltis, Granada, OF, Miami Marlins (Round 5, Pick 137) - The left-handed Soltis hit .353 as a senior with 16 RBIs, two doubles, nine triples, and four home runs. He also showed his speed with 13 stolen bases. Soltis clearly has some tools to go with a 6-foot-1, 185 pound frame that intrigued scouts. He has a compact swing that allows him to make solid contact with some potential for more power. Soltis is committed to Oregon.
Joe Gillette, Scotts Valley, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals (Round 23, Pick 705) - Gillette is the region's second ranked prospect but fell to the 23rd round with the expectation that he'll be playing at Oregon State next season. He held a .350 batting average in his last two varsity seasons with 37 RBIs, nine doubles, two triples, and seven home runs.
Denis Karas, Campolindo, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates (Round 24, Pick 731) - Karas, a Cal commit, held a .340 batting average with 27 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, and two home runs as a junior. The 5-foot-11, 175 pound infielder has a smooth swing and strong arm that should translate to third base.
Cameron Avila-Leeper, Grant, LHP, Minnesota Twins (Round 29, Pick 860) - During his senior season, Avila-Leeper held a 3.19 ERA in 26.1 innings of work. He showed swing-and-miss stuff with 43 strikeouts, accounting for over half of his outs. The Arizona commit flashes a fastball in the high-80s along with good secondary stuff. He came into the national radar as a sophomore when he fanned 17 hitters in a 3-2 win over Inderkum.
Tyler Schimpf, Capital Christian, RHP, Oakland A's (Round 31, Pick 942) - In three varsity seasons, Schimpf never held an ERA above 1.70 and had at least four wins on the mound each year. As a senior, the Texas signee was 8-1 with a 1.12 ERA. He threw six complete games, three being shutouts, in 56.1 total innings. He struck out 100 hitters and surrendered only three extra base hits. The 6-foot-4, 210 pound righty was also impressive as a hitter, maintaining a .371 batting average with 33 RBIs, 16 doubles, three triples, and four homers.
Tim Susnara, St. Francis-Mountain View, C, San Francisco Giants (Round 34, Pick 1018) - A defensive standout behind the plate, Susnara was taken by the local San Francisco club. The Oregon commit was held to a .223 batting average as a senior, but hit above .300 in both his sophomore and junior seasons. The 6-foot-1, 195 pounder is a good receiver with a strong arm and has the leadership tools needed at the catching position.
Mitch Hart, Granite Bay, RHP, San Francisco Giants (Round 35, Pick 1048) - Hart was rated among the top 100 prospects by various MLB scouts, but held firm to his USC commitment and turned down earlier draft money. He can throw his fastball in the mid-90s and has enough offspeed stuff to keep hitters off balance. Hart sported a 2.57 ERA as a senior in 49 innings pitched, striking out 48 hitters.
Jed Sprague, St. Mary's, 1B, Chicago White Sox (Round 37, Pick 1098) - Sprague held a .283 batting average as a senior with 23 RBIs, 14 doubles, two triples, and a home run. The 6-foot-3, 185 pound first baseman has a projectable frame with power potential. He is committed to Pacific.
John Gavin, St. Francis-Mountain View, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers (Round 39, Pick 1166) - The second Lancer selected, Gavin held a 26-3 record in his three year varsity career. He threw 78.2 innings as a senior, sporting a 0.71 ERA and 8-1 record. Gavin struck out 100 hitters and allowed 20 walks last season. The 6-foot-5, 240 pound southpaw runs his fastball up into the high-80s and has nice changeup that can fool hitters. He is signed with Cal State Fullerton.
Joe Ryan, Sir Francis Drake, RHP, San Francisco Giants (Round 39, Pick 1168) - Ryan held a 0.76 ERA and 12-1 record in 92 innings as a senior. In 13 starts, the righty had nine complete games and five shutouts. He fanned an astounding 132 hitters and walked only 21. Ryan is committed to Cal State Northridge.
Bryson Brigman, Valley Christian, SS, Oakland A's (Round 40, Pick 1212) - A four-year varsity player at Valley Christian, Brigman never hit below .300 for the Warriors. He has quick hands that allow him to pull the ball while he also fields his position well. Brigman held a .340 batting average as a senior with 15 RBIs, six doubles, two triples, and a home run. On the base paths, he stole 11 bases in 14 attempts. Brigman is committed to play at the University of San Diego.