Scouting Notes: Collegiate National Team

Scouting Notes: Collegiate National Team

Morehead City, N.C. -- After spending the week following the Team USA collegiate squad around North Carolina, it's more than clear to me that there will not be a lack of premium college talent in the 2013 draft. The roster has an abundance of power arms that could fit in the top half of next June's first round, as well as a couple powerful right-handed bats.

- As the USA squad made the rounds against Coastal Plains League competition, a number of arms made good impressions. None of them looked as impressive as Bobby Wahl. The Mississippi right-hander tossed a dominant relief outing against Wilmington on Tuesday, working at 93-95 mph with his fastball and topping out at 96. He creates an outstanding downhill plane and gets good extension out in front. Wahl also mixed in a potential plus, two-plane slider at 82-85 mph.

- Not all that surprisingly, it appears that Jonathon Crawford has the best pure arm on the USA roster. He touched 97 mph in his Tuesday outing, and sat consistently at 94-96. He has electric arm speed and repeats his delivery quite well. His 84-86 mph slider will also be a plus offering at the professional level.

- Adam Plutko will not have the best stuff in the 2013 draft class, but his pitchability sure stacks up. He worked at 88-90 mph in his first USA outing, bumping 91 a couple times. He also likes to go to a short slider and a quality changeup at 79-82 mph. He's going to need to keep the ball out of the air a little more effectively, but he throws a ton of strikes and spots his pitches as well as any pitcher in the nation.

- Trevor Williams did not throw the ball as well on Monday in Fayetteville as he did when I saw him on the Cape. His stuff was still solid, as he worked at 91-94 mph, but he worked a little too much in the fat part of the plate. I'd like to see him go to his solid 12-6 curveball a little more often as well. I like his aggressiveness with his fastball and short slider, but a little different speed would serve him well.

- San Diego third baseman, Kris Bryant may be the best right-handed power bat in the class, but he also has some swing and miss issues to contend with. Bryant is incredibly dangerous, particularly to right-center field if pitchers allow him to extend his long arms, but he also was exploited by some Coastal Plains pitchers this week on some breaking pitches.

- New Mexico's D.J. Peterson was arguably the most impressive all around hitter in this week's Team USA action. Aside from his very obvious physical strength and raw power in batting practice, Peterson responded exceptionally well to pitcher's counts in game action and showed no issues hitting a good breaking ball. He has the look of a right-handed force in the making and reminds me somewhat of Paul Konerko.

- Cal State Fullerton's Michael Lorenzen is capable of much more than his numbers as a sophomore would indicate. He's highly athletic, shows an effortless swing with some power from the right side and hits the ball very well to the opposite field. This is a player just realizing his outstanding potential.

- Left-hander, Carlos Rodon is not draft eligible until 2014, but I can't write an article on this team without mentioning him. Rodon has the type of ability that scouts dream about. He's a physically gifted pitcher, with a very strong, athletic freame. His 93-96 mph fastball seems to come almost effortlessly, and he spots his plus 85-87 mph slider very well. If he was in the 2013 class, he'd probably be the early favorite to go first overall, even with other impressive arms like Wahl and Crawford as his peers.

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