Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories on players who scouts say could be selected in the first round of the first-year player draft on Tuesday.
Not a single high school position player this year is flawless. Not one is a sure thing. Not one is as highly regarded as recent top picks Tim Beckham, Justin Upton(notes), Delmon Young(notes) or Adrian Gonzalez(notes). Pitching is certain to steal the show in this draft, which is just the opportunity some teams drafting in the middle and end of the first round need.
Want a potent bat? A fleet outfielder? A slick shortstop? How about an athletic catcher? They are all there for the taking among the high school elite, but there aren't enough to go around. But with so much attention on pitchers, a team that wants to fill a specific need from the prep pool can probably do so.
Donovan Tate, OF, Cartersville HS, Ga.: No player seems to have a more uncertain fate in the first round than Tate, who has a scholarship offer to play football and baseball at North Carolina. San Diego Padres scouts are head-over-heels in love with his ability, but the team's new ownership could lean toward a college pitcher instead with the No. 3 pick. It's possible the Braves could take Tate at No. 7 because they like "local" products, not to mention they desperately need a decent outfielder. Tate has an excellent arm, good speed and power potential, but he swings and misses a lot, and many of the pitches are out of the strike zone. So he's raw. He's also a Scott Boras client, who will leverage the North Carolina commitment into top dollars for him to sign.
Bobby Borchering, 3B/1B, Bishop Verot HS, Fort Myers, Fla.: The switch-hitting Borchering is the best high school bat available. He hits equally well from both sides of the plate and is projected to have considerable power. He is a below average third baseman who likely will move to first base as a pro. He runs surprisingly well. Borchering has a commitment to Florida but is considered signable.
Jiovanni Mier, SS, Bonita HS, LaVerne, Calif.: The best argument going for Mier as a first-round pick is that he plays a premium position, and plays it extremely well. Mier is also a base-stealing threat and a good contact hitter. He probably won't hit with power because putting on weight and adding strength won't be a priority, given his position. Mier also exudes a quiet confidence that scouts believe is another reason to draft him.
Everett Williams, OF, McCallum HS, Austin, Texas: Williams has added 20 pounds in a year, quelling concerns that he might be too slight to hit consistently with a wood bat. The rest of his game is why teams are considering him late in the first round: Great range and instincts in center field, excellent speed and a major league average arm. Williams has shown power in high school and generates ample bat speed, but he's had a tendency to pull off the ball and overswing. He'll need to use the whole field to become an everyday major league player.
Reymond Fuentes, OF, Fernando Callego HS, Manati, Puerto Rico: Fuentes profiles like his uncle, Carlos Beltran(notes), did more than a decade ago. He's a fluid center fielder with tremendous upside as a hitter. Fuentes will need to fill out beyond his current 160 pounds, but some scouts believe he will mature into an everyday major leaguer. He also is one of the fastest players in the draft.
Mike Trout, OF, Millville HS, N.J.: At this point in his development, Trout is good at everything and excellent at nothing, at least from a major league standpoint. He's a stocky center fielder with an aggressive, confident approach and all-around athletic ability. He's his high school team's closer, and consistently throws in the high 80s. Trout, a natural right-hander, began switch-hitting a few months ago and scouts say eventually he could hit well from the left side.
Wil Myers, C, Wesleyan Christian, High Point, N.C.: Myers has played every position on the diamond in his short career, and he's smart to focus on catching, where athleticism is at a premium. He reminds some scouts of Russell Martin(notes), a flexible catcher with spring in his legs and a quick release to any base. Myers has crushed high school pitching as a primarily pull hitter, but scouts agree his hitting mechanics could stand improvement.
Max Stassi, C, Yuba City, Calif.: A natural-born catcher, the burly Stassi has great instincts to go with soft hands and a strong arm. He hasn't hit with much power yet, but some scouts believe his mechanics could be improved and that home runs might come. Stassi makes consistent hard contact, a gap-to-gap line-drive hitter.
Matt Davidson, 1B/3B, Yucaipa HS, Calif.: Davidson could go in the first round primarily because he is one of the few legitimate power prospects among high school or college hitters. Scouts are divided on whether he will remain at third base or move to first because of defensive limitations. Davidson has great mental makeup and wants to play pro ball. His bat will get him there.