05/07/09 10:00 AM ET
Draft Report: Looking for big bats
Miller, Jackson may benefit from weak hitter pool
By Jonathan Mayo / MLB.com
Those advanced hitters are always in high demand because of the perceived quick path to the big leagues and lessened risk. In other words, the college bats are as close to a sure thing as there is in the game of Draft roulette. In 2008, the supply matched the demand. This year, not so much.
That's not to say there aren't any interesting college hitters to choose from, and that's where this week's Draft Report will start.
With no Pedro Alvarez or Yonder Alonso this year, it will be interesting to see from where this season's college bat crop gets selected. It's possible that some of them -- including the two outfielders in this week's report -- could get a bit overdrafted as a result.
If college bats are a weakness, high school catchers are an area of strength. There's definitely some depth behind the plate at the prep level, though those players always come with question marks. Two backstops in this week's reports are intriguing, but do have issues ranging from injury to defensive deficiencies.
TDR is rounded out by a pair of high scool arms, a toolsy high school outfielder and a college right-hander with some power stuff.
Of course, any time you talk about a college right-hander with power stuff, it leads right into the ...
Last outing: May 1
Opponent: Santa Clara
Result: 5-0 win
Game stats: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 12 K
Season stats: 10-0, 78 1/3 IP, 48 H, 12 ER, 15 BB, 147 K, .176 BAA, 1.38 ERA
And now, onto the reports:
The College Bats
Brett Jackson, OF
University of California
In a series against Oregon, Cal's leadoff hitter and center fielder went 4-for-16 with a triple, a double and an RBI. For the season, he's hit .326 with a .416 OBP, .568 SLG and 11 stolen bases in 14 attempts in 46 games. Complete Report
Aaron Miller, OF
The two-way player is getting more attention as an outfielder, and in a recent series against Missouri, he went 4-for-12 with a homer, a double and three RBIs. He also pitched eight innings of relief in an extra-inning victory. For the season, Miller has hit .350 with 11 homers and 43 RBIs in 46 games. Complete Report
The High School Catchers
Luke Bailey, C
Troup County High School, Ga.
Bailey was near the top of a pretty long list of high school catchers in this Draft class until he underwent Tommy John surgery last week. This report comes from a game a month ago and teams might still be interested in his catch-and-throw skills. Complete Report
Tommy Joseph, C
Horizon High School, Scottsdale, Ariz.
In a tight 6-5 victory in April over Desert Ridge High School and fellow draft prospect Jake Barrett, Joseph when 1-for-4 with a double and three RBIs as Horizon scored six times in the seventh to win. For the season, Joseph has hit .494 through 27 games with 15 homers and 34 RBIs. Complete Report
The High School Arms
Scott Griggs, RHP
San Ramon Valley High School, Calif.
Griggs took the mound for his San Ramon Valley High team in mid-April against Crespi High and got a no-decision in a game his team eventually won during a tournament in San Luis Obispo. The right-hander went five innings, giving up two runs on two hits and four walks while striking out seven. He's gone 2-2 for the year with a 3.00 ERA and has struck out 35 in 28 innings, though he's also walked 24. Complete Report
Chad James, LHP
Yukon High School, Okla.
The big, physical lefty has an intriguing power repertoire, and it was on display in a start against Putnam City West. So far this season he's 8-1 with a 1.55 ERA and 91 Ks. Complete Report
The College Arm
Kyle Heckathorn, RHP
Kenesaw St., Ga.
In a terrific matchup against Lipscomb lefty Rex Brothers, Heckathorn beat the southpaw, 2-1. He went 8 2/3 innings, allowing one run on eight hits while striking out nine and walking three. For the season, he's gone 4-1 with a 3.55 ERA over 10 starts. He's struck out 68 and walked 21 in 63 1/3 innings pitched, while holding hitters to a .229 average. Complete Report
The High School Bat
Michael Trout, OF
Millville High School, N.J.
Every Draft class has a share of exciting toolsy high school outfielders and this one is no exception. Trout has been rising up Draft boards as the weather in the Northeast has improved and he showed his skill set recently in a game against Ocean City High School. Complete Report
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.