Michigan Draft Preview: A look at some of the top players



By Mike Penn
Michigan Director of Scouting 

The eve of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft is upon us.  Traditionally, Michigan pales in comparison to other states such as California or Florida who had 80 and 61 high school players respectively selected in the 2012 Draft.  However, Michigan does stack up well in the Midwest.

In 2012, Michigan had four high schoolers selected as compared to Ohio (4), Indiana (2), and Illinois (10). Justin Alleman (RHP/18th round) was the highest followed by Brett Sunde (C/35th round).

This year the draft comes down to a few names: No. 1 Jackson Lamb, No. 2 Nick Deeg, No. 3 Sterling Sharp, and No. 5 Johnny Slater.

+ Lamb has the most interest surrounding him at this point.  Several teams have had cross-checkers in to see Lamb who has an impressive toolset.  Lamb, without a doubt, has the most upside of anyone in the class.  This spring his velocities have varied quite a bit but he has been up to 94mph.  The secondary stuff is still a ways away, but for a player who primarily focused on basketball for three-quarters of his high school career, you have to wonder how good is he really going to be in two or three years. 

One Word Description: Upside

+ Deeg is another intriguing one.  Kudos to Central Michigan for locking up a really good pitcher.  Deeg went to the Super 60 in Chicago this winter and was good.  He didn't light up the gun like some of the other arms that attended, but it was clear that he has plenty of upside.  

One Word Description: Fluid
 
+ Sharp may be the sleeper in this draft.  Eastern Michigan got a really good one if he goes to school.  We have had him up to 90 but primarily 87-89mph.  Sharp once again has a ton of upside and is slender in build.  The arm works really well, and he can spin it too.  Don't count out Sterling Sharp as a late pick.

One Word Description: Loose

+ Johnny Slater has been by far been the biggest and best surprise this spring.  Slater had an incredible spring early and a river of scouts swamped Southfield-Lathrup this spring.  Slater was visited by several national cross checkers.  Slater is "toolsy" with good upside.  Someone will make a run at Slater.  The question will be what round.

One Word Description: Toolsy

The Dark Horses

+Hector Gutierrez, SS/RHP, Detroit Western International- Gutierrez also went to the Super 60 in Chicago and preformed incredibly well.  He ran a 6.76 in the 60, touched 91 off the mound and had one of the best BP rounds on the day.  He plays a premium position in the middle infield.  Don't count him out just yet. 

+Harrison Wenson, C, U of D Jesuit- Wenson attended a pre-draft workout and everyone needs catching.  You never know.

+Tyler Palm, RHP, Ogemaw Heights- Palm is 6-foot-10 and has reportedly been up to 92mph.  Enough said.   
+Austin Shepherd, RHP, Vicksburg HS- Shepherd's dad played in the big leagues and the righty has been hovering around 90mph this spring.  Scouts love good bloodlines. It wouldn't shock us if he went.