Recap of PA in 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft



By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting

The three-day affair that is the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft concluded Saturday evening with five standout performers from Pennsylvania high schools having the pleasure of hearing their name called.

Josh Ockimey, 1B, Neumann-Goretti HS (Red Sox, 5th round, 164th overall)
Listed at 6-foot-1, 215-pounds in the MLB Scouting Bureau database, Ockimey can put on a display in batting practice, which he often needed to do post-game for scouts while getting pitched around in game action.  A physical monster, the Indiana Hoosier commit can drive the ball to all parts of the ballpark.  While his other tools don't grade out as highly, as one scout plainly said about Ockimey during a Saints game this spring: "You just don't find left-handed power like his very often."

JJ Matejevic, SS, Norwin HS (Red Sox, 22nd round, 674th overall)
Drafted as a middle infielder, Matejevic's 6-foot-1, 205-pound frame will see him move to a corner sooner rather than later.  No matter, as his bat will play at just about any position.  The left-handed hitter has a simple approach, good bat speed, and emerging game power.  Should he choose to go the college route, the Arizona recruit would be the rare Pennsylvania product to head west. 

Taylor Lehman, LHP, Keystone Oaks HS (Marlins, 34th round, 1007th overall)
At 6-foot-7, it's hard to miss Lehman, in or out of uniform.  His secondary stuff is still developing, but the Penn State recruit typically worked 86-88  with his fastball, while occasionally touching 90 this spring.  A quality athlete, Lehman has always laced up his spikes immediately after his season on the hardwood ends, so there is still plenty of projection left in him.

Brendan McKay, LHP, Blackhawk HS (Padres, 34th round, 1017th overall)
Louisville thought it had the perfect recruit when McKay signed his NLI: a 6-foot-1 southpaw with a legit breaking ball and plus command whose mid-80s fastball would not attract the attention of pro scouts.  When McKay's velo jumped up into the 87-90 range this spring, however, radar guns began popping up en masse behind the plate at his starts.  Luckily for the College World Series-bound Cardinals, McKay slid out of the top ten (bonus pool) rounds and will likely end up on campus with the opportunity to make an immediate impact.

Andrew Bechtold, SS, Garnet Valley HS (Rangers, 37th round, 1116th overall)
Solid across the board, Bechtold's arm strength is his standout tool, which should allow him to stay on the left side on the diamond.  Reports have the Maryland commit with solid velocity on the mound as well, making him a potential two-way contributor at the college level.  Bechtold already has some strength in his 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame and, assuming he doesn't sign, will almost assuredly have a pro body by the time his career in a Terrapins uniform is over.

In addition to the five players above, nineteen alumni of Pennsylvania high schools were drafted out of the collegiate ranks.

Pennsylvania HS Graduates Selected out of College

Name Pos College High School Team Round Overall
Derek Fisher OF Virginia Cedar Crest Astros Competitive
Balance A
37th
Mike Papi OF Virginia Tunkhannock Area Indians Competitive
Balance A
38th
Dan Altavilla LHP Mercyhurst Elizabeth-Forward Mariners 5 141st
Brian O'Grady 1B Rutgers Archbishop Wood Reds 8 245th
Matt Hockenberry RHP Temple South Western Phillies 9 267th
Scott Williams RHP State Col of Florida
Manatee-Sarasota
Conestoga Rangers 11 336th
Connor Walsh RHP Cincinnati Radnor White Sox 12 348th
Eric Dorsch
RHP
Kent State
North Allegheny Pirates 15 461st
Ryan Seiz 1B
Liberty Christopher Dock
Angels
17
509th
Luke Curtis RHP
Pittsburgh
Philipsburg-Osceola
Brewers
18
536th
Joe Harvey RHP Pittsburgh Kennedy-Kenrick
Yankees
19
572nd
Jordan Carter RHP
Saint Joseph's
Methacton Indians
22
668th
Vinny Nittoli RHP Xavier Pine-Richland Mariners 25 741st
Aaron Cressley RHP Pitt-Bradford Corry Area Padres 26 777th
Will Kengor SS Slippery Rock Pittsburgh Central Catholic Tigers 28 850th
Tyler Herb RHP Coastal Carolina Williams Valley Mariners 29 861st
Brandon Hinkle LHP Delaware Hempfield Blue Jays 34 1014th
Matt Wotherspoon RHP Pittsburgh Crestwood Yankees 34 1022nd
Keenan Kish RHP Florida Germantown Academy Reds 34 1025th