ASU started off awfully strong, with Mike Leake breaking into the top 10 and getting drafted by the Cincinatti Reds at number 8 overall. Most people had Leake pegged at 12-14, but the Reds pulled a mild surprise tapping the wiry righty.
Scouting Report on Leake, via Jason A. Churchill:
Leake is a four-pitch arm who sits in the 89-91 mph range, but with an average or better curve, an average slider and changeup, and rounds it out with plus command and control. He uses a two-seamer regularly, getting tailing action shadowed by good arm speed and a compact delivery that he repeats well.
At Safeco in March, Leake breezed through the UW lineup, sitting at 88 but locating well and inducing dozens of weak swings. He did touch 92 and he profiles as a No. 3 starter. One major concern is that on regular rest, Leake's velocity peaks at 89.
Focus Area Comments Fastball: Leake threw his fastball from 88-94 mph. It sat comfortably around 91 mph. Fastball movement: There was above-average sink and plenty of side-to-side movement, with some run to it. He changes arm angles for different looks. Slider: It's a hard, downward slider, thrown 79-82 mph. Curve: An average offering ... not an out pitch. He can throw it for strikes in the 73-76 mph range. Changeup: Close to a plus pitch and he'll throw it at any point in the count. Control: He has plus, plus command, perhaps a 70 on the scouting scale. Poise: It's a plus, plus attribute. He has the presence to pitch in the big leagues right now. He's more of a lead-by-example guy -- soft-spoken, but confident. Physical Description: Leake is an undersized righty, but is athletic and strong, kind of like a Tim Hudson type. Medical Update: Healthy. Strengths: Four pitches that are all usable and the ability to command all of them extremelly well. He's extremely durable, having thrown as many innings as just about anyone in the class over the past few seasons. Weaknesses: There's a little hip turn in his delivery, but it doesn't affect him. There will be those who'll be concerned about his size. Summary: As a six-foot righty, people may want to overlook Leake as a big-time pitching prospect, but they might be missing the boat. He can throw four pitches for strikes and his poise is off the charts. He may not be that big, but he's athletic, strong and durable with an extremely efficient delivery. He's done nothing but perform with the Sun Devils and whoever looks past his size could have themselves a steal.
Next guy off the board for ASU was our boy Jason Kipnis. While he played CF for us, rumors have it the Indians, who took him 63rd overall in the 2nd round, will switch him to 2B. Maybe he is the next Pedroia?
Focus Area Comments Hitting ability: Kipnis has tightened up his swing, getting the loop that had been an issue out of it. He still uses the whole field, but has been successfully pulling the ball more. He's a big on-base guy. Power: He's got a little power, a guy who could hit 12-15 homers annually. Running speed: Has average speed. Base running: He's a good baserunner and maximizes what speed he does have. Arm strength: Has average arm strength. Fielding: He's able to play all three outfield spots, though he doesn't profile at one particular position. Range: He's got average range, using instincts well to make the most of his tools. Physical Description: Kipnis is strong for his size, but he's not that big and has drawn body-type comparisons to guys like Mark Bellhorn or Todd Hollandsworth. Medical Update: Healthy. Strengths: He plays hard and above his tools. He's very patient and is an on-base machine, something that should appeal to the stats-minded folks. Weaknesses: He doesn't profile well as an everyday guy at one outfield spot. Summary: It's hard to argue with the statistical success Kipnis has had at ASU, particularly in his junior season. But projecting him is a little more difficult. He's got average tools across the board and does tend to play above them. But he doesn't profile as an everyday guy at any one outfield position, making him more of a tweener or fourth-outfielder type. Still, he's tightened up his swing and his on-base ability should appeal to those teams who really value those skills.
I think he could be awfully good at 2nd.
Josh Spence was next, tagged in the third round by the Angels. Much higher than I thought he would go, frankly.
Carlos Ramirez went at the end of round 8, 261 overall, to the Angels. Jared McDonald went in the 21st round to the White Sox.
At this point that does it. If anyone else gets taken, i'll update.
I think they all sign except McDonald.