Here is the second part in my series on 2010 draft prospects by position. Here are the middle infielders:
Christian Colon, Cal State Fullerton
A broken leg won’t keep Colon down, and I think he’ll come back quite effectively for the spring season. He doesn’t really have any plus-plus tools, but he’s a great all-around player and the best middle infield prospect available in the 2010 class. Projected draft slot: Early-first to mid-first round.
Rick Hague, Rice
Hague played third base for Team USA this summer, but he’s probably going to stick at shortstop in pro ball with some improvement. He’s a solid hitter with some work to do with his approach, but he’s got the natural talent to be an above-average hitter from the shortstop position. He might eventually have to move to third base, but he proved he’s an excellent fielder there this summer, so that’s not necessarily a horrible thing. Projected draft slot: Mid-first to early-second round.
Jedd Gyorko, West Virginia
I’ve gone back and forth on whether to list Gyorko as a second baseman or third baseman, and I think I’ve settled here…for now. He’s got a plus hit tool with some good raw power, and he could turn out to be one of the best hitters from this draft class. He has a college approach to hitting and will be picked on the bat alone. Projected draft position: Late-first to mid-second round.
Derek Dietrich, Georgia Tech
Dietrich is another guy that might be a third baseman, but his position for now is shortstop. He really struggled this summer on the Cape, and there’s a lot of doubt about both his bat and glove. He’s got an average hit tool with average raw power, but he strikes out a lot. He does run the count up, but he ends up striking out just too much. His glove isn’t that good, either, and in all likelihood he’s a third baseman. Projected draft position: Supplemental-first to late-second round.
Ross Wilson, Alabama
Wilson is a middle infielder that might fit at either second or short, though his position right now is second with the Crimson Tide alongside 2010 shortstop prospect Josh Rutledge. Wilson’s one of those all-around solid hitters that has improved year-to-year and should be a solid pro hitter, too. He’s got a good eye at the plate and a solid hit tool with decent power, so he should be an intriguing guy to watch in the spring. Projected draft position: Early-second to early-third round.
Manny Machado, Brito Private HS (FL)
Machado’s a big kid for a shortstop, but he’s athletic and shows flashes of being a good defender. He has a bat wrap, but he’s actually hit the ball really well, especially with Team USA, where he was the best hitter on the 18U team. Projected draft position: Mid-first to early-second round.
Yordy Cabrera, Lakeland HS (FL)
Florida always seems to be brimming with prep shortstops, and this year is no different. Some scouts prefer Cabrera to Machado, though Cabrera’s bigger and might be a long-term third baseman. He needs to work on his plate discipline and pitch recognition skills, as he might become the next Miguel Tejada in those areas at the plate without major work. Projected draft position: Late-first to mid-second round.
Justin O’Conner, Cowan HS (IN)
There aren’t a lot of Indiana prep prospects that go straight to the pros, especially this high up, but O’Conner’s the exception. Unlike Machado and Cabrera, there aren’t a lot of questions around O’Conner’s ability to stay at shortstop long-term, and he should be a solid hitter, too. Projected draft position: Late-first to late-second round.
Anthony Wolters, Rancho Buena Vista HS (CA)
Wolters is the only major prep prospect in this class that might turn out to be a second baseman in the long-term. He’s got a plus hit tool and is a heady player, and while he isn’t blessed with all the tools of the players listed above, he’s one of the better on-field performers in this class. Projected draft position: Early-second to early-third round.
Zach Alvord, South Forsyth HS (GA)
Alvord is a skilled player from Georgia that profiles as a decent shortstop or plus second baseman. He is a very skilled hitter with a plus hit tool and possible plus power, and much of his value is wrapped up in his bat. He has a great chance to rise a lot between now and June, but he needs to keep hitting to attract scouting attention, as he’s not an extremely good athlete. Projected draft position: Early-second to mid-third round.