Posted: 2:45 pm Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
By Matt Porter
According to scouts and analysts, it is a light year for draft prospects in Florida in general, and that includes high school players in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. No area prep kids are expected to land in the top 10 rounds – maybe even the top 20 or 30.
Though it is thin in the high school ranks, a pair of college pitchers with local ties could be picked early.
Oral Roberts right-hander Alex ‘Chi Chi’ Gonzalez, who played at Boca Raton, is projected as a first-rounder by many outlets. At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, he throws four pitches well, including a low-90s fastball and a nasty slider. Gonzalez went 9-5 with a 1.83 ERA and 126 strikeouts in 113.1 innings as a junior in 2013. He walked just 27 batters.
Florida right-hander Jonathan Crawford, of Okeechobee, has impressed scouts with his upper-90s fastball and slider combination, but lacks a deep repertoire and could start his pro career as a reliever. He went 3-6 with a 3.84 ERA as a junior, striking out a team-high 69 batters in 86.2 innings.
The top high school player appears to be Palm Beach Central’s Ian Hagenmiller, a thick-bodied third baseman with a quick, strong bat. He has signed with Palm Beach State. He and Jensen Beach right-hander Taylor Blatch, a Florida State signee, could go in the top 20 rounds.
Elev8 Sports Institute in Delray Beach, formerly known as Bucky Dent Baseball Academy, has several draft prospects. Only Ronnie Healy, who left Jupiter High last December to train at Elev8 full-time, is local. Shortstop Stephen Alamais came to Delray this spring from New York; the rest of Elev8′s prospects are from Puerto Rico.
When: 6 p.m. Thursday, 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Coverage info: MLB Network televises the first day (first round, compensation round and second round); MLB.com is your best bet for a live tracker throughout. Rounds 3-10 are on Friday. Rounds 11-40 are on Saturday.
Who: High school, junior college freshmen and sophomores, four-year college juniors and seniors from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico are eligible.
Palm Beach County prospects in 2013 MLB Draft
Predicting where area players might land in this year’s draft, along with a few other names that could be called.
Pos — Name, College/High School (College commitment, if HS player)
RHP – Alex ‘Chi Chi’ Gonzalez, Oral Roberts/Boca Raton
RHP – Jonathon Crawford, Florida/Okeechobee
SS – Stephen Alemais, Elev8 Sports Institute (Tulane)
RHP/1B — J.D. Underwood, Palm Beach State/Palm Beach Gardens (Miami)
C/RHP – Ronnie Healy, Elev8 Sports Institute (Broward CC)
3B – Ian Hagenmiller, Palm Beach Central (Palm Beach State)
C – Carlos Diaz, Elev8 Sports Institute (Miami)
OF – Jamal Martin, Santa Fe CC/Dwyer (Florida State)
RHP – Taylor Blatch, Jensen Beach (Florida State)
OF – Jose Bonilla, Elev8 Sports Institute (Florida Atlantic)
RHP – Miguel Castellanos, Elev8 Sports Institute (Brevard CC)
RHP — Kurt Schluter, Stetson/Jupiter
LHP — Chris Matulis, Central Florida/Park Vista
OF/RHP – Jorge Gil, Elev8 Sports Institute (Alabama State)
RHP – Cal Becker, Palm Beach State
RHP — Jose Lazaro, Palm Beach State
SS – Hunter Hope, Dwyer (Tulane)
IF – Darren Seferina, Trinity Christian (Palm Beach State)
OF – Trey Amburgey, Park Vista (St. Petersburg State)
C – Franco Guardascione, Trinity Christian (Palm Beach State)
RHP – Cheyne Bickel, Dwyer (Mississippi)
LHP – Jared Johnson, John I. Leonard (Palm Beach State)
RHP – Nick Lawrence, Wellington (High Point)
1B — John McCarthy, Jupiter (Army)
RHP — John Costa, Palm Beach State/Summit Christian
RHP/IF — Matt Harris, Benjamin (Elon)