The following are several under the radar prospects with significant upside. As I was researching, I stumbled upon dynastymine.com which mentions most of the players I thought of along with a plethora of other off-the-radar prospects. Therefore, I would definitely recommend visiting if you have any further interest in obscure prospects. Nevetheless, here are some good players not often mentioned this season among the game’s best prospects.
Robert Stock (C, St Louis)—a catcher from USC drafted last season by the Cardinals, Stock was considered one of the best high school players of the past decade. Stock was impressive in the minor leagues last season, which was encouraging considering Stock’s collegiate career was mediocre at best. Still only 20 years old, under the right circumstances, Stock could become extremely valuable if he harnesses the skills which made him an elite prospect at a young age.
Kendal Volz (P, Boston)—Volz was selected by the Red Sox in the 9th Round of last season’s draft. Two seasons ago, Volz’s name frequently arose when people discussed who would be among the first selections of the 2009 draft. He was a dominating closer for team USA during international competition in 2008, but his collegiate numbers were mediocre as his velocity declined significantly during ’09. Nevertheless, Volz could become a great asset to Boston’s bullpen.
Destin Hood (OF, Nationals)—an outfielder drafted by the Nationals in the Second Round of last year’s draft, my knowledge of Hood comes primarily from football. He was elite an elite receiver at St. Paul’s in Mobile, Alabama (Jake Peavy’s alma-mater), but passed on his commitment to Alabama to play baseball. Hood is incredibly raw, but his incredible athleticism/speed gives him great potential.
Gabriel Noriega (SS, Mariners)—an international player signed in ’08, Noriega shows excellent upside. His strength is defense, but he was solid offensively during his first season season. I believe Noriega could develop into a great player, and trust Seattle’s international scouts. The downside is he’s still only 17 and a long way from the major leagues.
Rashun Dixon (OF, Oakland)—An outfielder selected by the A’s in the 8th round of the ’08 draft, Dixon (like Destin Hood) was a highly-regarded football recruit who chose baseball over being a receiver in the SEC. In 2008, Dixon posted awesome power numbers in the short season rookie league. The ability to crush the ball along with speed to play receiver in the SEC is a rare combination. It’s also interesting that Dixon is represented by NFL super-agent Bus Cook, who perhaps saw big things from Dixon when deciding to represent a baseball player. The downside is Dixon is incredibly raw and struggled in ’09. Perhaps he epitomizes how great athletes are not necessarily great baseball players, but the upside is definitely present.
Andrew Brackman (P, New York Yankees)—many followers of ACC baseball remember the 6-11 Brackman and his 97 mph fastball and knuckle-curve. Injury concerns forced Brackman into the last first-round in ’07, and so far, the injury concerns appear legitimate as Brackman was shelled during his first minor league season. Nevertheless, if Brackman could “put it together,” he could become an elite pitcher for the Yankees.
John Raynor (OF, Pirates)—Raynor was my favorite selection during this season’s Rule V draft. He is one of the fastest prospects in the minor leagues, and also showed enough power to hit double-digit home runs. The Marlins let Raynor go after his batting average dipped in AAA, but he seems like a player who can contribute this season to Pittsburgh’s outfield.