Prep arms may dominate late first round
April, 4, 2013
By Jason A. Churchill | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Triple Play New Media//Damen JacksonKohl Stewart is just one of a large group of talented prep pitchers who could go on Day 1.When Keith Law released his first Future 50 nearly three weeks ago, several of the prospects ranked in the bottom half of the top 30 and beyond were prep pitchers, including left-hander Ian Clarkin of San Diego's James Madison HS and righty Connor Jones of Great Bridge (Va.) High School. A small handful of additional high school arms cracked the top 15, including including Kohl Stewart and Trey Ball in the Top 15.
That group may now have company in the form of right-hander Phil Bickford of Oak Christian HS in Westlake Village, Calif. Bickford dazzled in front of scouts at the Boras Invitational, showing a fastball up to 97 mph and a slider sitting in the low 80s with slurve-like break and shape. At 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds, there's physical projection left and one word used by a crosschecker to describe Bickford this week was "electric."