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Second report from Under Armour game

8/8/2009

Here's my second report from the 2009 Under Armour All-America Game, played Saturday at Wrigley Field in Chicago. For my first report, click here.

• Outfielder Trey Griffin of Stockbridge, Ga., is the half-brother of 2008 second-round pick Xavier Avery, who currently is hitting .262/.313/.353 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) as a 19-year-old in Low-A. Griffin is a five-tool player with more power potential than Avery. He glides a bit early onto his front foot but generates great bat speed in a short amount of time with strong follow-through. He showed an above-average arm in right and should have plenty of range there, with enough speed that he might be capable of handling center.

• Shortstop/third baseman Yordy Cabrera of Lakeland, Fla., already has above-average raw power due to his strength and his swing, which is both hard and built to drive the ball out to right-center (his pull side). He likes to get his arms extended and tends to dip his back shoulder too much, so I could see him striking out quite a bit in pro ball. But he's got the bat speed and swing to hit for average and power, and plenty of arm and athleticism to handle third base. He also pitches for his high school team but didn't take the mound in Saturday's game.

• Outfielder Reggie Golden of Wetumpka, Ala., showed off his prodigious raw power with a home run to deep left that nearly exited the ballpark. He also showed off his ability to swing and miss, as well as his rawness in the field, which is going to make him a tricky player to evaluate in the spring. He has first-round tools but has little experience facing even medium-caliber competition, a description that would fit 2007 first-rounder Wendell Fairley, a high school pick from Mississippi who currently is struggling in Low-A at age 21. Golden has very quick wrists and a running back's build. He drifts onto his front foot early but generates power through bat speed.

• First baseman Austin Southall of Baton Rouge, La., is a natural outfielder who played first because of the surfeit of candidates to play the outfield in this game. Of course, he showed outstanding range and athleticism for a first baseman, which is where you usually stick the guy who can hit but can't play a position. He has some room to get stronger but has some power already and a simple left-handed swing with good loft. Louisiana is looking good for next spring between him and Lake Charles infielder Garin Cecchini, an athletic left-handed hitter who's not quite as clean as Southall at the plate but has a chance to play in the middle of the field.

• Seven players from 2008's Under Armour game went in the first round this June, with a few others likely to receive first-round bonuses despite falling out of the top 32 picks. I'd call the following players from this year's game probable first-rounders for 2010: RHP Jameson Taillon, RHP A.J. Cole, RHP Karsten Whitson, 3B Nick Castellanos, SS/3B Cabrera and OF Griffin. Other potential first-rounders who played include OF Austin Wilson, 3B/RHP Stetson Allie, IF Cecchini, OF Brian Ragira, OF Kevin Jordan, RHP Kevin Gausman, RHP Drew Cisco (a command guy who didn't throw well in Chicago but was better the previous weekend at the East Coast Showcase) and 1B Southall. Add to those lists the best 2010 prospects from the Area Code Games: OF Josh Sale, 3B/1B Kris Bryant, SS/2B Matt Lipka, C/OF Stefan Sabol, OF/RHP Justin O'Conner and RHP Adam Plutko, at the least. And it's looks like we have a pretty good high school crop to balance out a terrible college class in next year's draft.

For an early look at the 2010 MLB draft, click here.