- Keith Law, ESPN Insider
Just about any SEC matchup that doesn't involve Kentucky will have its fair share of prospects for the next few Major League Rule 4 drafts. Even though the Easter tilt between South Carolina and Florida being televised by ESPN (1 p.m. ET) is a Sunday game (meaning that the best starting pitchers for each club will have already thrown in the series), there are still a few guys to watch for.
Florida senior Matt LaPorta is the most famous prospect playing in this game. Heading into his junior spring, he was assumed to be a top-10 guy for last June's draft, but a strained oblique muscle and high bonus demands (he's had Scott Boras as his "advisor" since the summer of 2005) knocked him out of the first round. The Red Sox took him in the umpteenth round but didn't sign him, sending him back to school. LaPorta has returned to the performance level of his sophomore year, with perhaps as much raw power as any college hitter in this draft, solid plate discipline and improved fielding at first base. He's also in much better shape than he was in last spring. He's moving up quickly, and if he keeps hitting like this, he'll end up in the first round after all.
South Carolina closer Wynn Pelzer was considered a surefire first-rounder after his freshman season, when he was regularly clocked in the mid-90s, but he hasn't been able to recapture that velocity since. He's also struggled with his breaking ball, which remains a below-average pitch.
Keith Law looks at the top prospects taking the field for Sunday's South Carolina-Florida tilt (ESPN, 1 p.m. ET).