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Draft Report: Kicking it up a notch

Draft Report: Kicking it up a notch

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Leading up to the 2008 First-Year Player Draft on June 5, the Draft Report will take a weekly in-depth look at some of the most promising high school and collegiate talent that could comprise this year's Draft class.

The Draft Report hits double digits for the first time.

That's right, we're taking it up a notch here with 11 reports for your perusal. We're now just under three months away from Draft Day and it's time to raise the stakes a bit.

Almost all of this week's reports -- nine of the 11, to be exact -- come from the college ranks. The University of San Diego Tournament that was held the weekend of March 1 had a talent pool worth seeing, resulting in six reports from that tourney. A seventh was from a school just up the road in Cali, while the other two came from the University of Georgia's visit to the Pacific Northwest.

We didn't want to ignore the prep ranks, so we headed to one of the better high school teams in the nation, American Heritage High in Florida, for a pair of top talents.

One last note before hitting the reports. People may wonder why top-rated prospect and University of San Diego ace Brian Matusz isn't in this week's report. Plain and simple, he hasn't thrown all that well (despite good numbers in his tourney start) over his first couple of outings. With discretion being the better part of valor, the decision was made to allow the southpaw a few more starts to find a rhythm before filing a report on him.

Gordon Beckham, SS
University of Georgia

One of the top college middle infielders in the Draft class, Beckham had a huge weekend at Oregon State, going 7-for-14 with a pair of homers, three RBIs and seven runs scored. Complete Report.
Video: Gordon Beckham

Kevin Castner, RHP
California Polytechnic State University

A big, intimidating reliever who's a little raw, Castner used his power stuff twice at the USD Tournament, striking out three and giving up a run over 2 1/3 innings. Complete Report.
Video: Kevin Castner

David Cooper, 1B/OF
University of California

A lefty first baseman with legitimate power to all fields, Cooper went 5-for-14 at the USD tournament, homering in his first two games and driving in four runs. Complete Report.
Video: David Cooper

Aaron Crow, RHP
University of Missouri

He's established himself as the top college arm in the draft class as of right now. At the USD Tournament against Cal, he did give up eight hits and three runs over five innings, but showed three outstanding pitches to record 10 strikeouts. Complete Report.
Video: Aaron Crow

Danny Espinosa, SS
Long Beach State University

Yet another shortstop from Long Beach State, Espinosa doesn't have the offensive potential that others have had before him, but he's the typical fundamentally sound infielder out of that terrific program. And he is off to a .370 start through his first 11 games. Complete Report.
Video: Danny Espinosa

Josh Fields, RHP
University of Georgia

The second-round pick from a year ago didn't sign and is back with the Bulldogs trying to show that his subpar 2007 campaign was a fluke. His weekend against Oregon State -- 1 1/3 innings, four strikeouts -- is a good start toward answering those questions. Complete Report.
Video: Josh Fields

Eric Hosmer, 1B
American Heritage, HS, FL

One of the top prep bats in this Draft class, Hosmer has a very advanced approach for a high school hitter. The lefty first baseman has a ton of upside and should hit for average and power at the next level. Complete Report.
Video: Eric Hosmer

Adrian Nieto, C
American Heritage, HS, FL

He came to the U.S. from Cuba on a raft with his family at age four and now is considered to be the second-best high school backstop in the class. He's struggled defensively early on, but has shown some acumen at the plate. Complete Report.
Video: Adrian Nieto

Josh Romanski, OF
University of San Diego

He's an outfielder and a pitcher, but this report focuses on his skills in the batter's box. Romanski went 4-for-13, playing host in the USD Tournament, with a three-run homer that won the game for the Torreros in the opener. Complete Report.
Video: Josh Romanski

Derrick Saito, LHP
California Polytechnic State University

The diminutive lefty -- he's 5-foot-7 and weighs 155 pounds -- has left a lot of scouts scratching their heads over his impressive stuff. At the USD tournament, he struck out nine over six shutout innings. Complete Report.
Video: Derrick Saito

Tanner Scheppers, RHP
Fresno State University

In a marquee matchup against San Diego's Brian Matusz at the USD Tournament, Scheppers more than held his own by allowing two runs on four hits over six innings while striking out nine. Complete Report.
Video: Tanner Scheppers

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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