Bobby Bradley and Cody Reed don't have bodies built to win beauty pageants. But they do possess the ability to help big league clubs win games, and that should get the high schoolers from the Deep South drafted in the top two or three rounds come June.
Bradley is a 6-foot-1, 225-pounder from Harrison Central High (Gulfport, Miss.), which has produced three Major Leaguers in Greg Hibbard and Marcus and Matt Lawton. The Louisiana State recruit is a well-below-average runner who didn't look pretty in trials at catcher and third base, so the team that takes him essentially is getting a bat who's limited to first base. But it's easy to dream on Bradley's bat.
"I hear scouts wonder about the body or the profile, but he could hit .290-.300 with 30 homers, and there aren't many of those guys around," an area scout said. "He has as good a chance to be a plus bat as anyone in the country for me. He has a good feel to hit, a good swing. He doesn't go out of the zone much and uses the whole field.
"Right now, he's more of a line-drive hitter, but he has raw power. When he wants to hit the ball out of the park, he can do it. He reminds me of Pedro Alvarez, and he's got a chance to be a better hitter than Alvarez. Big league bats are hard to find, so you've got to take these guys higher than the rest of their profile."
Reed has added velocity and weight as a senior at Ardmore (Ala.) High. The left-hander now carries 260 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame, and he now delivers 92-95 mph fastballs on a regular basis. While he draws physical comparisons to righty relievers Jonathan Broxton and Tommy Hunter, the Vanderbilt commit profiles as a starter because he flashes a sharp slider and a fading changeup.
"His velocity has really shot up," a second area scout said. "I've seen him hit 95. The only thing is he's 260 pounds. He's a big kid. He's strong, no question, but the ideal weight would be more around 235. I saw him in the fall throwing 88-89 and touching 90 at 230 pounds, and the concern is the velocity came with the weight gain. But it's a heck of an arm."