Mack Draft: – Mikal Hill, Corey Littrell, Matt Purke, Taylor Dugas, Mason Hope

Player spotlight: Mikal Hill – Hill is a smooth defender at the six-spot, showing comfortable footwork and a quick release. He has a chance to stick at short as a pro, and could develop into a top tier glove at South Carolina capable of picking it with the best of them. A switch hitter, Hill has a simple load and a slashing linedrive stroke from both sides of the plate. While his 60-times aren’t generally eye-popping, he moves well enough out-of-the-box (4.23-4.28 from the right side) and takes clean lines on the basepaths. A perceptive runner, he consistently gets good jumps and has a good feel for all facets of the game. –

Starting pitcher — Corey Littrell — University of Kentucky – Freshman left-handed pitcher Corey Littrell will be UK’s primary midweek starting pitcher to begin the season and stands to be the first option on the weekend in the event of injury or poor performance by one of UK’s top three starters. Littrell was all-state as a senior at Trinity High School and was the 43rd-round pick of the Nationals in 2010. –

LHP Matt Purke TCU 6’4 190 – smooth lefty who has progressed each year that I’ve had the pleasure to see since 2008 at the TOS in Cary, NC when he was 16 yrs old. He’s gone from throwing 86-89 mph as a soph in HS to presently up to 95-96 tops, mostly 91-93 with run and sink down in the zone and he’s aggressive. Matt has good depth to a vastly improved cb that he throws confidently for strikes and gets hitters out in front with a straight change as well. Year to year his progression is one that warrants first player drafted type scenarios as he’ll be a solid fixture in any ML rotation. He’s yet to physically mature which is scary considering he’s improved each year. –  

Taylor Dugas – Alabama – Dugas earned Freshman All-American honors in 2009 after batting .352 with two home runs, 27 RBIs, 13 stolen bases, 61 runs, and a .423 on-base percentage. He also led the 37-win Crimson Tide with 83 hits. Alabama’s primary lead-off man scored the first run of the Mitch Gaspard era in the 2010 season opener. He went on to lead his team with a .393 average, .525 OBP, 70 runs, 19 stolen bases, and 59 walks. In fact, his 59 BB with just 21 K in 243 at-bats gave him a 2.8 strikeout to walk ratio. Dugas’ efforts earned him First Team All-SEC and All-American honors, while Alabama advanced to a Super Regional. He played for the Harwich Mariners in the Cape Cod League last summer. –

Player spotlight: Mason Hope – The projectable Oklahoma righty joins top 10 standout Archie Bradley as a member of the Broken Arrow High School pitching staff, as one of the top four high school arms in the state (along with Dylan Bundy and Adrian Houser), and as an Oklahoma commit. Hope lacks Bradley’s physicality and present velocity, but shows good command of an 88-92 heater with some run. All three of Hope’s secondaries could be at least average, with his 78-81 mph slider and mid-70s curve the two most promising. With so many quality right-handed prep arms in the mix, Hope could find himself one of many highly talented high schoolers to come off the board later than their total skllis package would otherwise suggest. With a quick arm, repeatable motion, room to add strength and some slight mechanical tweaks that could improve his drive towards home, there is plenty for a pro developmental staff to nurture into a quality pro starter. If he lasts until the 3rd Round, he could be a terrific “get” for a lucky organization. –


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