Mack Draft: – Brian Johnson, Dan Vogelbach, J.T. Chargois, Alex Meyer, Zack Smith

Brian Johnson – I was reminded in this game why I liked Johnson so much as a hitter a year ago. He is incredibly patient at the plate, and for the most part thinks up the middle and the other way with an inside out swing. With his size and swing path, he has easy power potential, and with that approach I like his chances developing more power as he progresses. That likely will never happen since his faster ticket to success is on the mound.


Dan Vogelbach, 1b, Bishop Verot HS, Fort Myers, Fla. Just like everyone else in the scouting community, I’ve hemmed and hawed about Vogelbach’s extra-large frame. At various times, he’s packed 280 pounds on his 6-foot-1 frame. But size may not matter in Vogelbach’s case as he may be the best pure hitter in the 2011 high-school class. He has a good-natured arrogance about his hitting ability; he truly believes that pitchers shouldn’t ever get him out. And he loves, absolutely loves, to be at the ballpark. I think that combination of hitting skills and enthusiasm plays in the big leagues for a long time.


A couple of sophomores I was expecting breakout years from look like they’ve made the leap this spring. Rice sophomore two-way talent J.T. Chargois did not pitch well in relief in Sunday’s loss to Baylor, but he was very good Friday against Kentucky, running his fastball up to 93 and showing good secondary stuff. He also rebounded from a slow start with the bat, showing the line-drive stroke from both side of the plate that Rice coaches raved about all offseason. –


Kentucky’s Alex Meyer was perhaps the one other early-round hopeful at the Classic and he lost to Houston on Saturday. The right-hander went 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six. A scout in attendance said he liked Meyer’s arm strength, but said he was still a thrower who didn’t have a great feel for pitching.


Zack Smith of Saint Louis was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Pitcher of the Week, as announced by the league office on Monday. Smith picked up his first victory of the season, as the Billikens defeated SIU Edwardsville, 11-0. The St. Peter’s, Mo., native gave up just five singles and did not allow a base runner to reach third in his seven innings of work. Smith helped SLU post its second shutout of the year and capture its sixth-straight victory of the season.



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