Top area prospects await MLB draft

Garnet Valley shortstop Joe DeCarlo is just one of the top local prospects who are awaiting the Major League Baseball draft.
Garnet Valley shortstop Joe DeCarlo is just one of the top local prospects who are awaiting the Major League Baseball draft.
Posted: June 05, 2012

He is a righthanded hitter with ample power. As a left-side infielder, he shows natural instincts and an above-average arm. And, with two brothers who excelled on the diamond before him, he has a solid baseball pedigree.

With his abilities and background, Joe DeCarlo, who starred at Garnet Valley High, attracted serious interest this spring from major-league scouts and cross-checkers.

From what he showed them and his potential for future success, DeCarlo, projected to be a third baseman at the next level, could go in the early rounds - possibly in the second - of the amateur draft, which begins Monday night and continues through Wednesday.

"I'm definitely excited," the 18-year-old said. "It's always been a dream of mine to play professional baseball. But if the deal is not right, financially, then I have a great fall-back option."

DeCarlo, a shortstop and closer for the Jaguars, has a scholarship to play at Georgia.

"Playing in the Southeastern Conference would be great as well," he said. "I'm trying to keep an open mind about things."

If the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder is selected high in the draft, he will sit down with his parents, Mike and Sue, and weigh the financial package being offered.

As part of baseball's new collective bargaining agreement, each club has an aggregate signing bonus for its picks in the first 10 rounds of the draft. The amount is based on where a club picks in each round and how many picks it has.

The prescribed signing bonus for the No. 1 pick, owned by the Houston Astros, is $7.2 million. Picks from No. 2 to 338 are expressed as a percentage of the No. 1 pick.

DeCarlo, a resident of Glen Mills who plays during the summer for the Midland Redskins in Ohio, did not want to discuss the specifics of his "signability."

Other high school players from Southeastern Pennsylvania who could get drafted include Plymouth Whitemarsh's Danny Rosenbaum, Penn Charter's Kenny Koplove, Council Rock North's Jake Drossner, and Conestoga's Scott Williams.

Rosenbaum, a third baseman who has made a commitment to Louisville, was ineligible to play for his school team this season after transferring from Chestnut Hill Academy.

Koplove, a hard-throwing righthander and shortstop, is a Duke signee. Sean McNally's resignation last week as the Blue Devils' coach might lead the 6-1, 160-pounder to immediately sign with a pro club.

Drossner, a 6-3, 195-pound southpaw, is ticketed for Maryland; and Williams, a hard-hitting catcher who missed this season because of an injury, has committed to Virginia.

Possible later-round picks from South Jersey are Millville righthander Andrew Biggs (committed to Delaware State), Audubon lefty Andrew Schorr (East Carolina), and Pemberton catcher Jose Martinez, who plans to play at Harford Community College in Bel Air, Md.

From the college ranks, the area product likely to be picked highest is South Carolina's Christian Walker. The hard-hitting junior first baseman, a Kennedy-Kenrick graduate, is projected to go in the sandwich round between the first and second rounds.

Wake Forest junior Tim Cooney, a 6-3, 195-pound southpaw from Malvern Prep, is projected to go in the second or third round. One mock draft had the Baltimore Orioles selecting the hurler with the 99th pick (third round).

Others who will be keeping a close eye on this week's draft are West Chester senior second baseman Joe Wendle (Avon Grove graduate), North Carolina junior shortstop Tommy Coyle (Germantown Academy), and Lackawanna College sophomore pitcher Chris Kirsch (Marple Newtown).


Contact Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019, robrien@phillynews.com, or @ozoneinq on Twitter.

Staff writer Phil Anastasia contributed to this article.

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