Fishing for Trout, other prospects in Northeast

Insider: Keith Law scouts Mike Trout (1:06)

Keith checks in on the Southern New Jersey star. (1:06)

Millville (N.J.) High School center fielder Mike Trout has emerged late in the spring as one of the top prep position-player prospects in this draft, with heavy crowds of scouts at his games (when rain doesn't interfere). He's a good athlete with a solid approach at the plate, especially considering the level of competition the typical Northeast kid faces. He's strong and squares balls up well, with good hip rotation and impressive hand strength. He can wrap his bat slightly just before swinging -- although it was much more pronounced in his BP swings than in the game -- and his front side gets a little soft when he makes contact. He's an above-average runner but not a burner, covering the necessary ground in center, but has a fringe-average arm and probably couldn't move to right.

Trout was originally a second baseman and has played there a little this year; he also has taken BP with wood and even done it left-handed for scouts, which absolutely earns a player bonus points when it comes time for teams to set up their draft boards. He's a first-round talent and isn't likely to get out of the top 20 picks; Detroit is interested at No. 9 (but the Tigers also have been connected to North Carolina prep catcher Wil Myers), while the Diamondbacks (16/17), Angels (24/25) and Mariners (27) have all indicated that Trout "won't get past them," should he fall.

  • Ward Melville (East Setauket, N.Y.) High School left-hander Steven Matz has also been a late-riser this spring due to the rain in the Northeast. Matz pitches with an average fastball at 88 to 92 mph, showing plus velocity at times by touching 94 with some life down in the zone. But he has plenty of room to fill out and add velocity as he does. His curveball projects as an above-average pitch with good depth and some two-plane action, but it's not consistent yet. The projection comes from good arm speed and his current ability to get good spin on the pitch. He'll flash a changeup with a little tailing life, but he has no feel for that pitch right now. Matz's delivery isn't clean; he has a violent finish with a hard head-whack and recoil, and has a lot of drop in his drop-and-drive. A cleaner delivery and physical development should give him an average or above-average fastball, an above-average curve and perhaps average command as well. He's committed to Coastal Carolina.