The Team One North Showcase featured 115 of the best prospects out of the Northern states. This year it was held on the nation's most historic athletic campus, otherwise known as the University of Notre Dame.
The field was highlighted by several projectable pitching prospects as well as some solid position guys and the surprising emergence of Delaware, a state that in 2003 might just be a microscopic draft version of traditionally talent-laden areas like Houston, Atlanta and even San Diego.
The Top-10 is chosen by Team One staff with input from Jeff Spelman, Anup Sinha, Stan Brzezicki, Carl Andrietta, and Scott Zilmer. These are the players whom we consider at this time to be the Top-10 pro draft prospects from the event.
Very shortly we’ll announce the other 15 Team One North nominees for the Team One National Prospects Game. The National will be held November 15th-16th in Las Vegas, and will feature the 40+ elite players in the country. At least 30 of those players will be chosen out of the four regional showcases.
Here are the Top-10 Prospects from the 2003 Team One North Showcase:
1. Dan Richardson, RHP, Caravel Academy (DE) 6-2, 175 R/R
The first thing you need to know about Richardson is that shockingly enough he was left off the mound as a high school junior. It's hard to imagine a Delaware high school squad so stacked that he couldn't pitch but even more baffling considering Richardson’s high talent level and current skill-set. At any rate, such was the case for Richardson and the Caravel Nine in 2002.
In South Bend, an obviously 'arm-fresh' Richardson showed two potentially above average pitches including a consistent fastball that sat at 89-90 and a 12/6 variety curveball- both thrown with a fluid arm-stroke and a nearly 'over the top' arm slot. He is a lean and tapered athlete with a semi-projectable physique. Richardson's changeup is a work in progress that needs repetitions but were it to evolve as a consistent pitch, he'd have an outstanding mound arsenal to throw at opposing hitters. Richardson also ran a 6.9 60 yd. and swung the bat with authority from the right side giving him the ear markings of both a big time, two-way college guy and also those of a highly drafted pitcher.
2. Mike Dury, 1B, Bishop Chatard (IN) HS 6-4, 210 B/L
A rare, left throwing switch-hitter, Dury has an athletic frame and the power potential to be a premium corner commodity in the 2003 draft. Dury swings the bat with plenty of authority from the right side but it’s his work from left of the plate that is particularly inspiring. From that side, Dury attacks pitches with a pure and easy stroke that features twitch hand actions and a high, loft-producing finish resulting in plus power on impact. Using a pure stroke that looks as though made for wood, Dury showed his ability to ‘launch’ during both B.P. and live action this weekend. Judging from his large physique there’s little doubt that he’ll add more power as he continues to fill out via maturity and weight lifting. Defensively, Dury could possibly work himself into a playable right fielder but his lack of speed (7.56 60 yd.) might just limit him to first. Dury is also a standout football player (drop back QB) and will have plenty of options going forward.
3. Dan Luczak, RHP, Brookfield East (WI) HS 6-6, 205 L/R
A wiry strong, two-pitch righty, Luczak may well have been the most projectable chucker at the ’02 North Showcase. His mound arsenal presently features a mid to upper 80’s fastball as well as a knee-buckling, snapdragon of a slider thrown consistently in the upper 70’s. With his physique and near 4/5 slot, it’s not difficult to visualize Luczak throwing at higher velocities down the road- and his already ‘plus’ slider would be an even filthier piece if low to mid 80’s velocity were to show itself over time. Luczak didn’t show much of a changeup but his arm slot and stroke suggest that he could add that at some point. With that pitch added, he’d be a very special talent.
4. Nathan Nery, LHP, Moon Area (PA) HS 6-4, 175 L/L
Another projection guy, Nery is a lankily built southpaw with solid command of a three pitch repertoire that is sure to gain effectiveness as he adds velocity. Nery, who currently sits at 86 with his fastball and 72-74 with a sweeping curveball, shows little if any strain despite ‘across the body’ mechanics. Adding to his skill-set is Nery’s mound presence and his ability to work the plate.
5. Bill Konecny, RHP, Downington (PA) HS 6-3, 175 R/R
Konecny is a loose armed, lanky and projectable right hander with an aggressive nature and good comprehension with regards to working the plate. Konecny’s arm stroke produces a near ¾ release point and a two-pitch package highlighted by an upper 80’s fastball with slight arm-side run. Konecny’s second pitch is a 69-71 mph spinner that’s good but would be better with more power and arm speed through the pitching sequence (as he shows with his fastball). Konecny’s changeup is more of a last resort at this time.
6. Jake Doyle, CF/RHP, Brandywine (DE) HS 6-2, 180 R/R
A gangly yet very athletic outfielder from the fighting State of Delaware, Doyle has a springy step and an all-out, hustling approach. Along with his genuine passion for the game, Doyle possesses playable run, throw and catch skills from centerfield and his arm has the look of a ‘plus’ hose with full maturity. At the plate, Doyle aggressively attacks balls in the strike zone and although he can get long with his swing, he has a good plane to build from. On the mound, Doyle showed good velocity (85-87) and a potentially workable breaking ball via an elongated arm stroke and throwing motion.
7. Dan Graham, RHP, Garden City (MI) HS 5’11, 210 R/R
Graham is a stoutly built and thick-bodied right hander with mound presence and an attack mentality when dealing to the plate. Despite a thick physical makeup, Graham’s arm works quite well from a high ¾ slot and in particular when he snaps off his upper 70’s slider. Graham’s slider/fastball (upper 80s) combo, coupled with his focused mound mentality seem to be calling out for a spot as a big time college closer and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him step into that role as a college freshman. Graham has very little physical projection but his arm works well enough that he should see a velocity increase with time and could wind up as a much higher draft after some collegiate seasoning.
8. Jesse Mier, C, Mater Dei (CA) HS 6-1, 185 R/R
Mier is an aggressive and athletic ‘catch and throw’ guy who showed workout pop-times (1.8-1.9) and receiving skills that included plenty of technical refinement in terms of ball transfer: crispy. Arm strength: robust and footwork: precise.
Along with his playable receiving skills, Mier runs well (7.37 60 yd.) for a catcher and shows hustle and aptitude (leadership, backing up plays etc.) between the lines. Mier’s bat is not as advanced as his catching but he puts a good stroke on the ball and may just need some added mass and upper body strength to fortify the swing sequence.
9. Kevin Zerbo, C/OF, Harrison (MI) HS 6’1, 215 R/R
A football/baseball guy, Zerbo has a collection of traits commensurate with those found in many a professional ballplayer, including: a muscular and athletic frame, noticeably twitchy actions, a quick bat head and a potentially playable arm. The only question is whether Zerbo will get the optimum number of baseball reps needed for shoring up technical issues such as the implementation of a crow hop in his throws (he’s currently all arm), ironing out swing flaws and working on those everyday baseball things that if un-checked are likely to keep him from being the best he can be on the diamond. Zerbo's baseball future could also be as an athletic catcher who runs well (7.36 60 yd.)but he'll need extensive reps to make himself playable at that spot.
10. Keith Weiser, LHP, Talawanda (OH) HS 6-2, 185 R/L
Weiser, who is armed with a ¾ slot and fluid mechanics, already shows command of the three traditional pitches as well as a solid handle on just how to set up hitters and effectively work the plate. Weiser already has the look of a quality chucker at the major college level but given some added arm strength could be a guy who’s draft prospects really take off in the Spring of 2003.