If you are a fan of high school baseball in the Peach State, then Thursday should be an exciting day as the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft will be conducted.
Every year hundreds of prospects hear their name called during the draft and starting tomorrow, several of those players will be from the state of Georgia.
One prospect that has caught the eye of big-league scouts everywhere is Griffin High short stop Tim Beckham. The 6-2, 190-pounder is slated to go no later than the fifth pick to the San Francisco Giants and as early as selection No. 1 to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Beckham has made a name for himself both of offense and defense at Griffin.
Baseball America, the foremost authority on amateur baseball prospects has the following to say about Beckham:
Hitting Ability: Beckham has a good feel for the game, but he's got some mechanical flaws to his swing, most notably not turning on the ball the way he should right now. The ball does jump off his bat and he's got tremendous bat speed.
Power: The power is more a projection right now, but he's got average to plus power potential.
Running Speed: He's a solid average to plus runner.
Base running: Athletically gifted, he also has a good sense of what to do on the basepaths.
Arm Strength: His arm is just fine for shortstop.
Fielding: He'll have every chance to stay at short, with good hands for the position.
Range: He's got more than enough range to stay at the premium position.
Physical Description: Beckham is a very athletic middle infielder with wiry strength.
Strengths: Plus tools and a feel for the game.
Weaknesses: He's not a finished product, with some fundamental things to iron out.
Summary: A bonafide five-tool player at a premium position, there's a reason why Beckham is at or near the top of Draft lists everywhere. He's got tools galore, with some idea of how to use them. He'll need to iron out some things mechanically and fundamentally, but he's got the ability and potential to hit, hit for power, steal bases and stay at shortstop at the big-league level.
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