Draft Tracker & Blog

Inside Carolina
Posted Jun 11, 2009


While North Carolina prepares for its fourth straight College World Series appearance, the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft will have a significant impact on the future of the Tar Heels' program. InsideCarolina.com is your home for all the latest developments ...

(NOTE: You may need to refresh/reload your browser to see the latest updates to this page.)

UNC DRAFT TRACKER
RND (O) NAME TEAM
1st (2) Dustin Ackley Seattle
1st (3) Donavan Tate San Diego
1st (9) Jacob Turner Detroit
1st (15) Alex White Cleveland
3rd (82) Kyle Seager Seattle
4th (119) Mark Fleury Cincinnati
4th (135) Adam Warren NY Yankees
6th (177) Matt Graham San Fran
7th (203) Brian Moran Seattle
16th (495) Bryan Mitchell NY Yankees
17th (523) Brian Goodwin Chicago WS
37th (1113) Colin Bates Oakland
39th (1185) Cody Stiles NY Yankees
44th (1327) Robert Orlan LA Dodgers
2:55 p.m. -- After three days, 50 rounds and 1,521 picks, the 2009 MLB Draft is now complete.

1:50 p.m. -- In the 44th round, the Los Angeles Dodgers have selected UNC signee Robert Orlan. The lefthanded pitcher from Glen Allen (Va.) Deep Run goes by "R.C." For more on Orlan, check out his Signee Profile.

12:50 p.m. -- UNC signee Cody Stiles goes to the New York Yankees in the 39th round. Stiles, a right handed pitcher and outfielder from Coral Springs (Fla.) Taravella, is a consensus Top 100 prospect (Baseball America and Perfect Game). For more on Stiles, check out his Signee Profile.

12:30 p.m. -- Oakland just used their 37th round selection on Tar Heel Colin Bates. As a third-year sophomore, who redshirted in 2007 for medical reasons, he was eligible for this year's draft. After a Freshman All-America season last year, Bates has been stellar in 2009, posting a 2.84 ERA in 31 appearances. He was projected to be picked in the same mid-to-high range as fellow reliever Brian Moran (who went in the 7th round), so one can assume pro teams got the impression Bates is planning to spend another year in college. Oakland says they plan on "scouting Bates further this summer" when he pitches for Hyannis in the Cape Cod League.

11:40 a.m. -- With Day 3 underway, two Tar Heel players are expected to be selected today: senior outfielder Garrett Gore and sophomore-eligible closer Colin Bates.

The top-ranked UNC signees left on the board (all in Perfect Game's Top 250) are Fla. RHP/OF Cody Stiles, N.C. RHP Parker Thomas, N.J. RHP Tim Brechbuehler and N.C. RHP Chris Munnelly.

11:15 a.m. -- Thursday is the third and final day of the 2009 MLB Draft. Rounds 31-50 will begin at 11:30am.

10:00 a.m. -- For those Tar Heel fans keeping the slim hope alive that Donavan Tate will somehow choose to attend college, don't hold your breath. "I don't think there is a decision to be made now," Cartersville (Ga.) coach Stuart Chester told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

9:15 a.m. -- Baseball American on Goodwin: "He didn’t have a knockout spring and scared teams off when he chose Scott Boras Corp. as his advisers. Don’t be surprised if he ends up patrolling center field for the Tar Heels next season."

8:40 a.m. -- Brian Goodwin wasn't glued to the TV or computer screen watching for his name to pop up this week. In fact, the UNC signee wasn't even at his Rocky Mount home when Chicago drafted him in the 17th round. He's on the road with his summer traveling team, the Midland Redskins, playing ball in Amelia, Ohio.

“I was kind of relieved and happy,” Goodwin told the Rocky Mount Telegram. “I knew basically when I was going to be selected even before the draft started. I talked to my advisers, and they knew what was going on.” Goodwin, who is also represented by super agent Scott Boras, is going to stay focused on baseball and expects to revisit his professional decision with Chicago in the coming months. “They said they would follow me through the summer and see what happens,” he said of the White Sox.

Thursday, 7:30 a.m. -- Jacob Turner is fully expected to bypass college and sign with Detroit, but he's not willing to say so at this point. First there will be some hard negotiating by his notorious agent Scott Boras.

"Obviously North Carolina’s got a good program and I could get a lot better there in three years, but obviously Detroit is giving me a good opportunity to play (in the pros) right now," Turner told the St. Louis Post Dispatch, as he's been quick to cite the huge contract Boras got for 2007 UNC signee and Detroit draft pick Rick Porcello. "It’s a nice decision to have to make. Whatever’s the best option to me long-term is probably the best thing."

9:40 p.m. -- Matt Graham, the UNC signee selected in the 6th round today by San Francisco, talked to our own Matt Clements tonight. Graham, a power pitcher from Spring (Texas) Oak Ridge, is ranked the No. 83 high schooler by Perfect Game.

"At the end it is a win-win in my eyes. If he gets it done and the Giants are willing to accept that, then great that is gravy. But if not I’ll come to Chapel Hill and I am excited about that, too." ... Draft Q&A: Matt Graham

8:10 p.m. -- Our baseball recruiting reporter, Matt Clements, spoke with Bryan Mitchell tonight. Mitchell, a right handed pitcher out of Reidsville (N.C.) Rockingham County ranked the No. 103 prospect in the country by Perfect Game, was selected in the 16th round by the New York Yankees.

"It was hard because you always hear about what round you might be drafted in, then waiting and wondering. The suspense - it was so much better once I found out. I was relieved." ... Draft Q&A: Bryan Mitchell

6:00 p.m. -- After an afternoon of interviews at The Bosh, our beat writer Greg Barnes has authored an in-depth Draft Notebook with some interesting comments from Coach Fox and the drafted players. You can also listen to the full interviews with the audio files linked within.

5:10 p.m. -- Day 2 of the 2009 MLB Draft has come to a close with the conclusion of the 30th round. Rounds 31-50 will be held on Thursday starting at 11:30am.

4:30 p.m. -- When asked about oversigning with his recruiting class to prepare for losing some signees in the draft, Fox said he preferred to think of it not as "oversigning" but rather as "protecting himself," he told InsideCarolina.com's Greg Barnes today. “If they want to sign a pro contract, it’s their choice – we want them to have all of the information,” Fox said. “But we also want to talk to them about their long-term future here. If they can sign out of high school, they can sign out of college, as well.”

4:00 p.m. -- Fox on his players getting drafted this week: “I hope none of them sign in the next four days,” Fox joked. “I’m very excited for them, obviously. It’s a dream come true for every kid that’s ever played, to have a chance to play in the major leagues, so this is their chance, certainly. It speaks well for those kids that have developed and we’re tickled to death for them."

3:45 p.m. -- Wondering how close UNC head coach Mike Fox is paying attention to the draft? “We were here last night and our athletic director [Dick Baddour] was here last night, as well, watching the draft with us, which I thought was really cool," Fox told InsideCarolina.com this afternoon. "We’re trying to practice today and watch the draft at the same time. What does that say?”

3:30 p.m. -- Kyle Seager told InsideCarolina.com's Greg Barnes today about joining Dustin Ackley as a Seattle draft pick: “It’s kind of ironic, because I’ve been playing with him for over 10 years now,” Seager said. “We played together when we were really young and we played together a little bit in high school, so I’ve known him for well over 10 years. It’s interesting to see the different routes that we’ve taken. We came to the same college and that was pretty weird when that happened. And now we got drafted by the same team, so it’s just been a fun ride. It’s good for me, because we’re good friends and it’s going to be an easier transition.”

3:10 p.m. -- InsideCarolina.com's Greg Barnes was at Boshamer Stadium today and talked to Mark Fleury about being selected in the fourth round by Cincinnati. “I’m real excited – you work your whole life to get picked up,” Fleury said. “It’s fun, but we’ve got two more weeks left and I’m going to have fun with it.”

2:40 p.m. -- Signee Brian Goodwin finally heard his name called by the Chicago White Sox in the 17th round. Goodwin, a consensus Top 100 prospect, dropped this far because of signability questions. His accolades include Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year and MVP of the Aflac All-America All-Star Baseball Classic. The MLB.com scouting report reads: "He has all the tools to be a top-of-the lineup center fielder in the future." For more on Goodwin, check out his Signee Profile.

2:35 p.m. -- The New York Yankees just selected UNC signee Bryan Mitchell in the 16th round. The right handed pitcher from Reidsville (N.C.) Rockingham County is ranked No. 103 in the high school ranks by Perfect Game and posted a senior season ERA of 0.62. For more on Mitchell, check out his Signee Profile.

While it remains to be seen how the negotiation process will play out between Mitchell and the Yankees, keep in mind that the New York front office managed to sign UNC signee Garrison Lassiter out of the 27th round last year.

2:30 p.m. -- Another five rounds have passed, so that's 15 rounds and 471 picks in the books.

1:25 p.m. -- We're through the first 10 rounds of the draft and 321 overall picks.

The next Tar Heel player expected to be drafted is closer Colin Bates, who is a draft-eligible sophomore.

As for the UNC signees, 15 remain on the board, including six that are ranked in the Perfect Game top 210 -- No. 29 Brian Goodwin, No. 70 Cody Stiles, No. 103 Bryan Mitchell, No. 142 Parker Thomas, No. 154 Tim Brechbuehler, No. 210 Chris Munnelly.

While 40 rounds and plenty of negotiating remain, this draft has gone well for the Tar Heels thus far with regards to its recruiting class.

12:40 p.m. -- Seattle sure likes the Tar Heels. The Mariners just took UNC reliever Brian Moran in the 7th round (No. 203 overall). Moran joins Dustin Ackley and Kyle Seager on the Seattle draftee list.

Moran was one of, if not the, most dominant pitchers in the ACC this season. Head coach Mike Fox made the case that Moran should have won ACC Pitcher of the Year, and a legitimate case can be made. His 1.95 ERA in 34 appearances is a standout statistic, and 88 strikeouts against eight walks is truly eye-popping.

12:30 p.m. -- San Francisco has drafted UNC signee Matt Graham in the 6th round (No. 177 overall). He's a relatively raw power pitcher (MLB.com's scouting report calls him a "project") from Spring (Texas) Oak Ridge that played in both of the top national all-star games. Perfect Game ranks him the No. 83 high school prospect in the nation. For more on Graham, check out his Signee Profile.

12:25 p.m. -- Warren's stock certainly got a nice boost from his strong postseason performances, but his senior season as a whole has been impressive in its own right. He's 9-2 with a 3.23 ERA and has held opposing batters to a .239 average. Just how much has Warren's stock skyrocketed in one year? He was selected in the 36th round of the 2008 draft (No. 1101 overall).

12:15 p.m. -- Adam Warren follows shortly thereafter at No. 135 overall to the New York Yankees.

12:08 p.m. -- Mark Fleury is off the board quickly on Day 2. Cincinnati just selected him with the eight pick of the fourth round - No. 119 overall.

11:45 a.m. -- Just as a FYI – the Draft resumes at noon ET today and is scheduled to run through the 30th round, and then will conclude on Thursday with the 31st through 50th rounds, beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET.

According to MLB.com, "Of the 661 players on Major League rosters or on the disabled list as of Opening Day 2009, more than half of them -- 336 -- were selected after the 111th pick and would not have been drafted yet. Clearly, a lot of Major League talent remains on the board for Day 2 and Day 3."

11:05 a.m. -- MLB.com's Jim Street posted an in-depth article on Dustin Ackley this morning that makes for a good read.

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik had this to say about Ackley -- "We think this guy has potential to be middle-of-the-lineup hitter. This was the guy we think could be [in the Majors] in a short period of time and help this organization as we move forward. He's an athletic kid. He can run. He's got a great swing."

Add to that the fact that Ackley's smooth swing from the left side of the plate is perfectly suited for Safeco Field, and the decision to draft the Walnut Cove, N.C. product with the No. 2 overall pick was an easy one.

Also of note is that Seattle and Ackley will not begin contract negotiations until the College World Series is finished, and that the organization paid close attention to the first baseman early in the season to see how he recovered from Tommy John surgery last fall.

Here's the link -- Mariners add offense in first round

10:30 a.m. -- We're barely 12 hours removed from Stephen Strasburg being selected as the No. 1 pick overall, and the talk has already begun that he may not sign with the Washington Nationals. ESPN analyst and former Mets GM Steve Phillips told the "Mike and Mike" radio show that he expects agent Scott Boras to use the hype surrounding the San Diego State phenom to push the Nats for a 6-year, $50 million deal and that he believes a deal won't be signed -- if it is -- until the the Aug. 17th deadline.

If Strasburg doesn't sign, he would return to school and make himself eligible for the draft again in 2010. The Nationals failed to sign their 2008 first-round draft pick, Aaron Crow.

How is this relevant to UNC? Boras is advising both Dustin Ackley and Donovan Tate.

9:35 a.m. -- Mark Fleury started his junior campaign with an impressive showing in the Cape Cod League last summer, and he’s expected to be drafted in the early rounds today. His 6-foot, 194-pound frame, as well as his strong right arm, is ideal for the rigors of playing catcher in the pro leagues.

Baseball America has Fleury pegged as the No. 6 prospect in the state of North Carolina (No. 125 overall), while Perfect Game ranks him as the No. 4 option in-state. But Baseball America noted on May 27th that Fleury may slip past the sixth round due to a dip in his performance at the plate. Perfect Game highlighted in its preseason profile that the Roswell, Ga. native was vulnerable against off-speed pitches and left-handed pitchers, and the latter has showcased itself during UNC’s postseason run. In seven appearances against lefties since May 20th, Fleury is batting .296 (8-of-27) with seven strikeouts, two walks and no RBI.

On the season, Fleury is batting .315 (73-of-232) with 12 HR and 59 RBI.

8:20 a.m. -- Keep in mind the draft is only the first part in the process. Teams have until Aug. 17 to sign their draft picks, so some decisions of college vs. pro will come down to that deadline.

7:30 a.m. -- With Tate and Turner going on Day 1, 16 UNC signees remain undrafted. The highest rated of that group is Rocky Mount, N.C. native Brian Goodwin. Perfect Game (29) and Baseball America (65) both have him in their Top 100.

Wednesday, 7:00 a.m. -- Some early morning links to check out ...

Raleigh N&O: Ackley, White go high in baseball draft
W-S Journal: Ackley selected by Mariners with No. 2 pick
Stokes News: Ackley goes to Seattle
Seattle Times: Dustin Ackley might be a safe pick, but he's a good pick
Seattle Times: Mariners take North Carolina slugger
Seattle PI: Mariners draft Ackley second overall
Cleveland PD: Indians Take White
Salisbury Post: Seager selected in third round by Seattle
Detroit FP: Tigers draft hard-throwing high schooler in first round
San Diego UT: High schooler Tate brings tools, no trials

10:50 p.m. -- Day 1 of the draft has come to a close with the conclusion of three rounds and 111 picks overall. The draft will resume Wednesday at noon with rounds 4-30.

10:10 p.m. -- With the second pick in the third round, No. 82 overall, Seattle took Tar Heel third baseman Kyle Seager. The Mariners have now drafted UNC's top two hitters in Ackley and Seager, who bat No. 2 and No. 3 respectively in the Tar Heel lineup.

9:45 p.m. -- The first post-selection quote from Donavan Tate is in via teleconference. "It makes it a bigger decision for me, as far as North Carolina or the Padres," Tate said. "It's exciting. Right now, me and my family, we are happy to be selected by them. I'm just enjoying the moment right now."

9:30 p.m. -- Cleveland scouting director Brad Grant on drafting Alex White: "Alex has been one of our targets since the beginning of the season. He was the top talent left up on the board. He was a guy we have known since high school. In high school, he was a power sinker/slider guy. He's added the swing-and-miss split to his repertoire. We're going to project him out as a bullpen guy -- a back-end, power arm."

8:55 p.m. -- Looking for some Ackley comparisons? One scout this season told us Steve Finley. The Seattle media is citing Darin Erstad and Todd Helton.

8:40 p.m. -- Alex White statement: "It's a great opportunity, and I was extremely excited (to hear my name called). I was with a lot of friends and family, and they were just as excited as I was. I'm looking forward to the opportunity when my time here is done, and it's a great honor to be a part of all these great players."

8:05 p.m. -- Ackley, interviewed on the MLB Network's telecast: "I'm very fortunate they picked me and took chance on me. Now I'll play in the College World Series and go from there. ... I don't feel like the draft has been a distraction. We've been focused on getting to Omaha. We finally got there, and I'm looking forward to playing."

7:21 p.m. -- Cleveland just picked Alex White at No. 15.

6:54 p.m. -- Jacob Turner goes at No. 9 to Detroit. The Tigers have a recent history of not shying away from high school stars that command top dollar and paying over slot to sign them. The best example being former UNC signee Rick Porcello, who was the No. 27 pick by Detroit in 2007 and got a $7.3 million contract with a $3.5 million bonus, when the slot for that pick called for a $1.2 million bonus.

6:35 p.m. -- Seattle's front office talks about its selection of Ackley ...

Scouting Director Tom McNamara: "Dustin has had an excellent career at North Carolina, and in our mind was the best position player in this year's draft. We feel we are adding a great combination of talent and character to our organization with this selection."

General Manager Jack Zduriencik: "We think this kid was the best hitter in the draft. ... He's an athletic kid who can run, and he's got a great swing. ... As we sat in the room, we thought this was a guy who could be here in a short order of time and help us establish a winner in Seattle. ... He's not that far away. We don't like to put labels on kids, but we think it'll be a short period of time before he's a big leaguer."

6:24 p.m. -- Donavan Tate goes No. 3 to San Diego. Let the negotiation and speculation begin ...

6:19 p.m. -- As expected, Seattle has selected Dustin Ackley with the second overall pick. The Seattle Times calls him "unquestionably the best bat available."

5:55 p.m. -- The draft is about to begin. As a reminder, the first round is live on the MLB Network channel (check your local listings), while the rest of the first day (rounds two and three) will air on MLB.com Live. There will be a total of 111 picks tonight, with four minutes between first-round picks and one minute between all other picks.

5:40 p.m. -- Dustin Ackley and Alex White were reportedly both invited to attend tonight's first round telecast at the MLB Network studio in New Jersey but declined, choosing instead to watch it from N.C. with family and teammates.

5:25 p.m. -- It'd make sense to assume that high school prospects drafted in later rounds receive smaller signing offers and thus are likely to be college-bound. However, UNC's outcome in the 2008 Draft provided a reminder that it's hard to follow such logical expectations when it comes to whether or not high school prospects will sign. UNC had four signees selected among the first 115 picks, and they unsurprisingly all signed with their pro teams, but it was the decisions of Quentin Miller and Garrison Lassiter that provided the last minute shockers. Miller, selected in the 20th round - No. 594 overall - by Pittsburgh, was a highly regarded pitcher from New Jersey, but had fallen way down in the draft because he'd made it clear he was set on college. And he was literally packing his bags for Chapel Hill when a sudden, last-minute $900,000 signing bonus offer from the Pirates changed his plans. Lassiter, a shortstop from Clemmons (N.C.), was selected even later, in the 27th round (No. 839 overall) by the New York Yankees. Yet when the Yankees were unable to sign some of their top picks, they decided to use that money to try and sway some later picks that were expected to head to college and $675,000 got it done with Lassiter.

5:00 p.m. -- Whether or not a highly regarded signee opts for college is a complicated process and rarely easy to predict. UNC starting pitchers Alex White and Matt Harvey provide two good case studies that worked out in the Tar Heels' favor.

White earned high school All-America honors in 2006, but upon making it clear that college baseball was his priority (what is often referred to as "signability"), he was selected in the 14th round and headed to Chapel Hill. Harvey was a consensus All-American in 2007 and was at one point ranked the No. 1 prospect in the country by Baseball America. Signability questions made him drop to the third round (118th overall) and negotiations with the Los Angeles Angels went down to the wire - the signing deadline of midnight on August 15. The Angels' signing offer of $1 million-plus wasn't enough to get a deal done and Harvey ended up being the highest selected high school player in the 2007 MLB Draft to attend college.

4:35 p.m. -- Coach Fox talked to InsideCarolina.com's Matt Clements this week about how last year's draft impacted the way the UNC staff recruited for the class of 2009. "We recruited probably a few more numbers maybe than we would have to replace the guys that signed and it impacted where we looked for players - pitchers and a couple of junior college players – in trying to get some experience on next year's team," Fox said. "We kind of had to make a little shift here in a new direction and see what happens with this year's draft."

4:10 p.m. -- The MLB Draft's impact on a college recruiting class cannot be overstated. Last year provided the ultimate example for UNC. The Tar Heels had Baseball America's No. 4-ranked haul at this time a year ago, but after six of the Tar Heels' 10 signees inked with pro teams, the remaining class dropped out of Baseball America's Top 25 and even finished outside of Collegiate Baseball's Top 40.

3:45 p.m. -- North Carolina's top in-state signee is Brian Goodwin, an outfielder from Rocky Mount. Goodwin was named the 2009 Gatorade North Carolina Baseball Player of the Year after hitting .413 his senior season, with a .680 slugging percentage and .532 on-base percentage, while stealing 15 bases. He was named to the Under Armour All-America Game and also earned MVP honors at the prestigious Aflac All-America All-Star Baseball Classic. Goodwin is projected to be selected by the end of the supplemental round (located between 1st and 2nd round - picks No. 33-49), but interestingly enough, he won't be by his phone or watching the TV when his named is called. According to Rocky Mount High School, Goodwin will be playing a summer baseball league game in Amelia, Ohio tonight with the Midland Redskins.

3:20 p.m. -- UNC senior Adam Warren's postseason success has been hard for scouts to overlook -- six earned runs in 22 1/3 innings, with 23 strikeouts against just two walks. But the evidence is not just in the statistics. Scouts in attendance for the NCAA Tournament clocked Warren's fastball consistently in the low 90s and were overheard noting that he was clearly better than they had previously evaluated. Baseball America's Aaron Fitt told the Raleigh News & Observer that the third or fourth round is now a realistic possibility for Warren.

2:45 p.m. -- UNC has two junior college signees and both were ranked in Perfect Game's Preseason Juco Top 100: No. 80 Dillon Hazlett and No. 82 Jesse Wierzbicki. Neither are projected by Perfect Game as high round selections. Hazlett, a shortstop, did receive invites for workouts with MLB teams after hitting .470 and stealing 35 bases his sophomore season at Allen County Community College. He's an admitted lifelong Atlanta Braves fan. Wierzbicki, a catcher from Tennessee, was taken in the 40th round out of high school and has undoubtedly elevated his stock after hitting .373 with 12 home runs as a sophomore at Walters State Community College.

2:15 p.m. -- The final first round mock drafts have been submitted by ESPN.com and MLB.com. Here's how they predict the draft shaking out for UNC's players and signees ...

MLB.com: Dustin Ackley to Seattle at No. 2; Donavan Tate to San Diego at No. 3 though "it's still split in the Padres' Draft room" between Tate and Vanderbilt pitcher Mike Minor; Alex White to Cincinnati at No. 8; Jacob Turner to Boston at No. 28 due to signability concerns.

ESPN.com: Dustin Ackley to Seattle at No. 2 though the Mariners are "waffling" because of bonus money concerns; Donavan Tate to San Diego at No. 3; Alex White to Atlanta at No. 7; Jacob Turner to Detroit at No. 9.

Baseball America just chimed with a report that Ackley at No. 2 and Tate at No. 3 are "fairly certain at this point."

1:40 p.m. -- One additional name to add to the draft mix is Bryn Renner, the heralded quarterback who signed on with Butch Davis and UNC's football program. Renner is also considered to be an elite baseball talent as an infielder, ranked No. 232 in the country by Perfect Game. According to Tuesday morning's Washington Post, Renner worked out for New York Yankees last week and "could be a surprise selection."

InsideCarolina.com's Don Callahan talked to Renner on Tuesday to clarify the situation.

"It's a big honor to be considered and I love baseball, but I really want to be a Tar Heel," said Renner, who will take his last high school final on Wednesday morning and leave later in the day for Chapel Hill for freshman orientation, before enrolling early next week.

Renner plans to play both football and baseball for the Tar Heels, and while he will watch the draft tonight, he is taking a relaxed approach to the situation. "I'm really just looking at it in a fun way, and whatever happens, happens," Renner said. "It's just an honor to be considered."

As for whether he plans to enroll at UNC regardless of what transpires with the MLB Draft? "Most likely," he replied.

1:10 p.m. -- Jacob Turner committed to North Carolina last September, but the chances of the standout pitcher ever stepping on Chapel Hill’s campus are slim, at best. MASN Sports reported that signability issues could prevent the Baltimore Orioles from taking Turner, a right-hander from Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis, with the No. 5 overall pick. The notorious Scott Boras is advising Turner, and the sports network is hearing that he “could command the same $7 million bonus that Josh Beckett and Rick Porcello received.”

The beneficiary of that decision could be the Detroit Tigers, who paid Porcello – who signed with UNC before being drafted in 2007 – that large sum. The Detroit News reported Monday night that Turner is the heavy favorite for its hometown’s squad at the No. 9 spot. The newspaper also noted this about the righty’s situation: “While the Turner family, headed by Dr. Mark Turner, a dentist in St. Charles, Mo., is believed to prefer their son opt for North Carolina, it is understood Jacob wants to pitch in the big leagues -- if the money is right.”

Various scouts believe Turner is the most talented pitcher in the draft not named Stephen Strasburg.

12:35 p.m. -- Donavan Tate has obviously received the most ink of any of UNC’s baseball recruits, namely due to his decision to play both football and baseball at North Carolina. But it is appearing as though the Cartersville, Ga. outfielder will simply be offered too much money to turn down from a Major League club. ESPN’s Peter Gammons suggested on Monday night that Tate will be taken by San Diego with the No. 3 overall pick and that sentiment is echoed today by MLB.com, which reports the Padres are "prepared to take" Tate, should Ackley go to Seattle at No. 2.

While the Padres are still feeling the effects of the Matt Bush blunder – the No. 1 overall pick in ’04 never panned out after a $3.15 million signing bonus – but agent Scott Boras and Tate pushing for a $6 million signing bonus has reportedly not scared the San Diego front office away. The Padres have used their first-round picks on college players since the Bush fiasco, helping to create a mindset that VP for scouting and player development would prefer to stay away from the high school ranks early in the draft, but he has dismissed those rumors.

Even Padres closer Heath Bell has an opinion on the draft selection, telling the San Diego Union-Tribune that his team needs to draft a college player, saying, “I just think the organization needs someone a little more proven. It doesn't need a lot of time to develop people. It needs two or three years instead of four or five.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer noted sources that believe Tate “has the most upside of any position player in the draft.”

11:20 a.m. -- Of UNC's 16 draft-eligible high school signees, 12 are in Perfect Game's Top 500 high school rankings: No. 2 Donavan Tate, No. 6 Jacob Turner, No. 29 Brian Goodwin, No. 70 Cody Stiles, No. 86 Matt Graham, No. 103 Bryan Mitchell, No. 142 Parker Thomas, No. 154 Tim Brechbuehler, No. 210 Chris Munnelly, No. 266 Cody Penny, No. 293 Tommy Coyle and No. 317 Brett Knief. Not making Perfect Game's Top 500 list is Josh Leemhuis (No. 592), an Under Armour All-America of whom scouts are mixed after some senior season struggles, but is ranked and/or listed on draft projections by other publications. Other UNC signees just outside the Top 500 are Chaz Frank (No. 537) and Zach Bernard (No. 600), while Robert Orlan checks in at No. 756.

10:20 a.m. -- To learn more about each of UNC's signees, check out the player profiles linked on Inside Carolina's Class of 2009 Recruiting Board (click the player's name to read the profile).

9:45 a.m. -- Head coach Mike Fox's program acquired 19 prospects for its 2009 incoming class. UNC officially announced 18 "signees," since Donavan Tate signed with the football program. That also included Levi Michael, who enrolled in January and was UNC's starting second baseman this season.

At the time the signees were announced, Fox said, “We achieved our goal of getting the very best players we possibly could from the state of North Carolina then finding those players from out of state who were not only very good players and students but also wanted to be at UNC. We signed ten players from nine different states, which shows not only how hard my staff worked but how attractive Carolina was to student athletes from all over the country ... We feel confident that we have succeeded in meeting our immediate and long term needs for our program. We brought in ten pitchers who all have the ability and potential to help us maintain our level of pitching success we have enjoyed the last three seasons. We feel that our position players are all athletic and versatile which will serve us well in the future. This group also brings outstanding academic achievement to our University and all come from great families. My staff and I are very excited about these young men joining our program and The University of North Carolina.”

9:00 a.m. -- Kyle Seager doesn't get the headlines of Ackley or White, but he's projected as a likely first-day selection. MLB.com notes that "his offensive skills do profile better at second [base], though he could end up having a very nice career as a utility guy at both spots." Scouts have drawn comparisons to third baseman Bill Mueller, whose decade-long MLB career concluded in 2006. Baseball America predicts he'll be selected in today's second round.

8:15 a.m. -- Alex White seemingly cemented his spot in the top half of the first round with his performance against East Carolina in the Super Regional (one run, 12 Ks in 8 1/3 innings). After watching White hit as high as 95 on the radar, while showing improved command of his slider, one scout told Baseball America, "He’ll probably go up now." Projections for White range as high as the No. 5 slot and as low as No. 12. "I don't think he'll slip past the Reds at No. 8,” Baseball America's Aaron Fitt told the Charlotte Observer.

7:40 a.m. -- It's hard to find anyone questioning Dustin Ackley's talent level. Coach Fox calls him "the best player I've ever seen at this level." Nearly all mock drafts have the Seattle Mariners taking Ackley with the No. 2 overall pick. Barring contract concerns or a surprising decision to instead opt for a pitcher, experts agree that Seattle will select the consensus best hitter in the draft.

6:45 a.m. -- Perfect Game has a comprehensive Top 250 ranking for draft-eligible prospects (combining college and high school). Here are the members of UNC's current team that make the list: No. 2 Dustin Ackley, No. 6 Alex White, No. 86 Kyle Seager, No. 172 Mark Fleury, No. 208 Adam Warren. In a separate state overview by Perfect Game, Colin Bates is projected as a low high-round selection (rounds 4-10), Brian Moran is projected as a high mid-round selection (11-25), while Garrett Gore and Mike Cavasinni are projected as possible late round selections.

Tuesday, 6:00 a.m. -- The draft will begin tonight at 6 p.m. with the first 111 selections (there will be four minutes between first-round picks and one minute between all other picks). Rounds 4-30 will be held on Wednesday and rounds 31-50 are scheduled for Thursday. The MLB Network is airing live coverage of the first round, and the following rounds will be covered by MLB.com Live.


Related Stories
Around the Bases with Ackley & Seager
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Jun 8, 2009
Monday with Mike Fox
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Jun 8, 2009
Heels to Open CWS Versus ASU
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Jun 8, 2009

Inside Carolina's Official Online Store:
johnnytshirt.com


Get the Inside Carolina Magazine!
THIS MONTH

April
The glossy, monthly magazine includes top-notch features, analysis and fantastic photos.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THE IC MAG
NEXT MONTH

Spring

MAGAZINE COVERAGE
Subscribe today to the Inside Carolina Magazine, our glossy magazine publication covering Tar Heel sports!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from InsideCarolina.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Baseball > North Carolina
[View My HotList]