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Update on recent E.V. MLB draftees

Posted by on April 15, 2013 – 2:28 pm

As the 2013 minor league season begins, here’s an update on the 2011 and 2012 East Valley high schoolers who signed professionally. I’ll have a subsequent post looking at which former East Valley stars are closest to the major leagues.

Class of 2012

Mitch Nay, 3B, Hamilton, (No. 58 overall pick by Blue Jays): Nay was the first East Valley player selected in last year’s draft. He signed for $1 million with the Blue Jays, but broke his foot before playing in a game. Nay is rated as the organization’s No. 24 overall prospect by Baseball America, and after his current stint in extended spring training, he will begin his professional career

Dylan Cozens, OF, Chaparral (Second round pick by Phillies): The Tribune’s 2012 Player of the Year had a nice start, batting .255 with five homers and 24 RBIs in 50 games in Rookie ball after signing last year. Cozens had a .341 on-base percentage and a .441 slugging percentage for an OPS of .782, which is impressive for an 18-year-old. Cozens has been rated as the No. 27 prospect in the Phillies’ organization. He is currently in extended spring training.

Joey Curletta, OF, Mountain Pointe (Sixth round pick by Dodgers): Curletta struggled in his first year, batting .149 with no homers and six RBIs in Rookie league. His OPS of .411 was low but it was only 25 games. Curletta is still listed as the No. 30 prospect in the Los Angeles farm system, and if hitting doesn’t work out, he also has a future on the mound.

Willie Ethington, P, Mountain View (17th round pick by the Red Sox): The Toros star wasn’t drafted as highly as his East Valley counterparts, but Boston gave him a $200,000 signing bonus. Ethington went 0-0 with a 2.89 ERA and 1.82 WHIP  in 9 1/3 innings pitched in Rookie ball.

Class of 2011

Tayler Scott, P, Notre Dame (5th round pick by the Cubs): Scott was 5-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 15 starts at short-season Boise last year. His strikeout (5.43/9 IP) and walk numbers (3.66/9 IP) weren’t great, but he did enough to warrant a promotion this season. Scott is currently at Single-A, where he is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.50 WHIP through eight innings pitched.

Nick Valenza, P, Horizon (18th round pick by the Mariners): Valenza went 0-2 with a 7.90 ERA in 27 1/3 innings pitched out of high school. He was 0-0 with a 5.68 ERA last year and struck out 8.2 batters per nine innings in the Rookie ball Appalachian League.

Zach Davies, P, Mesquite (26th round pick of the Orioles): Davies went 5-7 with a 3.86 ERA in Single-A last year with a WHIP of 1.36. It was an impressive debut, as Davies was one of the youngest pitchers in the league at age 19. He has moved up to the No. 20 prospect in the Baltimore organization and is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA in two starts this season in High-A. Baseball America says he has the potential to be a No. 4 starter in the major leagues.

Malcolm Holland, OF, Hamilton (33rd round pick by the Dodgers): Most expected Holland to play football at Boise State, but Los Angeles offered him a $150,00 bonus and he signed to play baseball. He was raw at first, but Holland has gotten noticeably better with regular playing time. He hit only .159 in rookie ball out of high school, but improved to .244 last year. More importantly, he walked 54 times and struck out just 47 for a sparkling on-base percentage of .421. He also stole 44 bases in 53 attempts. Holland has been promoted to Single-A this season, where he is batting .300 with a .364 on-base percentage and four stolen bases in nine games. Holland doesn’t have a home run or triple in his career, but the on-base skills must be intriguing the Dodgers’ brass.

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