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Six NJCAA Baseball Players Expected to be Early Draft Picks in 2010 According to Collegiate Baseball News
 January 13, 2010

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The 2010 baseball season is just around the corner, despite the current temperatures around the country, and there is much anticipation heading into the new decade. Much of the buzz revolves around six current NJCAA players that are expected to be early round draft picks (second round or higher) in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft this June according to the writers at Collegiate Baseball newspaper.

The most talked about NJCAA player in quite some time is freshman catcher Bryce Harper from College of Southern Nevada. Harper is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and graced the cover of Sports Illustrated in June of 2009. The feature article on Harper titled "Baseball's Chosen One: Bryce Harper Is the Most Exciting Prodigy Since Lebron James", made him a household name around the country. As a sophomore at Las Vegas High School he hit .624 with 14 home runs. As a high school freshman he led USA Baseball's 16 and under team at the Pan Am Championships where he hit four homers over eight games and hit. 571, stole six bases and also came in as a closer to secure a 3-1 win over Cuba. You can read the SI article on Harper here.

Collegiate Baseball ranks LeVon Washington (2B) of Chipola College (Fla.) as the seventh-best college prospect in the country. Washington was a first round selection by the Tampa Bay Rays last year but decided not to sign with the club. Washington is very fast (6.21 60-yard dash) and was a .400 hitter at F.W. Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Fla., last year.

Defending NJCAA Division I champions Howard College (Texas) has three potential early round draft picks on their 2010 roster. Pitchers Damien Magnifico, Blake Barnes and Burch Smith should give head coach Britt Smith a great chance to defend their title. All three are right-handers and are ranked as the 54th, 55th and 56th best college prospects heading into this season. Magnifico, a freshman, was drafted by the N.Y. Mets last June in the fifth round. Barnes posted a 9-1 record last season with 60 strikeouts and walked just 14 batters with a 3.27 ERA. Smith was 4-0 for the Hawks last year with a 3.05 ERA. All three post fastballs over 95 mph.

The sixth and final NJCAA player to make the rankings is Tony Dischler from Louisiana State Univ. – Eunice at No. 59. He joins the Bengals after transferring from Louisiana-Monroe. Bengal head coach Jeff Willis is hoping Dischler's strong fastball (94-97) will anchor his pitching staff this season.

Collegiate Baseball has also released their pre-season rankings for the 2010 season with Howard (Texas) topping the Division I poll and defending Division II and III champions Parkland (Ill.) and Richland (Texas) atop their respective polls.

To view the complete pre-season polls visit www.baseballnews.com/polls.


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