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Best of the preps (Cont.)

Posted: Monday June 5, 2006 6:20PM; Updated: Monday June 5, 2006 8:38PM
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By Matt Remsberg, Special to SI.com, SchoolSports.com

Top Five Position Players

1. Billy Rowell, SS/3B, 6-4, 200
Bishop Eustace (Pennsauken, N.J.)
Bats-throws: L-R
Key stat: 62 RBI in 33 games as a junior
Best tool: Power to all fields
Plan B: Alabama
Breakdown: Rowell was way down at No. 44 on the SchoolSports.com preseason prospect rankings, but another explosive season was too much to ignore, and he vaulted to the top spot. The lanky left-handed batter is likely to be the first prep position player selected -- possibly in the first 10 picks. With a week left in his season, Rowell is hitting .557 with six home runs and 33 RBI. No doubt pitchers were a little more cautious when dealing with Rowell this spring, after he belted 14 homers and 62 RBI last season. Entering his senior campaign, Rowell was already the school record holder in home runs (28) and RBI (124).

2. Chris Parmelee, OF/1B, 6-1, 200
Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.)
Bats-throws: L-L
Key stat: .984 slugging percentage as a senior
Best tool: Plate discipline
Plan B: Cal State Fullerton
Breakdown: Parmelee checks in at No. 2 thanks to his stunning power, pitch recognition and plate discipline. He posted a .598 on-base percentage after drawing 33 walks for the Huskies this spring. Rather than swing at bad pitches, the left-hander showed the smarts to let the ball go by and ended up with more walks (33) than hits (23) this season. He stole 18 bases in 20 attempts this spring. He posted a team-leading 33 runs and also added 11 homers and 23 RBI.

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3. Hank Conger, C, 6-1, 205
Huntington Beach (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Bats-throws: S-R
Key stat: 11 home runs as a senior
Best tool: Contact hitter with power
Plan B: USC
Breakdown: Conger's strength is his stick, but he plays well enough behind the plate that he may not have to move to first base or the outfield as many high school catchers do when they make the jump to the pros. The switch-hitter blasted 11 home runs and added seven doubles to finish his senior season with a .987 slugging percentage. He hit .449 with 27 RBI to help his draft stock rise significantly in the last three months. Now No. 3, Conger was rated the No. 12 senior positional player prospect by SchoolSports.com in the preseason.

4. Chris Marrero, 3B, 6-3, 215
Monsignor Pace (Opa Locka, Fla.)
Bats-throws: R-R
Key stat: 11 home runs as a senior
Best tool: Power
Plan B: Miami
Breakdown: Marrero was a key piece of the Spartans Class 4A state title run this spring, hitting .375 with 11 home runs and 26 RBI. The right-handed slugger was overshadowed this season by teammate Adrian Cardenas, but Marrero will still be the first of the pair selected Tuesday. Opinion varies greatly on Marrero's draft stock, as he could potentially be the first prep positional player to come off the board following Rowell or he could slide to the end of the first round.

5. Derrick Robinson, OF, 5-11, 175
P.K. Yonge (Gainesville, Fla.)
Bats-throws: S-L
Key stat: 42 stolen bases as a senior
Best tool: Athleticism
Plan B: Florida
Breakdown: Speed alone doesn't get players drafted. But in Robinson's case, speed is the extra piece of the puzzle that could push him into the first round. He is currently signed at Florida on a football scholarship but has a bright future on the diamond. In addition to his 42 steals, Robinson hit .488 this spring with 41 runs scored. His six doubles and five triples this spring prove he has a little pop, but he'll never be confused for Albert Pujols.

Next Five Position Players

Adrian Cardenas, 2B/SS
Monsignor Pace (Opa Locka, Fla.)
Breakdown: Cardenas came out of nowhere this spring to overshadow teammate Chris Marrero by hitting .630 with 17 home runs and 16 doubles. The left-handed batter added 56 RBI and 18 stolen bases and became a possible second or third round pick after entering the year as a relative unknown.

Cody Johnson, OF
Mosley (Lynn Haven, Fla.)
Breakdown: Johnson opened the spring ranked the nation's No. 2 senior prospect by SchoolSports.com (No. 1 among positional players), but he had an inconsistent senior season to drop out of first-round consideration. He did manage 15 home runs this spring, so he won't drop too far on draft day.

Jason Place, OF
Wren (Piedmont, S.C.)
Breakdown: Place hit .544 this season but totaled only four homers and six doubles because opposing pitchers wanted no part of the right-handed slugger. He recorded as many walks as hits (31), adding 32 runs, 20 RBI and 10 steals in his senior campaign.

Max Sapp, C
Bishop Moore (Orlando, Fla.)
Breakdown: Sapp is a pure power hitter. He launched nine home runs and added 11 doubles this season while hitting .572 with 48 RBI. Sapp isn't a defensive standout, but his skills at the dish could vault him into a second-round selection.

Travis Snider, OF
Jackson (Mill Creek, Wash.)
Breakdown: The left-handed outfielder blasted 11 home runs, drove home 45 and hit .500 this spring to guide Jackson to a 27-0 record and its first-ever state title. Snider was named the state's Gatorade baseball Player of the Year and could be a late first-round pick.

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