La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Rounds 11-20 of the draft

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Vikings draft Updated: June 8, 2010 - 4:48 PM

11. Tyler Kursea, 1B, Oakmont High, Roseville, Calif.

Baseball America's report makes him an interesting pick.

Elite first basemen affect big league games with power bats as well as strong glovework, while players like James Loney and Casey Kotchman are impact defensive players but average offensive players because they do not provide the power expected in the first-base profile. Kuresa falls into the Loney/Kotchman category, or perhaps an Ike Davis type if he adds power. At 6-foot-4, 190-pounds, Kuresa is a lanky, athletically built player with plenty of projection left. He has a smooth lefthanded stroke and can occasionally drive the ball to the pull side, but does not project to have plus future power. Defensively he moves around the bag well, has soft hands and plays with passion in the field. His arm is an asset at the position as well. If all goes well, look for him to develop into a player similar to Loney or Kotchman, or at least Travis Ishikawa of the Giants. Kuresa has committed to Oregon.

Here's MLB.com video of him

12. Steven Maxwell, RHP, Texas Christian

I cringed as I read BA's  write-up of him  until the last sentence

Righthander Steven Maxwell is another Tommy John survivor, having had the surgery in 2008. Texas Christian has three double-digit winners this spring, and while Matt Purke and Kyle Winkler are better prospects, Maxwell has the best ERA (10-1, 2.73 entering regional play) and is the lone draft-eligible member of the group. A redshirt junior, he has fringy to average stuff (88-90 mph fastball, slurvy slider, changeup) and lacks projection at 6 feet and 180 pounds, but he really knows how to pitch.

13. Ryan O'Rouke, LHP Merrimack (Mass.)

This guy has reliever written all over him,

O'Rourke went 5-2, 1.25 with 93 strikeouts and 14 walks in 79 innings as a senior for Division II Merrimack. O'Rourke played baseball, football and hockey his first two years at Merrimack before cutting a tendon on his left thumb and missing all of 2009. He brings an aggressive football/hockey mentality to the mound, where he attacks hitters with an 87-91 mph fastball and touches 93 in short stints. His best secondary pitch is a 77-78 mph slurve that can be average at times, and he mixes in a below-average curveball in the low 70s. He rarely throws a changeup. O'Rourke has a strong, physical 6-foot-3, 215-pound build. His delivery has some effort and some stiffness, but it also gives him deception. He figures to be drafted between the 10th and 15th round.

 14. DeAndre Smelter, RHP, Tattnall Square Academy, Macon, Ga.

This is a very interesting pick. Georgia is loaded with talent this year, and some believe that Smelter  ended up on the fringe of the top prospect talk because of the state's depth and his less-than-exciting numbers. Has the physical tools and I like that he's been working with Kevin Brown. But he's a project and will have to be bought out of his commitment to Georgia Tech. Terry Ryan scouted Georgia this year, which is another plus.

Here's what BA wrote  up about him:

 Scouts who focus on what Smelter does have plenty to talk about. He's an exceptional athlete who turned down Division I offers in football (he was a wide receiver and defensive back) to sign with Georgia Tech to play baseball. He's a plus runner as well as a position player, but his arm strength sets him apart. Smelter has reached 95 mph with his fastball and has been up to 87 mph with a slider, which he doesn't throw often. His pitching coach is former big leaguer Kevin Brown, himself a Georgia Tech alumnus. Brown also has Smelter throwing a split-finger fastball with good action. Despite all those pluses, scouts see negatives on Smelter that have driven him down some boards. He's got big stuff, but he has below-average control and didn't throw a lot of quality strikes this spring. His delivery and arm action resemble those of Brown, complete with the hip turn and wrap in the back of his arm action. Even with his fast-twitch athleticism, it's a difficult delivery to repeat. Smelter's a wild card because of his Tech commitment, his erratic spring and the fact that his bonus can be spread over five years due to his two-sport ability.

Here's some video of him. Yes, that's the Metrodome. There's a big showcase there every year.

15. Thomas Girdwood, RHP.  Elon

Appears to be a relief prospect. From Baseball America:

Girdwood stands a good chance of being drafted in the first eight rounds after setting Elon and Southern Conference career saves records. He's a lower-slot righthander who has to stay on top of his slider and fastball to be effective. When he's too close to sidearm, his 91-93 mph heater flattens out and his 81-85 mph slider lacks depth, and he's prone to allowing home runs. When he's right, though, both pitches play as above-average offerings, and his fastball has touched 95. He added a changeup, which has made progress but is still a third offering. Girdwood wasn't throwing as well down the stretch, faltering in the Southern Conference tournament. He has plenty of mound presence and experience pitching in big situations and profiles as a set-up man.

16. Clinton Dempster, LHP Nichols State

17. Devin Grigg, RHP, Cal ST. East Bay.

18.. David Gutierrez, RHP Miami

Here's video (all video is from MLB.com by the way.

19.  David Arguello, LHP, Davidson (Ala.) High

Here's video

20. Cody Martin, RHP Gonzaga

Take a look at Martin

 

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