Catching a discerning eye
: Several area players expected to go in MLB draft
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Catching a discerning eye
: Several area players expected to go in MLB draft

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Posted: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 8:04 am

There are several sets of eyes on a baseball game and what they see can be just as varying as the batting stances in a nine-man lineup.

There are parents’ eyes, but we won’t go there.

Coaches have their own way of seeing the game and it is a very discerning eye. They know their players like no one else and probably expect more out of them as well.

Then there are the intimidating guys with the guns and notebooks.
The scouts.
 These guys watch the game without prejudice, don’t care about results and are more concerned with the big picture.

“They definitely see the game different than we do,” Desert Vista coach Stan Luketich said. “Often times it’s more about projections and we are more concerned with how they play the game.”

Those projections are why it is so hard to predict what is going to happen in the MLB first-player draft starting with Thursday’s first-round through the final selection on Saturday.

There are no local players projected to go in the first couple of rounds so then it comes down to what the scout’s eyes liked (or didn’t liked) and if they can convince their organization to take a chance on that player.

There are so many variables it is anyone’s guess.

“You just never know,” Mountain Pointe Principal Bruce Kipper said. “This is the hard part, sitting around and waiting.”

Jordan Kipper is expected to go in the first 10 rounds after two great years at Central Arizona. He was named Arizona Community College Athletic Conference by the coaches after going 10-2 with a 1.32 ERA.

It’s a big jump after being selected in the 39th round out of high school by the Dodgers and in the 30th round by the Phillies after his freshman year at Central Arizona.

The Pride’s other tie to the draft this year should be senior second baseman Brantley Bell, who understands his last name will garner him an extended look.

He is committed to Ole Miss but if he was drafted high enough and the money was right, it is possible the son of former major leaguer and current Pittsburgh bench coach Jay Bell would forgo college.

“I was told one time (organizations) like to stay in the bloodlines so you are going to get extra looks (from scouts),” Brantley said earlier this year. “It will get you there but you have to prove yourself because it is a business.

"I am excited to start my professional career this year if it happens.”

Desert Vista has two players — Tyler Viza and Colby Woodmansee — that could have their names called by an organization the next three days.

Viza, who project as a big-bodied right-handed starter, is committed to Utah, while Woodmansee, a lanky, slicking-fielding shortstop with pop, is aligned with Arizona State.

“We had a lot more scouts this year compared to recent years,” Luketich said. “I had more scouts ask about Tyler Viza than Colby Woodmansee because they think his commitment to Arizona State is strong.

“But I have no idea where they might go.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @jskodaAFN.

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Jason P. Skoda
  • Jason P. Skoda
  • Sports writer
  • Resident sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News

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