Rick O'Brien: First-Year Player Draft
Baseball: 2011 First-Year Player Draft
In Southeastern Pennsylvania, most of the top high school seniors, including three ticketed for the University of North Carolina, are not expected to be drafted. Of course, when it comes to the draft, anything could happen.
Neumann-Goretti second baseman Mike "Zoom" Zolk, Malvern Prep ace southpaw Chris O'Brien, and Harry S Truman catcher Brian Beyer will likely stay off the board and play for the Tar Heels.
The most interest is probably in Radnor's Connor Walsh, a hard-throwing righthander and University of Cincinnati signee. He has baseball smarts, a fastball in the 87- to-91 m.p.h. range, and a tricky change-up.
According to a source, Walsh will probably be picked by the Florida Marlins in one of the later rounds. The club has reportedly told Cincinnati's coaches of their intention to select him.
Council Rock North's Patrick O'Leary, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound righthander whose fastball has topped out at 91 m.p.h., has thrown a bullpen session for the San Diego Padres. The Pittsburgh Pirates also showed interest in the Winthrop commit.
With his familial ties to the Phillies, it wouldn't be a surprise if Penn Charter second baseman Andrew Amaro is selected late by the hometown club. He is the nephew of general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and grandson of the GM's father, Ruben Amaro Sr., who played for the Phillies from 1960 to 1965.
In 2009, the Phillies picked Andrew's brother, Rob, a third baseman at Penn Charter, in the 40th round (1,217th overall). He went unsigned and is now a sophomore infielder/catcher at the University of Virginia.
One year removed from Marple Newtown, lefty pitcher Chris Kirsch, now at Lackawanna College, could have his name called again. He was picked in the 13th round (387th overall) by the Pirates last year, but chose to play for Lackawanna, of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).