The 2012 MLB draft is still several months away, and the offseason is just beginning to wrap up. Is it too early to talk about the draft, given that the college baseball season has not yet begun?
The short answer would be yes, but the long answer would be that it's never too early to take a look at prospect reels. Finding the right ones on YouTube can give one great insight into how a player looks on the diamond.
Surprisingly, there are not that many videos of prospects on YouTube before they are drafted. But nonetheless, I have found the top 10, with an emphasis on showcasing a few of them from this upcoming draft.
For those that may be picked in 2012, here's a way to get your name out there, as the market is rather light.
Starting off this list are a couple of players projected to be the top selections in the 2012 MLB draft, one of them being Lucas Giolito.
This highlight reel isn't necessarily the best, but it shows off his arm, as well as the poise he has on the mound. For a high school pitcher, the couple minutes he shows here indicate a high ceiling, even if there are far slicker highlight reels on this list.
Mark Appel, like Giolito, is projected to be a top-three pick in the upcoming draft, and as arguably the most major league-ready prospect right now, he is the one most likely to be selected first.
While I'd have to give points off for the video being behind the screen, the five-minute video does show off not only his arm, but the stuff he puts on the pitches.
A few were quite nasty, and what the film lacks in flash it makes up for in substance.
One thing I like about this video is that it jumps in right away with some great fielding. Most hitters have highlight reels that start off with home runs, but given that Francisco Lindor is a shortstop, this approach makes sense.
Sometimes the best way to showcase a talent is to show all facets of his game. Other highlight reels on this list do that as well.
Stephen Strasburg's highlight reel is a bit low on the list, since it is not necessarily a full-on highlight reel. Rather than showing some of the top plays of his career, it instead shows what he can do over the course of one game.
More accurately, it shows that he can throw 23 strikeouts against one team. When you're that dominant and can show major league-quality pitches, then that's the only highlight reel you need.
When it comes to college highlight reels, Vanderbilt probably does it better than anyone else on YouTube—or at least it knows how to easily showcase its prospects to the masses.
Take Mike Minor.
The highlight reel of his time at Vanderbilt definitely shows a great arm, and it showcases him looking like he could already take on major league talent. The Atlanta Braves likely thought the same after seeing this.
Pedro Alvarez has the same pros as Mike Minor. He is another Vanderbilt star with a great highlight reel, showcasing both his hitting and fielding abilities.
The difference between Minor's and Alvarez's is since he's a third baseman, Alvarez is going to have a bit more to show off. The two can be interchanged depending on whether you like pitching or hitting.
Like Minor, Alvarez was a first-round draft pick who's now in the majors, so Vandy is doing something right with these reels.
Of the projected top three picks in 2012, Lance McCullers easily beats out the other two with the quality of the highlight reel. With his, I actually feel like I understand how he plays the game.
The highlight reel shows off both his pitching arm as well as his fielding skills. I can say that I like the new type of player these days that can both pitch, hit and field. All three are on display for this second-generation athlete in this video.
Kolten Wong's highlight reel is actually what originally got me interested in him and likely helped the St. Louis Cardinals in their decision to draft him.
A mix of batting practice and game footage is shown, showing smart hitting throughout, rather than emphasizing power hitting, which a lot of prospect videos like to do.
I would have liked to see some fielding since he's a shortstop, but he was obviously drafted for his bat.
If you need any further proof that Bryce Harper should have little trouble being the next big thing, then all you need to do is watch this highlight reel.
This piece runs nearly eight minutes, and he shows off all of his skills—in particular, the ease with which he can hit home runs.
Had it shown some of his fielding as well, perhaps it could have hit the No. 1 spot like he did in the draft.
Most of the good highlight videos either aren't out yet or don't quite match up to other sports' reels. Nonetheless, the gem of this list comes from Cordell Greene.
The University of Washington pitcher has a highlight reel that doesn't actually take place on the field. Instead, it feels like something out of the NFL combine, hitting all the statistics, showing off his arm and even getting a teammate endorsement.
He may not be projected to go in the first round or two, but this piece of work will absolutely help him.