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MLB Draft 2014 preview: Three Wildcats on Baseball America's Top 500 Prospects list

Three players from Arizona show up on BA's Top 500 heading into the MLB Draft

Jason Bartel

Baseball America put out their top 500 prospects heading into next week's MLB Draft, and there are three Arizona Wildcats.

2B Trent Gilbert comes in as the highest-ranked Wildcat at No. 268 overall, and the 5th best prospect out of the state of Arizona. Gilbert is listed as a SS in BA's database, but he has not shown any sign of having enough range in the field to play shortstop over the last three years.

This year, the junior hit .324 overall, and led the team in doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, and slugging percentage. His batting average dropped about 20 points from 2013, but the power numbers definitely went up.

RHP James Farris is the No. 349 overall prospect according to Baseball America. You can make the case that this year was definitely a disappointing one for Farris after he snubbed pro ball to come back for his senior season. Farris picked up just a 6-6 record, but his ERA was 3.40, down nearly an entire run from 2013. He also struck out 100 batters this season.

And then the surprise of the group is junior Tyler Parmenter. Parmenter has been a pitcher for just over a year now, and he has developed quite the fastball that has caught the eye of MLB scouts. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s on a regular basis.

Even though he had a 4.91 ERA this season, Parmenter is the No. 417 overall draft prospect. That puts him basically in the same boat as Farris was last year, looking at being drafted somewhere between rounds 12 and 18.

There's obviously a lot of development there to do for the big righty out of Yuma. The question is whether he'll do it in minor league baseball, or he'll spend another year in Tucson and do it out of the pen for the Wildcats. He still doesn't have an effective off-speed pitch, and there's some mechanics work to do on his delivery overall. But the fact that Parmenter has leap-frogged so many Arizona players as an MLB prospect is astounding.