Matthes, Tootle top Ala baseball prospects

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Alabama outfielder Kent Matthes and Jacksonville State pitcher Ben Tootle are projected as the state's top prospects for the amateur baseball draft.

The draft begins Tuesday.

Matthes went from a solid performer to the Southeastern Conference's player of the year as a senior and tied for the national lead in homers. He has never been drafted.

Tootle attracted scouts' attention during summer league ball when he worked as the closer.

Both are rated among the nation's top 80 prospects by Baseball America.

Other state prospects include Alabama left-hander Del Howell, Faulkner right-hander Austin Adams and Auburn second baseman Joseph Sanders.

The top high school prospect in the state, according to Baseball America, is Hartselle left-hander/first baseman Luke Bole. He was Alabama's Mr. Baseball.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)