If recent history is any indication, just one high school second baseman should expect to be drafted by a MLB team within the draft’s first ten rounds this June. That’s incredible to me. I guess we know that big league second basemen are made and not born, but it’s still jarring to realize that there isn’t a current qualified second baseman in baseball that was drafted out of HS as a primary second baseman. Of the high school guys, Dee Gordon was a shortstop, Neil Walker was a catcher, Brandon Phillips was a shortstop, and Chris Owings was a shortstop. The rest are all American college/junior college players (many of whom played shortstop collegiately, for what it’s worth) or international free agents. The last group gives us our closest facsimile to a HS 2B with names like Jose Altuve, Robinson Cano, and Rougned Odor popping up. Altuve and Odor are as close to second base only prospects as you’ll find, and Cano ditched shortstop for good in Low-A as a teenager. I’ll go out on a limb and say that there isn’t a Cano or Altuve in this year’s high school second base class — though I did get an Altuve comp (in so much that you can compare anybody to Altuve…) on a prep shortstop to be named later — but I guess it’s within the realm of possibility that there’s a talent like Odor, who I’ve always been lower on than most, lurking somewhere out there.
The top three names on my initial list of high school second base prospects all seem unlikely to play second base over the long haul. Alonzo Jones seems best-suited for center field and Cornelius Randolph looks like a future third baseman. They’ve both been moved to their most likely pro positions in my rankings. Then there’s Kyler Murray, who…wait, never mind. We’ll revisit him in three years. If you remove those three (well, two now) from the second base prospect pile, then you are left with a fairly representative group of what we’ve come to expect from high school second base groups.
There are talented yet flawed prospects here. I don’t know what to make of any of them. Last year’s class had the star power at the top (Forrest Wall) and impressive overall depth that this year’s group appears to be missing. I’m not so sure on that last point because, quite honestly, I don’t know enough about a lot of these players to go into too much detail about the talent level. One of my biggest homework assignments over the next month will be to familiarize myself with these players better.
I think Ethan Paul (Newport HS, Washington) has the best all-around tools package, Pikai Winchester (Iolani HS, Hawaii) has the best hit tool, and Jagger Rusconi (West Ranch HS, California) and Josh White (Rock Canyon HS, Colorado) are among the best runners. I’m intrigued by Chase Fullington (Farragut HS, Tennessee) and Andrew Noviello (Bridgewater-Raynham HS, Massachusetts) because of their pop, as well as Duncan McKinnon (Redondo Union HS, California) for his disciplined approach.
2B Ethan Paul (Newport HS, Washington)
2B Pikai Winchester (Iolani HS, Hawaii)
2B/OF Jagger Rusconi (West Ranch HS, California)
2B/SS Josh White (Rock Canyon HS, Colorado)
2B/OF Chase Fullington (Farragut HS, Tennessee)
2B/SS Charlie Donovan (Westmont HS, Illinois)
2B/RHP Andrew Noviello (Bridgewater-Raynham HS, Massachusetts)
2B Duncan McKinnon (Redondo Union HS, California)
2B Ford Proctor (Monsignor Kelly HS, Texas)
2B Kody Clemens (Memorial HS, Texas)
2B/SS Luke Alexander (Belmond HS, Mississippi)
2B Ezra Steinberg (Harvard-Westlake HS, California)
2B Ethan Lopez (La Mirada HS, California)
2B Cobie Vance (Pine Forest HS, North Carolina)