The Baseball Draft Report

2018 FAVORITES – Part II

See yesterday’s post for an explanation of what we’re doing here. Now let’s get on with it…

Maryland JR 2B/OF Nick Dunn

I got legitimately excited about Dunn after his big freshman season. A quick comparison…

A – .300 BA – .092 ISO – 25 BB/25 K
B – .348 BA – .116 ISO – 34 BB/20 K
C – .261 BA – .123 ISO – 28 BB/23 K

A was Dunn’s true freshman season, B was Brandon Lowe’s redshirt-freshman season. Lowe took a leap in his first draft-eligible season, so maybe Dunn does the same in 2018. That’s where I was planning on ending the comparison, but I threw C (Dunn’s sophomore year) in one I realized it stacked up better than I first imagined. Obviously there’s a gulf between Lowe’s average and what Dunn has done, but that difference could be made up in a hurry

My only concern with Dunn is how his defense and athleticism continue to develop. “Average on his best days” was the description I got on him at the start of this past season. Then again, many weren’t as keen on Lowe’s glovework back in the day as they are now. Maybe Dunn can work himself to average and become the interesting top three round prospect Lowe became.

Michigan rSR RHP/OF Jackson Lamb

Sometimes I wonder why I do this at all. Lamb going undrafted and unsigned makes me question if I know what I’m talking about at all. There’s nothing about his profile not to like, at least from the outside looking in. Quality sinking fastball that reach the mid-90s, above-average splitter, and rapidly improving mid-80s cut-slider. That repertoire combined with his athleticism adds up to a really interesting relief prospect for me. Maybe his medicals are a mess. That’s the only reason I could possibly come up with for him not yet getting his shot in pro ball.

Rutgers JR OF Jawuan Harris

On one hand, it feels possible, nay likely, that Harris will wind up too good to be called a FAVORITE by next June. His upside is very real. On the other hand, like many players who flash extreme athleticism and five-tool upside, there’s still a sizable gap between what he is and what he’ll eventually be. Bridging that divide is easier said than done. I think Harris does just that; more accurately, I think his strong sophomore season already started the process. Tools + skills = deserved early round buzz.

Oklahoma JR OF Steele Walker

Plenty as been written about Walker during his busy summer, so I’ll be brief: he’s really good. All of those things people write about hitters that can be filed under “stuff you can’t teach,” Walker has. The rest of his game brings more questions — namely his true power upside and ability to remain in center despite average at best speed — but an appreciation for his advanced hit tool is more than enough to make him a FAVORITE for now.

Oklahoma JR 3B Brylie Ware

You can put Ware in the same category as Kyle Datres from yesterday’s post as players with a shot to be 2018’s version of Will Toffey. Toffey went from round 25 to round 4 from his sophomore to junior season. I’m not sure Datres or Ware winds up going that high, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fine prospects in their own right.

Oklahoma SR 2B/3B Jack Flansburg

What can I say? I like scrappy middle infielders who work deep counts and agitate opposing pitchers. I’m not perfect.

TCU JR RHP/1B Luken Baker 

Baker is too good to be a FAVORITE, but the love affair with the two-way star goes back long enough that we can let it slide. From May 2015…

Baker is typically listed as a primary righthanded pitcher who moonlights as a hitter, but I prefer him as the hulking slugger with plus to plus-plus raw power that whatever maker created his 6-4, 250 pound frame was hoping he’d turn out to be. I don’t know if he’s fleet of foot enough to handle even faking it as an outfielder over the long haul, but he’s a reasonably good athlete with the kind of plus arm strength you’d expect out of player ranked by most as a potential first-day pitcher.

Baker went on to finish 61st on my draft ranking that year. Interestingly enough, that ranking includes the scouting notes that mentions Baseball America comping him to Mark Trumbo. First, that’s a tremendous comparison. Second, they’ve since compared him to CJ Cron. I like when guys see their comps evolve over time. I know it could very well be different individuals making different comparisons — BA is not a monolith, after all — but I prefer to believe the HS version of Baker and the college version of Baker aren’t quite the same player. Anyway, Baker is really good. I really want to be bold and say I like him more than Seth Beer, but…I don’t. It’s close, though! So at least there’s that. Also, most people I talked to seem to like him better as a pitching prospect than as a hitter. When I say “people I talked to” I want to make it clear that it was, like, two people. There’s still so much time to figure out his long-term position, and only two people responded strongly in either direction of the many that I asked. Most gave some fancy version of “RELAX, we’ll see.” It’s also worth keeping in mind that last year at this time damn near everybody had Brendan McKay as a stone cold mortal lock to be drafted as a pitcher and pitcher only this past June. RELAX, we’ll see.

TCU JR OF Joshua Watson

I love a big freshman season. That’s exactly what Watson delivered in 2016. I also love a good comp. A coach — again, regrettably, I can’t find the source — once compared Watson to Nick Swisher. That’s more than enough to be a FAVORITE. Unfortunately, Watson’s sophomore season was nowhere near as impressive as his freshman campaign. Though it shouldn’t be held against him, it’s also interesting to note that the two other players linked to Swisher here over the years — Jared King and Alex Call — haven’t exactly set pro ball on fire to date. King is already out of organized ball while Call, a big favorite still, has battled injuries throughout this down sophomore season.

St. John’s SR OF/RHP Jamie Galazin

Galazin isn’t quite on the same level athletically as Jawuan Harris (see above), but he’s not all that far off. One source said that Galazin was the guy that many in draft media were hyping Donovan Casey up to be. Thought that was an interesting (and potentially prescient) comment.

Liberty SR C Matt Allen

One of the dangers of FAVORITES is that sometimes I’ll hear something totally off the record about a player and decide right then and there that they are going on the FAVORITES list. That in and of itself isn’t an issue, but it then creates silly scouting notes like the one for Allen that doesn’t list anything specific about his game except for the fact that he is a FAVORITE. Why do I like him so much? In some cases, I remember but I can’t say. In most cases, however, I forget. I’m only 31-years-old, but it’s an OLD 31-years-old. My memory ain’t what it used to be. I’ll hear about a player, remember the name, remember to tag him once I get back to my computer, and forget the rest. In my defense, it’s often many players being discussed so I’m juggling a fair amount of information in my head at a time…but still. I did the same thing with Nick Maton this year. I really like that guy. Heard some really excellent things about him from people who see a bit more Lincoln Land JC baseball than I do. But then I forget the specifics. Or maybe in this case I have them jotted down somewhere but didn’t want to blow up the spot publicly of my INSIDE SOURCE WITH THE PHILLIES because obviously what I write on this WordPress blog gets read by every front office in the hours before the draft kicks off.

Anyway, Allen was a favorite going back to his junior college days. Why? I can’t recall. Perhaps I have some notes on a scrap of paper somewhere I can fill in the blanks with. Until then he’ll remain a mysterious FAVORITE despite hitting a whopping .220/.340/.250 in his first season at Liberty. If he puts it all together in 2018, then the magic of the FAVORITE should never be doubted again.

I capped these to ten per day, something that is very clearly a mistake in hindsight. I’d love to break my own rule and add an eleventh guy because I’m really, really excited about him…but I won’t. We’ll let the suspense build until tomorrow.

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2018 FAVORITES

When the summer goal is to write every single day from now until I completely run out of ideas of things to ramble on about, then the key is finding hooks that I can turn into relatively quick and easy posts that don’t take me a ton of time to research but still (hopefully) provide some semblance of useful information. To that end, I searched my “2018 College Follow List” Word document to find every mention of the word FAVORITE. Then I knocked out the 2017 seniors (we’ll get to them soon enough) and the 2019 freshman (sophomores now), leaving us with only draft-eligible prospects for 2018.

If you’re a regular reader, you might know about my FAVORITES. If not, a super quick primer. FAVORITES are favorites for life. Once you get the designation, it’s yours to keep no matter what. This can lead to some ranking oddities as some players labeled as FAVORITES may have gotten tagged as such three or four years ago and have since fallen out of favor, but it’s how we do things around here. I’d say about 90% of the FAVORITES you’ll read about here were deemed favorites either in high school or college freshmen. So while being a FAVORITE is undeniably a good thing, it’s far from everything. Furthermore, I do my best to stay away from obviously awesome prospects as FAVORITES. It doesn’t do anybody much good for me to share with the world that, say, Brady Singer is a FAVORITE. The only times a star-caliber player like that will get called a FAVORITE around here is either when a) he got the tag before he blew up as a prospect, or b) the player is just so good that I can’t resist putting the stamp on him.

So here are some FAVORITES listed in alphabetical order by conference — we made it from the ACC to halfway through the Big 10 so far — with a quick note on why I like(d) them and what to expect going forward.

Duke JR OF Jimmy Herron

Herron can change a game with his speed (career 41/52 SB), so right off the bat you’re seeing what makes him an appealing high-floor outfield prospect. Emerging power, plus arm strength, and a discerning eye at the plate (career 58 BB/57 K) give him a pretty substantial ceiling as an everyday player. He was an easy call to make a FAVORITE — though, in fairness, he’s a local guy who I saw a few times in high school, so, you know, maybe I’m BIASED — who I think will have a monster season in a stacked Blue Devils outfield.

North Carolina rSO RHP Josh Hiatt

An odd personal player evaluation blind spot — blind only in that I love these guys for reasons unknown — has always been relief pitchers without the kind of knockout stuff — often code for lacking premium velocity — to profile as closers at the professional level. I think that’s likely the charge that will be levied against Josh Hiatt. Hiatt won’t blow anybody away with his fastball — I have him at topping out at 92 MPH in 2017 — but his split-changeup is already a plus offering and his slider has a chance to get there in time. I see guys like Hiatt and wonder why they can’t close, but am more than fine with many big league teams still being stuck on archaic ideas on what a closer should be and allowing them to wind up being used in more high-leverage situations seemingly by accident.

North Carolina JR 3B Kyle Datres 

It’s not a direct one-to-one comparison, but Datres’s situation at North Carolina reminds me a little bit where Will Toffey was last year at this time. Toffey had a much worse sophomore season before rebounding with a strong enough junior season to get drafted and signed in the fourth round last month. A similar rise for Datres, a fantastic athlete skilled enough to play almost any spot on the diamond with a shot to get straight fives offensively (hit, power, speed), doesn’t seem out of place. Not for nothing, but the MLB Draft Tracker has Datres listed as a RHP. My notes on him on the mound: 88-92 FB, quality breaking ball, great athlete. MLB.com did some weird stuff with player designations this year — and had some real objective factual errors, which blew my mind — so maybe it’s nothing, but perhaps it’s a clue into the kind of feedback they got from teams on where Datres might have been listed if drafted. Probably just a goof, though.

Notre Dame SR OF/RHP Jake Shepski 

Being a FAVORITE means being a FAVORITE through the good and the bad. After a dismal 2017 season by any measure, Shepski is currently very much on the bad side of the ledger. The good news is he has another year to change the hearts and minds of big league decision-makers. What made him a favorite in the first place — patient approach, consistent hard contact, nice combination of pop, speed, and arm strength — could get him back on the prospect map before it’s too late.

Wake Forest JR RHP Griffin Roberts 

Roberts, a draft-eligible sophomore in 2017 like Datres, proved too tough a sign to get drafted early enough to afford. I wrote that and now I’ve reread it…and even I’m not sure if it makes sense. I think it does, but, man, the MLB Draft is weird. Full of paradoxes like that. Anyway, Roberts appears poised for a big 2018 season at Wake Forest. I love a good sinker/slider reliever, and Roberts takes that archetype to the best possible extreme. Another year of working on the little things and getting his control in check could send him flying up draft boards. I’m all-in on Roberts as a premium college arm in next year’s class.

Wake Forest rJR SS/2B Bruce Steel

I was on an island in liking Steel as much as I did in 2017. I’m not sure that changes in 2018, but it should. Steel is a really good prospect with the natural gifts to stay in the infield and hit for enough power to profile as a possible regular. I think questions about his approach (still developing), health (missed the 2016 season), signability (two years remaining) and home park inflating his numbers (sure) kept him from getting his shot in 2017, but he’ll make for a really interesting option in 2018.

Binghamton SR OF/2B CJ Krowiak

With the exception of Josh Hiatt, every player profiled so far was eligible for the 2017 MLB Draft but passed over or left unsigned. I’m not sure what that means about my ability to pick FAVORITES. Anyway, Krowiak is really good! He’s a glider in center with legitimate plus speed and athleticism, and his three year track record of hitting is tough to ignore. He’s instantly one of my favorite 2018 senior-signs.

UMBC JR 3B AJ Wright

Wright is a tough one for me at this point. I really, really like him. That much should be clear by his mere presence on this list. He’s a really impressive natural hitter with a keen understanding of the strike zone. That’s enough for me to fall for a guy initially. All of the other stuff — in-game power development, defensive consistency, finding a way to dominate the competition rather than just get by — remains up in the air. I think a breakout is coming, but I’m a little less sold than I was last year at this time.

South Carolina-Upstate SR OF JJ Shimko

It wound up being a one player reprieve from players eligible but unsigned in 2017. Shimko, like Krowiak, leaps to the list of best 2018 senior-signs. I’m stunned a player with his skill set — his speed and defense in center are good enough to provide plenty of value in pro ball tomorrow, and the offensive upside is gravy — was passed over.

Maryland JR OF Marty Costes

I thought the Astros had a decent shot to get Costes signed as an overslot 25th round pick, but it wasn’t meant to be. That’s great news for the Terrapins, a team getting back a fantastic athlete with a rapidly improving approach at the plate and plenty of power. I’ve long loved the Ron Gant comp a coach (regrettably, I lost the source of said quote) bestowed on him once upon a time. A comparison to Gant, one of my dad’s all-time favorite players, is as good as gold for me even if it’s not to be taken literally. The body type, athleticism, and chance to be a slightly above-average big league regular if everything breaks just so all add up to make him similar enough to Gant that I’ll buy it.

 

2017 MLB Draft Thoughts

A few stray thoughts on the top of last month’s MLB Draft before we get too far away for them to matter anymore…

1 – Hunter Greene is an outstanding prospect. I did not write about him nearly enough this past calendar year. Everybody knows about the heat. Breaking ball can be special. Enough of a changeup to work with. And his athleticism is quite literally second to none among high school pitchers in recent memory. He’s as close to the ideal teenage ball of clay imaginable. I’m a huge Royce Lewis fan and think the Twins will be quite happy with what they are getting with him (plus bat over arm fits my personal first round scouting ethos), but I can’t help but think they wind up regretting passing on the draft’s best talent sooner rather than later. Maybe regret is too strong a word since, again, Lewis is really good in his right. What’s a slightly softer word than regret that would work here? Whatever it is, sub that in instead.

2 – As much as I like Greene, it does feel a little funny that he couldn’t climb the 1-1 mountain and stake his claim as the first ever high school righthander to go first overall in the draft. It’s clearly not a knock on Greene as it is obviously out of his control past a certain point, but I wonder if the 1-1 HS RHP thing gets in teams heads a bit and gives them cold feet before making their selection. If Greene couldn’t do it in this class, then is it ever going to happen? Could say the same about Riley Pint, a slightly lesser prospect but in arguably a slightly lesser draft class, last year. The Kumar Rocker debates over the next eleven months could render this paragraph obsolete before too long. Or maybe the Ethan Hankins debates. Or maybe the Rocker/Hankins debates. Or maybe the Rocker/Hankins/guy we’re not yet ready to throw into the 1-1 mix who emerges in a big way these next few months and into the spring debates. That’s not very catchy, though.

3 – My quick scouting notes on Greene focused as much, if not more, on his abilities as a position player. That happened for two reasons. First, the notes are just that: notes. I don’t publish everything — I try, but sometimes time or obligations elsewhere get in the way — so the notes are pretty much the bare minimum information needed to get an idea of what a player is like in as short a blurb as possible. I kind of figured that everybody with even a passing interest in the draft knows who the top guys are, so I wind up updating the note sections of those players less and less as the spring drags on. That’s the boring logistical reason. The fun reason is that I genuinely think Greene had a case for being drafted as a shortstop (third baseman, really) rather than as a pitcher. I’m not sure I would have had the guts to do it if my job was on the line…but I sure as heck would have considered it beyond what I believe most others did. In time, I think Greene could have grown into the prototype at third base. We’re talking Gold Glove caliber defense with 30+ home run power. My prospect comps for him were obviously boom/bust future is unwritten types in Jake Gatewood and Josh Lowe, but both the Frankie Piliere comp (Robinson Cano!) and my own Hanley Ramirez comp are undeniably exciting. Another great prospect comp I heard after the fact for him as a hitter was Fernando Tatis Jr. We probably know too much about him to make this a fair question, but if Tatis was in this class where would he go? Have to think 1-1, right? I need to stop talking about this right now before I get myself too worked up at the realization that Greene won’t get the chance to hit regularly as a professional. You can say I’m overrating him based on small scouting samples. You can say I’m buying into the mythology more than the man. You can say that holding such an extreme minority viewpoint, never a wrong move to make in theory, doesn’t hold up logically when so many other smart people disagree. You can even say holding this position in the first place is a sneaky way of never being wrong as it deals with a hypothetical that will almost certainly never become an actualized reality. All fair points. Damn if I still can’t feel a certain way about this pitching over hitting decision going down as one of the draft’s underrated what-ifs.

4 – One of the fun discussions I got into with a pal recently centered on where Greene ranked in the larger context of every draft I’ve personally covered since starting the site in 2009. It’s an impossible question to answer knowing what we know now, but I did my best to be as honest as I could with pre-draft evaluations only. Feel like Dustin Ackley ranking fifth should be a little bit of proof of said honesty. The toughest call here is at the top, predictably enough. Harper is a no-brainer, but two/three/four can be in almost any order. I’m guessing that my own preference for the safety of a bat over an arm would have had me rank both Bryant and Rendon over Strasburg if they were all in the same draft class. Then again, Strasburg was STRASBURG; it’s difficult to overstate how massive a prospect he was in his draft year. He might be second behind only Harper. Anyway, that’s picking nits and completely unknowable without the benefit of a time machine and some creative selective memory loss. The real point here is to see where Greene ranks. When it comes to prep righthanders, Giolito and Taillon remain in a tier alone at the very top. Greene, Stewart, Pint, and Cole (whoops) are in the next tier down.

1 – Bryce Harper
2 – Kris Bryant
3 – Anthony Rendon
4 – Stephen Strasburg
5 – Dustin Ackley
6 – Carlos Correa
7 – Lucas Giolito
8 – Gerrit Cole
9 – Jameson Taillon
10 – Hunter Greene
11 – Alex Bregman
12 – Brady Aiken
13 – Carlos Rodon
14 – Kyle Zimmer
15 – Jay Groome
16 – Kohl Stewart
17 – MacKenzie Gore
18 – Riley Pint
19 – AJ Cole
20 – Kevin Gausman

5 – “He’s Harper to me.” That was the first sentence of an exchange I had with a friend about Royce Lewis. A better writer could probably find the way to make those four words into the kind of hook that gets me more than a few hundred readers a day. Instead, allow me to explain what he was talking about. The rest of the chat was about how Lewis, like Harper, is skilled enough and athletic enough to stick at his high school defensive spot (shortstop for Lewis, catcher for Harper), but the impact potential each guy possessed as a hitter made it worth it to move him ASAP to let hitting, hitting, and hitting some more become the primary developmental focus. Makes sense to me. So far, however, the Twins are sticking with Lewis as a shortstop. I’ll contradict myself immediately here because I think that’s great. This almost goes back to my Alex Jackson argument from a few years back. People tried to compare his situation to Harper’s at the time, but that never made sense to me. Harper as a hitter was clearly special. Jackson as a hitter was really impressive, but impressive in the way that the top prep hitters are in every draft. His bat wasn’t SO good that you had to go out and rush him to a less demanding defensive spot to get the full power of his offensive game unleashed. I feel similarly about Lewis. He’s an excellent prospect as a center fielder, but in the same way there are excellent high school center field prospects in every draft class. As a shortstop, however, the bat would be special. Missing in this surface-level analysis is the liklihood of the individual players at actually sticking at the more challenging defensive spots. I’ll go to my grave thinking Harper not only could have been a fantastic defensive catcher in the big leagues, but could have done so with little to no short-term damage or delay to his offensive growth. Jackson is a guy that I’m not sure anybody, myself included, genuinely thought could play regularly behind the plate. That wouldn’t have stopped me from trying him there, but knowing realistically he might not make it would have been an important consideration to have in mind prior to selecting him. Lewis is somewhere in between the two for me. I think he can be a quality defender at shortstop with a ton of work between now and his eventual big league debut. Whether or not that amount of work makes it worth it — developmental time is finite, so prioritizing one skill or another is a real consideration — is almost impossible for me to say sitting as far removed from the day-to-day situation as I am. My hunch is that it can be done, but it won’t (and for good reason). We’ll see.

6 – Self-serving site update interlude! I messed around with the formatting of the site for a few days, but, as you can plainly see, we’re right back to where we started. While I don’t love the current look — it’s fine, just a bit tired…though I hate how the pages at the top now that I’ve added to it — it was literally the only theme I found out of the dozens I tried that allowed for the search function to give you the entire post history all on one page. I’m not sure if anybody else cares about that at all, but I sure do. I search my own site all the time. When I do, I search it and then Ctrl+F for whatever it is I’m searching. Every other theme made the Ctrl+F part unusable because the search results would only give me the first few lines of each post. This theme, however, gives you the entire post every time. I love that. So whether or not the aesthetics feel right, function wins yet again. For now…

7 – MacKenzie Gore has me changing my mind every other day. If you ever wondered why I’m just a guy on the internet and not in a front office (LOL – like anybody wonders that), then look no further than the very sentence that came before this one. Real scouts and evaluators are paid to have a real opinion on all the big names at the top of the draft. They can’t be wishy-washy when they’re on the clock and all eyes are on them to make a final decision. I do my best to take a stand and I’d like to think nine years of ranking players lends some credence to that, but there are still certain players in every draft class that I never get a firm grasp on. That was Gore for me this year. I think I love him, but…if you only think it then can you really love it? Love should be an easy yes/no, right? Or am I oversimplifying something way more complicated than I’m making it out to be?

8 – Some days I think Gore is an obvious future star with three — maybe four — above-average to plus pitches, ridiculous athleticism (the 1B to Greene’s 1A as an athlete in this class), and a veteran’s knowledge and appreciation for the craft. Some days I look at the delivery and body type, and I worry about how he’ll hold up making thirty starts a year and whether or not he’ll have the consistent command that will allow him to roll through a lineup three times every fifth day. I genuinely have no real feel for him. If we’re being honest, I think geography has something to do with it. Baseball America — who, as I’ve mentioned before, gets a load of credit for me for stepping up their draft coverage up to their usual standard once again this year — was hot for Gore all spring. Same with Austin Beck. Both players, of course, played their high school ball in North Carolina, the same state where the BA headquarters is located. Seeing a player up close and building personal relationships with the player, coaching staff, and members of the support system can sometimes make a really good player seem great; again, not a knock on the pros at BA, but just an observation of human nature at work. Maybe I’m projecting my own insecurities because that’s an issue I struggle with at times. You want the local guy you’ve seen and grown to like to do well so badly that you almost try to will it to happen subconsciously. I read Baseball America (and Perfect Game and D-1 Baseball) like any fan (everything but the actual rankings), so maybe their cheerleading, for lack of a better word, seeped into my own personal opinion on Gore (wound up loving him if you’re going off my rankings) and Beck (the opposite by the same standard).

9 – I’ll try my best to finish here with some very brief thoughts on the top college guys and prep guys on my board. This may get boring because there are only so many ways for me to write “I love this guy,” so bear with me. Adam Haseley – love this guy. He joins Scott Kingery, Rhys Hoskins, Sixto Sanchez, JP Crawford, and Mickey Moniak in one heck of an impressive top half-dozen in the Phillies system. Kyle Wright and Alex Faedo – love those guys. Atlanta’s collection of pitching depth is one of the craziest things I can recall as a lifetime prospect follower. Faedo might go down as the steal of the draft slipping all the way to eighteen. Cool to see he show why during the College World Series. I hope JB Bukauskas pitches in the Houston bullpen this October. How cool would that be? I also hope Keston Hiura’s wonky elbow gets resolved one way or another soon; I hate the black cloud of uncertainty hanging over an otherwise fascinating prospect. Evan White to Seattle was a fit I didn’t really consider pre-draft, but it feels perfect now. Not sure why, but I can very easily envision him in a Mariners uniform hitting doubles in Safeco (or whatever it’ll be called by then) feels right. Mentioned a very quiet Noah Syndergaard comp for Nate Pearson before the draft only to see him get drafted by Toronto…just as Syndergaard once was. That’s fun.

10 – Brady McConnell at Florida is going to be awesome to watch. I play no favorites with college teams, but Florida is at or near the top of the list of schools I’d recommend to any young man with their heart set on playing college ball. Shane Baz reminds me of somebody, but I can’t think of who it is exactly. It’s been driving me nuts lately. Not Ian Anderson, but close. I loved Trevor Rogers to Miami. I think age is vitally important in projecting amateur prospects to the big leagues. I also think age can be a little overrated when discussing pitching prospects. Rogers being a bit older than you’d like doesn’t bother me at all. I’m such a sucker for sweet-swinging high school first basemen. It’s a problem. Nick Pratto is my latest obsession there. One ranking that could haunt me in the years to come: Jordon Adell at 17. The more I’ve thought about him since the draft, the more I think he’s going to hit in pro ball. Some guys just have a knack for consistent hard contact; that’s Adell. I came this close — imagine my fingers VERY close together — to ranking Hagen Danner as a catcher, so I’m happy to see him begin his pro career there. Kevin Abel, Jake Eder, Steven Williams, Emerson Hancock, Jonny DeLuca, Noah Campbell, Alex Toral…college baseball is going to be a lot of fun with some of these freshman next year.

Site Maintenance

Title says it all, but nobody ever accused me of being unwilling to type 200 words when 2 would do instead. The basic plan is to do some cleaning up along the periphery of the site and make things more easily accessible going forward. The downside is that we might see some weird stuff happen here in the next day or two. A few old posts might get unearthed for posterity’s sake, so don’t be alarmed if it seems like I’m writing about the 2010 draft all of a sudden. I’m not. Also, I might play around with the overall look of the site. I think it’s fine enough as is, but perhaps a little stale. We’ll see what happens.

In addition to trying to teach myself how to beautify a website on the fly, I’m also in the process of getting back to literally everybody who has contacted me via Twitter, email, or in the comments over the past few days, months, and, in some cases, years. That would be the Twitter DM folks…it took me a while to figure out I had messages in there, I’m embarrassed to admit. I’m done (I think) with responding to everybody in the comments. Email and Twitter are next.

Finally, I’d like to get writing again. The baby is doing great — sincere thanks for all who have sent nice messages, by the way — and I’ve got a nice window of time away from work to get back into the routine of writing something — ANYTHING — every single day. I’ve missed that. Less thinking, more writing. That’s my summer goal. So once you see the first post — likely an off the cuff breakdown of this year’s big board explaining as much as the process behind the rankings as I can — you can then expect to see something short every single day.

2017 MLB Draft – HS Outfielders

  1. OF/SS Royce Lewis (JSerra HS, California): plus bat speed; above-average to plus raw power; above-average to plus arm; plus to plus-plus speed; could be dynamite in CF with more work; could also be tried at 2B; advanced approach; 2080 comps: Lewis Brinson, Desmond Jennings, Justin Upton; younger for class; UC Irvine commit; like him way more than SoCal 1-1 last year (Moniak); RHH; FAVORITE; 6-2, 185 pounds
  2. OF/RHP Jordon Adell (Ballard HS, Kentucky): plus to plus-plus speed; plus to plus-plus raw power; plus to plus-plus arm; plus bat speed; 89-94 FB, 95 peak; above-average to plus 77-83 CB/SL; 83-86 CU; Sam Monroy: Preston Wilson; RHH; young for class; biggest boom/bust gamble in the draft; Louisville commit; FAVORITE; 6-3, 200 pounds
  3. OF Austin Beck (North Davidson HS, North Carolina): good athlete; plus power upside; plus bat speed; above-average to plus speed; plus arm; CF range; good approach; very similar boom/bust qualities as Jordan Adell; PG comp: Mike Trout (!); Sam Monroy comp: Clint Frazier; North Carolina commit; FAVORITE; RHH; 6-1, 190 pounds
  4. OF/C Steven Williams (Deerfield-Windsor HS, Georgia): born to hit; good approach; plus raw power; plus bat speed; average speed; great athlete; above-average to plus arm; Auburn commit; LHH; FAVORITE; 6-3, 220 pounds
  5. OF Heliot Ramos (Leadership Christian HS, Puerto Rico): plus raw power; above-average to plus speed; above-average to plus arm; easy CF range; plus bat speed; young for class; Florida International commit; younger, arguably toolsier version of Bubba Thompson; RHH; 6-2, 185 pounds
  6. OF Bubba Thompson (McGill-Toolin HS, Alabama): above-average to plus speed; plus athlete; CF range; plus power upside; plus bat speed; all comes down to the hit tool for him; invite to draft sure makes it seem like he has a first round guarantee; Alabama commit; RHH; 6-2, 180 pounds
  7. OF Jonny DeLuca (Aguora HS, California): above-average hit tool; plus speed; plus arm; plus CF range; plus athlete; Oregon commit; BHH; FAVORITE; 6-0, 180 pounds
  8. OF Garrett Mitchell (Orange Lutheran HS, California): plus bat speed; plus to plus-plus speed; above-average to plus raw power, swing not geared for it presently; above-average to plus arm; good athlete; easy CF range; Sam Monroy comp: Jay Bruce; LHH; UCLA commit; FAVORITE; 6-2, 200 pounds
  9. OF Drew Waters (Etowah HS, Georgia): average hit tool, chance for more; plus raw power; plus bat speed; above-average speed to plus speed; above-average to plus arm; good approach; CF range; great athlete; BHH; Georgia commit; FAVORITE; 6-2, 180 pounds
  10. OF Cole Brannen (The Westfield School, Georgia): interesting hit tool; quick bat; average to above-average arm; plus to plus-plus speed; easy CF range; great athlete; good approach; older for class; LHH; Georgia Southern commit; 6-1, 190 pounds
  11. OF Jordan Anderson (Clemens HS, Alabama): good hit tool; above-average raw power; good approach; above-average to plus arm; easy CF range; quick bat; plus athlete; plus speed; Mississippi State commit; RHH; FAVORITE; 6-2, 190 pounds
  12. OF/1B Cole Turney (Travis HS, Texas): plus bat speed; really interesting hit tool, more upside than present value; plus power upside, don’t have to go far to project it; average to above-average arm; strong; average at best speed; could play CF, but feels stretched to me; PG comp: Billy McKinney; reminds me some of Kirilloff, have heard Geoff Jenkins; Monroy comp: Burnitz; PG comp: Jay Bruce; Arkansas commit; LHH; 6-0, 200 pounds
  13. OF Tristen Lutz (Martin HS, Texas): average hit tool; average or better speed; above-average to plus power upside; quick bat; above-average plus arm; good athlete; strong; good approach; should be really good in a corner; Texas commit; RHH; FAVORITE; 6-4, 210 pounds
  14. OF Kyle Jacobsen (Allatoona HS, Georgia): above-average hit tool; quick bat; above-average to plus speed; CF range; great athlete; average arm; heady player; older for class; South Carolina commit; RHH; FAVORITE; 6-0, 185 pounds
  15. OF Quentin Holmes (Monsignor McClancy HS, New York): above-average hit tool; quick bat; plus to plus-plus speed; sneaky power upside; great athlete; average at best arm; easy CF range; good approach; young for class; PG comps: Lewis Brinson, Brian Hunter; RHH; Mississippi State commit; 6-1, 175 pounds
  16. OF/LHP Daniel Cabrera (Parkview Baptist HS, Louisiana): plus hit tool; average or better arm; average at best speed; some power upside; quick bat; 87-89 FB; good CU; LSU commit; LHH; 6-1, 185 pounds
  17. OF Mason House (Whitehouse HS, Texas): plus raw power; above-average speed; above-average arm; plus athlete; another mystery hit tool gamble; LHH; Oklahoma State commit; BA comp: Billy McKinney; 6-2, 190 pounds
  18. OF Baron Radcliff (Norcross HS, Georgia): quick bat; great athlete; plus power upside; average to above-average speed; good approach; FAVORITE; Georgia Tech commit; LHH; 6-4, 215 pounds
  19. OF/LHP Christian Robinson (Viera HS, Florida): above-average to plus power upside; average to above-average arm; average or better speed; good athlete; strong; mid-80s FB; good CB/SL; young for class; LHH; Stanford commit; FAVORITE; 6-2, 200 pounds
  20. OF/LHP Gabriel Rodriguez (Colegio Angel David HS, Puerto Rico): good hit tool; above-average raw power; plus arm; low-90s FB; Florida International commit; LHH; FAVORITE; 6-2, 190 pounds
  21. OF Kevin Watson (Beaverton HS, Oregon): plus athlete; good arm; easy CF range; above-average speed; good approach; Oregon State commit; LHH; FAVORITE; 6-1, 190 pounds
  22. OF Conner Uselton (Southmoore HS, Oklahoma): above-average hit tool; strong; above-average to plus power upside; strong arm; above-average speed; above-average arm; quick bat; good athlete; fits best in a corner; older for class; RHH; Oklahoma State commit; 6-4, 190 pounds
  23. OF/1B Calvin Mitchell (Rancho Bernardo HS, California): really good hit tool, chance for plus; above-average to plus power upside; plus bat speed; good approach; good in a corner; average at best speed; below-average arm; think of him as a better Cornelius Randolph; San Diego commit; LHH; FAVORITE; 6-1, 190 pounds
  24. OF Leugim Castillo (Lancaster HS, New York): above-average power upside; plus to plus-plus speed; quick bat; average arm; great athlete; RHH; Oklahoma commit; 6-3, 220 pounds
  25. OF Kier Meredith (Glenn HS, North Carolina): good approach; plus to plus-plus speed; easy CF range; below-average arm; BA comp: Ben Revere; Clemson commit; LHH; FAVORITE; 5-11, 175 pounds
  26. OF Zachary Daniels (Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy, Georgia): plus bat speed; above-average raw power; great athlete; above-average to plus speed; average at best arm; BA comp: Daz Cameron; Tennessee commit; RHH; 6-1, 185 pounds
  27. OF Jacob Pearson (West Monroe HS, Louisiana): above-average to plus hit tool; above-average to plus speed; power upside; CF range; average at best arm; BA comp: Jake Mangum; old for class; LSU commit; LHH; 5-11, 190 pounds
  28. OF/C Blake Paugh (Chaparral HS, Arizona): good hit tool; plus power upside; average speed; Arizona commit; RHH; 6-2, 200 pounds
  29. OF Johnathan Rodriguez (Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy, Puerto Rico): plus raw power; plus bat speed; above-average to plus arm; young for class; Florida International commit; BHH; 6-3, 180 pounds
  30. OF/1B Oraj Anu (The Next Level Academy, Florida): above-average to plus raw power; plus bat speed; above-average to plus speed; great athlete; below-average arm, limits him to LF presently; BHH; Florida International commit; 6-3, 210 pounds
  31. OF Patrick DeMarco (Winder-Barrow HS, Georgia): above-average power; average to above-average speed, plus for some; above-average arm; CF range; Vanderbilt commit; 5-11, 200 pounds
  32. OF Nelson Velasquez (PJ Education HS, Puerto Rico): plus bat speed; above-average power upside; plus arm; plus speed;
  33. OF Kenny Oyama (California): plus approach; plus speed; great bunter; easy CF range; Loyola Marymount commit; 5-6, 150 pounds
  34. OF/3B Joshua Crouch (Florida): plus raw power; plus bat speed; above-average arm; below-average speed; RHH; Florida International commit
  35. OF Zachary DeLoach (Hebron HS, Texas): quick bat; average to above-average raw power; average speed; average to above-average arm; good athlete; Texas A&M commit; LHH; 6-1, 200 pounds
  36. OF/RHP Jack Schneider (Daviess County HS, Kentucky): plus arm; quick bat; plus to plus-plus speed; average raw power; Hunter Pence comp; older for class; RHH; 94-96 FB; Murray State commit; 6-3, 190 pounds
  37. OF/3B Andres Santana (Doral Academy, Florida): above-average raw power; above-average to plus arm; above-average speed; Florida International commit; RHH; 6-1, 185 pounds
  38. OF/RHP Kamron Fields (Lakeview Centennial HS, Texas): plus athlete; plus speed; easy CF range; plus arm; can also play SS; 90-92 FB; CB; RHH; Texas commit; 6-3, 185 pounds
  39. OF Je’Von Carrier-Ward (Gahr HS, California): quick bat; plus athlete; average to above-average raw power; average speed; below-average arm; Dexter Fowler comp; 2080 comp: Greg Polanco; reminds me a ton of Dom Brown; USC commit; LHH; 6-4, 180 pounds
  40. OF Ian Jenkins (Collins Hill HS, Georgia): plus raw power; above-average to plus arm; slow; older for class; South Carolina commit
  41. OF Gabriel Rivera (Killian HS, Florida): plus raw power; plus arm; average at best speed; Miami commit; RHH; 5-11, 200 pounds
  42. OF Trey Leonard (George Washington HS, Iowa): good hit tool; good speed; strong arm; LHH; Louisville commit; 6-0, 175 pounds
  43. OF Dalton Wingo (Plant City HS, Florida): quick bat; average or better power; plus arm; good speed; good athlete; Central Florida commit; RHH: 6-2, 190 pounds
  44. OF Reese Albert (Jupiter HS, Florida): average raw power; average speed; above-average arm; Florida State commit; LHH: 6-1, 190 pounds
  45. OF/1B Mason Martin (Southridge HS, Washington): plus raw power; LHH; 6-2, 200 pounds
  46. OF/1B Zach Hogueisson (Christian HS, California): plus raw power; locked into LF; Arizona State commit; LHH; 6-4, 200 pounds
  47. OF Timmy Tawa (West Linn HS, Oregon): good athlete; plus speed; average to above-average raw power; CF range; Stanford commit; 6-0, 175 pounds
  48. OF Randy Bednar (Landon HS, Maryland): plus bat speed; power upside; average or better arm; average or better speed; Maryland commit
  49. OF Clayton Keyes (Bishop Carroll SS, Alberta): power upside; good speed; not much speed; below-average arm; young for class; Washington State commit; RHH; 6-1, 215 pounds
  50. OF Tor Sehnert (Peters Township HS, Pennsylvania): average arm; average speed; average power upside; strong; Coastal Carolina commit; RHH; 6-0, 185 pounds

Forgive the incomplete notes below on the remaining prospects listed in alphabetical order…

OF Adam Holland (William Penn Charter, Pennsylvania): good speed; strong arm; RHH; 5-9, 175 pounds

OF Adam Plouffe (St. Michael’s SS, Ontario): strong arm; RHH; 5-10, 180 pounds

OF Alerick Soularie (Texas): good athlete; quick bat; power upside; RHH; Arkansas commit; 6-0, 180 pounds

OF Alexander Almonte (Lawrence HS, Massachusetts): good speed; strong arm; power upside; RHH; 6-1, 180 pounds

OF Allbry Major (North Central HS, Indiana): good speed; strong arm; BHH; 6-5, 200 pounds

OF Angel Gonzalez (Puerto Rico): good hit tool; good speed; strong arm; 6-2, 175 pounds

OF Benjamin McClain (Lee’s Summit West HS, Missouri): good hit tool; good speed; good athlete; LHH; 5-11, 185 pounds

OF Blake Mann (Chaminade College Prep, California): power upside; good speed; strong arm; RHH; 6-1, 180 pounds

OF Bo Majkowski (Johns Creek HS, Georgia): plus arm, very accurate; good athlete

OF Brett Bagus (Brother Rice HS, Illinois): plus speed; RHH; 5-10, 155 pounds

OF Brian Ellis: quick bat; good speed; LHH

OF Bryan Lopez (Puerto Rico): good hit tool

OF Bryce Simon (Cascade HS, Iowa): strong arm; LHH; 6-2, 165 pounds

OF Bryce Teodosio (Mauldin HS, South Carolina): power upside; good athlete; good speed; RHH; 6-3, 190 pounds

OF Caleb Thompson (Texas): good speed; 6-1, 175 pounds

OF Cam Hill: good speed; strong arm

OF Cameron Cratic (Wisconsin): good speed

OF Cameron Norgren (Panther Creek HS, North Carolina): strong arm; BHH; 6-1, 185 pounds

OF Carlos Diaz (Puerto Rico): good athlete; plus speed; strong arm; easy CF range; 6-1, 160 pounds

OF Christophe Senghor (Georgia): good athlete; good speed; strong arm

OF Colin Hall (Georgia): strong arm

OF Connor McCaffery (Iowa City West HS, Iowa): good speed; LHH; Iowa commit; 6-5, 200 pounds

OF Cooper Davis (St. Aloysius Gonzaga SS, Ontario): above-average to plus speed; good defender; little power; LHH; Vanderbilt commit

OF Dane Randall (Iowa City West HS, Iowa): good speed; RHH; 5-8, 170 pounds

OF Daniel Matranga (Archmere Academy, Pennsylvania): good speed; RHH; 6-1, 185 pounds

OF Derrick Odom (Georgia): quick bat

OF Desmond Gates (Bishop Montgomery HS, California): good speed; LHH; 5-10, 160 pounds

OF Donta Williams (Nevada): plus speed; strong arm; plus athlete Arizona commit

OF Ethan Gallagher (Maryland): power upside; strong; RHH; Wake Forest commit

OF Gaoshua Williams (Illinois): good athlete; plus speed; Central Michigan commit

OF Garrett McCarthy (Saint Francis HS, California): quick bat; good speed; strong arm; RHH; 5-8, 165 pounds

OF Ian Diaz (Chestnut Hill Academy, Pennsylvania): power upside; quick bat; RHH; 5-10, 185 pounds

OF Ian Matos (Puerto Rico): good speed; strong arm

OF Isaiah Smith (Battleground HS, Washington): Washington State commit; RHH; 6-3, 190 pounds

OF Jaree Pledger (Walnut Grove HS, Georgia): good speed; strong arm; RHH; 5-10, 200 pounds

OF Jason Rooks (Walton HS, Georgia): Georgia Tech commit

OF Javeon Cody (Georgia): good speed; quick bat; 6-3, 200 pounds

OF Jean Barreto (Puerto Rico): good speed; strong arm

OF Jerry Davis (Grace Prep, Texas): good speed; strong arm; RHH; 6-3, 210 pounds

OF Jesse Franklin (Seattle Prep HS, Washington): above-average to plus speed; Michigan commit; LHH: 6-2, 210 pounds

OF Jimmy Luis Fred Mapakou Djembo (New Jersey): good athlete; plus speed; RHH; 5-11, 180 pounds

OF Joey Wiemer (Michigan): strong arm; 90 FB; Cincinnati commit

OF Jordan Greenway (California): good speed; CF range

OF Jordan Nwogu (Michigan): good speed; strong; Michigan commit; 6-2, 225 pounds

OF Jose Yadiel Martinez (Puerto Rico): good speed; strong arm; 6-0, 160 pounds

OF Judson Ward (Alabama): strong

OF Junior Coleman (Patrick Henry HS, California): good speed; RHH; 5-11, 160 pounds

OF Justin Farmer (Riverview HS, Florida): great athlete; McDaniel comp: Daz Cameron

OF Justin Files (Braintree HS, Massachusetts): good glove; RHH; 5-11, 185 pounds

OF Kaiser Weiss (Oxnard HS, California): quick bat; BHH; 6-0, 170 pounds

OF Keith Hale (Liberty HS, California): strong arm; RHH; 6-1, 180 pounds

OF Kenneth Maisonet (Puerto Rico): good speed; strong arm

OF Kenny Rodriguez (Gaither HS, Florida): power upside; good speed; strong arm; RHH; 6-0, 190 pounds

OF Kobi Wolf (Westfield HS, New Jersey): good hit tool; RHH; 6-0, 165 pounds

OF Lamar Sparks (Seven Lakes HS, Texas): McLennan JC commit; RHH: 6-2, 165 pounds

OF Michael Largey (TNXL HS, Florida): Liberty commit; LHH; 6-3, 180 pounds

OF Michael Ludowig (Briar Woods HS, Virginia): average power; above-average to plus speed; average arm; 88-91 FB; Wake Forest commit

OF Michael Wright (Georgia): plus speed; CF range; 6-2, 185 pounds

OF Mitch Tyse (Colorado): power upside; 6-5, 200 pounds

OF Myles Christian (Olive Branch HS, Mississippi): good athlete; good arm; CF range; Middle Tennessee State commit; LHH; 6-2, 180 pounds

OF Naren Hunter (California): good athlete; strong arm; 6-4, 180 pounds

OF Nate Scantlin (Kansas): good speed; 6-0, 180 pounds

OF Nick Sunday (Collinsville HS, Oklahoma): good speed; RHH; 6-1, 170 pounds

OF Nolan Tressler (Georgia): good speed; Georgia Southern commit; 5-9, 175 pounds

OF Owen Lovell (Cullman HS, Alabama): power upside; average speed; average arm; older for class; Mississippi State commit; 6-4, 225 pounds

OF Patrick Smith (California): power upside; strong; good athlete; LHH; Purdue commit

OF Rashad Collymore (Ontario): good athlete; good speed; BHH

OF Roy Thurman (Indiana): strong; 6-0, 200 pounds

OF Sam Hall (Topsail HS, North Carolina): above-average speed; average arm

OF Sam Stepp (Dalton HS, Georgia): good speed; strong arm; RHH; 5-10, 180 pounds

OF Sean Robinson (Novato HS, California): good speed; good arm; RHH; 6-4, 185 pounds

OF Shanif Hirani (Waterloo SS, Ontario): good speed; strong arm; RHH; 5-9, 160 pounds

OF Shota Barbeau (Georgia): good speed; strong arm; CF range

OF Spencer Lewis (Georgia): good speed; strong arm; power upside

OF Spencer Torkelson (Casa Grande HS, California): plus raw power; good athlete; Arizona State commit; 6-1, 200 pounds

OF Stephen Cotoni (Lenape HS, New Jersey): strong arm; RHH; 5-9, 170 pounds

OF Stephen Knezevich (California): good speed; strong arm

OF Steve Mann (Detroit County HS, Michigan): above-average to plus speed; strong arm; power upside; strong; Duke commit; RHH; 6-0, 190 pounds

OF Tanner Allen (Alabama): good speed; quick bat; good hit tool

OF Terrell Tatum (Houston HS, Tennessee): above-average to plus speed; LHH; 6-0, 165 pounds

OF Tommy Gibson (Williamstown HS, New Jersey): strong arm

OF Tommy Rodriguez (Eastside HS, New Jersey): strong arm; RHH; 5-11, 170 pounds

OF Tora Otsuka (California): good athlete; plus speed; good approach

OF Trevor Ravelli (Beyer HS, California): strong arm; RHH; 5-9, 175 pounds

OF Trey Winget (Utah): good speed; strong arm; good athlete

OF Tyler Chase Wilkerson (South Paulding HS, Georgia): strong arm; BHH; 5-11, 175 pounds

OF Watson Timmons (Argyle HS, Texas): power upside; good speed; LHH; 6-0, 200 pounds

OF William Jeffry (Puerto Rico): good speed; strong arm

OF Zach Huffins (Indiana): good speed; 6-3, 180 pounds

OF/1B Tyler Dearden (Rancocas Valley HS, New Jersey): quick bat; power upside; LF profile; older for class; LHH; Penn State commit

OF/C Beau Hanna (Winder-Barrow HS, Georgia): above-average raw power; RHH; Kennesaw State commit; 6-2, 220 pounds

OF/C Derek Orndorff (Pennsylvania): above-average speed; power upside; CF range; Penn State commit

OF/LHP Josh Hatcher (Lee County HS, Georgia): 83 FB; 70 CU; 70 CB; good command; good athlete; strong arm; Mississippi State commit; LHH; 6-2, 180 pounds

OF/RHP Austin Gardner (Whitewater HS, Georgia): plus athlete; power upside; good speed; strong arm; 88-90 FB; 80 SL; RHH; Alabama State commit; 6-2, 190 pounds

OF/RHP Jacob Nelson (Knox Central HS, Kentucky): plus arm; 88 FB; RHH; 6-1, 200 pounds

OF/RHP Steven Bender (Lexington Catholic HS, Kentucky): 85 FB; CB; CU; RHH; 6-0, 170 pounds

OF/SS Bryson Ward (South Carolina): College of Charleston commit

2017 MLB Draft – HS Shortstops

  1. SS Brady McConnell (Merritt Island HS, Florida): above-average to plus raw power; plus bat speed; above-average to plus arm; good athlete; above-average to plus speed; mature yet inconsistent approach; compares favorably with recent Florida prep shortstops, reminds me of Rodgers-lite; those who saw him at his best and are willing to ride this out could be rewarded; older for class; Florida commit; 6-2, 175 pounds
  2. SS/2B Jeter Downs (Pace HS, Florida): great athlete; above-average hit tool; average to above-average raw power; plus bat speed; above-average to plus speed; above-average to plus arm strength; really good approach; Miami commit; FAVORITE; RHH; 5-11, 180 pounds
  3. SS Nick Allen (Francis Parker HS, California): plus glove; plus range; great approach; average power upside far outstrips what you’d think when you first see him; average to above-average speed, has turned in some plus times; great athlete; average to above-average arm, plus for some (I buy); some shades of Kevin Newman if you believe in bat; older for class; divisive prospect (arm, power); PG comp: Dustin Pedroia; RHH; FAVORITE; 5-8, 150 pounds
  4. SS/3B Andrew Papantonis (Delbarton HS, New Jersey): above-average raw power; average to above-average speed; above-average to plus arm; good approach; impressive defensive tools; good athlete; coming back from torn ACL; RHH; Virginia commit; FAVORITE; 6-1, 190 pounds
  5. SS Noah Campbell (Cardinal Gibbons HS, North Carolina): good hit tool; above-average raw power; plus to plus-plus speed; average arm; great athlete; South Carolina commit; BHH; FAVORITE; 6-1, 185 pounds
  6. SS Matthew Golda (Inspiration Academy, Florida): plus defensive tools; average arm, plays up (above-average); good athlete; average speed; good approach; RHH; Florida Atlantic commit; FAVORITE; 6-0, 180 pounds
  7. SS Ricardo De La Torre (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Puerto Rico): above-average to plus raw power; plus arm; average speed; serious defensive upside, but still makes some mental errors; Auburn commit; FAVORITE; 6-2, 175 pounds
  8. SS/OF Adam Hall (AB Lucas SS, Ontario): plus raw power; above-average to plus speed; really quick bat; intriguing defensive tools; good approach; RHH; Sam Monroy comp: Mark Ellis; 6-0, 175 pounds
  9. SS Jacob Amaya (South Hills HS, California): above-average hit tool; average power; good defensive tools; above-average arm; Cal State Fullerton commit; RHH; 6-0, 200 pounds
  10. SS Greg Jones (Cary HS, North Carolina): average power upside; good athlete; plus speed; plus arm; old for class; seemingly every year I comp a guy to Roman Quinn and that’s Jones this year; UNC Wilmington commit; BHH; 5-11, 170 pounds
  11. SS Chris Seise (West Orange HS, Florida): average raw power; plus speed; plus arm; good defensive tools; BHH; Central Florida commit; 6-3, 185 pounds
  12. SS Hayden Cantrelle (Teurlings Catholic HS, Louisiana): good hit tool; plus speed; above-average arm; BHH; Louisiana commit; 5-10, 175 pounds
  13. SS Alika Williams (Rancho Bernardo HS, California): plus defensive tools; good athlete; average speed; sneaky pop; BA comp: Nick Ahmed; Arizona State commit; RHH; 6-2, 175 pounds
  14. SS Andrew Swift (Hamilton HS, Arizona): above-average to plus speed; good defensive tools; strong arm; Arizona State commit; 6-1, 150 pounds
  15. SS Jake Holmes (Pinnacle HS, Arizona): above-average arm; plus speed; good athlete; Arizona State commit; RHH; 6-2, 200 pounds
  16. SS/RHP Cooper Swanson (Canterbury HS, Florida): above-average to plus arm; average speed; 84-87 FB; 71-73 CB; Florida State commit; BA comp: Logan Warmoth;
  17. SS Dondrae Bremmer (Crothers SS, Ontario): quick bat; good approach; great athlete; good speed; strong arm; Cincinnati commit; LHH; 6-1, 175 pounds
  18. SS/2B Kyler McMahan (Lynwood HS, Washington): really good defensive tools; great athlete; average arm; Oregon State commit; 5-11, 170 pounds
  19. SS Francis Villaman (Olympia HS, Florida): power upside; plus athlete; good glove; St. John’s River JC commit; 6-1, 185 pounds
  20. SS Hal Hughes (Norman North HS, Oklahoma): good defensive tools; good speed; good approach; FAVORITE; LSU commit; 5-11, 165 pounds

Forgive the incomplete notes below on the remaining prospects listed in alphabetical order…

SS Alejandro Amador (Texas): good speed

SS Andre Colon (Puerto Rico): strong arm; good speed; 6-1, 175 pounds

SS Andres Gonzalez (De La Salle SS, Ontario): good speed; RHH; 6-1, 165 pounds

SS Anthony Desantis (California): good defensive tools; strong arm

SS Anthony Servideo (Jupiter HS, Florida): good defensive tools; strong arm

SS Braiden Ward (El Capitan HS, California): good athlete; good speed; LHH; 5-10, 150 pounds

SS Brett Borgogno (California): good speed; good defensive tools; good approach

SS Brock Hummel (Edmond Memorial HS, Oklahoma): good speed; RHH; 5-9, 150 pounds

SS Buddy Fultz (Johns Creek HS, Georgia): power upside; BHH; 6-0, 185 pounds

SS Caleb Balgaard (Howell HS, Michigan): good athlete; RHH; 6-3, 185 pounds

SS Cameron Irvine (Spotswood HS, Virginia): good athlete; RHH; 6-3, 175 pounds

SS Chris Alleyne (Chestnut Hill Academy, Pennsylvania): above-average arm

SS Chris Lanzilli (Massachusetts): power upside; Wake Forest commit

SS Devonte Brown (Georgia): good athlete; good defender; strong arm

SS Dondrae Bremner (Crothers SS, Ontario): good speed; good defensive tools; LHH; 6-2, 175 pounds

SS Freddie Zamora (Killlian HS, Florida): plus defensive tools; above-average arm

SS Gabriel Holt (Georgia): good speed

SS Gary McCoy (California): good defensive tools

SS Jack Blomgren (Wisconsin): Michigan commit

SS Jack Winkler (Chatfield HS, Colorado): good defensive tools; RHH; 6-1, 175 pounds

SS Jarficur Parker (Texas): good speed

SS Jason Swan (Florida): power upside; good athlete; Georgia Southern commit

SS Joab Gonzalez (Puerto Rico): good athlete; good defensive tools; strong arm

SS Joe Routhier (Nashua South HS, New Hampshire): RHH; 5-9, 160 pounds

SS John Louis Rodriguez Perez (Puerto Rico): strong arm

SS John Marc Mullins: good athlete; good speed; BHH

SS Jordan Westburg (New Braunfels HS, Texas): plus speed; good athlete; Mississippi State commit; RHH; 6-2, 190 pounds

SS Jose Marcano (Puerto Rico): strong arm; good speed; quick bat

SS Joshua Romero (California): power upside

SS Kevin Flood (Cathedral HS, Indiana): power upside; quick bat; good speed; strong arm; RHH; 6-2, 180 pounds

SS Liam Bendo (Garnet Valley HS, Pennsylvania): LHH; 6-0, 170 pounds

SS Luis DeLeon (Moses Brown HS, Rhode Island): power upside; good speed; RHH; 5-10, 175 pounds

SS Mason De La Cruz (Washington): steady glove

SS Matt Shilling (Wissahickon HS, Pennsylvania): LHH; 5-10, 165 pounds

SS Michael Pedota (The Hun HS, New Jersey): strong arm; RHH; 5-10, 165 pounds

SS Nicholas Israel (Bishop Gorman HS, Nevada): good athlete; BHH; 5-11, 175 pounds

SS Nickelas Atkins (California): good speed; steady glove

SS Obie Ricumstrict (Mt. Pleasant HS, Michigan): good athlete; strong arm; RHH; 6-1, 165 pounds

SS Peter Ahn (Wisconsin): Michigan State commit

SS Reece Easterling (Texas): strong arm

SS Thomas Grilli (Ontario): power upside

SS Trei Cruz (Episcopal HS, Texas): average or better arm; good defender; average at best speed; BHH

SS Trent Brown (Victoria East HS, Texas): plus athlete; good glove

SS Trevor Windisch (Huntington Beach HS, California): good glove; RHH; Oregon commit; 5-10, 170 pounds

SS Tristan Capocci (Georgia): power upside; good speed; average to above-average arm; 6-0, 200 pounds

SS Tristan Hanoian (Orange Lutheran HS, California): good glove; LHH; TCU commit; 5-9, 160 pounds

SS Tyler Bosetti (California): strong arm; Nevada commit

SS Tyler Hillman (Pella HS, Iowa): good athlete; good speed; good arm; RHH; 6-2, 185 pounds

SS Zachary Baptist (Arizona): good speed

SS/2B Daniel Harris (Georgia): good defensive tools; good speed; Eastern Kentucky commit

SS/2B Jonny Homza (South Anchorage HS, Alaska): above-average power upside; Central Arizona JC commit; RHH; 6-1, 180 pounds

SS/2B Santino Rivera (California): good defensive tools; Long Beach State commit

SS/3B Luis Guerrero (The Loomis Chaffee HS, New York): good speed; strong arm; RHH; 5-11, 180 pounds

SS/OF Shane Shifflett (Venice HS, Florida): Florida commit

SS/RHP Alec Flemetakis (Hurricane HS, Utah): good athlete; 86 FB; good CB/SL; RHH; 5-10, 160 pounds

SS/RHP Cole Stetzar (Pennsylvania): strong arm; 86-89 FB; good upper-70s SL; 6-0, 180 pounds

SS/RHP Garrett Blaylock (Roberson HS, North Carolina): power upside; 89 FB; Vanderbilt commit

SS/RHP Raleigh Pigg (Service HS, Alaska): good athlete; 86 FB; RHH; 6-4, 190 pounds

SS/RHP Tate Pennington (Butler HS, North Carolina):

2017 MLB Draft – HS Third Basemen

  1. 3B/SS Mark Vientos (American Heritage HS, Florida): plus approach; quick bat; above-average to plus arm; above-average to plus power; young for class; below-average speed; above-average defensive upside; old McDaniel comp: Manny Machado; RHH; Miami commit; FAVORITE; 6-3, 190 pounds
  2. 3B Nick Egnatuk (Immaculata HS, New Jersey): plus power upside; plus bat speed; above-average to plus arm; average or better speed; good athlete; plus defensive tools; RHH; Pittsburgh commit; FAVORITE; 6-2, 190 pounds
  3. 3B/RHP Ryan Vilade (Frisco HS, Texas): above-average to plus raw power; above-average to plus arm; average speed; has also played 2B; RHH; Oklahoma State commit; 6-2, 200 pounds
  4. 3B/OF Jayson Gonzalez (Bishop Amat HS, California): above-average to plus power upside; above-average arm; average speed; strong; good defensive tools; RHH; Vanderbilt commit; 6-2, 200 pounds
  5. 3B/1B Blake Diggle (IMG Academy, Florida): plus bat speed; above-average to plus raw power; plus arm; steady glove; good approach; LHH; FAVORITE; 6-2, 220 pounds
  6. 3B/OF Jason Willow (Lambrick Park SS, British Columbia): power upside; good athlete; above-average to plus arm; good defensive tools; average at best speed; RHH; UC Santa Barbara commit; 6-2, 175 pounds
  7. 3B/SS Tanner Morris (Miller HS, Virginia): good hit tool; average raw power; strong arm; LHH; Virginia commit; 6-2, 190 pounds
  8. 3B/2B Ben Ramirez (Eastlake HS, California): plus raw power; average or better arm; average or better speed; can also play SS; USC commit; LHH; 6-3, 180 pounds
  9. 3B Raymond Gil (Gulliver Prep, Florida): plus bat speed; above-average raw power; above-average arm; average speed; good athlete; RHH; Miami commit; 6-1, 200 pounds
  10. 3B Buddy Kennedy (Millville HS, New Jersey): good hit tool; above-average to plus speed; average arm; steady glove; good athlete; North Carolina commit; 5-11, 215 pounds
  11. 3B/SS Adisyn Coffey (Delta HS, Indiana): intriguing hit tool; average at best power; plus speed; good approach; average defensive tools, could stick at SS; average to above-average arm; good athlete; Arizona State commit; FAVORITE; RHH; 6-2, 180 pounds
  12. 3B Brett Cain (China Spring HS, Texas): good speed; good approach; good athlete; unconventional swing, but he makes it work; FAVORITE; 6-5, 200 pounds
  13. 3B/SS Adam Oviedo (Alvarado HS, Texas): strong arm; above-average power upside; good defensive tools; TCU commit; RHH; 6-0, 185 pounds
  14. 3B/C Casey Schmitt (Eastlake HS, California): above-average power upside; above-average arm; San Diego State commit; 6-0, 190 pounds
  15. 3B/RHP Davis Schneider (Eastern HS, New Jersey): good hit tool; Rutgers commit; RHH; 5-10, 190 pounds
  16. 3B/SS Gage Workman (Basha HS, Arizona): power upside; young for class; Arizona State commit; BHH; 6-3, 180 pounds
  17. 3B/RHP Paxton Wallace (Greenbrier HS, Arkansas): power upside; strong arm; Wichita State commit; RHH; 6-1, 210 pounds
  18. 3B/SS Jamal O’Guinn (Buchanan HS, California): power upside; strong arm; average at best speed; USC commit; RHH; 6-3, 200 pounds
  19. 3B Bryson Bloomer (Paul Laurence Dunbar HS, Kentucky): power upside; good glove; RHH; 6-1, 200 pounds
  20. 3B Izaya Ono-Fullard (Iowa City West HS, Iowa): good hit tool; steady glove; RHH; 5-11, 200 pounds

Forgive the incomplete notes below on the remaining prospects listed in alphabetical order…

3B Alexander Tappen (Wissahickon HS, Pennsylvania): good hit tool; good athlete; Virginia commit

3B Brandon Holdren (Texas): strong arm

3B Brennan Crooms (Metter HS, Georgia): good athlete; strong arm; RHH; 6-0, 190 pounds

3B Brian Williams (Georgia): good defensive tools; strong arm

3B Caleb Farmer (California): good athlete; strong arm; RHH

3B Donivan Williams (Richards HS, Illinois): good glove; strong arm; great athlete; 6-0, 200 pounds

3B Dylan Ramirez (California): strong; strong arm

3B Harrison Spohn (Damien HS, California): good athlete; RHH; 6-1, 185 pounds

3B Jonathan Schiffer (California): quick bat; good defensive tools; Washington commit; 6-1, 185 pounds

3B Jonathan Windham (Texas): good athlete; average speed; average arm

3B Joseph Craig (Blanchard HS, Oklahoma): strong arm; RHH; 6-2, 200 pounds

3B Mason Streater (Boiling Springs HS, South Carolina): strong arm

3B Matt Beserra (Redondo Union HS, California): good defender; RHH; 5-9, 150 pounds

3B Nick Wohlbold (Missouri): good speed; strong arm; 87-90 FB; 72-76 CU; 72-74 CB

3B Pat Pitzer (Northgate HS, Georgia): power upside; RHH; 6-0, 190 pounds

3B Quentin Selma (Buchanan HS, California): above-average arm; good athlete

3B Reid Johnston (Rocky Mount Academy, North Carolina): LHH; NC State commit; 6-2, 185 pounds

3B Ryan Plentzas (Manchester Central HS, New Hampshire): power upside; RHH; 6-1, 200 pounds

3B Shawn Ross (Puerto Rico): power upside; plus arm; good defensive tools; 6-0, 180 pounds

3B Trent Sinkfield (Florida): good defender

3B/RHP Isaac Segura (St. Andrew’s Episcopal HS, Texas): strong arm; 85 FB; RHH; 5-11, 180 pounds

3B/RHP Jesus Aldaz (Arizona): power upside; strong arm

3B/SS Jecorrah Arnold (Clarke Central HS, Georgia): good athlete; RHH; Lipscomb commit; 6-1, 185 pounds

3B/SS Sam Faith (Illinois): strong arm; 6-3, 185 pounds

3B/SS Zach Clayton (Wisconsin): Oregon State commit

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