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Devils 2023 MLB Draft Thread(Mock Draft 1)


devils1854

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Its still going to be next weekend sometime before I have anything of substance out, but Ive done a good bit of research this week, and I found out I knew a lot more about this draft class once I started really digging in. 

 

College Hitters

The first thing I want to talk about is the hitting in the college game currently. The game is close to being back to Gorilla Ball of the 90s. There is no stopping offenses in 2023 between the ball flying further, bat technology(again), and the new rules to pick up the pace of the game. Its hard finding combined stats from the past. What I did find on D1 Baseball was individual stats from the past three years. In 2021, there were 10 players with more than 20 Home Runs in college baseball. There were 180 players that had an OPS over 1.000. In 2022, the number of players with 20+ home runs jumped to 39 and there were 257 players with their OPS over 1.000. So far this year, 32 players have hit 20+ home runs with one regular season weekend to go, conference tournaments, and the NCAA Tournament. There should be at least 15 more players reach 20 before the end of the year. What about OPS in 2023? Currently, there are 363 players that have an OPS over 1.000. Ridiculous. Be aware because you will hear over and over that player X is walking more now than striking out. Huge turnaround after huge hit concerns from the past. Ive legitimately heard it used more than 10 times this week when describing different players and why they are rising up boards. Ive only heard the hitting conditions in 2023 mentioned once. So either the experts are just ignoring the data or arent even considering it when looking at these prospects, and if they arent taking it into account, its a huge mistake. I have a big feeling there will be some huge busts coming from this class because of it. 

Crews vs Skenes

 

This is a debate that I dont currently have an answer for. I started out with info on college bats because its very relevant here. Crews was a performer for two years before 2023, so there arent too many concerns with the bat, but if you are drafting 1-1, you dont want to be wrong. The hit tool is the money maker and I have a 70 on Crews. He has always demonstrated knowledge of the strike zone and can punish the ball in any quadrant. As a freshman, his K/BB was 44/39. Last year, 56/42. This year its an absurd 31/56. We are at the question I posed in my first paragraph. How much of this improvement is the result of the era of college baseball we are currently in? The hit tool is excellent, but what if its a 60 or 65 and not a 70? Is he the best player in the draft over Skenes? Surprisingly, the power is not up from Crews. He is a little behind in counting numbers from both previous years, but I do think that with his abilities with the bat, he should get to most of his power in games. Dylan is a definite CFer. He has erased those questions these past two seasons. Its not Gold Glove defense, but it should at least be average.

What about Paul Skenes? Before the season, it was thought that Chase Dollander might be the best pitching prospect since Stephen Strasburg, but with him struggling, and the pure domination by Skenes, many give the title to the LSU righty now. The fastball top of the scale. Its an 80. He's averaging right around 98 mph on the pitch. He's keeping it late into games. The shape of the pitch is great, and with his length, he gets great extension, and carry on the ball. It misses tons of bats. The slider is his second pitch, and its improved during his season at LSU. It has two plane break, and he can manipulate the spin to either get a true sweeper slider or he can throw it with vertical break. It looks like an easy 65 on the scale. Skenes hasnt had to use his change up much this season, but he does show nice feel for it, and it has great fade to it against lefty hitters. Its solidly average to above average at times, but he has enough understanding of the pitch that I could see it becoming plus with the right coaching. Skenes is 6'6 and 235 pounds. Before coming to LSU, he was a two way player, played catcher for Air Force at times, and could have been drafted for the bat. He's an athletic kid that hasnt turned 21 yet. Its no surprise that because of this athleticism, Paul has shown no problems replicating his delivery, and shows great command for his size. Finally, lets talk season stats. Bats have ruled college baseball in 2023, but its not because of Skenes. He has thrown 86 innings this year and has a 1.77 ERA, 164 Ks, and a .161 batting average against. 

So who is the best LSU player in the draft? Conventional thinking is that you take the position player. There is a lot more injury risk with a pitcher, and how many 70 hit, 60 power CFers are there in professional baseball? How many pitchers are there in professional baseball with an 80 fastball, two other potential plus pitches, and plus command?

My Favorite Prospect

Once you take a look at my prospect rankings, you will see University of Florida LFer Wyatt Langford in my top 5. Its 65 power with 60 hit tool. Langford has above average speed but not much of an arm, so he will probably stay in left, but many scouts were hoping to get a chance to see him play center this year to see if he could do it. That never happened. What if I told you that there was another college hitter that has a 65 hit tool and 60 power and could possibly play left as well? That guy should be ranked near Langford right?

Meet Nolan Schanuel of Florida Atlantic. Currently, Schanuel plays first for Florida Atlantic, but has seen limited action in left. He isnt the most athletic player in the world, but he looks much better in 2023. Its descent straight line speed, and he has shown great reaction time and short bursts of quickness while playing very good defense in first. He should get a chance in left at the next level and he should be able to stay there. As a freshman, he hit .342 with a 1.015 OPS. He followed that up with a .369 average last year and 1.134 OPS, and has gone crazy in 2023 at .465 and 1.522 at the plate. He walked more than he struck out both as a freshman and sophomore and has a ridiculous 14 Ks to 65 BBs this season. Some advanced data Ive heard on Schanuel the past week(maybe BA). On all fastballs he has seen over 92 mph this year, he has barreled 93%. He has swung and missed twice this year on all fastballs in the zone. He punishes the baseball and doesnt miss. Worried about him playing at a small school? Last year in the Cape he started off very slow and was a little unlucky, and he only ended his 36 games with a .200 batting average, but he was a much better player in the second half of the year and the batting eye never waivered. He walked 24 times and struck out 24 times in 155 plate appearances. 15.2% for each. Lastly, Nolan has a very weird set up at the plate. Imagine Craig Counsell with the hands high over his head and the bat straight up in the air. Thats exactly what Schanuel does. I see absolutely no issues with it. He has quick hands and gets everything in position in time to do damage. Its a non issue in my opinion. 

Wyatt Langford 60H, 65P, 55S, 50D. Nolan Schanuel 65H, 60P, 50S, 45D. Langford is a consensus top 5 prospect. Schanuel might be a consensus top 50 prospect. 

 

Will probably have some rankings in a week and maybe a mock, but until then, here are a few high schoolers I like without context

 

Edited by devils1854
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How much of the uptick in bats do you attribute to the 2020 draft only being 5 rounds?  There had to be a bunch of high school bats who likely would have been drafted and gone pro if they were able to play their 2020 season and if the draft was longer than 5 rounds. Now all of those guys are juniors and absolutely mashing the ball.  Oddly it doesn't seem to be the same case with pitchers which means it could be nothing and relates more to the things you mentioned. 

Also, in a time in which bats are so dominant, Skenes is that much more impressive IMO.  To be able to shut down good teams and players in an era the ball jumps off the bats and guys are squeezing the strike zone with more walks than Ks, Skenes has an insane 10.93/1 K to walk ratio in the SEC.  Also is there any chance he hits again in the pros? Given the way Ohtani has played and the impact he has made do you think someone lets him DH for a while to see if its a viable bat as he works through the minors?  

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A fellow Schanuel Truther!  I told another Cubs fan that I would have no problem with taking him at 13, depending on the board, and he called me crazy.  This kid is going to hit.

But my "realistic" hope for the Cubs at 13 is Arjun Nimmala.  I'm a huge fan of this kid.

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On 5/23/2023 at 11:10 AM, hrubes20 said:

A fellow Schanuel Truther!  I told another Cubs fan that I would have no problem with taking him at 13, depending on the board, and he called me crazy.  This kid is going to hit.

But my "realistic" hope for the Cubs at 13 is Arjun Nimmala.  I'm a huge fan of this kid.

Id take Schanuel as high as #6. Its partly because I fell in love with the Kyle Manzardo profile during the offseason and I definitely see some Schanuel in Manzardo. If I have Manzardo as a top 40 prospect in baseball and Schanuel has similar tools but can play left field, that should make Schanuel a slam dunk first rounder. He's going to "fall" to Tampa and they are going to laugh all the way to the podium. 

I really like Nimmala. He is probably the most raw high school prospect I have as a first rounder, but I fell in love with one swing because of his shoulders. Those huge round boulders that he has on that frame just scream special. Sometimes you can just look at a kid. I do love his hand eye coordination. Growing up playing cricket must have really helped there. 

I honestly havent thought of a mock past pick #5 yet, so Im not even sure who I would look at for the Cubs. 

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On 5/22/2023 at 8:23 AM, Sllim Pickens said:

How much of the uptick in bats do you attribute to the 2020 draft only being 5 rounds?  There had to be a bunch of high school bats who likely would have been drafted and gone pro if they were able to play their 2020 season and if the draft was longer than 5 rounds. Now all of those guys are juniors and absolutely mashing the ball.  Oddly it doesn't seem to be the same case with pitchers which means it could be nothing and relates more to the things you mentioned. 

Also, in a time in which bats are so dominant, Skenes is that much more impressive IMO.  To be able to shut down good teams and players in an era the ball jumps off the bats and guys are squeezing the strike zone with more walks than Ks, Skenes has an insane 10.93/1 K to walk ratio in the SEC.  Also is there any chance he hits again in the pros? Given the way Ohtani has played and the impact he has made do you think someone lets him DH for a while to see if its a viable bat as he works through the minors?  

Honestly, I think its a little bit of about ten different things coming together the past couple years. There are a few guys I can think of like Crews, Kyle Teel, Corey Collins, Enrique Bradfield, etc. that probably could have gone in a regular draft, but I think Crews, Teel, and maybe Bradfield were going to college either way. First, players are bigger, faster, and even college kids are using all scientific data to get better. Pitcher velocity being up can be contributed to home runs with a aluminum bat. The bat itself does play a roll. Its not a super bat from the 90s but its more of a plus to a hitter than a detriment bat from a decade ago. The ball is different. It is flying more, and it tracks with a variation being put in place in 2022. Change of pace is a factor. College kids dont have refined body control and routines like professionals. Making them speed up, even if they are used to it, will increase mistakes. The last thing that I think is very important is the strike zone. It has been more streamlined with the professional zone, and thats not a good thing for college baseball. These kids do not have control, let alone command, and you are shrinking the zone on them. Walks are up big time and strike outs are down in a lot of places. Paul Skenes, Rhett Lowder, Josh Hartle. Guys like this arent having issues pitching. They are incredibly talented, but they also throw strikes.

I dont think Skenes wants to hit. He came to LSU knowing he would be giving up hitting to work on pitching. There still really arent many players in the minors that do both. Guys like Masyn Wynn are immediately put in a box and you dont really come out, even though the talent is there. I think it will be interesting to see if a Bryce Eldridge, high schooler from VA, plays both ways. He is a legit top 50 player both ways. Cayden Grice is another guy Im curious about. He's finally pitched in 23 and is actually a descent prospect. Super raw, but I would take him top five rounds to see what he can do concentrating on pitching, but he wants to hit, and he might have 75-80 power, but guys that strike out in college do not translate to the pros and I dont care that he improved in 23, his first two years were undraftable bad. 

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According to the gun on tv, Skenes was 96-98 on his first few pitches of the night tonight and never hit 99 in the first. Im worried something is wrong and the announcers come out in the second and say the gun might not be correct and that trackman says that Skenes hit 103 in the first tonight. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
9 hours ago, beekay414 said:

What are the odds the Pirates take Skenes over Crews?

Its possible, but with the Pirates history of taking hitters in the first under this leadership, its more likely Max Clark is #1 than Skenes. I could see another 2021 type year for the club where they saved money on Henry Davis and ended up getting a haul(at the time) of Anthony Solomento, Bubba Chandler, and Lonnie White. 

It was the basis of my question earlier that @Sllim Pickens answered and Ill answer here. If the Pirates do go underslot at #1 and take Max Clark that could save them about 2.5 million since Clark is being projected at #5 to the Twins and thats the difference between slots. The Pirates do not have a Competitive Balance A, so their next pick is at #42. Ive heard they might try to float Thomas White down to that spot since he had a bad start with tons of evaluators present back in May. That slot is 2 million, so you could possibly give him 4.5 there. 

Who would you rather have? Clark and White. Dylan Crews and Cam Johnson, another high school lefty that is projected to go around pick #42 and you might save about 500k signing Crews. Or Paul Skenes with that first pick and I said Brice Matthews at #42 out of Nebraska. A proven middle of the diamond prospect thats similar to ones theyve taken before. Youll probably end up saving about the same as Crews with this pick. 

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PROSPECT RANKINGS

Starting off the rankings with the corners. Will hit the middle of the field next, with pitchers and catchers reporting last. Ill have my top 100 after that. In total, Ive looked at about 160 players with about 150 ranked. Lastly, will be my first mock and Im not sure if I will be going chalk at #1 or the chaos pick.

*Best two tools listed with player

FIRST BASE
1.Tre Morgan||1B/COF||LSU
50/65D, 40/55H
2.Ralphy Velazquez||1B/C||Hunting Beach, CA
30/55H, 30/55P
3.LuJames Groover III||1B/3B||North Carolina St
35/60H, 25/45P
4.Brock Vradenburg||1B||Michigan State
35/55H, 30/50P
5.CJ Kayfus||1B/COF||Miami
35/50H, 50/50S
6.Garrett Forrester||1B||Oregon State
35/55H, 30/50D

As usual, there isnt much in terms of first basemen. Your future major leaguers at the position are currently playing other positions. There's also the possibility of a few DHs here as well. Tre Morgan out of LSU is the easy #1 for me, and a possible top 50 player. For a 1B to be that high on my board, there has to be something special and with Morgan, its the athleticism. He has played LF for LSU this year and could be adequate there, but with a fringe arm. At first, he is a gold glover and a candidate for best defensive player at his position. There's also speed in the profile and getting any plus from that tool at the position is a nice surprise. The bat. He's not going to have a ton of power. In fact, the exit velos arent great. Tre has shown a great knowledge of the zone during his whole career in college. He doesnt strike out. He will take a walk. He sprays the ball all over the field. He isnt a prototypical first base prospect, but if he puts up the line of .275/.350/.400, 10 HR, 10 SB, and gold glove defense, youll take it on your team.... Ralphy Velazquez has a physically developed 6'3 body that will hope to get the chance to catch at the next level, but he projects as a replacement level defender there, so the move to first is very likely, and a further move to DH is not out of the question in the future. Velasquez is going to be paid for the bat. Some organizations are going to see plus power in the profile, and this is coming from a spread out stance with little to no stride.... LuJames(Gino) Groover's position is hitter. He hit in his freshman season at Charlotte, and he was one of the best hitters in the ACC at North Carolina State the past two years. He gets the barrel on everything in the zone and hits the ball with authority to all parts of the field. He doesnt get any loft hitting the ball, so we might not see many homers from Groover. I would not be surprised if Groover is moved all over the field in search for a position, but his arm is fringe at best and there isnt much speed or quickness, so first is his likely future position, and he is another guy that could see the DH in his future. 

THIRD BASE
1.Brayden Taylor||3B||TCU
35/55P, 35/55D
2.Yohandy Morales||3B||Miami
35/60P, 35/50H 
3.Jacob Gonzalez||3B/SS||Ole Miss
35/55H, 35/50D
4.Jake Gelof||3B||Virginia
35/60P, 30/50H
5.Brock Wilken||3B||Wake Forest
40/70P, 30/45H 
6.Aidan Miller||3B||JW Mitchell, FL(INJ)
30/65P, 45/40S
7.Eric Bitonti||3B/SS||Aquinas, CA
30/60P, 50/50S
8.Mac Horvath||3B/COF||North Carolina
60/60S, 35/55P
9.Myles Naylor||3B||St Joan of Arc, ON
25/60P, 45/40S
10.Cooper Pratt||3B/SS||Magnolia Heights, MS
50/50S, 30/50D

Brayden Taylor is a guy that intrigues me because I think there could be more offense in his body. Two very good years at TCU put him on the map, but he struggled in 2023 and was down to .233 on March 25. It looked like he was going after home runs too much and showed more swing and miss than he did in his first two seasons. Its June 14th, TCU is in the College World Series, and Taylor's average is up to .314. Although I do not have plus on either his bat or power, I do believe there is a balance where he could flirt with .300 and have 20 home runs in the majors, but with the struggles his showed when he tried to bring more power into his game does worry me that it could be either or at the next level.... The next four guys are all college performers and are all ranked within ten spaces of each other in my overall rankings. Yohandy Morales is a name that has been known to evaluators for years now. He was good during his first two years at Miami, but has gone to a new level in 2023 hitting .408 with an OPS of 1.187. Morales Kd 55 times this year meaning his average on balls in play was .529. Thats ridiculous. Im not sold on the bat at all. The power is definitely plus, and I think he can be at least average defensively. Where is that hit tool going to land?... I dont have the numbers, and Ill gladly change my opinion if I am wrong, but I dont see Jacob Gonzalez impacting the ball with power at the next level. I just dont see elite exit velocities when I watch Gonzalez with the naked eye.... Jake Gelof is coming out just a couple years after his brother was taken in the second round by Oakland. Jake isnt the same type of prospect as his brother. He is a big swinging power hitter with a few swing concerns. There is also the chance that he might not be able to stick at third. He might have to go across the diamond to first. I dont see that as a necessity yet, and its possible that he could stick.... Brock Wilken has hit 31 home runs this year and is the all time leader in the ACC. The power is almost off the scale. Its possibly the best in the draft. Everything else is a huge question mark. I am not a fan of his swing set up, his swing path, or really anything about it. I think there is a real possibility he struggles at the next level. His huge arm is going to keep him at third, but he is not a great athlete, so dont expect much from him there.... A broken bone in the hand cost Aidan Miller most of his senior season. He did enough last summer to position himself as a potential first rounder this year. He has a physically advanced 6'2 210 pound body that absolutely launches baseballs. Its plus power now with maybe even more to come. I dont currently believe in the hit tool. There is currently a little swing and miss and I am not a fan of his swing as it is currently constructed. Its long and has a slight hitch. Miller is already a big guy and not the most athletic, so there is the worry that he will have to move to first. 

CORNER OUTFIELD
1.Wyatt Langford||COF||Florida
40/65P, 35/60H
2.Walker Jenkins||COF||South Brunswick, NC
35/65P, 30/60H
3.Nolan Schanuel||COF/1B||Florida Atlantic
40/65H, 35/60P
4.Will Gasparino||COF||Harvard-Westlake, CA
30/60P, 60/55S
5.Bryce Eldridge||COF/1B/RHP||James Madison, VA
30/60P, 50/45S, 45/60FB, 45/55SL
6.George Wolkow||COF||Downers Grove North, IL
30/65P, 30/50D
7.Chase Davis||COF||Arizona
35/60P, 55/55S
8.Colton Ledbetter||COF||Mississippi State
35/55H, 50/50S
9.Jace Bohrofen||COF||Arkansas
35/60P, 30/50D
10.Jared Dickey||COF/C||Tennessee
35/50P, 30/50H 
11.Kemp Alderman||COF||Ole Miss
40/65P, 30/50D
12.Slade Wilks||COF||Southern Miss
40/70P, 45/45S
13.Brandon Winokur||COF||Edison, CA
30/55P, 25/50D
14.TayShaun Walton||COF||IMG Academy, FL
55/55S, 20/50P
15.Travis Honeyman||COF||Boston College
55/55S, 30/50D

The power coming from Wyatt Langfords bat rivals Brock Wilken and others for the best in the class. Huge muscle filled arms with a short and compact swing lead to mammoth home runs at the University of Florida. That compact swing helps Langford make consistent contact. His knowledge of the strike zone leads to a number of walks and will be an asset at the next level even if he does tend to swing and miss a little. Its an elite hitting profile, but Langford is not at the top of the rankings because Langford is a left fielder. He has excellent straight line speed but he does not use it well. His arm is below average and will prevent him from playing right. Some evaluators believed that Langford could play center if given the chance, and many thought that was where he would play during his junior year at Florida. He ended up playing left for most of the season until recently, where he has been given some innings in center, and the results have been poor. His value is dinged slightly for not being able to play the position....Walker Jenkins had already been in the top five of draft boards before his senior season. He came out and played center, where he wasnt bad at all, but he still profiles as a solid right fielder. He also hit for a lot of power this spring and showed growth in his knowledge of the strike zone. Because of this, he has moved past Max Clark on many draft boards to be the highest ranked high schooler in the draft, and his tool profile is pretty similar to Langford with Jenkins playing the more important defensive position....The best statistical player in college baseball was not Dylan Crews. Its Nolan Schanuel of Florida Atlantic. I would give this guy the moniker of "professional baseball hitter." It might not be pretty, but all Schanuel does is get on base. He walks a ton. He punishes offspeed. He barrels fastballs. He reached base 61% of the time he came to the plate in 2023. I almost like the hitter more than Dylan Crews. I do not like the defender as much as Dylan Crews. Schanuel played first for most of his career at Florida Atlantic, but he did get some time in left field and he wasnt bad. He is more athletic than the average first baseman with above average speed. If you are a team that believes Nolan can play in the outfield, then he has to go top 10. Data backs up the claim that he is one of the absolute best hitting prospects in this draft....The 18 year old Will Gasparino comes in at 6'6 210. He is a very large kid that is also very athletic. The athleticism should keep him able to play a corner outfield spot and the power inside the large, lanky kid could be easily plus in time....I prefer Bryce Eldredge as a position player. I assume that he will get the chance to play both ways at the next level. He's either a power hitting right fielder or first baseman. It depends on how his body matures as he grows. But, I believe in his ability to becoming an average hitter more than his ability to get his command, as a pitcher, to average. 

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SECOND BASE
1.Tommy Troy||2B/SS||Stanford
40/60H, 35/55D
2.Colt Emerson||2B/SS||John Glenn, OH
25/60H, 50/50S
3.Mitch Jebb||2B/SS||Michigan State
65/65S, 35/60H
4.Kevin McGonigle||2B/SS||Monsignor Bonner, PA
35/60H, 50/50S
5.Roc Riggio||2B||Oklahoma State
30/55P, 30/50H 
6.Cal Fisher||2B||Deerfield, WI
30/55H, 25/50P
7.Matt Shaw||2B||Maryland
60/60S, 35/50P
8.Brice Matthews||2B||Nebraska
60/60S, 30/50P
9.Luke Keaschall||2B||Arizona State
50/50S, 35/50H 
10.Steven Milam||2B/SS||Centennial, NM
30/55D, 50/50S

There might not be a plus tool in Tommy Troy's profile, but it is four above average or better tools, and even though he is a college performer, I believe you could see improvement in Troy's game. He is a smart kid that works extremely hard and knows the game well. These traits are going to excite organizations that puts a premium on makeup. At the plate, Troy hits everything hard. Wood bats. Metal bats. Doesnt matter. He has been the best hitter on every team he has been on. He has played three infield positions, and I could see him getting a chance at any of the three at the next level. I dont think he has the quickness for short, nor the arm for third. An offensive first, above average defender at second is an appealing profile.... I absolutely love Colt Emerson's left handed swing. Its short. He has very quick hands that help the bat explode through the zone. He is a cold weather kid out of Ohio that only started playing baseball exclusively this year so its easy to dream about a potential plus hit tool and hopefully at least average power.... When you have two plus tools, Im going to be intrigued no matter what two tools are plus. Mitch Jebb of Michigan State has a plus bat to go along with at least plus speed. The set up and load at the plate is ugly but he gets where he needs to be with quick hands and bat speed. He gets the barrel on the bat. There isnt much power. He might not consistently hit double digit home runs, but if he can hit for average and get on base at an elite clip to go along with plus speed on the bases, he's a starting 2B in the league.... Kevin McGonigle is going to live or die by the hit tool. Its a potential plus from the left side, and one of the best in this years high school class. My issue is that I dont see one other carrying tool in the arsenal. He's not a big kid at 5'10 and I dont see a ton of power coming from his body. He also has average speed, an average arm, and below average actions at short will lead him to second.... Roc Riggio's name came up in the early rounds of the 2021 draft, but he opted for college, and sophomore eligibility in 2023. He's not tall at 5'9, but he is built well and I could see 20 or more homers in a good year. He's aggressive at the plate. He's aggressive on the base paths. He is a spark plug on the infield.

SHORTSTOP
1.Arjun Nimmala||SS||Strawberry Crest, FL
25/65P, 50/50S
2.Jacob Wilson||SS||Grand Canyon
40/65H, 50/50S
3.Roch Cholowsky||SS||Hamilton, AZ
40/65D, 60/60S
4.Walker Martin||SS||Eaton, CO
30/60P, 25/55H
5.Antonio Anderson||SS/3B||North Atlanta, GA
25/60P, 30/55H 
6.Colin Houck||SS||Parkview, GA
50/50S, 35/50D
7.Alex Mooney||SS||Duke
55/55S, 30/55H
8.Adrian Santana||SS||Doral Academy, FL
70/70S, 35/60D
9.Nazzan Zanetello||SS||Christian Brothers, MO
60/60S, 25/55P
10.George Lombard Jr||SS||Gulliver Prep, FL
25/55P, 55/50S
11.Tai Peete||SS/RHP||Trinity Christian, GA(INJ)
55/55S, 35/55D
12.Cole Foster||SS||Auburn
50/50S, 35/50P
13.Camden Kozeal||SS||Millard South, NE
30/60H, 30/50D
14.Sammy Stafura||SS||Panas, NY
65/65S, 30/50D
15.Roman Martin||SS||Servite, CA
30/55D, 50/50S, 

If you like projection, then Arjun Nimmala is your guy. He originally grew up playing cricket before switching over to baseball. He is probably around 6'1 185 and does not turn 18 until October. The kid is shredded. The first thing I noticed when I saw the kid play was the boulders that he has for shoulders. He's not big though. There is still lots of room for growth. The bat speed is noticeable, and has probably been positively influenced by his cricket background. Its easy to dream of plus power in the future and at least an average hit tool. Nimmala is not a slam dunk shortstop just because we dont know how his body will grow, but his current actions look like a shortstop.... Jacob Wilson struck out 31 times in 697 plate appearances while at Grand Canyon. He knows every inch of the strike zone. He gets the barrel on the ball, and he uses all parts of the field. He doesnt walk much but thats partly because he puts so many balls in play. Its below average power, and maybe asking for double digit homers a year is asking too much. He is a good athlete with quick hands that should be able to handle short with around average defense.... Roch Cholowsky is raw at the plate currently, but both his speed and defense at short grade out at least plus or better. Roch has a lanky 6'2 frame that could add mass and the power could spike, but at the moment it looks like the hit tool is going to be better and could grade out as above average.... Walker Martin might have the best bat speed in the class. Its almost scary how much bat speed he gets without swinging out of his cleats. Its a gorgeous swing built with loft. Plus power, or even more, can be in his future. He doesnt max out for power. Martin comes from Colorado where he played quarterback, and he is just now focusing solely on baseball. He might have a higher ceiling than a couple of the guys ranked higher than him.... When watching Alex Mooney, you cant help but notice the passion he plays with on the field. He sets a great example for his teammates and gets high praise for his leadership qualities. Tool wise, he might not have a plus tool. Mooney has improved a good deal in the past calendar year. Starting with the Cape last summer and carrying the momentum all the way through his sophomore season at Duke. He's hitting the ball better with more solid contact. He's swinging at less pitches out of the zone, and it looks like he could be an above average hitter at the next level. He is a good athlete with quick actions at short so there should be no issues with him playing there at the next level....Coming out of the state of Nebraska, Cam Kozeal is a very intriguing prospect because of a potential plus or more hit tool, but he might not have much else. Kozeal was also his high schools starting QB and you can see that in his ability to make throws off different platforms at short. This ability, along with enough lateral quickness, should help him to stay at short even with below average speed. It doesnt seem like there is much useable power in his 5'11 frame, but Kozeal is built well, and will a little added strength, there could be double digit power here.

CENTER FIELD
1.Dylan Crews||CF||LSU
45/70H, 35/60P
2.Max Clark||CF||Franklin Community, IN
70/70S, 35/65D
3.Enrique Bradfield||CF||Vanderbilt
80/80S, 55/70D
4.Dillon Head||CF||Homewood Flossmoor, IL
70/70S, 35/65D
5.Aidan Smith||CF||Lovejoy, TX
55/55S, 30/55H
6.Kendall George||CF||Atascocita, TX
80/80S, 30/60H
7.Grant Gray||CF||Norco, CA
75/75S, 35/60D
8.Jack Hurley||CF||Virginia Tech
55/55S, 35/50D
9.Jonah Cox||CF/2B||Oral Roberts
65/65S, 40/60H
10.Cole Carrigg||CF/C||San Diego State
60/60S, 35/55H
11.Spencer Nivens||CF||Missouri State
40/60H, 50/50S
12.Homer Bush Jr||CF||Grand Canyon
60/60S, 35/55D
13.Andrew Duncan||CF||A3 Academy, FL
60/60S, 30/55D
14.Ryan Lasko||CF||Rutgers
55/55S, 40/55D
15.Ethan O'Donnell||CF||Virginia
55/55S, 35/50H

Its hard to say anything about Dylan Crews that hasnt already been said. He is one of the better hitting prospects to come into the draft in the past decade. He kept a .500 batting average this year well into the SEC season, and punished balls over the fence to all fields. Its elite bat to ball skills, and even though he is not a physical monster, his skills with the bat should help him get to most of the power in his body and that could lead to plus power numbers. It seems like Crews has answered almost all questions about him playing center. It might not be elite, but his defense should be at least average. Its also possible that the longer he plays the position, the better he gets since he is a true student of the game and hard worker....With two potential generational players possibly going 1-2, theres no chance there could be a player in the draft with a higher ceiling? If there is a potential true five tool positional player in the draft, it could be Max Clark. His current best tool is his speed. It is easy plus plus and he uses it on the base paths and in center, where his defense is easy plus and possibly plus plus. Max has been clocked up to 97 on the mound; leading to another easy plus tool. At the plate, Clark has a sweet, simple swing that makes hard contact from gap to gap. He seems to have an advanced knowledge of the strike zone for his age. Its a plus tool. The one tool that currently doesnt project to plus is his power. He has solid exit velocities, but most of his power seems to come from his pull side. Even if its only 15-20 homers a year, he can still be one of the best players in the league if he is able to reach his ceiling in all other areas....If there is a guy that might be slipping down draft boards, then it might be Enrique Bradfield. I was very high on him entering the year, but his power potential is probably 40 even to those that are high on him. Because of this, his hit tool has to be elite, and I dont think it has advanced enough in his three years at Vanderbilt. Enrique has true 80 speed. Its the best in the class, and maybe off the charts. He knows how to bunt and slash for a hit. He knows how to take a walk. He knows how to use his speed as a weapon. He needs to hit for any of the rest of this to work. He just doesnt barrel enough hittable pitches. Too often have I seen him chop hittable pitches to the shortstop or the pitcher instead of punishing the mistake. The speed, defense, and potential with the bat will get him a chance at the upper levels. Can he stay there is the real question....Dillion Head is another speed and defense prospect, coming out of suburban Illinois. He is someone that looks like can have a plus hit tool with minimal power. The biggest reservation I have between him being a top 15 prospect and someone you select on day 2 is the difference in his performance in all star games and in his high school league. From the all star footage Ive watched, Head was not able to do any damage to baseballs at all star events, and all the elite hitting performances came against low level Illinois baseball talent. It looks like the tools of a good baseball player are in Dillion Head, but it might be difficult for him to reach them....Raw is the best term to describe Andrew Duncan. Physically, he looks like a running back recruit standing at 6' and 185. Duncan is an excellent athlete with plus speed, but he needs to learn to use it better both in the field and on the base paths. You can dream about potential plus power when you see Duncan swing a bat. The bat speed is electric. The swing can get long though, and that leads to questions about how much consistent contact he will make.

Edited by devils1854
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CATCHER
1.Kyle Teel||C||Virginia
35/65H, 30/50P
2.Blake Mitchell||C||Sinton, TX
25/60P, 25/55H
3.Julian Brock||C||Louisiana Lafayette
35/60P, 30/50D
4.Zion Rose||C/OF||IMG Academy, FL
25/55P, 55/50S
5.Michael Carico||C||Davidson
35/55P, 30/50D
6.Ryder Helfrick||C||Clayton Valley, CA
25/55P, 55/55S
7.Cooper Ingle||C||Clemson
40/55H, 30/45D
8.Alex Sosa||C||Viera, FL
30/55H, 25/45D
9.Connor Burns||C||Long Beach State
55/70D, 30/50P 
10.Calvin Harris||C/COF||Ole Miss
35/50H, 30/50P

Kyle Teel has become the top catching prospect on most, if not all, boards. A big time recruit out of high school whose strong commitment to Virginia kept him from being drafted. He's been a starter since stepping foot on campus and has produced at the plate and in the field all three years. Teel is an athlete and has played both left and right in college, so there is no doubt in his ability to stay behind the plate. The hit tool is the calling card. Its easily plus. He uses all fields. He's had a great command of the zone since his freshman season, and he just hits the ball hard. Its not going to lead to a ton of power though. 10-15 home runs seems reasonable for Teel, with a potential for some more in certain years, but he is not a slugger. Its a complete profile with a nice floor, but with some definite room to grow. He compares well to previous top college backstops.... Behind Teel is high schooler Blake Mitchell. A draftable prospect as a pitcher, with a fastball in the high 90s. He uses that arm to show plus plus pop times to second. Mitchell is no burner but he does have enough agility and athleticism to profile to at least average defensively. There is a lot of loud contact with the bat that could possibly produce plus power in the future. He doesnt have the prettiest swing and there is some swing and miss but he does have an idea of what he is doing back there.... Scarcity and position value is probably going to push a couple of college guys up to the second round more than likely and to me, Julian Brock and Michael Carcico are the next best options. Both are hit first catchers that should do just enough to stay behind the plate defensively. I have Brock ahead of Carcico because he has done his damage against better competition and Carico was dismal against good competition in the Cape last year and only had a handful of games this year before going down with an injury. The good news is that he is playing in the Cape right now and will be until the draft so there is a possibility he could rise up draft boards with a good showing.... Zion Rose is a kid from Chicago that spent the 2023 high school year at IMG Academy. Although very raw, he is close to a plus athlete and could have some nice tools in a few years(if he stays at catcher).... Out of the back five, Connor Burns is the most interesting. The glove is good enough to be a backup at the major league level in June of 2023. It is best defender in the game good. He cant hit. He might start 100 games for a good team if he can hit above .200.... Youll see guys like Jared Dickey, Ralphy Velazquez, and Cole Carrigg in other positional lists but there is a definite possibility all three could play catcher at the next level.

RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
1.Paul Skenes||RHP||LSU
80/80FB, 65/65SL
2.Hurston Waldrep||RHP||Florida
70/70FB, 70/70SP
3.Chase Dollander||RHP||Tennessee
60/70FB, 60/65SL
4.Levi Wells||RHP||Texas State
60/65CU, 55/65FB 
5.Rhett Lowder||RHP||Wake Forest
60/60CH, 45/60CO
6.Noble Meyer||RHP||Jesuit, OR
55/65FB, 50/55SL
7.Cole Schoenwetter||RHP||San Marcos, CA
50/65CU, 50/65FB
8.Charlee Soto||RHP||Reborn Christian, FL
60/65FB, 45/55CH
9.Cole Miller||RHP||Newbury Park, CA
50/60FB, 45/55CH
10.Alonzo Tredwell||RHP||UCLA(INJ)
50/60FB, 50/60SL
11.Seth Keener||RHP||Wake Forest
55/60SL, 50/60FB 
12.Steven Echavarria||RHP||Millburn, NJ
50/60FB, 40/55CU
13.Cade Kuehler||RHP||Campbell
60/65FB, 60/60SL
14.Jackson Baumeister||RHP||Florida State
50/60FB, 50/60CU
15.Brandon Sproat||RHP||Florida
55/60FB, 55/60SL
16.Tanner Witt||RHP||Texas(INJ)
55/65FB, 55/65CU
17.Ty Floyd||RHP||LSU
55/60FB, 50/55SL
18.Juaron Watts-Brown||RHP||Oklahoma State
55/55SL, 45/55FB
19.Travis Sykora||RHP||Round Rock, TX
60/70FB, 45/60SP
20.Luke McNeillie||RHP||Milton, GA
40/60CO, 45/55FB

In lasts nights game against Tennessee, Paul Skenes threw 46 of 123 pitches over 100 mph, and he was even hitting triple digits in the 7th inning. He has an 80 fastball. It could be the best fastball on this planet and probably Uranus. Besides the fastball, Skenes deploys two different looking sliders. One is a sweeper with two plane break, that dives out of the zone. The second has more vertical break, and its used to get strikes. He can do just about whatever he wants with the pitch. Easy plus. He hasnt had to use the changeup as often, but its at least average, and has good depth to it. Skenes is huge at 6'6 235, but he is an athlete that played both ways at an all american level for two years at Air Force. There isnt a lot of violence in he delivery and he repeats it well. The command is a plus. I do think he is the best pitching prospect since Ive been looking at the draft in depth, and he is probably the best since Strasburg. Maybe ever....I want the most talented players on my team. If I have faith in my developmental team, I am selecting Hurston Waldrep if I need a pitcher and Skenes is off the board. He might be the only pitcher in the draft with two legitimate 70 grade pitches. The fastball sits in the high 90s and he can reach back for a little more. Its a spin rate dream and he keeps the pitch up in the zone for misses. The splitfinger changeup might be the best offspeed pitch in the draft. Its an airbender that just falls off the table to both sides of the plate. The whiff rates on the pitch are incredible. Waldrep has two different breaking balls, with both flashing above average. The slider has more consistent depth on it currently. There is one huge question mark. That is command. In his past two tournament starts, he has pitched 15 innings, struck out 25, walked 4, and given up 1 run. When the command is there. Waldrep can be unhittable. The command has been trending upward for about a month now. Hurston is an athletic kid with his quads and glutes straining his uniform. He does have some effort in his delivery, but everything is there to believe the command can be average with the right organization and development plan....Levi Wells started his college career at Texas Tech before transferring to Texas State. He started dialing back a violent delivery once he stepped foot on campus and it led to some success. He got more consistent with the delivery and he also added a few ticks to the fastball and had it over 95. It didnt always stay there during his junior season, but with impressive spin rates, it can be plus consistently. His high spin rate downer curve is thrown with good velocity, and is the best pitch in his arsenal. The slider and changeup are both average pitches at the moment giving Wells potentially four major league pitches. The command is a big question mark and gives Levi significant reliever risk. He also had a 5.02 ERA in the Sun Belt this year, so he was far from a dominant pitcher. I see an athletic kid that has come a long way in just a couple of years and shows the traits of a potential mid rotation starter....Cole Schoenwetter has come out this spring and shown a few more ticks on the fastball and a plus downer curve, leading to him rising up draft boards. Standing at 6'3, Cole has a long lanky body with long levers and a easy, repeatable delivery. The most recent game I watched from a little over a month ago had Schoenwetter up to 96 once with a few 95s, but he mostly sat 92-94 early and 91-93 late. Its a high rpm fastball with nice hop up in the zone. Organizations should be able to see more in the fastball as he ages because of its shape and the projectability in his body. The curveball he showcases has a hard, violent drop right off the table. You can tell he is confident in the pitch and will throw it in any situation. There isnt much of a third pitch at the moment. He has a changeup, but its nothing more than a show pitch at the moment.

LEFT HANDED PITCHER
1.Thomas White||LHP||Phillips Academy, MA
60/65FB, 40/60CU
2.Cameron Johnson||LHP||IMG Academy, FL(INJ)
50/65FB, 45/60SL
3.Sean Sullivan||LHP||Wake Forest
55/60FB, 50/60CO
4.Hunter Owen||LHP||Vanderbilt
50/60SL, 55/55FB
5.Joe Whitman||LHP||Kent State
45/50FB, 55/60SL, 45/50CH, 30/50CO
6.Jake Brown||LHP||Sulphur, LA
45/60SL, 40/50FB 
7.Adam Hachman||LHP||Timberland, MO(INJ)
60/70FB, 40/55CU
8.Quinn Mathews||LHP||Stanford
50/55CH, 45/55FB 
9.Matthew Dallas||LHP||Briarcrest Christian, TN
45/55CU, 40/55FB
10.Paul Wilson||LHP||Lakeridge, OR
50/55FB, 45/55CU
11.Ethan McElvain||LHP||Nolensville, TN
45/55FB, 45/55SL
12.Alex Clemmey||LHP||Bishop Hendricken, RI
55/65FB, 40/50CU
13.Hunter Hollan||LHP||Arkansas
40/55SL, 45/50FB 
14.Zane Adams||LHP||Porter, TX
45/55CU, 40/55FB 
15.Caden Grice||LHP/1B||Clemson
50/55FB, 40/50SL, 40/70P, 30/50D

Theres more than a solid chance that no left handed pitcher gets selected in the first round of the draft this year. Its clearly the weakest position for top of the draft talent. Thomas White is more than likely the consensus number one lefty in the class, but it seems like no one wants him. White has been at the top of draft boards since his freshman season, so there hasnt been one aspect of his game that hasnt been dissected over and over. The fastball comes from a 3/4 delivery and can be hard for batters to track. He's been up to 97 this spring, and there could be triple digits from his 6'5 frame. I think the curve can be a plus offering with its two plane break and high spin rates. White doesnt command it as well as his developing changeup, but there is more potential with the curve. Command is the big issue with Thomas. It looked as if the command was improving at the beginning of the season, but he had some major issues in a start in May, and the problems did flare up at times in starts since the blowup. There is top of the rotation talent here from a left handed arm. That doesnt come around that often, but there is just so much risk with high school pitchers in general, and the command issues are prevalent here....Cameron Johnson is originally from Maryland, but he moved to IMG Academy for his senior season of high school. Its possible that Johnson has two plus pitches, but growing up in Maryland has kept him from fully developing like many of his other peers. Much like Thomas White, Johnson throws a fastball from a 3/4 slot that is tough on hitters, and hits 97 on the radar gun. The slider is his best pitch with two planes of break in the upper 70s. There isnt much of a changeup currently, and the command is not there. Johnson is a big kid at 6'5 250. Its not a bad body, but I do believe that a major league training program can help him shape his body even more, which should translate to more success on the field....The biggest question mark for Hunter Owen is if he is a starting pitcher or a reliever. He started for the first time in his college career in 2023, after coming out of the pen for his first two years on campus at Vanderbilt. He made 12 starts this season but he also had to be shut down twice this season, for three weeks each, because of an unknown issue. Owen shows the potential for four major league pitches and average command when he is on his game. A team drafting him might have to be patient with him while he tries to build up his body for a starters workload....If there is a left handed pitcher to challenge Thomas White for the first lefty drafted, then its possible that its Joe Whitman out of Kent State. Whitman has been surging up draft boards this spring after he transferred from Purdue to Kent State, where he was conference pitcher of the year. Its a solid fastball that sits in the low to mid 90s. The fastball plays up because Whitman does a good job of keeping the ball hidden from the hitter. The slider could be a plus pitch in the future because of good, late break, and because of his ability to locate it where he wants. The command really has been the calling card this season, and it could be said that Whitman is more command over stuff, but Whitman barely pitched in college before this season, so there could be some upside present. It should also be noted that Whitman pitched a week ago in the Cape. He threw 5 shutout innings with 9 strike outs and no walks. I dont know anything about the start yet other than the pitching line, but that start more than likely made Whitman a lot of money, and I wouldnt be surprised if he shut it down after.

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