2015 National Top 50
June 3, 2015
By Nathan Rode
The 2015 Major League Draft is set for June 8, less than a week away, so we’re bringing you the updated National Top 50. There is no change at the top with SS Brendan Rodgers (Lake Mary HS, FL) holding onto the No. 1 spot. There has been little argument against him since early last summer as he projects to hit for average and power while having a chance to stay at shortstop.
This year’s draft class has been described by scouts as below average, weird and muddled, among other things, as several prospects have been injured or not progressed as expected or hoped. There is a crop of outfielders at the top in Daz Cameron (Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy, GA), Kyle Tucker (Plant HS, FL), Nick Plummer (Brother Rice HS, MI), Trent Clark (Richland HS, TX) and Garrett Whitley (Niskayuna HS, NY). One could argue putting those players in just about any order and having a good defense as opinions vary widely.
Signability is always a factor in the draft, but may play a major role this year with players jumping up boards by taking underslot deals. “Don’t be surprised” is a recurring statement when talking about players and possible scenarios, adding to the unpredictability of this year’s draft.
Listed below are the Top 50 high school prospects in the country with their commitments in parenthesis.
1. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Lake Mary HS, FL (Florida State)
Rodgers has long been considered the top high school prospect in the 2015 class. He’s a worthy candidate to be the first overall pick and figures to be off the board somewhere in the top five. He doesn’t jump out with extremely loud tools, rather possessing solid ones across the board. At the plate, he has a quick, short swing and takes a direct path to the ball, projecting to hit for both average and power. That’s what makes his value so high since he currently plays up the middle. He’ll get a chance to stay at shortstop in the pros, where he has good hands and an above-average arm. If he has to move, it’ll because he’s an average runner at best and may slow down as he fills out his 6-foot, 190-pound frame.
2. Daz Cameron, OF, Eagle's Landing Christian Academy, GA (Florida State)
The son of former major leaguer Mike Cameron, Daz Cameron has been on the prospect radar a long time like Rodgers. Standing at an athletic 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, he also possesses solid, if not spectacular, tools. Of the crop of high school outfielders projected to go in the first round, he has the best chance to stay in center field with his instincts and plus running ability. There are reservations about his ability to hit, but he has good bat speed and a smooth swing. He’ll get popped in the top half of the first round.
3. Mike Nikorak, RHP, Stroudsburg HS, PA (Alabama)
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Nikorak had a perplexing season, flashing high-end stuff while also losing velocity later in outings and struggling with his command. At his best, he sits in the low 90s, touching the mid 90s with downward plane and riding action. Nikorak also has a sharp curveball with 11/5 action that sits 79-82 with depth. His delivery didn’t look as smooth and easy this spring and his fastball velocity would dip to 89-91 later in outings. He struck out 50 in 29.2 innings this season, but walked 21. His stock has turned into a bit of a wild card and he could anywhere from the middle of the first round to the compensation round. Despite his inconsistent spring, Nikorak has the upside scouts are willing to gamble on given that he’s a Northeast arm with athleticism and has shown more in the past.
4. Ashe Russell, RHP, Cathedral HS, IN (Texas A&M)
Russell has been sitting near the top of the 2015 class for some time, consistently showing the same electric arsenal. He has a tall, projectable frame at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds and a fastball that ranges from 91-95, touching 96-97. He also has a wipeout slider in the low 80s. He has some funk in his arm action that leads to discussion of him being a starter or reliever, but the team that takes him will give him every chance to remain in a rotation. Like Nikorak, he is likely to fall anywhere from the middle of the first round on.
5. Kyle Tucker, OF, Plant HS, FL (Florida)
While Tucker has certainly been a known prospect in the scouting community, he had as much helium as anybody this spring after struggling on the showcase circuit last summer. He’s a little unorthodox at the plate as he drops his hands and gets barred, but he finds the barrel consistently and has excellent strength, producing above-average power. He has a lean frame now at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds and runs well, but will slow down as he physically matures, prompting a move to a corner outfield spot where his bat will profile. He also has bloodlines, being the younger brother of Preston Tucker, an outfielder with the Houston Astros.
6. Tyler Stephenson, C, Kennesaw Mountain HS, GA (Georgia Tech)
Stephenson made a big climb up draft boards this spring as scouts took a liking to his catch-and-throw abilities and power. There were even rumors circulating that he could be popped first overall, but he more likely fits in the top 10-15 picks. He has a big, strong frame 6-foot-4, 210 pounds and has leverage in his swing. There are some concerns about how much he’ll get to that power as he has swing-and-miss tendencies with some length in his stroke. Defensively, he receives well and has solid footwork and athleticism with a strong arm. The 2015 class is extremely thin on catching so don’t expect Stephenson to last beyond the top 15 picks.
7. Justin Hooper, LHP, De La Salle HS, CA (UCLA)
At 6-foot-7, 230 pounds, Hooper has a long, lean frame. Pitchers with long limbs tend to struggle with their command and Hooper is no different, having a bit of an up-and-down season. In 51.1 innings, he has struck out 64 while walking 32 with seven hit batters. When he’s on, Hooper has a lively fastball in the low 90s, touching 96. He can spin a breaking ball and shows a good changeup as well. He has a loose delivery and is athletic so a team may be inclined to gamble on his upside in the top two rounds. Otherwise, UCLA has proven to be a fine place for pitchers to develop.
8. Nick Plummer, OF, Brother Rice HS, MI (Kentucky)
Plummer burst onto the scene last summer with strong showings at several high profile events and earned a late invitation to the Under Armour All-America Game. A Kentucky recruit, he has a strong frame at 5-foot-11, 200 pounds. He possesses a short and compact swing that gives him a chance to hit for average at the pro level. He has good power, which he showed off at the Area Code Games by taking the second pitch of the event out of spacious Blair Field in Long Beach, CA. One of the biggest challenges in scouting is evaluating northern hitters because of the weather and lack of quality pitching, but scouts also had to get looks at Plummer in a league that starts with 1-1 counts, limiting the number of pitches he sees. Plummer runs well now, but may have to shift off center field if he slows down as he physically matures.
9. Trent Clark, OF, Richland HS, TX (Texas Tech)
Clark is a unique hitter in that he uses golf-like grip on the bat, laying his thumbs on the handle rather than wrapping them. He is clearly comfortable with the grip and can control his bat well. He raked for Team USA last summer, earning MVP honors at the 18U Pan American Championship after hitting .565/.694/1.043 with three home runs in the tournament. He is physical at 6 feet, 205 pounds and some scouts think he was a better runner last summer. There are differences of opinion on whether he can stay in center or not, but he handles the most important tool. He is in that mix of high school outfielders that could go from the middle to the end of the first round.
10. Garrett Whitley, OF, Niskayuna HS, NY (Wake Forest)
Relatively under the radar last summer, Whitley broke out at the Area Code Games, consistently making hard contact in the last two days of the event. He has enjoyed his share of buzz this spring, getting thrown out as a possible No. 1 selection, but fits more in the middle of the first round. As mentioned before, northern bats are difficult to project. Whitley hasn’t faced much in the way of quality pitching this spring and he didn’t exactly dominate competition offensively. Still, he is strong and can put on a power show in batting practice. He has bat speed, though there are scouts that wonder how much he’ll hit for average. He runs well, but isn’t a lock to stay in center field and a move would put more pressure on his bat. He is committed to Wake Forest.
11. Cornelius Randolph, OF, Griffin HS, GA (Clemson)
Randolph may be the most intimidating high school hitter in the country right now. He’s a presence in the box with his muscular 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame and simply punishes the baseball. He shows more doubles power now, but has strong hands and should develop more power down the road. He also has shown the ability to drive the ball the other way. The question with Randolph is where he’ll play in the field. He plays shortstop for Griffin, but will wind up in left field or at first base in pro ball while letting his bat carry him forward.
12. Kolby Allard, LHP, San Clemente HS, CA (UCLA)
Heading into the spring, Allard was the top southpaw in the country and a possible top 10 pick, but that quickly unraveled in March when he was sidelined with a stress reaction in his back. As of writing this, San Clemente was alive in the playoffs, but Allard wasn’t expected to get back into game action. When healthy, he can pitch in the low 90s with his fastball and mix in a sharp curveball with depth in the high 70s. The injury makes Allard a wild card, but he could still go in the first round based on his performance last summer if a team is convinced he’s healthy.
13. Beau Burrows, RHP, Weatherford HS, TX (Texas A&M)
Burrows consistently showed nasty stuff last summer, but command and control were routinely an issue as he largely pitched up in the zone and didn’t throw as many strikes as you would like to see. He made some tweaks to his delivery—he had an exaggerated shoulder tilt last summer—and is throwing more strikes as a result. He doesn’t have much life to his fastball, which sits in the low 90s and can touch the mid 90s, but he gets away with it thanks to an over-the-top slot that gives him plane. His breaking ball is a nasty 12/6 curveball with depth and power. He also has shown a changeup in the mid 80s. He’s among the top prep righties in the country and shouldn’t last long past the first round.
14. Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, Concordia Lutheran HS, TX (Tennessee)
The son of former major leaguer Charlie Hayes, Ke’Bryan Hayes brings both offense and defense to the table. He’s an above-average defender at the hot corner with a good first step, hands, instincts and a plus arm. At the plate, he takes a direct path to the ball with a quick swing that gives him a chance to hit for average. He’s strong, but power won’t be a big part of his game. Hayes is likely to go off the board in the top 50 picks and could sneak into the back of the first round.
15. Juan Hillman, LHP, Olympia HS, FL (Central Florida)
Hillman doesn’t jump out physically at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, but he’s strong and put together. Mentored by former big leaguer Tom Gordon, Hillman is a strike-thrower, pounding the zone with three pitches that are at least average. His fastball ranged mostly from 88-92 this spring, but he sat 90-93 and touched 94-95 at the FACA All-Star Weekend in Sebring, FL at the end of May. His best secondary pitch is a plus changeup and he has a big breaking curveball that’s an average pitch. He projects as a fourth or fifth starter and should get popped in the top two or three rounds.
16. Donny Everett, RHP, Clarksville HS, TN (Vanderbilt)
Everett has a strong frame at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds and a power fastball to match. He typically sits 92-95 with occasional life down in the zone, but has touched the high 90s regularly and even triple digits this spring. He shows a hard breaking ball, though it’s more of a slurve right now and needs improvement. He pitches with effort and may wind up in the bullpen down the road. He has flashed a changeup, but he obviously doesn’t need it at the high school level.
17. Eric Jenkins, OF, West Columbus HS, NC (UNC Wilmington)
At 6-foot-2, 165 pounds, Jenkins has a skinny frame with plenty of room to add strength. He’s wiry now with quick-twitch actions. Speed is his game as he’s a plus-plus runner, chewing up ground in the outfield and on the base paths with long, easy strides. He had an up-and-down season and didn’t hit as well statistically as you would expect out of a draft prospect, but he has some development ahead of him at the plate. He has a quick, loose swing, but gets happy feet in the box. However, he is adept at small ball, which will be a weapon for him. If he can consistently put the ball on the ground, he’ll be a dangerous asset at the top of a lineup.
18. Triston McKenzie, RHP, Royal Palm Beach HS, FL (Vanderbilt)
At 6-foot-5, 160 pounds, McKenzie is very skinny with long limbs. He has a super loose, easy delivery and good athleticism. The ball jumps out of his hand and gets up to 94 with his fastball, typically sitting around 89-91. His curveball varied this spring, but he showed it as an above-average pitch at times with downer action and depth. He throws his changeup with good arm speed and gets good life on the pitch too. Vanderbilt recruits are typically tough signs, but McKenzie factors into the top three rounds and could be signable there.
19. Brady Singer, RHP, Eustis HS, FL (Florida)
Singer was one of the biggest riser’s in the state of Florida as he touched the mid 90s and regularly sat in the 90-92 range with very good life. He is extremely loose and projectable with long arms and a 6-foot-5, 180-pound frame with plenty of room to add strength. He pitches from a low slot that gives him the life and he’s actually able to spin a good breaking ball with two-plane break at times. That’s hard to do from a lower slot, but he’s proven he can do it. He’s likely to be off the board before the end of the second round.
20. Dakota Chalmers, RHP, North Forsyth HS, GA (Georgia)
Chalmers has a skinny frame at 6-foot-3, 175 pounds with room to add weight. His velocity has varied this spring, spiking at 94-96, sitting 91-93 and sometimes dipping a little lower. He projects to pitch with a tick above average to plus fastball, but will need to improve his command. Chalmers has a head snap in his delivery and a fast arm. His secondary stuff has improved since last summer and he flashes a hard breaking ball with bite while showing feel for a changeup. His name has been floated from the back of the first round to the top of the third.
21. Nolan Watson, RHP, Lawrence North HS, IN (Vanderbilt)
In any other year, Watson would probably be the most touted prospect in Indiana, but he just happens to be part of one of the best classes the state has seen. He has been a consistent performer the last few years, showing command of three pitches. He was the MVP of the 2013 Midwest Future Games and made the rounds last summer, consistently sitting at 89-91. At the Super 60 in February, he came out hot, pitching at 92-93 with a sharp slider at 80-81. He carried that into the season and attracted a lot of heat. He has good command of his fastball and a strong frame at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds. Vanderbilt signees are usually tough signs, but getting popped in the top two rounds could be enough for Watson to turn pro.
22. Austin Smith, RHP, Park Vista HS, FL (Florida Atlantic)
Smith is a big, strong righty at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds and helped one of the top teams in the country to a state semifinal appearance in Florida’s biggest classification. His fastball has been 89-94 this spring and he shows feel for a curveball and changeup. The curveball comes and goes, but can be a good pitch down the road. Some think he may wind up in the bullpen, pointing to effort in his delivery, but others see a durable frame and some ironing needed in the effort for him to be a starter. He could go as high as the first competivive balance round.
23. Luken Baker, RHP/1B, Oak Ridge HS, TX (Texas Christian)
Baker is the definition of Texas strong, standing a mammoth 6-foot-4, 245 pounds. On the mound, he has a low-90s fastball with heavy life and a sharp slider, but his bat can’t be overlooked. He isn’t just a mashing giant taking big hacks—he has a good, easy swing and the ball jumps off his bat. He won the Junior Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game and the home run derby at the Under Armour All-America Game. There are few right-handed hitters with Baker’s size in the big leagues so the opinion tends to lean toward him being a pitcher in pro ball. However, it doesn’t matter right now, as he sent a letter to all 30 clubs saying that he intends to honor his commitment to TCU where he can play both ways and get a clearer picture of where his future lies.
24. Jalen Miller, SS, Riverwood HS, GA (Clemson)
Miller stands at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds and gets a boost in stock thanks to his chances of staying at shortstop. He can pick it and shows solid arm strength across the diamond that should be average or a tick better as he gets stronger. The question for him is whether his bat will play and those that like him think he has a chance to hit. He can show a shorter, compact stroke, but his swing is inconsistent and gets long at times. He fits in the top three rounds.
25. Mitchell Hansen, OF, Plano HS, TX (Stanford)
Hansen added strength in the offseason and now stands at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds with what one scout called an 80 frame. He is an above-average runner and glides, giving him a chance to stay in center field. He also has a strong arm. Hansen showed swing-and-miss tendencies on the showcase circuit last summer, but his hands work well and his swing is loose. Stanford recruits rarely ever sign out of high school so it may be a moot point now, but scouts like Hansen for his physicality and can dream on what it could turn into if everything clicks.
26. Chris Betts, C, Wilson HS, CA (Tennessee)
Betts is no stranger to the prospect radar, participating in the Area Code Games as an underclassman and standing out with his bat then. He’s always shown an ability to hit against velocity—he hit a grand slam off Burrows at the Tournament of Stars last year—and can use the whole field. His detractors have pointed to his frame being a concern, but he lost 15-20 pounds, which has helped him with his mobility. He’s not a lock to stay behind the plate, but he has a strong arm and a team that likes him will send him out as a catcher. There is a shortage of catchers in this class and Betts name has been mentioned among potential first-round backs, though he probably fits somewhere soon after that.
27. Cole Sands, RHP, North Florida Christian HS, FL (Florida State)
Sands has been well known among the scouting community for some time, partly because he is the younger brother of LHP Carson Sands, a fourth-round pick of the Cubs in 2014. The younger Sands, who stands at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, has a chance to go higher than his brother and has a solid arsenal. His fastball ranges from 88-92, touching 93-94, and he shows pitchability at times. His slider has been inconsistent this spring, but it can be sharp in the low 80s. He also has good feel for a changeup. He doesn’t overwhelm with stuff, but he has polish and is competitive on the mound.
28. Bryce Denton, 3B/OF, Ravenwood HS, TN (Vanderbilt)
After a surprising run in 2014, Denton led Ravenwood back to the state tournament in 2015, where they were eliminated by Farragut HS. Denton plays both ways in high school, but is unquestionably a position player at the next level, standing out for his bat. He plays third base now and has the arm strength for the left side, but scouts see him moving to the outfield. He hits with an upright stance and whips the bat through the zone with strong hands. Once he no longer has to worry about pitching, he could tap into more of his ability. If signable, he could go in the second or third round.
29. Lucas Herbert, C, San Clemente HS, CA (UCLA)
Herbert is seemingly Betts’ opposite, showing good catch-and-throw abilities with more questions about his offense. He was going to be seen this spring anyway being Allard’s batterymate, but Herbert warranted looks on his own. He has a strong frame at 6-foot-1, 195 pounds and good power from the right side. He has a strong, accurate arm with a quick transfer and makes consistent throws to second base in under two seconds.
30. Alonzo Jones, IF/OF, Columbus HS, GA (Vanderbilt)
Coming out of one of Georgia’s top high school programs, Jones was high on draft boards going into the season, but he fractured the hamate bone in his wrist and may be a tough sign out of Vanderbilt. He is physical and has more power than his listed 5-foot-10, 190 pounds would suggest. He may not stay in the infield, but easily profiles in center field with his top-of-the-scale speed. Some scouts have questions about his bat and may just want to let him develop at Vanderbilt.
31. Tristan Beck, RHP, Corona HS, CA (Stanford)
Beck has a skinny frame at 6-foot-4, 160 pounds and pitches with a loose, easy delivery from a high-3/4 slot. He was 87-88, touching 89 at the Area Code Games, but was 93-95 at one point this spring and still sitting around 91 in extra innings. He has a plus curveball and feel for an average changeup. He could factor in the top three rounds on talent, but is committed to Stanford, which almost never loses recruits to the draft.
32. Tyler Nevin, 3B, Poway HS, CA (UCLA)
The son of former major leaguer Phil Nevin, the UCLA recruit has gained some more attention this spring. He has the pedigree and leverage in his bat, producing at least average power out of his big, strong frame. He also shows feel for driving the ball the other way. He has a chance to stick at third base where he has a solid arm.
33. Trey Cabbage, 3B, Grainger HS, TN (Tennessee)
A riser this spring, Cabbage immediately jumps out with his 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame. He looks the part with life and athleticism in his body. He got limited looks last summer so scouts want to see him more against premium velocity, but he has strength in his swing and some feel for hitting from the left side. Though he doesn’t show it now, scouts think they power will come for him down the road. He plays shortstop for Grainger, but profiles as a third baseman or corner outfielder and has a strong arm.
34. Mike Soroka, RHP, Bishop Carroll HS, AB (California)
Canada has a loaded 2015 class with three prospects in the National Top 50. Soroka is at the top with his 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame and low-90s fastball. Scouts have gotten a good look at him this spring as he traveled with Team Canada and got to face professional hitters in several of his outings. He pitches with a 3/4 slot and gets solid life on his fastball, which can sit 90-93, touching 94. He calls his breaking ball a curveball, but with his arm slot, it acts more like a slider. It has good bite to it and sits 79-81. He doesn’t use a changeup much, but flashes feel for it with fade. Soroka is young for the class, turning 18 after the draft.
35. Peter Lambert, RHP, San Dimas HS, CA (UCLA)
Lambert has a slim frame at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds and saw his velocity tick up from last summer. He sat 88-90, touching 91, at the Area Code Games in August, but has been up to 95 a handful of times this spring. He won’t pitch there, sitting more in the low 90s, but he shows it and can spin a breaking ball. It’s a curveball with sharp, overhand break from his high arm slot.
36. Nick Neidert, RHP, Peachtree Ridge HS, GA (South Carolina)
At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, Neidert isn’t overly physical, but he’s strong and athletic with a quick arm. He has been up to 95 this spring, sitting more comfortably in the 90-93 range with sink. His breaking ball comes and goes, but he flashes good ones at times. He also shows a developing changeup that has potential. Not as projectable as his Georgia counterpart Chalmers, Neidert could around the second round.
37. Parker McFadden, RHP, Yelm HS, WA (Washington State)
McFadden was a known commodity in the Northwest last summer, but just didn’t get to many events. He was crosschecked heavily this spring, sitting 93-94, touching 96 with a very quick arm. He is mostly filled out and stands about 6-foot-1, but he’s muscular and tightly wound. He has some effort to his delivery, but it’s not alarming. He needs to smooth some things out, but he’s athletic and has a chance to start. He has solid life to his fastball and flashes a hammer at 76-79 with good depth. He is committed to Washington State.
38. Kep Brown, OF, Wando HS, SC (Miami)
The headliner in South Carolina, Brown has long-limbed frame at 6-foot-5, 195 pounds, similar to Jayson Werth. That’s the profile to hope for as he’ll shift to a corner outfield spot and have to rely on his bat to carry him more. He has some feel for hitting, but like most hitters with long arms, he can be prone to swinging and missing. He’ll likely wind up hitting for more power than average down the road. Brown’s season was cut short when he tore his Achilles tendon so scouts will have to consider his health too. If he’s signable and a team isn’t worried about the medical, he could still go in the top four rounds.
39. Bryan Hoeing, RHP, Batesville HS, IN (Louisville)
Hoeing is an excellent athlete, also starring in basketball for his high school team, and has excellent upside. However, two major injuries have negated his senior year. He tore his ACL in basketball in December and many thought he wouldn’t be back for the spring season. He defied odds and was back pitching in games in four months. His velocity wasn’t at its best, but the ball jumped out of his hand and he has a very easy delivery. He was sitting 88-91 from a 3/4 slot in a mid-May start while mixing in a sharp curveball and fading changeup. Hoeing was going to be a tough sign anyway considering he wasn’t quite 100 percent, but he found out in late May that he had a torn UCL and would need Tommy John surgery. If he can return to where he was before his injuries, Hoeing should be a high pick out of Louisville.
40. Josh Naylor, 1B, St. Joan of Arc Catholic SS, ON (Texas Tech)
Ontario boasts a strong group of draft prospects this year and Naylor supplies the power, literally. He has a big frame at 6-foot-1, 235 pounds and will certainly have to work hard to stay in shape. He’s limited to first base, but it’s his bat that teams like. He doesn’t get cheated in the box, taking aggressive hacks with excellent bat speed. He has a knack for making hard contact and generates above-average power. After a slow start to the spring against professional competition, he seemed to be hitting his stride in May, going on a power binge against a team of prospects from the Dominican Republic.
41. Jackson Kowar, RHP, Charlotte Christian HS, NC (Clemson)
Kowar caught attention early in the spring when a large group of crosscheckers and scouting directors shuttled over from the National High School Invitational in Cary, NC, to Charlotte for one of his starts. He has a skinny frame at 6-foot-4, 160 pounds and pitches from a 3/4 slot with a slight back turn. He tends to overthrow at times and get out of sync, but he has a projectable arsenal. His fastball sits 89-91 with arm-side run and was reportedly as high as 94 this spring. He has feel for a changeup with arm-side sink in the low 80s and his slider is 76-80. When right, it’s more 78-80 and darts to his glove side, but it can back up on him and has short break at times. He may be a tough sign away from Clemson.
42. Demi Orimoloye, OF, St. Matthews Catholic HS, ON (Oregon)
Like Plummer and Whitley, Orimoloye enjoyed a breakout session at the Area Code Games last summer. His frame is what you would draw up for a prospect, big and strong at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. He has run a 6.4-second 60, but some argue that speed doesn’t play for him in center field. If he needs to move, he has the arm for right field. At the plate, he has good bat speed and plus raw power. He is raw in many facets of the game, but he has tremendous upside and could be a five-tool prospect if it all clicks. He’ll need to adjust to offspeed stuff more and his swing looked stiffer this spring than it did last summer. Even so, he could find himself a suitor in the top five rounds.
43. Jahmai Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS, GA (North Carolina)
New to the outfield, the jury is still out on whether Jones can stay in center field or not. He’s an average runner with athleticism, but there isn’t much projection to his 6-foot, 210-pound frame. He has a good swing with a quick bat, but he has shown a tendency to swing and miss this spring. Though he has some raw power, he doesn’t hit for hit and a move to a corner outfield spot would put a lot more pressure on his bat. He comes from athletic bloodlines as his father played football for Notre Dame and he has two brothers that played college football. The buzz on Jones has him going as high as the second round.
44. Nick Shumpert, SS, Highlands Ranch HS, CO (Kentucky)
Between his the summer before his junior year and last summer, Shumpert did well to get in better shape, slimming down from a stocky frame to a lean 6 feet, 180 pounds. He has turned in a 6.66-second 60 in the past, but he projects as an average runner at best so he’ll likely shift off of shortstop. He has the arm strength to play third base and second base would be an option as well. While Shumpert toned down some pre-swing noise last summer, he still has swing-and-miss tendencies that cause concern about how he’ll hit for average. He does have good bat speed and strength that produces good power. A Kentucky recruit, he could go in the third to fifth rounds.
45. Kyle Molnar, RHP, Aliso Viejo HS, CA (UCLA)
Molnar has lean, projectable frame at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds. He has underachieved this spring, sitting 88-90, bumping 91, but has shown more upside in the past. At his best, he can sit 89-92 with tremendous life on his fastball. His slider has sharp action, sitting in the low 80s. He also mixes in a curveball in the mid 70s and a changeup in the high 70s to low 80s. He has a long arm action that can make it hard for him to repeat, but he’s athletic enough to make needed adjustments down the road.
46. Justin Maese, RHP, Ysleta HS, TX (Texas Tech)
With the following the draft has now and the reach of the internet, it’s hard for players to fly completely under the radar, but Maese showed it’s still possible for classic pop-up guys to emerge. The shine wore off some as the spring progressed, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a projectable righty ranging from 87-94 with his fastball with a low-80s slider. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder is athletic and repeats his delivery, but lacks deception with his fastball. Not all teams are on him, but the Texas Tech recruit could fit in the top five rounds.
47. Drew Finley, RHP, Rancho Bernardo HS, CA (Southern California)
Finley has a strong, durable frame at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds and is more polish than stuff. He has a simple delivery that stays in line and he hides the ball well, allowing his fastball to play up some. It’s mostly true, ranging from 87-91 and he mixes in curveball that is inconsistent, but flashes depth. He projects as a backend starter and consistently throws strikes.
48. Blake Perkins, OF, Verrado HS, AZ (Arizona State)
An Arizona State recruit, Perkins has a slight frame at 6 feet, 170 pounds, which will bring up some durability questions, but he provides good defense and speed as a 70 runner. He’s a selective hitter and lacks some now strength so there are reservations among scouts about the bat and he may have to repeat the lower levels. He’s athletic and if he adds strength and it all clicks, he could take off. He has a line drive stroke and while he does let some good fastballs go, he doesn’t swing and miss much.
49. Jio Orozco, RHP, Salpointe Catholic HS, AZ (Arizona)
Orozco has a sturdy frame with a thick lower half at 6 feet, 200 pounds. He has advanced pitchability for a high school arm and can run his fastball up to 95, sitting around 92. His curveball is a separator, a sharp pitch that sits 70-74 and he can drop it in for strikes. If signable, he fits in the top five rounds.
50. Antonio Santillan, RHP, Seguin HS, TX (Texas Tech)
Santillan is a difficult prospect to peg with his premium stuff and wildness. He stands at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds—a frame one scout likened to Bartolo Colon. His fastball ranges from 93-97 and he adds in a plus slider with hard break. But he has a hard time finding the strike zone. He pitched 24 innings across eight appearances and walked 33 batters while striking out 42.
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