PBR Mailbag: Which 2017 Louisiana Prospects Are Garnering Interest From Major League Baseball?




Trey Sofio
Louisiana Scouting Director

Which 2017 Louisiana prospects are garnering interest from Major League Baseball?
The annual, amateur Major League Baseball draft is still several months away and lots of things can, and almost certainly will, change by the time June rolls around. But, with the fall circuit concluding soon, there certainly have been prospects to separate themselves as we look ahead to the spring season.

Louisiana’s 2017 class is one of the more talented that I can recall, similar to the 2012 draft class when two Louisiana prospects went in the first round in Gavin Cecchini (Barbe HS, 12th overall) and Stryker Trahan (Acadiana HS, 26th overall). The 2017 draft could possibly see similar success as several Louisiana prospects have seen their stock skyrocket this summer.

It seems like just yesterday that St. Amant RHP Blayne Enlow exploded onto the scene at the Underclass Trials in May 2015. It was clear that day that Enlow was a special prospect, and he cemented himself as a premium pitching prospect later that summer at the Future Games. He has continued to trend upward, dominating hitters during the spring season, and followed it with an outstanding summer, culminating with a gold medal for Team USA. Enlow oozes projection with a 6-foot-4, 170-pound frame, long, loose arm action and explosive arm speed. He has run his fastball up to 94 mph, pitching anywhere from 88-92 mph, and possesses one of the better breaking balls in the 2017 class. It is hard to predict where he will be slotted as factors like signability always throw a wrench into things, and the profile of a high school right-handed pitcher is a tough stigma to overcome, but it’s clear that he is one the premium pitching prospects in the country.

Another high-level draft prospect was in attendance for the Underclass Trials of May 2015. West Monroe OF Jacob Pearson was clearly a special player back then as he posted an explosive 6.5 60-yard dash, in addition to launching balls deep into the woods behind the right field wall at St. Thomas Aquinas high school during batting practice. Pearson has been a consistent producer at major events with Marucci Elite, as well as solid showings at East Coast Pro, Area Code Games and others. Another LSU recruit, signability will be a factor when June rolls around, but Pearson certainly possess the toolset to justify a high draft slot.

It seems as though I have seen Daniel Cabrera making an impact in high school baseball in Louisiana for a decade. It hasn’t been quite that long, but it started when he was an eighth grader. He was clearly a special talent back then, but many thought he would end up as a left-handed pitcher. Things have played out, and over the course of the last three to four years, he has separated himself as premium left-handed bat. Cabrera doesn’t possess the most explosive toolset, but he flat out hits, and has produced against the best competition on the biggest stages. Another LSU recruit, Cabrera will almost certainly be an extremely difficult sign for a major league club, but the talent is certainly worthy of high round attention.

A few others to keep an eye on in the coming months include Teurlings Catholic SS Hayden Cantrelle, who flew somewhat under the draft radar for quite a while, but the Louisiana-Lafayette commit had an outstanding showing at the East Coast Pro tryout, running a 6.5 60-yard dash, and showing a simple repeatable swing from both left and right side, earning himself a roster spot to the event in Tampa. Cantrelle hit a home run from the left-side at the event and certainly intrigued scouts in attendance. RHP Ma’Khail Hilliard (Central (BR) HS) and RHP/IF Miguel Reyes (Lafayette HS), both LSU recruits, are two more who could garner draft interest moving forward. Hilliard is a projectable right-hander with a tight-spinning and explosive slider and he has run his fastball up to 88 mph. Reyes is a strong, physical right-hander that has run his fastball in the low 90s and also shown raw power as a right-handed hitter.

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