Stock Watch: Unsigned 2017s

Trey Sofio
Louisiana Scouting Director

Today’s recruiting scene has rapidly changed over the last decade, and is much different than it was even as soon as five years ago. As the vast majority of prospects across the country have found their way on to high-level select teams, attend showcase, and seek other means to get in front of college coaches, it has become increasingly difficult for players to slip through the cracks.

However, like anything in life, nothing is 100% and there will always be the few that remain under the radar for a long, and ever changing, list of reasons.

Today, Prep Baseball Report Louisiana takes a look at five prospects that improved their stock this summer, but still remain widely unknown. All five prospects, almost exclusively, played local American Legion ball in the New Orleans metropolitan area throughout the summer, which is comprised mainly of local area high school programs, who use the summer to get younger players experience in preparation for the following Spring season.

Let’s dive into the five unsigned 2017 prospects, who improved their stocks this summer:

+ Cyle Clayton, RHP, Holy Cross HS(2017)
Showing to be, primarily, a position player during the Spring for Holy Cross, Clayton made a significant jump on the mound during the Legion season for Holy Cross based Ponstein’s. At times, Clayton flashed upper 80s velocity with a true, hard, 12/6 breaking ball that devastated the local league.
State Rank: 22
A 5-foot-11, 185-pound right-handed pitcher with a medium, strong frame. Long arm action with slight wrap, into high-3/4 release with regular effort. Smooth rhythm, slightly closed off direction, lands square and finishes athletic. Fastball sits 85-87 mph touching 89 mph with control and occasional tilt and angle. Breaking ball shows 12/6 shape with tight spin, quality depth, sharp break and fastball arm speed at 74-76. Also will show a slider with 10/4 shape, sharp break and short depth at 76-78

+ Mason Vicknair, INF/RHP, Riverside HS(2017)
Although his name has been thrown around as early as his freshmen season, Vicknair still remains a mystery to most. He has dominated class 2A the last few season for Riverside HS, and showed well this summer during American Legion for the Pedal Valves Cardinals. It’s still unclear if he will end up being a hitter or pitcher, but he has shown, not only raw, but also in-game power. The only hiccup being he has yet to be challenged with consistent upper level stuff and velocity over any stretch of time.
State Rank: 33
A 6-foot-3, 190-pound infielder and right-handed pitcher with a lean, athletic frame with long levers. Right-handed hitter that hits from balanced, athletic setup, smooth load, short stride and quality lower half. Pull, power type hitter with solid rhythm, strength at contact, slightly uphill path that creates extension through contact and quality bat speed in the zone. Solid defender with average hands, solid footwork and clean exchanges. Long arm action into high-3/4 release with accuracy on throws and solid arm speed. Right-handed pitcher with long arm action into ¾ release with quick arm speed. Some rhythm, level shoulders, in-line direction and finishes athletic. Fastball sits 83-85 mph touching 87 mph with arm side run and control. Breaking ball shows 11/5 shape with solid depth and occasional tight spin.

+ Nick Ray, INF, Jesuit HS(2017)
Ray has been a solid producer for the Jesuit Blue Jays, both during the Spring and the Summer, since his freshmen year. He has a prototypical frame, moves around athletically, and will show strength, on occasion, at the plate. He has had tough luck with consistently staying healthy, and has yet to be challenged with velocity and quality secondary stuff.
State Rank: 45
A 6-foot-2, 195-pound infielder with a long, physical, extremely athletic frame. Outstanding overall athlete that posted a 6.83 60 yard dash. Solid defender with average hands, fluid footwork, clean exchange and fields in an athletic position. Short arm action into high-3/4 release with accuracy on throws that produced a positional velocity of 81 mph. Right-handed hitter that hits from a balanced setup, smooth load, leg kick, quality lower half and balance. Gap to gap type hitter with fluid rhythm that creates solid extension and bat speed that produced an exit velocity of 89 mph.

+ Cole Nalesnik, C, Holy Cross HS(2017)
A solid performer now for two years at Holy Cross, Nalesnik is a left-handed hitting catcher, which will always be valueable. It’s a simple swing, with feel to hit, the only question is if he can handle the demanding defensive duties of catching a college pitching staff.
State Rank: 53
A 5-foot-11, 170-pound catcher with an average, athletic frame. Left-handed hitter with a balanced, athletic setup, smooth load, short stride and a presence in the box. Gap to gap type hitter with a simple, repeatable stroke, bat path stays flat through the zone and solid bat speed. Solid defensive catcher that shows solid receiving skills with soft hands and advanced blocking abilities.

+ Collin Kulivan, RHP, Jesuit HS(2017)
Kullivan is a projection right-hander with very limited mound time thus far in his career. In one of the few outings he got during the Spring season, Kullivan was very intriguing against Venice(FL), as he sat 84-87 mph for four innings and spun the baseball well, holding a very solid offensive club in check for the most part. During the Summer, he showed his inexperience struggling with command on occasion.
State Rank: 63
A 6-foot-3, 165-pound right-handed pitcher with a long, lean, athletic frame. Long arm action into high-3/4 release with quick arm speed and regular effort. Some rhythm, level shoulders, in-line direction and finishes athletic. Fastball sits 83-86 mph and has touched an 88 mph, but struggles with control at times. Breaking ball shows 11/5 shape with occasional depth, solid spin, gradual break, and near fastball arm speed.

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