From the Hip: NPI 2022s
June 30, 2021
The 2021 class is still lingering on the clock thanks to a late, mid-July MLB Draft date, and scouting departments have been forced to “double-barrel” draft classes throughout June. This means that while continuing to follow the current year’s players (2021), getting ahead on 2022’s might ultimately be just as vital. The National Program Invitational, at the Lakepoint facility just outside of Atlanta, served as a perfect one-stop shop to get an initial look at next year’s draft hopefuls...and it was quite the look.
With four age groups on the pristine Lakepoint campus, much of my attention was spent tracking the underclass participants. However, given the level of talent in the upper class, it was impossible not to head over for a collection of games throughout the week.
Below, a look at 13 future prospects that made a strong first impression as they kicked off the summer and are just weeks away from being officially “put on the clock” for the 2022 MLB Draft.
Kaden Carpenter OF / LHP / American Fork, UT / 2022
Rankings StateRank: 5 / POS: 3
Listed as a primary pitcher, uncommitted 2022 LHP/OF Kaden Carpenter (American Fork HS, UT) looked even more impressive at the plate where his left-handed bat produced eye-opening power throughout the NPI. With one of the most imposing frames in the class at 6-foot-5, 215-pounds with lean, defined strength and plenty of athleticism, Carpenter gets to that strength with a simple stroke with quick hands that allow him to work flat through the zone in producing effortless power with louder exit velocities. He demonstrated an ability to change planes and make adjustments, and there is plus-power potential with fluidity to the all-around athleticism. Increasing his stock as a two-way player at the next level, Carpenter hopped on the mound in a relief appearance and showcased a quick arm with a mid to upper 80s fastball that will likely top 90 mph in coming years along with quality feel for secondary offerings. However, the power potential as a middle-of-the-order type bat might be too appealing, and with a frame that is already pro-ready, look for MLB scouts to circle Utah perennial power, American Fork HS, for a visit next spring.
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