Posted by Mack Ade at 12:00 PM
1. Jeren Kendall Vanderbilt
Red Reporter - At this stage, Jeren Kendall is regarded to be “easily” the top college position prospect. While the consensus behind that wasn’t necessarily 100% going into 2016 draft, plenty of scouts were saying the same things about Senzel when the Reds held the number two pick last season. A fast-twitch athlete with five-tool potential, Kendall stands out most with his plus-plus speed and also possesses deceptive strength. He has learned to incorporate his lower half in his left-handed swing while at Vanderbilt and has good balance at the plate. There's more swing and miss in Kendall's game than scouts would like, leading to some concerns about his pitch recognition and whether he'll reach his offensive upside.
2. Jordan Adell Ballard HS (LA)
DRB - Possibly the best athlete in this draft class, Adell’s potential is extreme. He can run as well as anyone, he’s got prodigious power, and he profiles well at any of the 3 outfield positions. The best quote I could find to describe his speed is this one:This year at the Perfect Game National Showcase, Jordon ran a 6.19, the seventh-fastest time ever recorded by Perfect Game. They go on to compare his time to Mike Trout who clocked a time of 6.5. If the Rays are looking for a bat and are willing to make it one that has all of the tools required to become the best 5-tool outfielder the franchise has ever had, Adell is their target. While some may prefer to go the safer route and grab one of the College arms in this draft, the Rays have an opportunity to get a franchise altering player who could be fast-tracked once he turns pro. With his makeup and abilities, the sky’s the limit.
3. Quentin Holmes McClancy Memorial HS (NY) -
Fangraphs - Holmes has abundant energy and easily runs well enough to play center field, though the rest of his skillset is middling. The bat speed and arm strength are both fringe to average and Holmes’ overall offensive approach is unpolished, though that is unsurprising for a cold-weather prospect. The carrying tool here is Holmes’ instinctive defense which, aided by impressive speed, projects to plus in center. Holmes glides from gap to gap and his reads both back toward the wall and in on shallow flies are good. There’s a chance for some offense down the line, especially given considering Holmes’ physical projection, but this is absolutely a glove-first prospect right now. We’ve players like this go as high as the second round in recent years, with Rangers and Nationals 2015 second rounders Eric Jenkins and Blake Perkins representing some contemporary examples.
4. Michael Gigliotti Lipscomb
When The Giants Come To Town - Michael Gigliotti is a true CF with current gap power and lots of room to gain size and strength. He has shown elite on-base skills and has led all of college baseball in bunt hits over the last 2 years. As you can see, he has performed well in wood bat summer leagues although his K's spiked a bit in the CCL. He definitely has a lot of the qualities the Giants look for in a hitter, up-the-middle defense, contact and on-base skills and gap power. Given approximately equal talent, I think the Giants will and should favor pitching in the draft, but if they think Gigliotti is the BPA, they could grab him at #19.
5. Connor Uselton Southmoore HS (OK)
Dynasty Digest - Conner Uselton is an 18 year old, 6'3 185 lbs, outfielder from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He is going into his senior year at Southmoore High School. Uselton is one of the top high school prospects for the upcoming 2017 MLB Draft. You can find my scouting report for this potential 5-tool outfielder below: Hitting: Uselton has the potential to be a huge threat at the plate. He is a right-handed hitter with tons of pop. Throughout multiple Perfect Game Showcases, he has shown the ability to hit very well off of some of the best talent in the country. He shows great hand quickness through the zone and superb extension through the zone into his followthrough. This dangerous combination could lead to 55-65 power (on a 20-80 scale). My one concern in his swing is the fact that he casts his arms back and loads his hands a little too long, which could lead to quite a few strikeouts. With that said, it should also lead to more power, which means there is some positives and negatives about this habit. His body has plenty of room to fill out with muscle as well, so his offensive potential is immense. Scouting Grades: Hit: 50/60 Power: 55/65
6. Garrett Mitchell Orange Lutheran HS (CA)
- Fangraphs - As an underclassman Mitchell had some top-of-the-draft buzz because, among other things, he could absolutely fly, had projectable power and scouts hoped his swing would smooth out as he developed adult physicality. But Mitchell’s swing, clunky and stiff, remains a bit of a mess. Despite that, he has found a way to make it work in games to great success and is able to produce more power than most of his peers during batting practice.
7. Calvin Mitchell Rancho Bernardo HS (CA)
DRB - Mitchell is the kind of prospect that sometimes gets pre-draft helium effect based on latest performances. The sound of the ball coming off his bat tells you all you need to know about his power, and he’s had success in events like the home run derby as a result. 2016 Stats: 34 GP, .371/.473/.828, 41 RBI, 12 HR, 18 BB, 21 SO - The patience at the plate, the prodigious power, all added up he’ll be an enticing player for the Rays to evaluate. Considered by many to be the best bat in this draft, he’ll be hard to overlook. Detractors of his being selected in top 5 point to his possibly being limited to LF due to a questionable arm and defensive abilities.
8. Cole Turney William B Travis HS (TX)
Baseball Factory - Cole showed a well-rounded set of tools at the November 2014 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout in Tomball, TX, his first event with us. He was a two-way player at the time, with a nice left-handed stroke to go with 6.75 speed in the 60 yard dash and an 85 mph fastball — all advanced for a player with just one year of high school baseball under his belt. The depth of his abilities became more clear at the 2015 Under Armour All-America Pre-Season Tournament, where he earned Top 10 honors among 2017 graduates. By the time we saw him again, in November 2015 at the Under Armour Futures Texas Showcase, he’d added 15 pounds and grown one inch such that he was listed at 6-foot and 190 pounds, up from 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds as we first saw him. With just a quick look it was apparent that his body had changed, and with a quick listen it was apparent that the ball was coming off his bat differently as well.
9. Cole Brannen Westfield Schools (GA)
Baseball Factory - When we first saw Cole in June 2013 as a rising freshman, he was a shortstop. He remained in the infield through three events with us in 2014 before showing in the outfield for the first time in March 2015, by which time his 60 yard dash had improved from 7.21 to 6.85. By the July 2015 Baseball Factory Under Armour National East Showcase he’d completed his move to the outfield, and had lowered his 60 yard dash all the way down to 6.43 — marking an improvement of nearly eight tenths of a second in a little more than two years. At the July 2015 event, and again at the October 2015 Baseball Factory Under Armour Futures South Showcase, an even bigger difference became apparent — raw power. In July with a metal bat in his first round of BP, he launched a couple of long home runs on top of the building behind the right field wall at The Chuck at Homeplate, sending numerous scouts scrambling in an effort to get him to use a wood bat for his second round. He complied that day, and gave us a longer look with wood in October, and both times showed an exciting combination of bat speed and leverage.
10. Keston Hiura UC Irvine
Knuckleball - Appearing in 17 games as a designated or pinch hitter, he slashed .289/.356/.553 and led Team USA with three home runs despite getting significantly fewer plate appearances (43) than some other players on the team. He also provided the signature moment of the team’s international tour when he hit what became the game-winning home run in the eighth inning of the series finale with Cuba, clinching Team USA’s first-ever series win in Cuba.