2018 High School Top 50 MLB Draft Prospects

SEE ALSO: 2018 College Top 50 MLB Draft Prospects

As the 2018 draft class takes shape, Baseball America this week is unveiling the top 50 prospects in the high school and college ranks. The high school class is defined by a wealth of pitching prospects who seemingly all throw into the 90s, although a number of different hitters have improved their stock thanks to performances at events like East Coast Pro, the Area Code Games and with USA Baseball’s 18U National Team.

The class is led by Georgia righthander Ethan Hankins, who dominated domestic and international batters alike this summer, in high school showcase environments and competitive play alike, including a 27-strikeout effort across two starts in Thunder Bay, Ontario, during the 2017 World Baseball Softball Confederation U18 World Cup.

Hankins compares favorably to recent top high school righthanders, such as Hunter Greene, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft; and 2016 first-rounders Ian Anderson (No. 3 overall) and Riley Pint (No. 4). He starts with an electric mid-90s fastball that has arguably the best life of any fastball in the class. Pitching with a break-neck tempo out of a 6-foot-6, 215 pound frame, Hankins will have to continue making progress with an inconsistent breaking ball to realize his immense potential, but scouts have seen flashes of a plus pitch this summer and most are convinced he’ll be in the triple digits this spring.

Hankins isn’t the only Georgia product high on the list, as his travel ball teammate, righthander Kumar Rocker, features the best pure stuff of any pitcher in the class thanks to a fastball in the mid 90s, a plus slider and at least an above-average changeup. A poor summer with a lot of hard contact against him has dropped Rocker’s stock somewhat, but he has the talent, size and stuff to easily trend in the other direction with a strong spring. Arizona lefthander Matthew Liberatore offers a tantalizing package with size—at 6-foot-5, 200 pounds—a three-pitch mix and a bulldog-like mentality on the mound.

While the class will be remembered for its pitching depth, it features number of exciting position players as well, headlined by California shortstop Brice Turang, who might be the safest bet of any player in the class as a smooth-fielding shortstop with one of the best hit tools of the group. Arizona third baseman Nolan Gorman raised his stock more than any other player this summer, after routinely displaying his plus raw power in games and during home run derbies (he won three) and showing potential as a plus defender at third base. Wisconsin outfielder Jarred Kelenic might be the best hitter in the class, and Florida shortstop Nander De Sedas has scouts enamored with power potential from both sides of the plate and a real shot to stick at shortstop.

It is admittedly extremely early in the draft process—especially so considering the rapidity in which high school players change—but the summer has given major league evaluators a good idea of the shape of the class at this point. Baseball America will continue to update its draft lists—compiled by the BA staff in consultation with major league scouts and other evaluators—regularly leading up to the beginning of the 2018 draft on June 4.

Rank Name, Pos. Ht. Wt. B/T HS/City, State Commit
1 Ethan Hankins, RHP bba_video_icon_red 6-6 215 R/R Forsyth Central HS/Cumming, Ga. Vanderbilt
2 Brice Turang, SS bba_video_icon_red 6-1 165 L/R Santiago HS/Corona, Calif. Louisiana State
3 Nolan Gorman, 3B bba_video_icon_red 6-1 210 L/R Sandra Day O’Connor HS/Phoenix Arizona
4 Matthew Liberatore, LHP 6-5 200 L/L Mountain Ridge HS/Riverdale, Ariz. Arizona
5 Jarred Kelenic, OF bba_video_icon_red 6-1 196 L/L Waukesha West HS/Waukesha, Wis. Louisville
6 Nander De Sedas, SS bba_video_icon_red 6-1 190 B/R Montverde (Fla.) Academy Florida State
7 Kumar Rocker, RHP 6-4 240 R/R North Oconee HS/Bogart, Ga. Vanderbilt
8 Ryan Weathers, LHP 6-2 210 R/L Loretto (Tenn.) HS Vanderbilt
9 Mike Vasil, RHP 6-4 210 L/R Boston College HS Virginia
10 Will Banfield, C bba_video_icon_red 6-0 200 R/R Brookwood HS/Snellville, Ga. Vanderbilt
11 Carter Stewart, RHP bba_video_icon_red 6-6 200 R/R Eau Gallie HS/Melbourne, Fla. Mississippi State
12 Mason Denaburg, C/RHP bba_video_icon_red 6-3 190 R/R Merritt Island (Fla.) HS Florida
13 Cole Wilcox, RHP bba_video_icon_red 6-5 220 R/R Heritage HS/Ringgold, Ga. Georgia
14 Triston Casas, 1B bba_video_icon_red 6-4 238 L/R American Heritage School/Plantation, Fla. Miami
15 Slade Cecconi, RHP 6-4 193 R/R Trinity Prep/Winter Park, Fla. Miami
16 Cole Winn, RHP 6-2 195 R/R Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS Mississippi State
17 Mike Siani, OF bba_video_icon_red 6-0 180 L/L William Penn Charter/Glenside, Pa. Virginia
18 Noah Naylor, C bba_video_icon_red 6-0 195 L/R St. Joan of Arc Catholic SS/Mississauga, Ont. Texas A&M
19 Braxton Ashcraft, RHP/3B 6-5 195 L/R Robinson (Texas) HS Baylor
20 Luke Bartnicki, LHP bba_video_icon_red 6-3 210 L/L Walton HS/Marietta, Ga. Georgia Tech
21 Alek Thomas, OF/LHP bba_video_icon_red 5-11 175 L/L Mount Carmel HS/Chicago TCU
22 Jeremiah Jackson, SS bba_video_icon_red 6-0 170 R/R St. Luke’s Episcopal School/Mobile, Ala. Mississippi State
23 Xavier Edwards, SS 5-10 155 B/R North Broward Prep/Coconut Creek, Fla. Vanderbilt
24 JT Ginn, RHP 6-2 199 R/R Brandon (Miss.) HS Mississippi State
25 Austin Becker, RHP bba_video_icon_red 6-6 185 R/R Big Walnut HS/ Sunbury, Ohio Vanderbilt
26 Jaden Hill, RHP/3B 6-4 215 R/R Ashdown (Ark.) HS Louisiana State
27 Anthony Seigler, C bba_video_icon_red 5-11 200 B/B Cartersville (Ga.) HS Auburn
28 Joe Gray Jr., OF bba_video_icon_red 6-3 195 R/R Hattiesburg (Miss.) HS Ole Miss
29 Landon Marceaux, RHP 6-0 180 R/R Destrehan (La.) HS Louisiana State
30 Connor Scott, OF bba_video_icon_red 6-4 180 L/L Plant HS/Tampa Florida
31 Jack Perkins, RHP 6-2 208 R/R Kokomo (Ind.) HS Louisville
32 Jordan Groshans, 3B bba_video_icon_red 6-4 190 R/R Magnolia (Texas) HS Kansas
33 Elijah Cabell, OF bba_video_icon_red 6-2 190 R/R TNXL Academy/Altamonte Springs, Fla. Louisiana State
34 Jonathan Childress, LHP 6-4 215 L/L Forney (Texas) HS Texas A&M
35 Adam Kloffenstein, RHP 6-5 220 R/R Magnolia (Texas) HS Texas Christian
36 Lineras Torres Jr., RHP 6-2 185 R/R Beacon School/New York St. John’s
37 Blaze Alexander, SS bba_video_icon_red 6-0 160 R/R Bishop Verot HS/Fort Myers, Fla. South Carolina
38 Nick Decker, OF 6-0 200 L/L Seneca HS/Tabernacle, N.J. Maryland
39 Simeon Woods-Richardson, RHP/3B 6-4 210 R/R Kempner HS/Sugar Land, Tex. Texas
40 J.P. Gates, LHP 6-2 190 L/L Nature Coast Tech HS/Spring Hill, Fla. Miami
41 Carter Raffield, RHP 6-4 215 R/R Bleckley County HS/Cochran, Ga. Clemson
42 Mason Ronan, LHP 6-2 190 L/L Penn Cambria HS/Cresson, Pa. Pittsburgh
43 Korey Holland, OF 6-0 173 R/R Langham Creek HS/Houston Texas
44 Austin Wells, C bba_video_icon_red 6-2 195 L/R Bishop Gorman HS/Las Vegas, Nev. Nevada
45 Ryder Green, OF bba_video_icon_red 6-2 205 R/R Knoxville (Tenn.) Christian Vanderbilt
46 Brandon Dieter, SS/RHP bba_video_icon_red 6-0 175 R/R South Hills HS/West Covina, Calif. Stanford
47 Raynel Delgado, SS/2B/3B bba_video_icon_red 6-2 195 B/R Calvary Christian Academy, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Florida International
48 Nick Northcut, 3B 6-0 200 R/R William Mason HS/Mason, Ohio Vanderbilt
49 Dominic Pipkin, RHP 6-4 170 R/R Pinole Valley HS/Pinole, Calif. California
50 Charles Mack, SS/3B/C 5-11 185 L/R Williamsville East/Williamsville, N.Y. Clemson

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