With only two weeks until the draft, time is running out for players to make a last impression. Here’s the second-to-last Draft Tracker of the year, but don’t forget to check for daily updates on BA’s Draft Blog too!
David Renfroe, ss/rhp, South Panola HS, Batesville, Miss.
Renfroe has two-way talent and ability but has been telling teams he wants to be a position player. He has third-base tools at the plate and in the field, with good infield actions defensively, plenty of arm strength, a surprising feel for hitting and average-to-plus raw power. That raw power was evident last year at the Under Armour/Baseball Factory All-American Game in Wrigley Field, where he homered of Canadian lefty Jake Eliopoulos. He also struck out five in two innings, though, and has flashed two plus pitches at times off the mound. He’s locked in to Ole Miss, where his dad pitched, but he could be trying to work a pre-draft deal to a team that wants him as a hitter.
Matt Bashore, lhp, Indiana
Bashore piqued the interest of scouts when he hit 94 mph last spring, but then he came down with a tender arm and pitched out of the bullpen in the Cape Cod League during the summer. He started slowly this spring but had turned in five quality starts in his last six outings heading into the last week of the regular season. He’s attractive because he’s a lefty with size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds), velocity (his fastball sits at 90-91 mph and has peaked at 95 this year), a pair of solid breaking pitches and an effective splitter/changeup. Bashore has an easy delivery and has improved his control this year. He gives Indiana a third player with a chance to get popped in the first two rounds, joining righthander Eric Arnett and catcher Josh Phegley.
Robbie Erlin, lhp, Scotts Valley (Calif.) HS
Multiple scouts have said the same thing about Erlin: “If he were two inches taller, you’d be talking about him as a first rounder.” One scout regretted that it had to come down to that. “That sucks that what we do for a living is look at kids and cookie cut them like that.” Erlin is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound lefthander from the Santa Cruz area. Despite the small frame, he still has some life to his fastball, pitching at 89-92 mph. He commands the pitch to both sides of the plate and also has a well-above-average curveball—a hammer he can throw for strikes in any count. He can get underneath his changeup a little bit, but it too has a chance to be above-average. Erlin is regarded as a great kid and is committed to Cal Poly.
Alex White, rhp, North Carolina
White still has top shelf stuff: a fastball that sits 91-94 mph and has topped out at 97, a sharp slider and a split-finger fastball that he uses as a changeup and results in a lot of missed bats. Still, he can struggle with his command and often falls victim to the big inning. That was the case on May 22 in the ACC Tournament when he got bounced after getting one out in the third inning and giving up eight runs. A few were metal-bat hits, but some of the balls were squared up as well. With plenty of scouts on hand, including some scouting directors with high picks, it wasn’t a good time to have his worst outing this season. White is still likely to go in the top half of the first round, but his stock slipped a little bit.
Mark Fleury, c, North Carolina
Like his Friday-night battery mate, Fleury’s stock is falling late in the year. The Tar Heels catcher has stopped hitting, perhaps wearing down from a heavy catching load late in the season, and might slip out of the first five or six rounds altogether. On top of that, he’s been relegated to DH duty lately with freshman backstop Jacob Stallings healthy, so scouts aren’t getting final looks at Fleury behind the plate. He’s still a nice package, as a lefthanded hitter with offensive ability, solid defense and leadership skills, but the bat has taken a step backwards in recent weeks.
Brooks Raley, lhp/of, Texas A&M
Another player that’s struggled at the wrong time is Aggies two-way talent Brooks Raley. In his May 22 start in the Big 12 tournament against Oklahoma, Raley lasted just one inning, giving up seven runs before getting the hook. He works mainly with an 87-90 mph sinker, a slider and a changeup, and he also has a four-seam fastball that peaks at 93 mph and a curveball. Scouts respect his ability to compete and to command all of his offering, but he doesn’t have a true out pitch, which will leave him with little margin for error in pro ball. Though Raley has a clean delivery, they also wonder how well he’ll hold up at a wiry 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds. A sophomore-eligible, he’s spooking clubs by not giving them any inkling as to his asking price or agent, so he could last much longer in the draft than his talent would dictate.
Contributing: Jim Callis, Conor Glassey & John Manuel