Early Draft Preview: High School Best Tools

Standout tools in high school, based on votes from major league scouting directors. Text by Clint Longenecker.

HIGH SCHOOL

BEST ATHLETE: Nick Gordon, Olympia HS, Orlando. Big league bloodlines and wiry build make Gordon capable of producing plus times in the 60-yard dash and highlight reel plays at shortstop.
Other candidates: Monte Harrison, Lee’s Summit West (Mo.) HS; Michael Gettys, Gainesville (Ga.) HS; Jacob Gatewood, Clovis (Calif.) HS

Jacob Gatewood

Jacob Gatewood (Photo by Larry Goren)

BEST HITTER: Alex Jackson, Rancho Bernardo, Escondido, Calif. From a powerful body, Jackson unleashes plus bat speed, works inside the ball well and drives the ball up the middle with elite exit velocity.
Other candidates: Forrest Wall, Orangewood Christian HS, Winter Park, Fla.; Gordon; Braxton Davidson, Roberson HS, Asheville, N.C.

BEST POWER: Gatewood. Long, lean 6-foot-4 build and special hands create at least 70-grade raw power capable of jaw-dropping power displays in batting practice.
Other candidates: Gareth Morgan, North Toronto (Ont.) SS; Jackson; Davidson

BEST SPEED: Gettys. Gettys brings rare explosiveness as a powerful runner who gets up to up to full speed quickly.
Other candidates: Jeren Kendall, Holmen (Wisc.) HS; Anfernee Seymour, Elev8 Sports Institute, Delray Beach, Fla.; Carl Chester, Lake Brantley, Longwood, Fla.; Derek Hill, Elk Grove (Calif.) HS

BEST DEFENDER: Milton Ramos, American Heritage, Hialeah Gardens, Fla. A defensive wizard with supreme body control, Ramos has elite actions and quickness with an above-average arm and hands.
Other candidates: Hill; Gordon

BEST INFIELD ARM: Gordon. With an arm capable of touching 94 on the mound, Gordon also shows elite zip and carry.
Other candidates: Gatewood; Michael Chavis, Sprayberry HS, Marietta, Ga.

BEST OUTFIELD ARM: Gettys. His fastball has touched the mid-90s and he threw 100 mph from the outfield this summer.
Other candidates: Harrison; Morgan; Roberto Gonzalez, University HS, Orlando.

BEST FASTBALL: Tyler Kolek, Shepherd (Texas) HS. With minimal effort, Kolek can run his fastball into the upper 90s and touch 99 mph.
Other candidates: Dylan Cease, Milton (Ga.) HS, Grant Holmes, Conway (S.C.) HS, Sean Reid-Foley, Sandalwood HS, Jacksonville

BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Kodi Medeiros, Waiakea HS, Hilo, Hawaii (Slider). Medeiros’ low arm slot gives his wipeout slider rare depth and tilt, drawing at least plus grades at its best.
Other candidates: Jake Godfrey (curveball), Providence Catholic, New Lenox, Ill.; Aiken (curve); Keaton McKinney, Ankeny (Iowa) HS (changeup); Kolek (curve)

BEST COMMAND: Brady Aiken, Cathedral Catholic, San Diego. With clean, effortless mechanics and good extension out front, the athletic Aiken can locate to every quadrant of the zone.
Other candidates: Justus Sheffield, Tullahoma (Tenn.) HS; Medeiros; Mac Marshall, Parkview HS, Lilburn, Ga.

CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Kolek. Workhorse build, premium fastball and excellent makeup could allow Kolek to move quickly for a high school hurler.
Other candidates: Aiken; Jackson; Gordon