Baseball America compiled top prospect lists for 20 college summer leagues and USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team. Here are the No. 1 prospects for all 21 leagues, along with links to the full lists for subscribers. The writers who assembled these prospect lists were John Manuel, Teddy Cahill, Mike Lananna, Ian Frazer, Mike Lemaire, Pat Hickey, Justin Perline, Owen McCue and Shawn MacFarland.
|SUMMER LEAGUE TOP PROSPECT LISTS|
|Baseball America is ranking the top prospects in 20 summer leagues as well as Team USA.|
|Alaska League||Futures||Perfect Game|
|Atlantic Collegiate||Great Lakes||Prospect League|
|Cal Ripken Collegiate||Hamptons Collegiate||Sunbelt|
|California Collegiate||Jayhawk||Team USA|
|Cape Cod||MINK||Texas Collegiate|
|Coastal Plain||New England Collegiate||Valley|
|Florida Collegiate||Northwoods||West Coast|
1. Nick Madrigal, 2B/SS (Jr., Oregon State) 📹
Just 5-foot-7, 161 pounds, Madrigal will face durability questions as a pro, and scouts don’t see him hitting for the kind of power that other stars at his size, such as Dustin Pedroia and Jose Altuve, have produced as big leaguers.
Madrigal’s other tools, his baseball skills and makeup give him a high floor and likelihood of being a big league regular, however. One of the stars of Oregon State’s 56-6 spring season, he took charge of Team USA upon arrival from Omaha, showing leadership on and off the field. He’s at least a plus runner with 70-grade times to first base (as good as 3.97 seconds), with excellent baserunning and basestealing instincts. He has enough arm strength and plus footwork for shortstop and will be a plus defender at second base if he winds up there. His hands are his best asset defensively and offensively, and he makes consistent contact, with some power to his pull side. Madrigal’s game awareness, instincts and feel also earn plaudits.
1. Trey Harris, OF, Sedalia (Sr., Missouri)
Despite his brief stay, Harris took the MINK League by storm this year, racking up 33 hits in just 19 games to finish the season with a .434 batting average. His 5-foot-10, 219-pound frame gives evaluators pause, but Harris has the ability to wallop almost any ball over the fence. His 12 home runs at Missouri (eighth in the Southeastern Conference) are a testament to that plus raw power. Harris split time between right field and DH roles with Sedalia, and is also capable of manning second and third base because of his above-average arm. He swings with immense strength but is also keenly aware of the strike zone, walking 12 times this summer. Passed over in the draft this June, Harris could wind up being the first senior off the board in 2018 because of his athleticism and power.
1. Quin Cotton, OF, Mat-Su (So., Grand Canyon)
Just a rising sophomore, Cotton was the Alaska Summer League’s wire-to-wire hitting leader (.331/.382/.474) for the league-winning Miners and, according to league coaches and scouts, that wasn’t by accident. At 6-foot, 190 pounds, Cotton isn’t the most physically imposing player, but his advanced feel for hitting stood out to evaluators. It wasn’t just Cotton’s impressive bat speed or his ability to barrel up fastballs and offspeed pitches alike, coaches also lauded his ability to make adjustments at the plate on the fly and his legitimate gap-to-gap power. Miners coach Ben Taylor marveled at how long Cotton was able to keep the bat in the zone and also said that his thick lower half meant that as he adds strength, he will also add power. Cotton is not athletic enough to play center field and his arm is slightly below average, but he runs well enough to be a good corner outfielder.
Cape Cod League ($)
Like many players, Jenista struggled on the Cape after his freshman season, hitting .229/.301/.321 a year ago. In his return this summer to Cotuit, Jenista hit .310/.391/.401 and won the league's MVP award.
Jenista was raw coming out of high school in DeSoto, Kan., but adjusted quickly to college ball and has been Wichita State's leading hitter in each of the last two years. He continued to show his hitting ability this summer. The lefthanded batter has a level swing and a contact-oriented approach that leads to him consistently barreling up balls. While he shows plus raw power in batting practice, he is still learning how to tap into it in games. He is a disciplined hitter with a good two-strike approach.
Jenista has played mostly first base at Wichita State but is an above-average runner and manned center field for Cotuit. He is still learning the outfield, but he improved at his new position over the course of the summer. He is listed at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, earning body-type comparisons with the Indians' Bradley Zimmer. He isn't quite as quick as Zimmer, which may lead Jenista to settle in right field as a pro. His athleticism, feel for the barrel and emerging power give him the look of a top half of the first round pick.
1. Kyle Martin, rhp, Riverhead (So., Fordham)
Martin was virtually unhittable in the spring for the Rams, and his dominance continued into the summer season with Riverhead, where he posted a 1.54 ERA with 39 strikeouts over 23.1 innings out of the bullpen. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound rising sophomore relied on a fastball that sat 88-92 mph most of the season, with occasional dips into the mid 90s. Out of a low 3/4 arm slot, his heater really moves, and he paired it with an average to plus slider and an adequate changeup that he developed this summer. It remains to be seen whether Martin will be stretched out at Fordham. He still needs some polish but has the work ethic and mindset to start or close games. Martin finished his summer with Brewster of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
1. Parker Caracci, RHP, Baltimore Redbirds (So., Mississippi)
Caracci warmed up for his first first full season at Ole Miss by dominating Ripken League hitters. A 2015 high school grad, he spent the last two years at an in-state prep school and will be draft-eligible in 2018. This summer the 6-foot, 200-pound righthander pitched and was first in wins (7), ERA (0.70), strikeouts (48, against 12 walks) and games pitched (20), all in relief. He gave up 18 hits with a o.73 WHIP. Caracci has a mid-to-high three-quarters delivery to power a 89-93 mph fastball. He's very intense and tries to overpower hitters, sometimes leaving the pitch up in the zone or flattening out movement. His second pitch is an 86-87 slider with late-breaking action. He adds a 78-81 curve with late action away from righthanded hitters.
1. Andre Nnebe, of, Wilson (So., Santa Clara)
Nnebe’s raw tools are off-the-charts and immediately apparent at one glance at his 6-foot-6, 230-pound frame. Coming out of high school, scouts compared the northern California native to Aaron Judge for his power antics, and coaches now note he might be even taller than his listed height. Despite his giant levers, Nnebe had a very successful freshman season at Santa Clara, batting .293 as their everyday center fielder. And while his plate discipline and swing mechanics have a ways to go—understandably given his body—his raw power is unrivaled in the league. To boot, he’s been clocked at as low as 6.5 seconds in a 60-yard dash. That speed plays well in the outfield, giving Nnebe a chance to stick in centerfield for now then slide over to left field as he adds mass and slows down. No matter where he plays, the tools are all there for Nnebe to become a first-round talent down the road.
1. Levi Stoudt, RHP, Quakertown (So., Lehigh)
At 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, Stoudt has a smooth, effortless delivery, producing a fastball that sits 91-93 mph and can reach up to 95. Stoudt also flashes an above-average slider in the low 80s, while also showing feel for a changeup, giving him enough variance to potentially profile as a starter. As a freshman at Lehigh in 2017, Stoudt posted the second-lowest ERA (2.34) in the Patriot League and earned an all-conference selection. He only pitched 29.2 innings this summer; Stoudt struck out 28 hitters and walked nine during his time with Quakertown.
1. Gunner Halter, SS/RHP, Texarkana (Jr. Seminole State CC)
Drafted by the Blue Jays as a shortstop in the 22nd round of the 2017 draft, Halter opted not to sign and instead spent the summer in Texarkana, where the results were mixed (.279/.394/.414), but he continues to impress with raw ability. At 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, Halter has a lanky frame that could take on more strength. He has a good approach at the plate and a quick bat that is not easily overpowered by velocity. In the field, Halter has a strong arm and has even garnered some attention as a pitcher at the next level.
1. Kameron Misner, of, Newport (So., Missouri)
Misner followed up his impressive freshman campaign at Missouri (.287 with seven home runs and 12 doubles) with an all-star summer with Newport in which he hit .387/.479/.652, with eight home runs and 13 doubles. His bat is easily his best tool—he has an easy, across-the-middle stroke and is willing to hit to both sides of the field despite impressive pull power. But his speed and strong arm have helped him find defensive success in the outfield. Listed at 6-foot-4, 219 pounds, he already passes the eye test but still has room to fill out and potentially add even more power.
1. Zach Watson, OF, Rockford (So., Louisiana State)
LSU’s frenetic offensive attack helped the Tigers reach the College World Series championship series this year, and Watson was a key piece of that unit. The draft-eligible sophomore has speed and range on par with former LSU star and current big leaguer Andrew Stevenson, getting down the line in around 4.1 seconds from the righthanded batter’s box and running the 60-yard dash in 6.4 seconds. Watson, lithely built at 6-foot, 165 pounds, has quick, strong hands and excellent pop for his size. His swing plane is built for line drives, but he often scalds balls hard enough to send them over the fence, and his speed is probably best suited for a gap approach anyways. Watson’s arm is just average, but even with that, his toolsy skill set stands out to evaluators.
1. Colin Simpson, c, Hays (Jr., Oklahoma State)
Simpson mainly caught this summer for Hays, but the lefty’s bat was so devastating he DHed when not behind the dish. When a person imagines a DHing catcher, that is what Simpson looks like at 5-foot-9, 221 pounds. His compact size keeps him small behind the plate, but his power is going to carry him to the next level. In his sophomore season, he led Oklahoma State in home runs (11). He continued his power hitting into the summer with a Jayhawk League-leading 12 home runs. He finished the season with a .451/.500/.797 slash line, and his 1.297 OPS easily led the league (min 20 PA). Even with his ability to barrel up the ball, he showed some surprising athleticism and speed. He made it to second base in 8.51 seconds on a hustle double.
1. Will Freeman, RHP, Kokomo (So., Jones County, Miss., JC)
A 6-foot-2, 213-pound righthander, Freeman featured one of the Prospect League’s best fastballs this summer, according to coaches in the league, and he impressed with his ability to command four pitches. Freeman’s four-seam fastball sat 90-92 mph most of the summer, coaches said, and approached 94 mph on occasion. Freeman used an 83-84 mph slider and a curveball at 79-81 mph to collect 59 strikeouts in just 45.1 innings for Kokomo. He also showed good feel for a two-seam fastball and a changeup to lefthanded hitters. Coaches described Freeman, who went 4-1, 2.58 overall, as a big, strong kid who “dominated this league.”
1. Zachary Peek, RHP, Strasburg, (So., Winthrop)
After posting a 5-1, 3.70 record in 24 appearances in his college freshman spring, Peek upped his game during his Valley summer. Using a mid-to high-three-quarters delivery, he racked 40 strikeouts and just six walks in 35 innings pitched for a 0.89 WHIP. He pitched to a 1.80 ERA (third in the league). Peek has the necessary size (6-foot-3, 195 pounds), velocity and control as he gets more experience in college ball. His 89-93 mph fastball has movement off the corners and in the zone. He has a short-arm delivery and is deceptively quick over the top. His three-pitch mix includes an 83-84 change with enough depth for now and a 76-79 curve with 11-5 action.
1. Phil Clarke, C, Martha’s Vineyard (Fr., Vanderbilt)
Listed as the 167th-best draft prospect in this year’s BA Top 500, Clarke is a smooth-swinging, lefthanded-hitting catcher out of Nashville who is staying close to home. Consistently listed by Futures League observers as the top prospect in the league, Clarke has an above-average hit tool and at least average projected power as his two carrying tools. Several managers said Clarke was among the toughest outs in the league, with an advanced approach and excellent barrel awareness helping him hit .337/.427/.479.
While receiving several compliments on his work ethic and athleticism,Clarke’s defense is currently behind his bat. Mostly regarded as a solid receiver with room for improvement in regards to his arm strength, there seemed to be near consensus that three additional years to physically mature at Vanderbilt could have Clarke as one of the top college catchers in 2020.
1. Dominic Fletcher, OF, Orange County, (So., Arkansas)
Coming out of Cypress (Calif.) High in 2016, Fletcher was ranked 206 in the BA Top 500. He went undrafted and attended Arkansas where he earned freshman All-American honors this spring. Fletcher followed a .291/.356/.495, 12-homer season at Arkansas by batting .358 for Orange County's championship-winning squad this summer. He is an above-average hitter and outfielder and has an above-average arm with some speed and power, as well. He hit six homers and stole eight bases for the Riptide. The biggest knock against him is his size. At 5-foot-9, 175 pounds he might not have as much room to grow as other prospects.
1. Chris Lincoln, RHP, Walla Walla (So., UC Santa Barbara)
Lincoln has the size and stuff that projects well moving forward. He’s 6-foot-4, 175 pounds and showed a three-pitch mix that left some raving about the native of Moreno Valley, Calif. “He was 91-93, touching 94,” said one league manager. “He has the kind of curveball that makes righthanded hitters jump out of the box and a changeup that made our lefties miss by 8-12 inches. I think the most impressive part is how easy it looked; very smooth.” Lincoln had a good but not great summer with a 4.05 ERA and 36 strikeouts to 18 walks in 33.1 innings. He was a 13th-round pick by Toronto last summer and is clearly on radars. But there are some inconsistencies that need to be fixed before he starts contributing out of the Gauchos' rotation. Lincoln had an ERA just south of five as a freshman this spring.
1. Tyler Keysor, rhp, Leesburg (So., Eastern Florida State JC)
A rising sophomore at Eastern Florida State JC, Keysor possesses a slew of tools that propelled him to the top of this list. He uses his size—6-foot-6, 210 pounds—to deliver a low-90s fastball, with the ability to reach 95 mph as he showed in the five-team Southern Collegiate showcase tournament July 15-16. Evaluators describe his fastball as a sinker. Both his fastball and his low 80s changeup have arm-side run, giving Keysor a nice advantage against righthanded hitters. He also has a curveball that flashed sharp break at 76-79 mph. Keysor flashed above-average defensive ability by finishing his delivery in a solid position and utilizing his athleticism to spring off the mound. Keysor, who struck out 36 in 32 innings in the spring, had a strong summer, going 2-1, 2.03 with 33 strikeouts in 26.2 innings and has considerable room to grow.
1. Bailey Peterson, 2B/OF, Grand River, (So., Michigan State)
Peterson was voted as the top hitting prospect in the GLSCL this summer. As a freshman at Kellogg (Mich.) JC this spring, Peterson batted .473, finishing fourth in the NJSCAA in hitting. He also stole 20 bases and hit 11 homers. He followed that by batting .374/.455/.718, stealing 11 bases and hitting 12 homers this summer. He handled all kinds of pitching and hit the ball to all fields. The 6-foot, 180-pound Peterson is a good athlete and an above-average runner, but his defense is a question mark. He played both infield (mostly second and first base) and outfield this summer and wasn’t better than an average defender at any position. He will play at Michigan State this spring.
1. T.J. Collett, 1B/C, Amsterdam (So., Kentucky)
From a power standpoint, Collett might have the best bat in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. After missing his first season with the Wildcats with a torn knee ligament, Collett bounced back from injury nicely and slashed .375/.465/.639 with five home runs in 20 games for Amsterdam. Collett has legitimate plus power; Mohawks coach Keith Griffin said he had never seen power like Collett’s in his nine years in the league, while Albany head coach Dave Dewey added that if tossed into MLB batting practice today, Collett would fit right in. The 6-foot-1 Collett could be an immediate impact bat for the Wildcats this spring, led by a hit tool that got him drafted out of high school (40th round, 2016, Twins) and named last year’s top prospect in the Prospect League.
1. Michael Livingston, rhp, Sunbelt (Sr., Young Harris)
Livingston is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound righthander with a loose, smooth delivery. He works from a three-quarters arm slot with a fastball in the 89-91 mph range. He has more control than command, finding the zone consistently and flashing decent two-seam action with his fastball. He walked just six batters to 43 strikeouts in 38.1 innings this summer. His offspeed is a bit raw at this point, but he gets decent break on both pitches. His changeup sits 79-82 mph with occasional run. The best of his secondary pitches is his breaking ball, which he delivers from 83-85 mph, with more of a horizontal action.