High School Preview: Preseason All-America First Team

This year's high school class is a solid-average crop and a significant upgrade from last year's class, which was one of the most fallow in recent memory. Velocity is this class’ defining characteristic, especially compared to last year, which lacked power arms. No hurler has more velocity than Shepherd (Texas) High righthander Tyler Kolek, the only player from high school or college to be voted a unanimous first team All-American. Ballots were sent to all 30 major league scouting directors. Shortstop Jacob Gatewood of Clovis (Calif.) High and first baseman Braxton Davidson (Roberson High, Asheville, N.C.) finished one vote shy of being unanimous selections. There was a fairly strong consensus on the first-team position players, with third base receiving the greatest division of votes. Although four third basemen received first-team votes, Michael Chavis (Sprayberry High, Marietta, Ga.) received roughly two-thirds. The depth of high school position players exceeds the depth of college position players.

Alex Jackson
C Alex Jackson
Rancho Bernardo HS, Escondido, Calif.

Jackson has hit well against older competition on the circuit for years and is arguably the top pure hitter in the class, offering plus bat speed, plus power potential and feel for the barrel. The strongly built member of San Diego Show has a plus arm and is a good athlete with positional versatility.

Yr. AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB Commitment
Sr. .343 108 50 37 8 0 14 33 8 oregon

Braxton Davidson
1B Braxton Davidson
Roberson HS, Asheville, N.C.

With plus power potential from the left side, the powerfully built Davidson is one of the top power bats in the class and has shown feel to hit in games. Davidson, who plays travel ball for the Dirtbags, is young for the class and won't turn 18 until after the draft.

Yr. AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB Commitment
 Sr.  .403 77  36  31  7  1  8  30  6 northcarolina

Jacob Gatewood
MIF Jacob Gatewood
Clovis (Calif.) HS

Another member of San Diego Show, Gatewood has arguably the most raw power in the class and won two home run derbies in big league stadiums this summer. A plus athlete with soft hands, Gatewood's above-average arm and at least average speed should make him a solid defender.

Yr. AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB Commitment
Sr. .320 103 31 33 5 1 4 20 3 southerncalifornia

Nick Gordon
MIF Nick Gordon
Olympia HS, Orlando, Fla.

Gordon has the potential to be at least an average defender at shortstop, has the best infield arm in the class and has posted above-average 60-yard dash times. Gordon, who plays travel ball for FTB Chandler, has shown the ability to hit for average, and is the son of former big leaguer Tom Gordon.

Yr. AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB Commitment
Sr. .505 99 23 50 15 6 2 30 12 floridastate

Michael Chavis
3B Michael Chavis
Sprayberry HS, Marietta, Ga.

Chavis is an intense competitor with a well-rounded skillset. The strong infielder has plus bat speed, has hit well in games and won the Perfect Game All-American Classic Home Run Derby. An East Cobb Brave, Chavis has an above-average arm, average speed and good body control on defense.

Yr. AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB Commitment
Sr. .435 69 30 30 10 1 12 34 11 clemson

Michael Gettys
OF Michael Gettys
Gainesville (Ga.) HS

A premium power/speed athlete, Gettys has arguably the loudest tool package of any hitter in the class, with four tools that could be at least plus. Scouting directors voted him as having the best speed and arm in the class. Gettys could develop plus power and defense, and plays for Team Elite.

Yr. AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB Commitment
Sr. .406 106 43 43 5 5 4 21 38 georgia

Monte Harrison
OF Monte Harrison
Lee's Summit (Mo.) West HS

A three-sport star who has committed to play football and baseball at Nebraska, Harrison is a plus athlete. He has one of the best arms in the country and above-average straight line speed. Harrison's bat improved over the summer and he has a chance to hit for average and power.

Yr. AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB Commitment
Sr. .464 89 33 39 11 3 6 34 20 nebraska

OF Derek Hill
Elk Grove (Calif.) HS

Hill is arguably the top defensive outfielder in the class, with plus-plus speed, range and instincts to go with an arm that is close to average. He has a short, quick line-drive-oriented stroke and puts together quality at-bats. Hill plays travel ball for NorCal Baseball.

Yr. AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB Commitment
Sr. .417 84 27 35 6 4 1 27 9 oregon

Brady Aiken
LHP Brady Aiken
Cathedral Catholic HS, San Diego

Aiken tossed a gem in the gold medal game of the World Junior Championship for Team USA. He has a projectable frame and touches 93 with the best command in the class. His curveball and changeup flash plus, and the San Diego Show member is one of the youngest players in the class.

Yr. W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO Commitment
Sr. 5 3 0.92 10 0 53 30 25 80 UCLA

Dylan Cease
RHP Dylan Cease
Milton (Ga.) HS
Cease burst onto the national scene last year at the NHSI, showing mid-90s velocity. The athletic Cease has a quick, whip-like arm capable of touching 97 mph. His breaking ball and command were inconsistent last summer as he pitched with Team Elite, but could become average.

Yr. W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO Commitment
Sr. 10 0 0.81 15 1 69 43 36 100 vanderbilt

Tyler Kolek
RHP Tyler Kolek
Shepherd (Texas) HS

Kolek is next in the long line of country-strong Texas righthanders with premium velocity. The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Houston Heat member is a specimen capable of touching 99 mph. He sits in the mid-90s with ease and downhill plane. He throws multiple breaking balls that can flash above-average.

Yr. W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO Commitment
Sr. 2 0 1.56 5 0 18 6 9 42 texaschristian

Reid-Foley, Sean 1301 (boyer rode)
RHP Sean Reid-Foley
Sandalwood HS, Jacksonville

A workhorse righthander who plays for FTB Chandler, Reid-Foley sits in the low 90s and can touch 96 mph with above-average fastball life. He pitches off his live fastball and projects to have at least average control, and his slider shows the makings of an above-average pitch.

Yr. W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO Commitment
Sr. 7 4 0.86 14 0 81 37 38 137 floridastate

Touki Toussaint
RHP Touki Toussaint
Coral Springs (Fla.) Academy

Toussaint is a premium athlete for a pitcher, showcasing electric arm speed capable of touching 97 mph with plus fastball life. His curveball showed the makings of a plus pitch as an underclassman. Toussaint, who plays for the Atlanta Blue Jays, also has a changeup that shows average potential.

Yr. W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO Commitment
Sr. 6 2 0.82 12 4 45 17 33 86 vanderbilt

Alex Verdugo
LHP Alex Verdugo
Sahuaro HS, Tucson, Ariz.

The top two-way player in the class, Verdugo has a fastball that has touched 94 mph and above-average breaking ball. As an outfielder, Verdugo has advanced feel to hit and power.

Yr. AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB Commitment
Sr. .484 93 41 45 9 7 7 40 24 arizonastate
10 0 1.29 14 1 65 40 29 130 —————