Top 200 Draft Prospects
With the draft just 39 days away, the top of the class has yet to crystallize—even at the top.
Hunter Greene and Brendan McKay remain atop the rankings, while Vanderbilt righthander Kyle Wright has reasserted himself as a top-of-the-draft talent by showing plus potential and command of four pitches over three consecutive electric outings.
Risers at the top of the class include Wright, prep lefthander MacKenzie Gore and high school outfielder Jordon Adell, with prep righties Sam Carlson and Matt Sauer also significantly on the rise in a fluid prep class. Carlson compares positively to fellow Minnesota prep product Logan Shore, showing better velocity and a better slider at a comparable stage. Sauer has earned comparisons to John Lackey with mid-90s heat and wicked breaking pitches.
College pitching remains the strength of this year’s class despite some inconsistency by the likes of righthanders Alex Faedo and Tanner Houck and the injury of Clarke Schmidt, who had top 15 helium before tearing his UCL. Pac-12 Friday starters Griffin Canning (UCLA), David Peterson (Oregon) and Luke Heimlich (Oregon State) have all pitched themselves into the thick of Day One consideration.
Missouri's Houck hasn’t shown the same velocity or breaking ball consistency that he showed as a freshman and could slide into the back of the first round. Prior to a suspension for a violation of team rules, lefthander Seth Romero (Houston) was trending towards the top of the draft, but now questions about his off-field makeup have made him a wild card in this year’s class. Romero was reinstated this week and pitched on Tuesday night, with a fastball sitting 94-96 mph in two innings of work.
The college position player class remains thin, but prospects from that demographic always rise up as the draft nears. The college catching and shortstop classes are thin, which could allow performers such as Joey Morgan (Washington) or Jesse Berardi (St. John’s) to come off the board higher than where their toolsets might otherwise indicate. There’s a healthy debate among scouts as to who the best ACC center fielder is after Adam Haseley (Virginia); Brian Miller (North Carolina) and Stuart Fairchild (Wake Forest) both project to stay in center.
The junior college ranks give a much-needed boost to the top of the class. Righthander Nate Pearson (Central Florida) has progressed this spring and could join lefthander Brendon Little (Manatee) as a Day One pick. Andrew Bechtold (Chipola) is batting .450/.562/.725 and could take an even bigger jump with a strong performance in this weekend’s FCSAA junior college tournament.