Alabama's Top MLB Draft Prospects
- 1Auburn RHPNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: 1)
4YR • Jr. • 6-3 • 208 • R-R • Never Drafted
Mize has established himself as the top player in the 2018 draft class thanks to a deep and talented repertoire that is made mostly of 60-grade or better offerings and exceptional control that allowed him to lead all college pitchers with a 12.11 strikeout-to-walk ratio as a sophomore in 2017. Through 10 starts this spring, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound righthander had improved his K/BB to a ridiculous 15.67 mark with a 2.25 ERA in 68 innings. Mize pitches off of a fastball that gets up to 97 mph but sits in the 93-95 range and a 70-grade splitter that’s among the best offspeed offerings in the country. Typically a difficult pitch to control, even for professional pitchers, Mize locates the 86-89 mph splitter remarkably well, with powerful downward action. He also has a slider that is in the mid- to upper 80s that he’s thrown with a different grip this spring than he had on previous occasions. He has two variations of the slider—one that is more firm and used as an out pitch and another that’s softer with more of a curveball shape and used as a get-me-over strike. He has also added a cutter to his repertoire this spring that’s in the 88-91 mph range and scouts have already graded it as a plus offering. On top of all of that, Mize also throws a slower changeup from a different grip than his power splitter, which falls in the low 80s with fade and sink. While technically he has a four-pitch mix, the variations to the splitter and slider give him six different offerings to attack hitters, each of which grade out as plus offerings for most scouts, headlined by the plus-plus splitter. The stuff, pitchability and performance give Mize the ceiling of a future ace, with his medical history being the only knock on his resume. Mize was shutdown with forearm issues during the spring and summer of 2017 and has had trouble staying healthy dating back to his time as a high school prospect in Springville, Ala. He’s avoided injury issues the spring of his junior year, however, and if he continues to make his starts and nothing crazy shows up in his medical this June, he should be the first player off the board.
- 2South Alabama OFNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: 11)
4YR • Jr. • 5-11 • 180 • L-L • Never Drafted
After going undrafted out of high school with little to no hype in the scouting community, Swaggerty has become a top-of-the-first-round talent because of his performance at South Alabama and an impressive summer with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team in 2017. With Team USA, Swaggerty started in center field and hit near the top of the order, hitting .328/.449/.406. That came after a spring in the Sun Belt Conference where his on-base plus slugging percentage was over 1.000 with 10 home runs. On the national radar after his impressive 2017 campaign, Swaggerty had one of the loudest starts to the 2018 season of any college player, hitting .390/.609/.707 through his first 13 games with three home runs. A five-tool talent, Swaggerty projects as an at least average hitter who has 60-grade running ability, 60-grade defense in center field and an above-average to plus arm. He profiles fairly safely in center field at the next level, and while some scouts have questioned his power potential in the past, he seems to have ticked up in that category early this spring and should have fringe-average to average power. Swaggerty seems to get the most out of his power potential, with 10 home runs during his sophomore season at South Alabama. He has also cut his strikeout rate and improved his walk rate during each of his seasons at South Alabama and in 2018 he is among the nation’s leaders in walks and walks per game. While Swaggerty has cooled off a bit as the season progressed, he seems to be a safe bet as a lefthanded hitting center fielder with a college track record and no real holes in his game.
- 3St. Luke's Episcopal School, Mobile, Ala. SSNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: 44)
HS • 6-0 • 170 • R-R • Mississippi State
The top prep prospect in Alabama, Jackson brings an impact bat to the table and wasted no time putting it on display this spring, when he hit a home run—rumored to be over 400 feet—in his first at-bat with St. Luke’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Ala. Jackson is an offensive-oriented infielder with natural strength and power that should continue to improve as his fills out his rangy, athletic frame. He used a deep leg lift during the summer and fall that created issues with his timing when he would get out in front and lunge at balls. But when his timing is down, Jackson has some of the better bat speed and raw power of any middle infielder in the class. With an above-average to plus arm, Jackson will have a chance to stick at shortstop, though many envision a move to second or third as he doesn’t have the quick-twitch actions and overall speed that is required for the position. His arm action tends to get long as well, which hurts his exchange and quickness on throws to first base. Regardless, Jackson should have enough glove skill to handle a position on the dirt to go alongside his dangerous bat.
- 4Hartselle (Ala.) HS LHPNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: 141)
HS • 6-2 • 180 • L-L • Auburn
A 6-foot-2 southpaw with tremendous feel to spin a breaking ball, Wade doesn’t have the otherworldly spin rate that Carter Stewart possesses, but he might come closer than any other prep pitcher in the class. He’s always had a feel for snapping off a powerful curveball, but during Perfect Game’s World Wood Bat Association World Championship last fall, Wade’s slider looked better than it had in the past and his feel for spinning the ball leads to plus projections on both offerings. The curveball is a mid-70s offering that is looser in shape than a hard, low- to mid-80s slider. Which pitch is ahead depends on which scout you ask, but no one in the industry doubts either of the offerings. His fastball is more pedestrian, as Wade sits in the 88-92 mph range. At the Perfect Game event, TrackMan had him up to 94 mph, but scouts dispute those numbers and say he was in the upper 80s. Wade doesn’t have premium athleticism, but he has more than his delivery indicates and as a lefthander with immense feel for spin, he should be an attractive commodity. Wade is committed to Auburn.
- 5Wallace State (Ala.) JC RHPNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: 169)
JC • So. • 6-4 • 205 • R-R • Giants '17 (32)
An Auburn signee, Rivera was a 32nd-round pick of the Giants last year, but he opted to return to Wallace State (Ala.) JC. Craig Kimbrel did the same thing in 2007, opting to return to Wallace State after being drafted in the 33rd round. Kimbrel moved up the to third round in the 2008 draft. A decade later, Rivera should also move up in the draft, although it likely won’t be to the third round. Rivera has a pair of above-average pitches with a 93-96 mph fastball and a power curveball that is inconsistent but has late-count strikeout potential when he lands it. Rivera went 10-0, 1.75 with 98 strikeouts, 35 walks and 28 hits allowed in 65 innings. Rivera projects as a power reliever in pro ball.
- 6Troy OFNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: 194)
4YR • Jr. • 6-1 • 185 • R-R • Never Drafted
Lockridge has been a consistent presence in Troy’s lineup since he arrived on campus but flew under the radar until this year. He has moved from second base to center field, where his top-of-the-scale speed plays better. Lockridge also knows how to get the most out of his speed offensively. The righthanded hitter has good hittability and this spring has doubled his walk rate, giving him the on-base skills to profile as a top-of-the-order hitter. His power has mostly played as doubles pop so far, but he’s listed at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds and many scouts believe he will start to turn his raw power into more home runs in time. Though Lockridge doesn’t have much experience as an outfielder, he has taken well to his new position and his speed and athleticism give him a chance to become an above-average defender in time.
- 7Florence (Ala.) HS RHPNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: 225)
HS • 6-4 • 205 • R-R • Louisiana State
Henry, listed at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, is a big, physical righthander with a power arm to match. His fastball typically sits in the low 90s and he’s run it up to 97 mph—velocity that he figures to reach more consistently as he continues to develop. He throws both a power breaking ball and a changeup. He repeats his delivery well and has shown the ability to pound the strike zone. Henry is committed to Louisiana State and will be a draft-eligible sophomore in two years if he makes it to Baton Rouge.
- 8Calera (Ala.) HS RHP/1BNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: 284)
HS • 6-5 • 185 • R-R • Alabama-Birmingham
Something of a spring popup player, O’Clair didn’t attend many big summer showcase events last summer aside from the East Coast Pro showcase, but has impressed scouts this spring out of Calera (Ala.) High. Standing at 6-foot-5, 185-pounds, O’Clair is an athletic player with three potential plus offerings, including a fastball that’s presently 89-92 and touching 93, a curveball that shows above-average spin and a changeup that he flashes occasionally. O’Clair is an Alabama-Birmingham commit.
- 9Auburn RHPNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: 293)
4YR • DE-So. • 6-1 • 180 • R-R • Cubs '16 (34)
Daniel was well-regarded in 2016 coming out of the Alabama prep ranks and was drafted in the 34th round by the Cubs. He continued on to Auburn, where he has been a mainstay on staff the last two years. Daniel throws his fastball in the low 90s and regularly runs it up to 96 mph. He also throws a big curveball and a changeup, but both offerings are inconsistent. Two issues have hounded Daniel throughout his college career: his fastball doesn’t have much life, making it easier to square up, and his control has been below-average. Daniel, a draft-eligible sophomore, pitched well down the stretch as he began working off his fastball more.
- 10Wallace-Dothan (Ala.) JC OFNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: 403)
JC • Fr. • 6-2 • 210 • B-R • Red Sox '17 (28)
A switch-hitter and excellent athlete, Anu was drafted out of high school by the Red Sox in the 28th round of the 2017 draft. He elected to go to Wallace-Dothan (Ala.) JC, where he led the team in hitting (.390) and was second in slugging (.665). A plus runner with plus power, Anu hit 11 home runs and if he’s able to use his speed to stick in center field, he could be an intriguing power-speed player who has a chance to go in the top 10 rounds.
- 11Hueytown (Ala.) HS OFNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: 412)
HS • 5-11 • 185 • R-R • Alabama
Reeves is a stocky, athletic outfielder with an intriguing power-speed combination. He has a compact build at a listed 5-foot-11, 185 pounds and produces good bat speed. He has above-average raw power and speed. His speed plays in center field and he can be a solid defensive outfielder. Reeves, an Alabama commit, has some rough edges to his game, but his toolset gives him a chance to develop into a solid all-around player.
- 12Auburn CNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: 454)
4YR • Jr. • 6-0 • 210 • R-R • Never Drafted
Wright began his college career at San Jacinto (Texas) JC, where he twice helped the Gators to a runner-up finish in the NJCAA World Series. The Texas native transferred to Auburn after the 2017 season and this spring took over as the Tigers’ starting catcher. Wright initially made his mark at Auburn with his defense, but he has developed into the team’s three-hole hitter. He is a patient, disciplined hitter who has walked nearly as much as he’s struck out and provides solid power. Wright has also proven to be a dependable defender. He calls his own games, receives well and has an average arm. Wright has also been widely seen because of the attention on Auburn ace Casey Mize. With his defensive skillset and performance on a big stage, Wright has given himself a chance to come out in this year’s draft.
- 13South Alabama OFNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: 492)
4YR • Jr. • 5-11 • 175 • R-R • Never Drafted
Hardy has been the Jaguars’ leading hitter in each of the last two years. He is an aggressive hitter and takes advantage of his above-average speed with his approach at the plate. Listed at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, he is undersized but packs some juice in his bat. Hardy has the speed to handle center field but plays left field in deference to Travis Swaggerty. That makes for a tough profile, but a team that values his speed and hitability could see him in a mold similar to previous South Alabama standout Cole Billingsley.
- 14South Alabama INF/OFNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: 494)
4YR • Jr. • 6-2 • 195 • L-R • Never Drafted
Donovan has been a staple in the South Alabama lineup throughout his career and has consistently been one of the Jaguars’ top hitters. He produces a lot of hard contact and is a disciplined hitter who knows how to work walks. The lefthanded hitter has a swing more geared for line drives than driving balls over the fence and his power mostly plays as doubles pop. Donovan has played a few different positions in his career and has this spring provided solid defense at third base. He should be able to stick in the infield, either at second or third base.
- 15Andalusia (Ala.) HS OFNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: N/A)
HS • 6-2 • 190 • L-L • South Alabama
Darius WrightAlabama State RHPNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. • 5-11 • 180 • R-R • Never Drafted
Rankin WoleyChattahoochee Valley (Ala.) JC 2B/3BNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: N/A)
JC • So. • S-R • Never Drafted
Woley was extremely productive, as he hit .460/.515/.767 for Chattahoochee Valley and he impressed evaluators with his physicality.
Jacinto ArredondoWallace Dothan (Ala.) JC RHPNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: N/A)
JC • So. • R-R • Tampa
Arredondo has a 92-96 mph fastball and had success for Wallace Dothan, going 7-3, 2.34 with 11.5 K/9.
Cobie VanceAlabama 2BNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. • 5-8 • 180 • R-R • Indians '15 (16)
Vance lacks tools, but his productivity and plus makeup could entice a team to take him as a solid org player.
Jake WaltersAlabama RHPNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: N/A)
4YR • Sr. • 6-0 • 200 • R-R • Never Drafted
A starter for Alabama, Walters is a potential senior sign who fits better in pro ball as a reliever. He mixes an 88-92 mph fastball and a hard cutter.
Casey CobbChattahoochee Valley (Ala.) JC RHPNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: N/A)
JC • So. • Never Drafted
Jay EstesAuburn OFNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: N/A)
4YR • Sr. • 5-10 • 175 • R-R • Never Drafted
Brandon VenterAuburn 1B/3BNotes:
(BA 500 Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. • 6-2 • 205 • R-R • Never Drafted