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Top 50 High School Prospects

Bobby Witt Jr. (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

The high school top 50 was compiled in consultation with major league scouts, front office executives, scouting directors and other professional evaluators. The list is an attempt to gauge the industry’s consensus on the 2019 high school draft talent at the current moment, but with so much time between now and the draft, much is sure to change. However, this does provide a general overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the 2019 prep class.

With the summer in the rearview mirror, major league teams have been able to watch many of the top high school players in country and begin lining players up in preparation for the 2019 draft. The 2019 class isn’t as strong or deep as a 2018 class that was overflowing in pitching, and many scouts believe the group as a whole is a tick below-average compared to the past several years.

The strength of the class comes from the East Coast once again, with Florida accounting for more players (nine) than any other state and 18 percent of the top 50. That’s just less than last year’s Florida crop at the same time (11 players, 22 percent) though the 2019 Florida class has more players closer to the top of the rankings, with an average rank of 17.7 compared to 24.3 in the 2018 top 50. The state has three of the top six players and six of the top 15.

After Florida comes Texas (7 players, 14 percent) and Georgia (6 players, 12 percent) with Texas having a much higher average ranking in this year’s class (18.7) than last year’s (33.6) thanks to No. 1 overall prospect Bobby Witt, as well as two other prospects among the top 10. The Peachtree state is strong once again, with just one fewer player in the top 50 than 2018, and two of the top six players in the class in shortstop C.J. Abrams (No. 2) and righthander Daniel Espino (No. 6).

Evaluators believe this year’s hitting crop is about average compared with recent years, though the 2019 class does have plenty of middle infielders and outfielders ranked highly at this stage compared to the 2018 group. You can see the full position breakdowns below.

2019 Positional Group Breakdown

  • Catcher: 2 (4%)
  • Corner Infield: 4 (8%)
  • Middle Infield: 10 (20%)
  • Outfield: 12 (24%)
  • Righthanded Pitchers: 19 (38%)
  • Lefthanded Pitchers: 3 (6%)

2018 Positional Breakdown

  • Catcher: 4 (8%)
  • Corner Infield: 5 (10%)
  • Middle Infield: 7 (14%)
  • Outfield: 9 (18%)
  • Righthanded Pitchers: 19 (38%)
  • Lefthanded Pitchers: 6 (12%)

Texas shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. leads the class as previously mentioned, and while most evaluators and scouts point to the tooled-up Witt as the top prospect, it’s not a complete consensus in the same way that Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman is the No. 1 player on the college side. Some scouts prefer Abrams, who is a lefthanded hitter with elite speed and Dee Gordon comparisons, while others prefer the bat of Florida outfielder Riley Greene—the top hitter in the class. Whichever order, teams seem to agree that these three players are the top trio of the class at this point.

After the top hitting group comes the top two pitchers in the class — Florida righthander Brennan Malone and Georgia righthander Daniel Espino. The two have pitched themselves into the top tier of prep pitching, with a significant drop off between them and the next arms. Teams are fairly split on who they prefer, with some liking the projection and clean arm slot that the 6-foot-3 Malone offers, while others are favor with Espino’s fastball velocity, more consistent breaking ball and elite lower half despite a 6-foot frame that is shorter than the typical top-end prep pitcher.

Both players — as well as every other prospect on this list—will have plenty of time to improve their stock with strong spring seasons. The consensus on the high school class is sure to shift as we draw closer to the draft in June. Baseball America will continue to follow the class throughout the year, consulting scouts and evaluators along the way to update draft rankings as we build up to our annual BA 500 list.

Below you can see full reports and video on each of the top 50 prospects to get even more acquainted with the 2019 class.

Updated on: 10/10/2018 See Full List
  1. 1

    School: Colleyville (Texas) Heritage HS
    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 183 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Oklahoma
    Scouting Report: A five-tool talent out of Texas and the son of a former 16-year major leaguer, Bobby Witt Jr. has an expansive toolset that includes plus power, speed, arm strength and defensive ability at shortstop. How high Witt Jr. goes in the draft next spring will depend on the conviction that scouts have in his hit tool, as evaluators have questions about the amount of swing-and-miss in his game after his performance this summer. Still, he hit massive home runs at multiple events this summer against top competition and routinely impacts the game defensively thanks to his elite hands, quick footwork and the ability to throw on the run and from multiple arm slots. Witt Jr. is committed to Oklahoma.

  2. 2

    School: Blessed Trinity HS, Roswell, Ga.
    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 185 | B-T: L-R
    Commit: Alabama
    Scouting Report: A speedy shortstop out of Georgia, Abrams has some of the best bat-to-ball skills of the 2019 class with a simple, clean stroke from the lefthanded batter’s box. He uses his elite contact ability and plus-plus speed to drive balls to both outfield gaps for extra-base hits, and he beats out infield singles by routinely posting 70-grade run times from home to first. Abrams has below-average raw power and rolls over on the ball at times, leading some scouts to question his future impact potential, but his defensive ability at shortstop is among the best in the class. He has a short arm action, quick hands and a fast exchange with excellent range, allowing his arm to play up. He also logged a few innings in center field this summer, where he chased down balls well. Abrams is committed to Alabama.

  3. 3

    School: Hagerty HS, Oviedo, Fla.
    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 197 | B-T: L-L
    Commit: Florida
    Scouting Report: An outfielder out of Florida, Greene is arguably the best overall hitter in the high school class. He entered the 2019 draft cycle as one of the most anticipated hitters, and he did nothing to dispel that status by performing in several events this summer, routinely squaring up the best pitchers in the class. Greene has a small hitch in his smooth, lefthanded swing, but he has more than enough bat speed to avoid it being a red flag. He has a patient approach and a great understanding of the strike zone, with solid power and a chance for more as he fills out his 6-foot-1, 192-pound frame. He likely fits best in a corner at the next level as a below-average runner with questionable jumps at times, but he has an accurate arm. He is committed to Florida.

  4. 4

    School: IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 203 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: North Carolina
    Scouting Report: A 6-foot-3, 203-pound righthander, Malone put himself at the top of the high school pitching class thanks to an excellent package of starter traits, premium stuff and projection for more down the line. His fastball is among the best in the class, touching 97 mph and sitting in the low to mid-90s in short stints this summer. His quick and loose arm action, combined with a terrific frame, lead scouts to believe he will touch 100 mph at some point. Malone throws a slider and curveball that are presently inconsistent, but have shown flashes at times this summer. His low-80s slider is currently ahead of a mid- to upper-70s curveball, and he also throws a mid-80s changeup with solid arm speed. Malone transferred out of North Carolina and will play his final high school season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He’s committed to North Carolina.

  5. 5

    School: Bulloch Academy, Statesboro, Ga.
    Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 196 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Louisiana State
    Scouting Report: The Georgia righthander has the best present stuff of any pitcher in the high school class—with no exceptions. His fastball touched 100 mph this summer, and the pitch regularly sat in the 94-98 mph range in short stints. His mid-70s curveball is a plus pitch presently, with sharp, late break, and he also throws a slider in the low 80s with late life that could become another plus offering. Espino infrequently throws an 86-89 mph changeup that needs refinement. Born in Panama, Espino lacks the future projection of other arms in the class. Some scouts worry about the length to his arm action, but he has a strong lower half and gets off the mound with tremendous force, allowing others to worry less about the stress he’ll endure on his elbow and shoulder.

  6. 6

    School: Niceville (Fla.) HS
    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Louisiana State
    Scouting Report: Looking for the biggest power in the class? Look no further than Hinds, who packs a tremendous punch into his righthanded swing. His power is easily plus right now, and multiple evaluators say it could be 80-grade juice in the future. With a strong, 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame, Hinds muscles balls out to all fields with ease, though in-game he’s had real swing-and-miss issues that scouts will bear down on in the spring. Defensively, he’s got one of the strongest arms in the class from the left side of the infield, though he’s likely too big for shortstop already. He also has plenty of work to do in refining his glovework and improving his throwing accuracy on the run to stick at third base. Hinds is committed to Louisiana State.

  7. 7

    School: Lakeside HS, Seattle
    Ht: 5-10 | Wt: 160 | B-T: L-L
    Commit: UCLA
    Scouting Report: Carroll established himself as one of the best pure bats in the class over the summer after dominating at the plate in every high-profile event he attended. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound outfielder has a quick, balanced swing and a terrific feel for the barrel, as well as a keen understanding of the strike zone and a patient approach in the lefthanded batter’s box. Carroll is more than willing to take a walk and then cause havoc on the bases as a plus runner, but he also has sneaky pop in his bat that allows him to hit for extra bases. Defensively, Carroll projects to stick in center field and be a solid defender there. Add everything up and there are no real holes in Carroll’s game—unless you want to nitpick his size. He is committed to UCLA.

  8. 8

    School: Jackson (Miss.) Prep HS
    Ht: 5-9 | Wt: 179 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Mississippi
    Scouting Report: A dynamic, quick-twitch athlete, Ealy is committed to Mississippi as both an outfielder and a four-star running back. Arguably the fastest runner in the class, Ealy ran a 6.49-second 60-yard dash at East Coast Pro in August. He also brings a plus arm, plus bat speed and elite hand-eye coordination to the table. Ealy rarely swings and misses at the plate, and while he might be a tough aggressive in the box now, has all the tools to become a dynamic offensive player if he ever decides to focus exclusively on baseball. He also gets excellent jumps in the outfield and could be a plus defender in the future.

  9. 9

    School: Cypress Ranch HS, Houston
    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 184 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Texas A&M
    Scouting Report: The top pitcher out of Texas, Thompson is an immensely athletic righthanded pitcher who jumped onto national radars as an underclassman last fall. Thompson’s fastball ranged from 88-93 mph early in the summer before ticking up into the 91-93 mph range as the season progressed. He throws from a high, three-quarter slot with electric arm speed and shows great feel to spin the baseball. Thompson throws a low-80s slider that has hard, late break and two-plane action that routinely draws whiffs and causes batters to expand the zone. He also showed some feel for a solid, 76-79 mph curveball with 11-to-5 break. Thompson is committed to Texas A&M.

  10. 10

    School: Lake Travis HS, Austin
    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 218 | B-T: L-R
    Commit: Texas
    Scouting Report: If there’s a player who could rival Rece Hinds for the most raw power in the 2018 class, Baty might be the best bet. The corner infielder from Texas brings plenty of pop to the table with a physical, 6-foot-3, 218-pound frame and quick, uppercut swing from the left side. Baty hit the ball hard more consistently than most prep hitters throughout the summer and routinely stands out during batting practice with power to all fields. Like many big, power-hitting high school infielders, defense will be the question with Baty. He’s a more natural fit for first base and will need to improve his glovework, exchange and throwing accuracy to continue at third base. Baty is committed to Texas.

  11. 11

    School: Providence HS, Jacksonville
    Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 211 | B-T: L-R
    Commit: South Carolina
    Scouting Report: The state of Florida is loaded once again on the prep side, as the Jacksonville-based Callihan has an argument to be one of the top hitters in the class. He has a quick lefthanded swing with lots of strength in his 5-foot-11, 211-pound frame. Callihan routinely hits deep, towering fly balls in batting practice and also showed off his raw power during USA Baseball’s 18U trials, homering against an elevated 90 mph fastball. Defense will be the biggest question with the South Carolina commit. He has a chance to stick at third base, but plenty of work needs to be done in terms of improving his hands and footwork for the position.

  12. 12

    School: Seminole (Fla.) HS
    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Florida
    Scouting Report: A 6-foot-3, 210-pound righthander committed to Florida, Allan is a strong, physical pitcher with a pair of potential plus offerings in a fastball that has touched 96 mph and a big, 12-to-6 downer curveball. Allan works out of a slow windup and throws from a three-quarter arm slot, but he struggled with command at times throughout the summer. He will need to improve the consistency of his fastball command during the spring, as he would land his breaking ball for strikes more consistently than his heater. Allan occasionally threw a firm, 87-89 mph changeup that could develop into a quality third pitch as well.

  13. 13

    School: Memphis University HS
    Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Louisiana State
    Scouting Report: A two-sport star committed to Louisiana State as both an outfielder and four-star cornerback, Hampton has plenty of rawness to iron out of his game. He excelled with the bat throughout the summer, however, showing a glimpse of his high upside and intriguing toolset. A 6-foot, 210-pound righthanded hitter, Hampton has more than enough power and speed potential to make an impact at the plate. Defensively, he has natural arm strength, but he’ll need to work on cleaning up both his arm action and footwork and also improve his jumps and routes on fly balls.

  14. 14

    School: La Costa Canyon HS, Carlsbad, Calif.
    Ht: 6-7 | Wt: 212 | B-T: L-L
    Commit: Vanderbilt
    Scouting Report: The top two-way player in the class, Jones is a lanky, 6-foot-7, 212-pound lefthanded pitcher and first baseman. While he has more upside as a pitcher, Jones did show good feel for the barrel and is surprisingly athletic for his size, stealing bases and posting a 4.22-second home-to-first run time at the Area Code Games this summer. On the mound, Jones throws a fastball that is mostly in the 89-93 mph range in short stints, but also has a mid- to upper-70s curveball with tremendous depth that projects as a plus offering. Because of his size, athleticism and the efficiency of his delivery despite only pitching seriously for about a year, Jones has some of the highest upside of any player in the class. He is committed to Vanderbilt.

  15. 15

    School: Bolles HS, Jacksonville
    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 201 | B-T: L-L
    Commit: Florida
    Scouting Report: One of the hottest names coming into the 2019 draft cycle, Barco had a bit of an up-and-down summer. He is still one of the top lefthanded pitchers in the draft class, however, with some scouts saying he’s a top five prep player in the class. The 6-foot-4, 201-pound southpaw has three pitches that could be projected as plus—fastball, slider, changeup—and his fastball was mostly in the 89-92 mph range this summer with tremendous running action and sink. Barco throws from a very low, practically sidearm delivery, which gives both his fastball and low spin rate changeup plenty of run and fade, respectively. Yet, that low arm slot can also hurt the consistency of his slider at times. Many scouts believe that when Barco puts away the bat—he’s got above-average raw power but lots of swing-and-miss at the plate—he’ll take a big jump forward on the mound. Previously committed to Virginia, Barco is now a Florida commit.

  16. 16

    School: Hendersonville (Tenn.) HS
    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 180 | B-T: L-L
    Commit: Auburn
    Scouting Report: A lefthander out of Tennessee hoping to follow in the path of 2018 first-round pick Ryan Weathers, Mullins has tremendous feel to spin his breaking ball and a fastball that touched 94 mph this summer. He had a loud outing in front of scouts at East Coast Pro, where he worked with an up-tempo pace and showed off a curveball that has plus potential in the 72-79 mph range with 1-to-7 shape and plenty of depth. Mullins has also thrown a more firm slider at times, as well as a low-80s changeup that needs further refinement. He is committed to Auburn.

  17. 17

    School: IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
    Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 190 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Vanderbilt
    Scouting Report: An immensely projectable righthander, Williams is a 6-foot-6, 190-pound Vanderbilt commit out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Williams throws from the third base side of the rubber and gets good angle against righthanded hitters with a high, three-quarter arm slot. He worked mostly in the low 90s throughout the summer, but could easily see a jump in velocity thanks to a fast arm and plenty of room to continue filling out physically. Williams’ low- to mid-70s breaking ball ranged from an 11-to-5 break to having more of a natural, three-quarter bend, depending on the event. At East Coast Pro, the pitch showed plenty of horizontal and vertical movement, and he successfully used it as a backdoor offering against lefthanded batters. Williams also worked in a 78-83 mph changeup with solid fading action at times.

  18. 18

    School: Delbarton HS, Morristown, N.J.
    Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 191 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Vanderbilt
    Scouting Report: Armed with one of the best breaking balls of the class, Leiter is the son of former 19-year major leaguer, Al Leiter, and is one of the most polished pitchers in the 2019 class. Standing at just 6 feet and 191 pounds, Leiter pitched in the 89-93 mph range throughout the summer but had a loud outing at the Area Code Games, where he touched 95 mph and sat in the 91-94 mph range for two innings. His go-to pitch is a hammer, 12-to-6 curveball in the 74-78 mph range that has a spin rate between 2,500 and 2,600 rpm. Leiter shows exceptional feel to locate the pitch and lands a low-80s slider with consistency as well. The Vanderbilt commit also throws an 80-84 mph changeup with solid arm speed.

  19. 19

    School: Cypress Ranch HS, Houston
    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 172 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Texas A&M
    Scouting Report: Goss, like his high school teammate Matthew Thompson, is also committed to Texas A&M. The 6-foot-2, 172-pound righthander has a fastball that sat in the 89-92 mph range this summer, getting into the mid-90s, and a swing-and-miss, low-80s slider with tight spin and 10-to-4 shape. Goss also showed solid feel for a mid-80s changeup that has solid fading action, and he throws the pitch with the same fast arm speed used on his fastball. He has some length in the back of his arm path, as well as some effort and head whack in his delivery, but overall Goss displays exciting raw stuff.

  20. 20

    School: TNXL Academy, Altamonte Springs, Fla.
    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 178 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Miami
    Scouting Report: The Next Level Academy in Altamonte Springs, Fla., continues to pump out toolsy outfielders. A year after the Brewers selected Elijah Cabell in the 14th round, the TNXL Academy has Hall, who brings athleticism, instincts, plus speed, a quick bat and a strong arm to the table. Committed to Florida, Hall has a chance to bypass college entirely if he shows more feel to hit this spring. An aggressive hitter in the box, Hall expands the zone and whiffs at times, but scouts believe he has the raw tools and bat speed necessary to hit at the next level.

  21. 20

    School: TNXL Academy, Altamonte Springs, Fla.
    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 178 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Miami

  22. 21

    School: San Luis Obispo (Calif.) HS
    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 180 | B-T: B-R
    Commit: Cal Poly
    Scouting Report: An Area Code Games standout, Lee is one of the top prospects out of Southern California and showed tremendous feel for the game on both sides of the ball at this summer’s event in Long Beach, Calif. A 6-foot-1, 180-pound infielder, Lee has excellent feel to hit that stacks up with most players in the class, routinely barreling the ball and hitting hard, low line drives. He doesn’t have much power and he’s a below-average runner, but Lee also displayed impressive defensive skills with a quick exchange, solid athleticism and an accurate arm from shortstop and second base. Lee, whose father Larry played minor league baseball in the 1980s, is committed to Cal Poly.

  23. 22

    School: Collins Hill HS, Suwanee, Ga.
    Ht: 5-9 | Wt: 160 | B-T: S-R
    Commit: Clemson
    Scouting Report: One of the elite defensive shortstops in the 2019 high school class, Nunez is a slick-fielding, 5-foot-9,160-pound switch-hitter out of Georgia. He’s got a plus arm with plenty of quick-twitch athleticism and a great internal clock that should allow him to stick at the position. He also has quick hands and a knack for throwing accurately from multiple arm angles and positions on the field. The offensive ability will be the question with Nunez, who has a swing that’s more natural from the right side with limited power, although he is a plus runner. He is committed to Clemson.

  24. 23

    School: Morgan Academy, Selma, Ala.
    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 194 | B-T: L-R
    Commit: Auburn
    Scouting Report: The top high school prospect out of Alabama, Henderson is a physical, 6-foot-3, 194-pound infielder with a chance to stick at shortstop. He has some power from the left side of the plate and solid bat speed out of a slightly wide stance with a toe-tap load and long, one-handed finish. Henderson also has plus arm strength with excellent carry, but he’ll need to improve his footwork and ability to throw from multiple angels to avoid being pushed off the position—and over to third base—in the future. He’s athletic despite not being a great runner, and he has some experience as a pitcher, but his pro future is with the bat, regardless of where he winds up defensively. Henderson is committed to Auburn.

  25. 24

    School: Midway HS, Waco, Texas
    Ht: 6-5 | Wt: 191 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Baylor
    Scouting Report: A big, physical righthander out of Midway High in Waco, Texas, Rigney has plenty of arm strength, showcased by a fastball that was mostly in the 90-93 mph range this summer and touched 95 mph. He also throws a slider that ranges from 79-84 mph and looked like a plus pitch at times with sharp, late bite. There were instances, however, when the pitch became loopy and hung over the plate. Rigney also showed good feel for a low-80s changeup with arm-side movement and fading action that could be developed as a third swing-and-miss pitch. With a 6-foot-5, 191-pound frame, Rigney offers plenty of projection with solid arm strength from an overhead windup and three-quarter arm slot. Committed to Baylor, Rigney also has a quick pickoff move.

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