10 Prospects Who Stood Out At Prep Baseball Report's 2020 Florida Preseason Classic
VERO BEACH, Fla. — Prep Baseball Report’s Florida Preseason Classic has become one of the go-to high school scouting events to whet teams’ appetites before Division I baseball gets started.
This year, the event was hosted by Vero Beach (Fla.) High and featured five 2020 prep prospects ranked within the top 65 on our top 200 draft list. Around 100 scouts—including numerous national crosscheckers—and scouting directors attended the first two days of the event on Wednesday and Thursday before heading out to see college arms on Friday.
Below are reports and video on each of the five high school players who are currently in Day 1 consideration for the draft, as well as notes on five additional players who turned heads and raised eyebrows.
If you're looking for our updated MLB Draft prospect rankings, you can find them here.
Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS, Port Orange, Fla. (No. 16)
Veen has gotten a lot of early first-round chatter thanks to his increased physicality this spring. He’s added around 20 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-5 frame, and showed big-time raw power to all fields during both days of batting practice.
“(My goal was to) improve my all-around game and get bigger, faster, stronger,” Veen said of his offseason. “There have been questions about my speed and I was able to prove people wrong. I really thought I got quicker and stronger and faster. Really just trying to improve in every facet of the game.”
Veen faced two top-50 arms in righthanders Alejandro Rosario and Victor Mederos, and went 2-for-7 with a single, double and a pair of hard-hit balls. His best hit of the event didn’t come against either of those pitchers however, as he laced a hard-hit double the other way to left-center on an 83-mph fastball from Westminster junior righty Louis Castano.
Combined against Rosario and Mederos, Veen went 1-for-4 with a bloop single, a flyout and a pair of groundouts to first. Veen already looks like a corner outfielder thanks to his size, and while he made all of the routine plays that came to him, he doesn’t take over in center like another prospect on this list. He has more than enough power to profile at any position.
Veen's batting eye continues to impress. He’s a very patient hitter and consistently works himself into good hitter’s counts. Some swing and miss remains in his game, but he was right on time with 97 mph fastballs from Rosario, so catching up to elite velocity doesn’t look like an issue.
Carson Montgomery, RHP, Windermere (Fla.) HS (No. 28)
Florida State commit
The highest-ranked pitcher at the event (just one spot ahead of Mederos), Montgomery threw just two innings against Miami Christian in a matchup with righthander Carlos Rodriguez.
He looked slightly more physical this spring than last summer, and worked with a three-pitch mix that included a fastball that sat in the 92-95 mph range, an 80-84 mph slider and a changeup in the mid-80s.
The ball came out of Montgomery’s hand with ease out of a loose, three-quarters arm slot that featured some long arm action and wrist wrap in the back of his stroke. There’s a bit of cross-firing action in his landing as well, which might allow his fastball to play up a bit. He got six whiffs on the heater and one on his slider, but Montgomery also gave up a pair of hard-hit singles with his fastball.
His control was below average in the first inning, but he made a nice adjustment in the second, where he worked a 1-2-3 inning. His slider featured plenty of depth and movement, but in this outing he missed with it consistently below the zone.
Victor Mederos, RHP, Westminster Christian Academy, Miami (No. 29)
The second-ranked pitcher of the group, Mederos was the most physical pitcher at the event, standing 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. He touched 97 mph when Zac Veen got into the box against him—he forced Veen into two groundouts—but otherwise sat in the 91-96 mph range fairly consistently.
While Mederos has shown multiple breaking balls in previous outings, he relied heavily on his changeup in this one. The pitch was in the 86-89 mph range with solid fading action.
He struck out four batters and allowed just two hits (one an infield single and the other a single that made it to the outfield), while hitting one batter. Mederos was a bit scattered with his fastball, but kept the pitch around the zone enough to be effective. His misses were on the edges and he seemed calm and under control throughout his brief outing.
He flashed two breaking balls, though they blended in this outing with a slider in the 84-85 mph range that had good bite down and away from righthanded pitchers and a curveball a few ticks slower that was more three-quarters in shape with solid spin.
Alejandro Rosario, RHP, Miami Christian HS (No. 44)
Rosario had some of the best pure stuff of the event, but was hit surprisingly hard in a matchup with Spruce Creek.
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound righthander sat in the 93-97 mph range with his fastball over two innings, but allowed two singles, a triple and a home run to 2021 infielder Corey Robinson against a 95 mph fastball.
When Rosario throws, it looks like he’s playing an easy game of catch. There’s not a ton of effort to his delivery, but the cleanliness of his delivery might limit the amount of deception he creates and make his stuff easier to square up than the velocity would suggest. Those were the concerns of scouts during this outing, and he also showed below-average control of his fastball and 80-81 mph changeup. He also showed an 83-84 mph slider that had solid bite at times.
When he was on top of the fastball and kept it down in the zone in the second inning, Rosario was effective, but this was one of his more forgettable starts. He reportedly looked much better a week prior to the PBR Preseason Classic.
Enrique Bradfield, OF, American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla. (No. 65)
Scouting directors voted Bradfield the fastest runner in the high school class on our preseason awards, and also rated him as the No. 2 defensive outfielder behind only Southern California’s Pete Crow-Armstrong.
Bradfield’s speed and defensive ability jump out immediately, and scouts believe there’s little doubt he’s going to be an impact-caliber defender at a premium position thanks to his 80-grade speed and consistently good jumps and reads in the outfield.
Bradfield creates outs for his American Heritage team that other outfielders simply could not. His first-step is elite and his closing speed allows him to track balls into both gaps, over his head and in shallow center field in front of him. He’s simply a polished defender with the dynamic toolset that earns him comparisons to Juan Pierre, though his throwing arm is much better than Pierre’s.
There are some questions about Bradfield's offensive future. Against Vero Beach, Bradfield went 0-for-2 with a strikeout, groundout and a walk. He’s on the smaller side without much power, his speed creates challenges for infielders. On a fairly routine ground ball to shortstop, Bradfield made things close by getting out of the box quickly and getting to the bag in 3.95 seconds—an 80-grade home-to-first time for a lefthanded hitter.
If teams believe he’ll be able to hit enough to become a top-of-the-order sort of table-setter he could find himself going on the first day of the draft, but with a Vanderbilt commitment he might be a tough sign. And if he proves himself with the bat in college, he could radically improve his stock in three years.
Carlos Rodriguez, RHP, Miami Christian HS
Rodriguez just missed cracking the top 200 draft list and has a quick arm with two promising secondary offerings, but struggled with control in his outing against Windermere in a matchup with Carson Montgomery.
Rodriguez is undersized at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, but has a quick arm out of a high three-quarters slot and showed good feel to spin the ball. He showed both a curveball and a slider, with the former sitting in the 74-76 mph range with 12-to-6 shape and good depth and the latter in the 81-85 mph range with sharp, late bite.
Both pitches were more chase offerings in this outing than pitches he could consistently land for a strike, and he also missed regularly to his arm side with an 88-93 mph fastball. Rodriguez walked three batters in the first inning and was consistently dealing with high pitch counts in his two innings.
There’s some effort to his delivery as well, with a head whack throughout his finish, though the Miami commit looks like a solid athlete and fielded his position well, giving him some potential to improve his control.
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Jordan Carrion, SS, American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.
Carrion is old for the high school class—he’ll be 19 on draft day—but showed some exciting tools on both sides of the ball.
At shortstop, the ball comes out of his hand easily with great carry. It’s obviously above-average with a chance for plus, though he did almost airmail a ball to first base on a fairly routine play, so the accuracy is something to monitor. He has solid footwork and also showed a good ability to throw off-balance with strength during pre-game.
In the box, Carrion showed an oppo-heavy approach with an inside out swing that leads to him getting under some hittable pitches on the inner half—he flew out on a 90-mph fastball in his first at-bat—but also allowed him to drive a fastball on the outer half for a triple to right field.
Nick Gorby, LHP, Vero Beach (Fla.) HS
Texas Tech commit
Gorby started for host team Vero Beach against a loaded American Heritage club and cruised through his first three innings on the mound, facing the minimum with three strikeouts.
A physical, filled-out lefthander with a 6-foot-1, 225-pound frame, Gorby showed solid stuff and two breaking balls from the left side. His fastball ranged from 88-91 for the most part, though he touched 92 on several occasions. The pitch had some sink and run to his arm side.
He used both a curveball and slider. The 72-76 mph curveball had solid 2-to-7 shape and decent spin but lacked power and sharp bite in this outing, while the 78-81 mph slider was tighter and more effective.
Gorby threw solid strikes for the most part but unraveled a bit in the fourth inning when he started giving up harder contact, with a tendency to yank his fastball to the glove side.
Brandon Neely, RHP, Spruce Creek HS, Port Orange, Fla.
Florida commit (Class of 2021)
Neely took the ball in his team’s first game against Miami Christian and showed a solid fastball/curveball combination in addition to solid strike-throwing ability.
Listed at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Neely has a solid frame with more room to fill out with a fairly clean delivery. He works from the first-base side of the rubber and throws from a three-quarters arm slot with some crossfire action in his landing and hooking action in the back of his stroke, but landed his fastball consistently over four quick innings. Neely struck out six batters and walked one while allowing just one hit.
His fastball was consistently in the 89-93 mph range over all four innings, with a bit of sinking and cutting life at times. He paired the pitch with a mid-70s curveball that flashed good depth and shape, but was inconsistent. The pitch backed up on him to the armside at times and he would also miss in the dirt, but he showed enough for it to become an above-average offering with improvement in the future.
He didn’t show a third pitch in this outing, but his fastball generated two whiffs in each of his first three innings.
Corey Robinson, INF, Spruce Creek HS, Port Orange, Fla. (Class of 2021)
Florida commit (Class of 2021)
Spruce Creek has the benefit of starting its lineup with a pair of Florida commits, as Robinson led off for the Hawks on Wednesday and Thursday and proved to be a terrific table-setter in front of Veen.
Robinson showed a good ability to handle velocity in his game against Miami Christian and Rosario, leading off the bottom of the first with an infield single against a 97 mph fastball. In his second trip, he upped the ante.
After swinging through an 84-mph slider, Robinson jumped on a 95-mph fastball that caught too much of the plate and smoked a deep home run to just left of dead center. The power was a bit surprising coming out of his 5-foot-11, 160-pound frame, but Robinson has quick, strong hands from the right side. Considering the velocity, the opponent and the result, Robinson's homer was the most impressive at-bat of the Wednesday and Thursday games.
Evan Dobias, RHP, American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.
Virginia commit (Class of 2022)
Dobias’ stuff didn’t quite stack up with many of the other pitchers in this field, but as a sophomore, that’s hardly a pressing concern. What Dobias did show was excellent future potential with an excellent package of tools that explains his commitment to Virginia.
Dobias has an average frame now and threw with a solid arm action that featured some plunge in the back and a three-quarters arm slot. His fastball sat in the 85-89 mph range for four innings and he showed terrific feel for a 76-77 mph curveball that has all the makings of a wipeout breaking ball. The curve featured 10-to-5 shape and flashed late, biting action almost every time he threw it.
There’s plenty of time for more development with Dobias, but showed well on a big stage and had the look of a polished pitcher.