2017 MINK League Top Prospects
|MINK League Top Prospects|
|Trey Harris, OF, Sedalia (Sr., Missouri)|
|L.J. Hatch, SS, Nevada (SIGNED: Rockies)|
|Mojo Hagge, OF, Clarinda (So., Nebraska)|
|Kale Emshoff, C, Clarinda (So., Arkansas-Little Rock)|
|Cole Evans, OF, Jefferson City (So., Iowa Western CC)|
|Mike Million, OF, Jefferson City (Jr., Missouri Southern State)|
|Nigel Nootbaar, RHP, Clarinda (No School)|
|Jacob Voss, RHP, Jefferson City (Jr., Creighton)|
|Ramger Iglesias, SS, Chillicothe (Sr., Bloomfield College (N.J.))|
|Danny Mitchell, OF, Clarinda (R-So., Arkansas-Little Rock)|
Postseason Recap: The St. Joseph Mustangs claimed the MINK League championship title after fending off the Ozark Generals in a best-of-three series. Ozark took the first game by coming back from a 5-1 deficit in the bottom of the ninth to tie things up, then won on the back of a Nic Mertes (Rockhurst (Mo.)) single in the 11th inning. The Mustangs rode Jake Van Vacter’s (Valley City State (Kan.)) complete-game performance to a 4-1 victory in the second game—evening the series at one game apiece. In the deciding match, Ozark jumped out to a 2-0 lead early on but quickly fell behind when they allowed 13 unanswered runs to St. Joseph—more than enough to secure the Mustangs’ first championship since 2015.
1. Trey Harris, OF, Sedalia (Sr., Missouri)
Despite his brief stay, Harris took the MINK League by storm this year, racking up 33 hits in just 19 games to finish the season with a .434 batting average. His 5-foot-10, 219-pound frame gives evaluators pause, but Harris has the ability to wallop almost any ball over the fence. His 12 home runs at Missouri (eighth in the Southeastern Conference) are a testament to that plus raw power. Harris split time between right field and DH roles with Sedalia, and is also capable of manning second and third base because of his above-average arm. He swings with immense strength but is also keenly aware of the strike zone, walking 12 times this summer. Passed over in the draft this June, Harris could wind up being the first senior off the board in 2018 because of his athleticism and power.
2. L.J. Hatch, SS, Nevada (SIGNED: Rockies)
Hatch doesn’t stand out for any particular tool, but he gets positive reviews for nearly everything he does on and off the field. After graduating from New Mexico State in the spring, Hatch played for Nevada during most of the summer before signing with the Rockies in late July. He positions himself well at shortstop and fields the ball cleanly, providing a reliable up-the-middle defender that managers can count on. However, scouts note that his fringe-average arm strength might force a move over to second base later on as a pro. The undrafted signee fights through at-bats and knows how to work a walk, a skill he combined with a quick, line-drive stroke to bat .367.
3. Mojo Hagge, OF, Clarinda (So., Nebraska)
Hagge might have been the shortest player in the MINK League, but that didn’t stop him from getting on base at a .438 clip. The freshman sparkplug was a solid addition to Nebraska’s everyday lineup in 2017 and fulfilled that same leadoff role this summer for Clarinda. Listed at a mere 5-foot-7, Hagge utilizes his plus speed to glide around the bases and beat out infield hits. He’s a gap-to-gap hitter with a compact swing and minimal power. But what he lacks in thump, he makes up for in defensive excellence. Hagge is capable of making highlight-reel catches at all three outfield spots now, even though his average arm will limit him to left or center field in the future.
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4. Kale Emshoff, C, Clarinda (So., Arkansas-Little Rock)
Emshoff didn’t have the same gaudy stats as the players ranked above him, but he was brought up in nearly every conversation for his play on both sides of the ball. He’s a solidly built catcher at 6-foot-2, 228-pounds, who wields an above-average arm behind the dish. Emshoff does a welcome job of calling his own game and agilely blocking pitches but is heavier than most other catchers, leading to a few concerns about his long-term role there. At the plate, he showcases above-average raw power, evidenced by his seven home runs—fourth-most in the league—and home run derby crown. He has to refine his pitch recognition and receiving skills, but he could develop into a worthwhile follow.
5. Cole Evans, OF, Jefferson City (So., Iowa Western CC)
Evans had some of the brightest tools on display with Jefferson City this summer. He spent time at both right field and first base but fits the classic right-field profile thanks to both his 60-grade arm and raw power. As a freshman at Iowa Western, Evans led the team in OPS. He then came over to the MINK League, where he lit up opposing pitchers to the tune of a .359 average and .563 slugging percentage. He runs well for his 6-foot-3, 225-pound size but is more aggressive than desired and will have to work to streamline his overall approach.
6. Mike Million, OF, Jefferson City (Jr., Missouri Southern State)
Million made his presence felt at Missouri Southern after transferring over from Lincoln University’s now-defunct baseball program by immediately taking over as the starting right fielder. He can do a little bit of everything on the diamond—making tough catches and spraying balls to the gaps. More, he’s a 55 runner on the 20-80 scale with a usable arm in right field, but he lacks the power profile normally associated with the position. Despite that, Million led the entire league in home runs this summer (nine). While a smallish, more inexperienced, front-foot hitter at present, Million plays with definite tools that could push him to the next level.
7. Nigel Nootbaar, RHP, Clarinda (No School)
Even though Nootbaar’s stay in the MINK League didn’t last more than six pitching appearances, he handily proved why he was once a 12th-round draft pick. Taken in the 2015 draft by the Orioles out of Southern California, Nootbaar was subsequently released after two lackluster seasons. He treated the MINK League as a pit stop whilst in between independent league jobs, striking out 16 over 8.1 innings of one-run ball. His fastball still sits in the low 90s from a low ¾ delivery, but he’s been continually plagued by control issues stemming from an inability to repeat his delivery. He also throws a powerful curve yet lacks a distinct third pitch needed to start.
8. Jacob Voss, RHP, Jefferson City (Jr., Creighton)
A true giant on the mound—listed at 6-foot-9, 270-pounds—Voss has the beginning ingredients to captivate scouts. His fastball sits between 88 and 91 mph, briefly topping out at 93. He pairs the heater with an inconsistent slider that flashes above average and a rudimentary changeup that he uses sparingly. On good nights, Voss’ long levers work in tempo to produce an overpowering fastball-slider combination, but he’s still learning how to repeat his delivery and fine-tune his arsenal. He worked as Jefferson City’s closer this summer, striking out 19 in 12.2 innings en route to a 3.55 ERA.
9. Ramger Iglesias, SS, Chillicothe (Sr., Bloomfield College (N.J.))
Timed at as low as 6.36 seconds in a 60-yard dash at the league’s pro day, Iglesias flashes true 80-grade speed—speed that he used to swipe 26 bases this summer for Chillicothe. The New York native is a switch-hitting table-setter that can flat-out fly on the dirt, displaying solid glove work at three positions. He mainly handled shortstop for the Mudcats but also saw time at second and third base as the season went on. And while his swing plays better from the left side, he has zero power to speak of and still shows overall rawness in the box.
10. Danny Mitchell, OF, Clarinda (R-So., Arkansas-Little Rock)
Mitchell’s got a ways to go, but the former wide receiver’s natural talent shone through for the Clarinda A’s this summer. His 60-grade speed and innate athleticism assisted in the outfield, as he showed a clear ability to track down tough fly balls. The lefthanded hitter was also a terror on the basepaths, swiping the second-most bases in the league (27) by getting on base at a .395 clip. His plate discipline isn’t yet where it needs to be, but the tools, including average raw power, are there to see Mitchell take off. He redshirted his freshman year and played sporadically in 2017, but should run into full-time work at UALR once baseball season rolls around.