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2018 High School Top 50 MLB Draft Prospects

Ethan-Hankins-Christin-J-Stewart

As the 2018 draft class takes shape, Baseball America this week is unveiling the top 50 prospects in the high school and college ranks. The high school class is defined by a wealth of pitching prospects who seemingly all throw into the 90s, although a number of different hitters have improved their stock thanks to performances at events like East Coast Pro, the Area Code Games and with USA Baseball’s 18U National Team.

The class is led by Georgia righthander Ethan Hankins, who dominated domestic and international batters alike this summer, in high school showcase environments and competitive play alike, including a 27-strikeout effort across two starts in Thunder Bay, Ontario, during the 2017 World Baseball Softball Confederation U18 World Cup.

Read more at https://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/2018-high-school-top-50-mlb-draft-prospects/#tQWGwHIfmrsxHWTj.99

Hankins compares favorably to recent top high school righthanders, such as Hunter Greene, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft; and 2016 first-rounders Ian Anderson (No. 3 overall) and Riley Pint (No. 4). He starts with an electric mid-90s fastball that has arguably the best life of any fastball in the class. Pitching with a break-neck tempo out of a 6-foot-6, 215 pound frame, Hankins will have to continue making progress with an inconsistent breaking ball to realize his immense potential, but scouts have seen flashes of a plus pitch this summer and most are convinced he’ll be in the triple digits this spring.

Hankins isn’t the only Georgia product high on the list, as his travel ball teammate, righthander Kumar Rocker, features the best pure stuff of any pitcher in the class thanks to a fastball in the mid 90s, a plus slider and at least an above-average changeup. A poor summer with a lot of hard contact against him has dropped Rocker’s stock somewhat, but he has the talent, size and stuff to easily trend in the other direction with a strong spring. Arizona lefthander Matthew Liberatore offers a tantalizing package with size--at 6-foot-5, 200 pounds--a three-pitch mix and a bulldog-like mentality on the mound.

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2018 Top 200 MLB Draft Prospects

Baseball America's Top 200 prospects for the 2018 draft.

While the class will be remembered for its pitching depth, it features number of exciting position players as well, headlined by California shortstop Brice Turang, who might be the safest bet of any player in the class as a smooth-fielding shortstop with one of the best hit tools of the group. Arizona third baseman Nolan Gorman raised his stock more than any other player this summer, after routinely displaying his plus raw power in games and during home run derbies (he won three) and showing potential as a plus defender at third base. Wisconsin outfielder Jarred Kelenic might be the best hitter in the class, and Florida shortstop Nander De Sedas has scouts enamored with power potential from both sides of the plate and a real shot to stick at shortstop.

It is admittedly extremely early in the draft process--especially so considering the rapidity in which high school players change--but the summer has given major league evaluators a good idea of the shape of the class at this point. Baseball America will continue to update its draft lists--compiled by the BA staff in consultation with major league scouts and other evaluators--regularly leading up to the beginning of the 2018 draft on June 4.

Rank Name, Pos. Ht. Wt. B/T HS/City, State Commit

1 Ethan Hankins, RHP 

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bba_video_icon_red6-6 215 R/R Forsyth Central HS/Cumming, Ga. Vanderbilt

2 Brice Turang, SS

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bba_video_icon_red6-1 165 L/R Santiago HS/Corona, Calif. Louisiana State

3 Nolan Gorman, 3B

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bba_video_icon_red6-1210L/RSandra Day O’Connor HS/PhoenixArizona4Matthew Liberatore, LHP6-5200L/LMountain Ridge HS/Riverdale, Ariz.Arizona5Jarred Kelenic, OF

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bba_video_icon_red6-1196L/LWaukesha West HS/Waukesha, Wis.Louisville6Nander De Sedas, SS

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bba_video_icon_red6-1190B/RMontverde (Fla.) AcademyFlorida State7Kumar Rocker, RHP6-4240R/RNorth Oconee HS/Bogart, Ga.Vanderbilt8Ryan Weathers, LHP6-2210R/LLoretto (Tenn.) HSVanderbilt9Mike Vasil, RHP6-4210L/RBoston College HSVirginia10Will Banfield, C

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bba_video_icon_red6-0200R/RBrookwood HS/Snellville, Ga.Vanderbilt11Carter Stewart, RHP

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bba_video_icon_red6-6200R/REau Gallie HS/Melbourne, Fla.Mississippi State12Mason Denaburg, C/RHP

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bba_video_icon_red6-3190R/RMerritt Island (Fla.) HSFlorida13Cole Wilcox, RHP

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bba_video_icon_red6-5220R/RHeritage HS/Ringgold, Ga.Georgia14Triston Casas, 1B

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bba_video_icon_red6-4238L/RAmerican Heritage School/Plantation, Fla.Miami15Slade Cecconi, RHP6-4193R/RTrinity Prep/Winter Park, Fla.Miami16Cole Winn, RHP6-2195R/ROrange (Calif.) Lutheran HSMississippi State17Mike Siani, OF

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bba_video_icon_red6-0180L/LWilliam Penn Charter/Glenside, Pa.Virginia18Noah Naylor, C

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bba_video_icon_red6-0195L/RSt. Joan of Arc Catholic SS/Mississauga, Ont.Texas A&M19Braxton Ashcraft, RHP/3B6-5195L/RRobinson (Texas) HSBaylor20Luke Bartnicki, LHP

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bba_video_icon_red6-3210L/LWalton HS/Marietta, Ga.Georgia Tech21Alek Thomas, OF/LHP

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bba_video_icon_red5-11175L/LMount Carmel HS/ChicagoTCU22Jeremiah Jackson, SS

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bba_video_icon_red6-0170R/RSt. Luke’s Episcopal School/Mobile, Ala.Mississippi State23Xavier Edwards, SS5-10155B/RNorth Broward Prep/Coconut Creek, Fla.Vanderbilt24JT Ginn, RHP6-2199R/RBrandon (Miss.) HSMississippi State25Austin Becker, RHP

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bba_video_icon_red6-6185R/RBig Walnut HS/ Sunbury, OhioVanderbilt26Jaden Hill, RHP/3B6-4215R/RAshdown (Ark.) HSLouisiana State27Anthony Seigler, C

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bba_video_icon_red5-11200B/BCartersville (Ga.) HSAuburn28Joe Gray Jr., OF

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bba_video_icon_red6-3195R/RHattiesburg (Miss.) HSOle Miss29Landon Marceaux, RHP6-0180R/RDestrehan (La.) HSLouisiana State30Connor Scott, OF

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bba_video_icon_red6-4180L/LPlant HS/TampaFlorida31Jack Perkins, RHP6-2208R/RKokomo (Ind.) HSLouisville32Jordan Groshans, 3B

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bba_video_icon_red6-4190R/RMagnolia (Texas) HSKansas33Elijah Cabell, OF

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bba_video_icon_red6-2190R/RTNXL Academy/Altamonte Springs, Fla.Louisiana State34Jonathan Childress, LHP6-4215L/LForney (Texas) HSTexas A&M35Adam Kloffenstein, RHP6-5220R/RMagnolia (Texas) HSTexas Christian36Lineras Torres Jr., RHP6-2185R/RBeacon School/New YorkSt. John’s37Blaze Alexander, SS

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bba_video_icon_red6-0160R/RBishop Verot HS/Fort Myers, Fla.South Carolina38Nick Decker, OF6-0200L/LSeneca HS/Tabernacle, N.J.Maryland39Simeon Woods-Richardson, RHP/3B6-4210R/RKempner HS/Sugar Land, Tex.Texas40J.P. Gates, LHP6-2190L/LNature Coast Tech HS/Spring Hill, Fla.Miami41Carter Raffield, RHP6-4215R/RBleckley County HS/Cochran, Ga.Clemson42Mason Ronan, LHP6-2190L/LPenn Cambria HS/Cresson, Pa.Pittsburgh43Korey Holland, OF6-0173R/RLangham Creek HS/HoustonTexas44Austin Wells, C

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bba_video_icon_red6-2195L/RBishop Gorman HS/Las Vegas, Nev.Nevada45Ryder Green, OF

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bba_video_icon_red6-2205R/RKnoxville (Tenn.) ChristianVanderbilt46Brandon Dieter, SS/RHP

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bba_video_icon_red6-0175R/RSouth Hills HS/West Covina, Calif.Stanford47Raynel Delgado, SS/2B/3B

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bba_video_icon_red6-2195B/RCalvary Christian Academy, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.Florida International48Nick Northcut, 3B6-0200R/RWilliam Mason HS/Mason, OhioVanderbilt49Dominic Pipkin, RHP6-4170R/RPinole Valley HS/Pinole, Calif.California50Charles Mack, SS/3B/C5-11185L/RWilliamsville East/Williamsville, N.Y.Clemson

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