2018 MLB Draft Prospects From Minnesota
1. Seth Halvorsen, RHP/OF, Heritage Christian Academy, Maple Grove, Minn. (BA Rank: 221)
HS • 6-1 • 195 • R-R • Missouri
There’s a lot to like about Halvorsen’s arm, but while the Missouri signee can flash some 95-97s early in outings, he doesn’t maintain that velocity and soon settles into an 88-92 mph range that’s still solid for a teenage righthander. His curveball is inconsistent. Evaluators say they believe Halvorsen prefers to play shortstop where his arm is easily plus. He has some quick twitch attributes and is an above-average runner. He has the athleticism to play both ways at Missouri, but scouts don’t really see him as a pro prospect as a hitter just yet.
2. Aidan Maldonado, RHP, Rosemount (Minn.) HS (BA Rank: 287)
HS • 6-0 • 170 • R-R • Illinois
Maldonado popped up onto the national scouting scene with an impressive performance at the World Wood Bat Championships in Jupiter last October. In that short stint, Maldonado showed a 91-95 mph fastball and a two-plane power curve breaking ball that flashed above-average. Both pitches came from a fast, live arm. The arm strength has been there this spring as well, but he’s been more hittable than scouts would like and evaluators aren’t enamored with his delivery. The Illinois signee could still end up getting some money in the draft, but it’s more likely to come from a team drafting him on day three.
3. Terrin Vavra, SS, Minnesota (BA Rank: 428)
4YR • Jr. • 6-0 • 190 • L-R • Never Drafted
Vavra is the son of Tigers quality control coach Joe Vavra. Terrin has been Minnesota’s best hitter this year, as he’s hit a team-best .392 with a team-best nine home runs and 51 RBIs. He also hit .279/.351/.382 in the Cape Cod League last summer. He has been a selective hitter (26 walks and only 16 strikeouts in 189 at-bats) and he has some gap power. Vavra’s tools are all relatively modest, including a 45-grade arm that will be stretched at shortstop in pro ball, but should be fine at second base. He is a below-average runner with below-average power, but his skills, feel and productivity could fit somewhere on day two of the draft.
4. Gus Varland, RHP, Concordia (Minn.) (BA Rank: 463)
4YR • Jr. • 6-1 • 190 • L-R • Never Drafted
Varland has been a dominant starter for Division II Concordia (Minn.) as he’s blown away hitters with a 93-95 mph fastball that touches 97. Varland was 7-1, 1.04 with 79 strikeouts and 14 walks in 60.1 innings. Evaluators aren’t all that thrilled with Varland’s high-energy delivery, but he repeats it well and has a long track record of throwing strikes. His slider shows potential to develop into an average pitch as well, giving him a pair of potential weapons whether he sticks as a starter or moves to the bullpen. Scouts will be heading back next year as well as Gus’ younger brother Louie is an equally dominating sophomore.
5. Henry DeCaster, RHP, St. Thomas (Minn.) (BA Rank: )
4YR • Jr. • 6-3 • 190 • L-L • Never Drafted
DeCaster may have to wait for next year to be a senior sign, but the righthander has just enough fastball (88-91 mph) and a pair of solid breaking balls. He's coming off of an 8-3, 2.42 season with 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings. (JJ)
6. Micah Coffey, SS/3B, Minnesota (BA Rank: )
4YR • Sr. • 6-1 • 200 • L-R • Never Drafted