2019 Draft Stock Watch: Under The Radar Prospects Up North
To this point in the year, most of our Stock Watches have focused on the southern half of the country, as states like California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and others get their seasons started earlier and are the focus of major league scouting departments.
But as we near the end of March, baseball is being played in most parts of the country, with area scouts up north finally settling into their own regions and bearing down on their respective players.
So today, we’ll touch on four players who reside in the northern half of the country—and one Canadian prospect—who might be more under the radar than many of the players we’ve talked about before.
If you missed any of our previous Stock Watches, you can get each of them below:
- March 19—Historic Year For Texas
- March 12—Pop-Up Prospects And Regional Risers
- March 5—Small School Arms Stand Out
- February 26—5 Rising, 5 Falling
- February 19—George Kirby On The Rise
- February 8—Carter Stewart Opens Season Strong
- January 18—To-Do Lists For The Top 32 Prospects
Tommy Henry, LHP, Michigan
We’ll get started with Henry, who’s perhaps the most well-known name on this list given the conference and program he plays for, as well as the fact that he’s posted a 0.45 ERA through six starts. While many of those games have come against weaker competition, Henry did matchup against UCLA and tossed six innings of two-run ball with 10 strikeouts and two walks.
A 6-foot-3, 190-pound southpaw, Henry doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he has a solid three-pitch mix and he’s shown excellent control with just 1.36 walks per nine innings. His fastball hovers around 90 mph, and he has both a slider and changeup in the low 80s. His fastball and slider both have spin rates around 2,200-2,300 rpm, but Henry’s stuff plays up with impressive extension, as he gets off the rubber and over his front side effectively.
Justin Fall, LHP, Brookdale (N.J.) JC
Another lefthanded pitcher, Fall is significantly more under the radar than Henry, as he plays for Brookdale (N.J.) JC and has just three starts under his belt this season. However, the Arizona State commit has been heavily scouted this season, thanks to his big, 6-foot-6, 235-pound frame and a fastball that settles in the low 90s and has been up into the 94-95 mph range.
In 13 innings, Fall has struck out 21 batters and walked four with a 0.69 ERA. Fall has a tendency to scatter the zone at times, and he’ll need to refine his secondary offerings, but he’s put himself in position to be an intriguing Day 2 pick.
Hunter Brown, RHP, Wayne State
Brown had a limited look in the Cape Cod League last summer, where he threw 92-94 mph but struggled with throwing strikes and seemed to be out of his element. This spring, however, his fastball velocity has been up and into the upper 90s at times, with a solid slider in the low 80s.
Through six starts and 35 innings of work, Brown has posted a 2.06 ERA with 52 strikeouts and 15 walks. There’s some length in the back of his arm stroke, which could potentially hurt his strike-throwing ability moving forward, but it’s a fairly easy operation altogether. Brown’s pure stuff should be enough to get him off draft boards before Day 3, and he is one of the most interesting Division II players in the 2019 draft class.
The 5 Most Intriguing 2019 MLB Draft Backgrounds
As we continue to learn more about the most recent MLB Draft class, here's a look at some prospects with intriguing stories.
Dante Biasi, LHP, Penn State
Draft-eligible as a redshirt sophomore, Biasi is an undersized lefthander at just 6 feet, but he’s well put together and has three above-average pitches, headlined by a fastball that has been up to 95 mph. Biasi also throws a slider and a changeup that are both currently 55-grade pitches, and he should use his three-pitch repertoire to rack up plenty of strikeouts in the Big 10 Conference. He’s coming off 13- and 12-strikeout games against Massachusetts-Lowell and Minnesota, respectively, and he has 51 strikeouts in 34 innings this season.
The upside with Biasi is limited given his size and the fact that he’s a short-strider without overwhelming pure stuff and some questions about the quality of his strikes, but he has a quick arm from the left side and his strikeout rate has ticked up early this season.
Dasan Brown, OF, Abbey Park HS, Oakville, Ont.
The top Canadian prospect in the 2019 class, Brown is a dynamic athlete with 80-grade speed who could rival Mississippi prospects James Beard (Loyd Star HS, Brookhaven, Miss.) and Jerrion Ealy (Jackson (Miss.) Prep HS) as the fastest runner in the class. There are some similarities with Brown to 2018 Canadian prospect Denzel Clarke, who was also an athletic, but currently unrefined, baseball player, though Brown likely edges Clarke in the athleticism department.
Teams are currently getting a look at Brown with the Canadian Junior National team in Florida, where the club plays against professional players. His speed is his most obvious tool, and it plays on the bases, where he routinely clocks 70- and 80-grade home-to-first times, and in the outfield, where he covers huge swaths of ground and makes highlight-reel plays. Brown does possess some bat-to-ball skills, but there's a lot of work left to do in regards to his overall hitting ability. Right now, he's a fastball hitter who lacks a real plan of attack at the plate, and he has bottom-of-the-scale raw power.
There’s a lot to like given Brown’s ability as a runner and defender, but for a team to take him they will have to be convinced he’ll figure out the offensive side of the game and be patient with him in Rookie-ball. Brown is committed to Texas A&M.