Baseball America's draft content is powered by

2023 Draft Stock Watch: 10 Risers On The May BA 500 Update

Image credit: Outfielder Chase Davis (Photo courtesy of Arizona)

Today we released the first edition of the BA 500, a ranking of the top 500 players in the 2023 draft class.

In this piece, we’ll take a look at a few significant up-arrow prospects on the list. 

Kevin Takeuchi, 3B, Rancho Bernardo HS, San Diego
Rank: 112
Last: NR
Movement: +289

Takeuchi is one of the most prominent late-season pop-up players in the class. Last summer and fall scouts wondered about his physicality and potential impact, but he’s come out stronger this spring and all of his tools have taken a jump forward. He’s now viewed as one of the best pure hitters on the West Coast with a smooth, compact swing from the right side to go along with excellent swing decisions. He has a chance for above-average hitting ability and power.

Roc Riggio, 2B, Oklahoma State
Rank: 136
Last: 201
Movement: +65

Riggio has simply continued hitting all season, and while he hasn’t homered since May 6, he’s still at 17 long balls on the season to go along with a .343/.471/.685 slash line and standout zone skills, by way of a 16.9% walk rate and 16.2% strikeout rate. He is on the shorter end of the spectrum and might not be an impact defender, but it’s clear he knows how to hit, with impressive power and solid exit velocities.

Joe Whitman, LHP, Kent State
Rank: 119
Last: 180
Movement: +61

There’s a vacuum to be filled in the college lefty demographic with this class, and Whitman could be the player stepping into it. He’s been consistent and, just as importantly, healthy all spring and hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in a game since April 2. He has a 2.56 ERA through 15 starts and 81 innings, with a 29.1% strikeout rate and 8.4% walk rate. He feels like a safe top-five rounder at this point.

Cameron Fisher, OF, Charlotte
Rank: 138
Last: 171
Movement: +33

Can someone please stop Fisher from hitting home runs? That doesn’t seem possible at the rate he’s been at over the last few weeks. Fisher went on a home run binge starting on May 18, and in his next nine games he homered eight times, including a six-game homer streak. That pushed him over vaunted sluggers like Jac Caglianone, Brock Wilken, Shane Lewis and Charlie Condon for the lead among Division I hitters, with 30 home runs on the season.

Josh Knoth, RHP, Patchogue-Medford HS, Medford, N.Y.
Rank: 42
Last: 63
Movement: +21

It’s been nothing but positive reviews on Knoth as much of the industry spent the last month making runs through the Northeast. The New York righty is just dripping with positive pitching traits: He has arm speed, his velocity is up and has touched 98, he has some of the best breaking stuff in the class, he’s a strong athlete and a good mover on the mound, he knows how to pitch and he’s also one of the youngest players in the class. A top-50 selection seems likely at this point. 

Alberto Rios, OF, Stanford
Rank: 161
Last: NR
Movement: +240

This 2023 Stanford team should have plenty of players drafted, but Rios has quietly been one of the team’s most consistent hitters this spring. He’s slashing .403/.510/.756, with 17 home runs, 20 doubles and has just an 11.7% strikeout rate, with a short, compact swing and good eye at the plate.

Zach Thornton, LHP, Grand Canyon
Rank: 181
Last: 299
Movement: +118

Another healthy and performing college lefthander who is moving up boards is Thornton, who doesn’t have the most electric pure stuff, with a fastball that sits around 90 and touches 94, but he takes the ball each week, works deep into games and throws a lot of strikes. He has a 3.87 ERA over 15 starts and 88.1 innings, with a 4.8% walk rate.

Samuel Stafura, SS, Walter Panas HS, Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.
Rank: 39
Last: 57
Movement: +18

Stafura has trended up draft boards all spring, and as more and more high-level evaluators run in to see him, he just keeps moving up boards. He’s bigger, stronger and faster this spring, which takes a well-rounded game that he already had and amplifies it. There are a number of teams in the back of the first round who seem locked in on Stafura, so we’re expecting him to go somewhere in the 25-45 range at this point.

Hiro Wyatt, RHP, Staples HS, Westport, Conn.
Rank: 139
Last: 248
Movement: +109

Given how the scouting schedule works each year, it’s not surprising to see a trio of Northeastern prep players on this notable up-arrow list. Wyatt isn’t in the same range as Knoth/Stafura, but he’s taken a step forward with his stuff this spring and is holding his velocity more consistently and deeper into his starts. He’s touched upper-90s velocity and has plenty of movement on his entire arsenal—with lots of run on the fastball and plenty of sweep on his slider. 

Chase Davis, OF, Arizona
Rank: 28
Last: 33
Movement: +5

Davis is one of the most fascinating players in the class currently. Entering the season, no one questioned his athleticism, powerful frame, raw power and standout arm strength but there were significant contact questions. He’s made dramatic strides in that department and has gone from a 69% contact rate in 2022 to an 80% rate this spring, while hitting .369/.496/.757 with 21 home runs and a career-low 14.8% strikeout rate. He also went off in the Pac-12 tournament, including a 3-for-4 game with a grand slam in the semifinals against Stanford. For whatever reason, Davis seems to continue to be a divisive player based on industry feedback. I’m curious how that will change, if it does, over the next few weeks as scouting departments have their end-of-season meetings and take a look at the total resume that Davis has put together. He seems to check off a ton of boxes, whether you are looking at raw tools, basic performance numbers or underlying hitting metrics. Even if he remains polarizing until draft day, it feels like there are a handful of teams that would definitely take him in the first round.

Comments are closed.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone