Future Projection Episode 80: Chase Burns, Hagen Smith & Scouting Reliever Risk

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Image credit: Hagen Smith (Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)

Ben and Carlos talk about the first two weeks of college baseball action including scorching offensive starts from Georgia’s Charlie Condon and Oregon State’s Travis Bazzana. Are they more in the mix to be the No. 1 pick in a still unsettled draft class? And what are the early changes beyond just strong production?

The two then move on to pitching and break down early-season outings from Arkansas lefthander Hagen Smith and Wake Forest righthander Chase Burns. The two have solid cases as having the best pure stuff from the left and right side respectively, and now they are looking to reinforce their starting profiles and remove some of the reliever risk they entered the spring with. How do Ben and Carlos view the two? Which would they take? How do they view reliever risk in general and which factors are the most concerning: Command? Diversity of stuff? Delivery? Medical history? Durability? Track record? 

After that the two talk about a few early spring training performances from players who have impressed including Pirates second baseman Termarr Johnson, Nationals outfielders James Wood and Dylan Crews and Brewers outfielder (or infielder?) Sal Frelick.

The show closes with Ben’s early preview of the 2026 high school draft class, which looks to have both impressive depth of talent and a standout headliner at the top in Texas shortstop Grady Emerson.

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