Nebraska's Top 2018 MLB Draft Prospects
1. Chad Luensmann, RHP, Nebraska (BA Rank: 405)
4YR • Jr. • 6-4 • 237 • L-R • Mets '15 (39)
Luensmann, a Pennsylvania native, was drafted in the 39th round out of high school by the Mets. He continued on to Nebraska, where he quickly emerged as the team’s closer. He built on his performance for the Cornhuskers with a solid showing in the Cape Cod League. His progress was slowed, however, when he required Tommy John surgery and missed the 2018 season. When healthy, Luensmann showed a solid combination of stuff and control. His fastball sits around 90 mph and he mixes in a slider and changeup. That mix, his solid control and his size—he’s listed at 6-foot-4, 237 pounds—give him a chance to start.
2. Jesse Wilkening, C, Nebraska (BA Rank: 425)
4YR • Jr. • 5-10 • 200 • R-R • D-Backs '15 (28)
A 28th-round pick of the Diamondbacks in 2015 coming out of high school, Wilkening is a stout, 5-foot-10, 200-pound catcher. He has the body for the position with a thick, strong lower half. An average receiver with an above-average arm, Wilkening fits the profile of a day two pick as a college catcher with enough bat speed to have some hitting projection to go with his solid defense. His .372/.455/.588 line this year with nine home runs makes him one of the most productive catchers—statistically—in this year’s draft class.
3. Michael Emodi, C, Creighton (BA Rank: 469)
4YR • Jr. • 6-4 • 225 • R-R • Never Drafted
Emodi is a strong catcher with a big, 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame that reminds everyone he was an all-state football player in high school. Like many backup catchers in pro ball, Emodi has plenty of power potential with plus raw power and he has a strong, 60-grade arm. And like many pro backup catchers, there are legitimate concerns about how much contact Emodi makes and how low his average will be. Emodi, a redshirt junior, hit .282/.376/.505 this season with nine home runs. Defensively he’s a fringe-average receiver, but he is tough and reliable.
4. Clark Brinkman, OF, Creighton (BA Rank: 470)
4YR • Jr. • 6-2 • 200 • R-R • Never Drafted
Brinkman’s swing isn’t smooth or pretty, but it works and he’s a center fielder who should be able to stay at the position in pro ball thanks in part to his plus speed. The redshirt junior hit .317/.416/.471 for the Bluejays this season with 24 steals in 28 attempts. The righthanded hitter is a table-setter with well below-average power in pro ball, but he has the tools and skills to make that work.
5. Scott Schreiber, 1B, Nebraska (BA Rank: 473)
4YR • Sr. • 6-3 • 225 • R-R • Rays '17 (26)
A 26th-round pick of the Rays last year, Schreiber’s lengthy medical record understandably gives teams concern, but they also like his track record of being one of the more productive hitters in the Big Ten. Schreiber has hit .369/.446/.692 with 18 home runs this spring and also hit 16 home runs as a sophomore even though he missed time with an abdominal injury. He is moving better this year than he did last year when his power dissipated in games, although he still showed plus-plus raw juice. Scouts see Schreiber as largely limited to first base nowadays although he was capable of handling right field in the past. As a productive senior money saver with power potential, Schreiber will likely go at some point in the sixth to 10th round.
6. Colby Gomes, RHP, Millward West, Omaha (BA Rank: )
HS • 6-5 • 200 • R-R • Nebraska
Gomes has the frame (6-foot-5, 200 pounds) to be a 95-mph fireballer one day, but right now he's more of a projectable 88-92 mph righthander with a slurve. He's signed with Nebraska.
7. Kyle Perry, LHP, Millard South, Omaha (BA Rank: )
HS • 6-1 • 175 • L-L • Nebraska
Perry likely needs to go to Nebraska to get stronger, but he has an 85-88 mph fastball that can bump 90 at its best right now. His lower arm slot adds some deception and he throws a usably sweepy slider.
8. Luis Alvarado, RHP, Nebraska (BA Rank: )
4YR • Sr. • 6-4 • 210 • R-R • Mariners '17 (13)
Alvarado has been a starter for Nebraska, but he hasn't been able to maintain the 92-94 mph velocity he showed in shorter stints. His breaking ball isn't as sharp either, but a team could see potential in moving him back to the bullpen.
9. Ryan Tapani, RHP, Creighton (BA Rank: )
4YR • R-Sr. • 6-0 • 190 • R-R • Never Drafted
Creighton's Friday starter, the son of big league pitcher Kevin Tapani, has solid feel for pitching and an 88-92 mph fastball.
. Jacob Voss, RHP, Creighton (BA Rank: )
4YR • DE-So. • 6-9 • 265 • R-R •