Image credit: Bryson Stott (Photo by Bill Mitchell)
State List Talent Ranking: ????????
(Stars are listed on a 1 to 5 scale relative to what the state typically produces, with 1 being the weakest)
After hitting an impressive .333/.405/.474 over his first two seasons with Nevada-Las Vegas, Stott was the USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team starting shortstop last summer—always a good indicator for a player’s draft pedigree. Entering the summer, Team USA coaches believed they were getting an offensive-inclined shortstop who needed some work on the defensive end. However, Stott impressed the staff with his glovework, showing impressive footwork and body control along with accurate throws to the bag. Yet scouts left the summer with conflicting thoughts regarding Stott’s bat, as he showed good bat-to-ball skills but too often with a slap-heavy, low-impact swing. Questions have been raised about his potential offensive upside in spite of the numbers he had posted in the Mountain West Conference, but Stott quickly showed he was more than just a slap hitter early this spring. He’s more consistently tapped into his all-fields power by getting his lower half more into his swing and increasing his strength. That power uptick has come with more swing-and-miss (14 percent strikeout rate through his first 41 games) and a higher walk rate (around 20 percent), but his strikeouts aren’t at a concerning level. Defensively, most scouts believe Stott can stick at shortstop, where he has a plus arm with accuracy and a reliable glove. But there are some who question the pure quickness and range in Stott’s game and believe he’ll wind up being a better fit for third base, where his arm would fit just fine. Stott will record plus run times to first base at times, but scouts believe he’s closer to an average runner who could transition into a fringe-average runner as he puts on more weight. Regardless, Stott should be one of the first college shortstops off the board.
A tall, 6-foot-6, 205-pound lefthander, Anderson has feel for a solid three-pitch mix. His fastball was in the 90-94 mph range last fall before dipping into the 87-90 mph range this spring as a junior. After being used mostly as a reliever during his first two years with Nevada, Anderson made a solid transition to the starting rotation, where he posted a 4.66 ERA over 13 starts, striking out 62 batters and walking 28 while leading the team in innings over that period. While Anderson’s stuff isn’t overpowering, he adds some deception thanks to a crossfire delivery and his size, which gets the ball on hitters more quickly than expected. In addition to his fastball, Anderson has a slurvy breaking ball that he has solid feel for and a changeup with arm-side sink. He profiles as a back-of-the-rotation innings eater and could go high in the draft if a team believes they can help him improve his stuff in the future.
A 6-foot-3, 215-pound righty who is committed to California, Roberts has big pure stuff, but he does it with an unconventional, max-effort delivery. Roberts gathers himself with a slow step back towards first base, while leaning his upper half over the rubber before implementing a high leg lift and exploding off the rubber with a high slot that also has plenty of length in the back. He has thrown a fastball in the low 90s and touched as high as 95-96 and flashed a solid, low 70s breaking ball, but his max-effort delivery and violent head whack will concern scouts and limit his control.
4. D.J. Jefferson, RHP, Desert Oasis HS, Las Vegas
Source: HS • Ht: 6-5 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Southern California