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Top New Mexico 2019 MLB Draft Prospects

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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)

1. Justin Slaten, RHP, New Mexico (BA RANK: 129)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 197 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

The 6-foot-4 Slaten has thrived in the Friday night role with the Lobos after a rocky sophomore year, posting a 2.72 ERA with 92 strikeouts and 34 walks in 76 innings as a junior. He mostly uses a two-pitch mix, starting with a low-90s fastball that touches 95 mph, but his fastball command can waver at times. Slaten’s best secondary pitch is an average to tick above-average slider in the 79-83 mph range. His curveball has good shape, and he has a below-average changeup. Slaten delivers his pitches from an upright, high three-quarter delivery that features some funkiness and deception. Although he’ll likely begin his career as a starter, Slaten fits the profile of a reliever in pro ball, where he’ll be able to further refine his fastball/slider combination. Slaten could be drafted early on Day 2.

2. Joey Ortiz, SS, New Mexico State (BA RANK: 258)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 175 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

It’s all about the glove for Ortiz, who many scouts project to have a long professional career because he plays shortstop so well. He’s a plus defender with good actions in the field and is regarded as a very hard worker. His tick below-average to average arm plays up because he’s fast with his exchange and gets rid of the ball quickly. Ortiz is on the smaller side at 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, and he makes limited impact when he connects. He has good bat-to-ball skills, however, and makes consistent contact at the plate. Ortiz is no more than an average runner, but his reputation as an impact defender at a premium position should get him drafted on Day 2.

3. Joab Gonzalez, SS, New Mexico JC (BA RANK: 441)
Source: JC • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 175 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Gonzalez has put up solid statistics in his two seasons at New Mexico JC, albeit while playing in extreme hitter-friendly environments. He stands out most for his plus athleticism and above-average defense, although some observers think that his small frame will push him to second base. He has good actions in the infield with an arm that grades from average to plus. Gonzalez isn’t projected to be an impact hitter at the pro level as he hasn’t used his hands well since lowering them in his batting stance. Regardless of how well he profiles as a hitter, Gonzalez’s defense and athleticism may be enough to get him drafted late on Day 2.

4. Jared Mang, OF, New Mexico
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-9 • Wt: 200 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted


5. Nate Swarts, OF/RHP, Piedra Vista HS, Farmington, N.M.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: New Mexico State


6. Tristen Carranza, OF, New Mexico State
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 200 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted


7. Tristan Peterson, INF, New Mexico State
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 230 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted


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