Top Southern California 2019 MLB Draft Prospects
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)
One of the biggest pop-up players in the 2019 class, Cavaco wasn’t seen much over last year’s summer showcase circuit, though a few scouts saw him in the fall and were intrigued by his exciting toolset. Cavaco started turning heads quickly this spring, gaining the attention of crosscheckers and scouting directors thanks to a projectable, 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame and plus power. Cavaco has a chance to reach 70-grade power as he continues to fill out, but big power isn’t his only selling point. He’s currently an above-average runner with above-average defensive ability at third base, and he has plus arm strength as well. With above-average or better tools across the board, Cavaco offers plenty of upside, but his hitting ability is his biggest question mark and where teams are most split. Without an extensive track record, scouts are unsure how his bat will consistently play against high-level pitching. He has plus bat speed, but scouts have seen him swing and miss against average high school pitching a bit too much, and he currently doesn’t have the best plate coverage on the outer half. Cavaco has the tools to go as high as the back of the first round, but it might take a team with multiple Day 1 picks or a more optimistic report on his future hit tool to draft him that high given his lack of track record. He is committed to San Diego State.
A standout at the 2018 Area Code Games, Lee is one of the top prospects in Southern California. He’s likely the best pure hitter in the region, with a terrific feel to hit from both sides of the plate as a switch-hitter. He doesn’t possess much power at the moment, but instead has a short, quick, line-drive oriented swing that he uses to routinely square up the ball and spray it around the field. While he’s not a slugger, Lee has a strong, 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame, and he has the ability to drive the ball out of the park thanks to his feel for the barrel. He’s added more muscle and strength this spring and could start tapping into more power in the future—particularly from the left side. Defensively, Lee should play somewhere in the middle of the infield with extremely reliable and quick hands, deft footwork around the bag and solid-average arm strength. Some believe he’s a better fit for second base as a below-average runner, but Lee has fantastic feel for the game, great positioning and a high baseball IQ. His father, Larry, is the head coach at Cal Poly—where Lee is committed—and he has played against older competition throughout most of his career. With a plus hit tool and a chance to be a defensive asset in the middle of the infield, Lee has a chance to sneak into the back of the first round.
A three-year starter at UCLA, Strumpf hit .363 as a sophomore in 2018 and was invited to play for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, but he was unable to participate due to injury. He entered this spring considered arguably the top draft prospect in Southern California and hit .284/.422/.461 through the end of the regular season in a solid but unspectacular campaign. The 6-foot-1 second baseman has a quiet setup at the plate and has consistently shown excellent bat-to-ball skills, with an impressive ability to backspin the ball the opposite way to right-center field. He has also displayed a strong knowledge of the strike zone, recording nearly as many walks (87) as strikeouts (106) the last two years. Strumpf is an offensive-minded infielder who can make the routine plays at second base but struggles to make the difficult ones. He has below-average range and arm strength that flashes average but is usually fringy. His offensive tools are strong enough for evaluators to project him as an everyday second baseman even with his defensive shortcomings.
Fitterer jumped on teams’ radars last fall at Perfect Game’s World Championship in Jupiter, Fla., showing big upside with a fastball that reached the mid-90s and a projectable, 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame. It’s been more of the same this spring, as Fitterer has continued to show present stuff, including a two-seam fastball with impressive late life and excellent feel to spin and manipulate a curveball that projects as a plus pitch. He also has feel for a changeup that should be average. Fitterer’s athleticism, frame and stuff could allow him to be drafted as high as the second round, but his fastball velocity does come and go depending on how much rest he’s had between starts. That’s not unusual for prep pitchers, and it shouldn’t hurt his stock too much, but he will also turn 19 years old just one month after the draft. Fitterer is committed to UCLA and expected to be an expensive sign.
A 35th-round pick of the Rockies out of high school, Toglia hit seven home runs in the Cape Cod League last summer to set himself up for a big junior year. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound switch-hitter struggled with his timing early in the season, but he got red-hot the final month and was batting .316 with 16 doubles, 16 home runs and a .633 slugging percentage through the last day of regionals. Toglia has an easy swing from both sides of the plate with power to all fields. When his approach and swing are right, Toglia turns around high-end velocity and looks the part of a potential 30-home run hitter. He has had some dry spells when he gets too passive and allows his front side to drift, which causes him to lack hip rotation and leads to inconsistency with his swing plane. Toglia is athletic and has the tools to be a plus defender at first base or an above-average defender in the corner outfield. His power potential and athleticism bode well for his future, but scouts have some concerns about the swing-and-miss and inconsistency Toglia’s game, especially as he advances to the next level.
An athletic, 6-foot-2, 170-pound righthander, Dalquist has impressed Southern California area scouts with his loose, easy delivery and starter’s attributes despite being slightly undersized. He has a three-pitch mix, all of which have a chance to be at least average, led by an above-average fastball that sits in the 90-94 mph range. He’s been used out of the bullpen at times for his high school, which confused some evaluators because most think he projects as a starter due to his solid breaking ball and changeup. Dalquist gets out on his front side well during his delivery and has some deception. While Dalquist’s pure stuff doesn’t have the explosiveness of other prep arms ranked around him, the complete package and the ease of his operation is appealing to clubs, as is his advanced strike-throwing ability and athleticism. He is committed to Arizona and is expected to be a tough sign.
Jones entered the season as one of the best two-way players in the class as a 6-foot-7, 212-pound lefthander with massive upside on the mound as well as surprising athleticism and feel to hit as a first base prospect. His season was cut short after he underwent surgery to repair a small fracture in his elbow, but Jones did recover soon enough to hit for his La Costa Canyon team late in the season. While teams seriously looked at Jones as both a pitcher and hitter, his upside is highest on the mound, where he has reached the mid-90s with his fastball and sat in the 89-93 mph range last summer. He also showed a mid- to upper-70s curveball with 12-to-6 break and tremendous depth that projects as a plus offering in the future. Jones doesn’t have the quickest arm, but his delivery is surprisingly in-sync for a prep pitcher of his size who has only been pitching seriously for a year and a half—a testament to his above-average athleticism and body control. Offensively, Jones has solid feel for the barrel and decent strike-zone recognition, although he will chase pitches at times. He’s an above-average runner at the moment, and some scouts believe he could develop plus raw power in the future as his body continues to mature. Jones figures to be a tough sign out of Vanderbilt, especially with his injury this spring, and he could turn into a first round-caliber prospect in a few years if he adds the physicality that most scouts think is coming. Jones should be a legitimate two-way player with the Commodores.
Brecht assumed the role of UC Santa Barbara’s top starter this spring and went 10-1, 3.76 with 101 strikeouts and 18 walks in 88.2 innings to carry the Gauchos to the Big West Conference title. A 36th-round pick of the Orioles out of high school, Brecht intrigues as a 6-foot-7 lefthander with premium strike-throwing ability. His fastball sometimes sits at 90 mph and touches 93-94 mph, but at other times he sits 87-88 mph and tops out at 90 mph. Regardless of his velocity, Brecht’s heater gets on hitters quickly because his long limbs give him deception and angle that make it difficult to pick the ball up out of his hand. His fastball plays up with life at the top of the zone and gets swings and misses. Brecht’s best secondary is a changeup that is an average raw pitch but plays above-average to plus with his deception. He lands his sweeping, upper-70s slider for strikes to keep it effective despite fringe-average grades. Brecht’s excellent feel to pitch ties everything together. With his size, deception and overall control of three pitches, evaluators consider Brecht a safe bet to reach the majors as a back-end starter.
Garcia stood out as one of the top performers in the Cape Cod League last summer, when he logged a 0.92 ERA and struck out 49 batters in 39 innings. He missed the first three weeks of the season this spring with flexor inflammation, but he returned to UCLA’s rotation in time for conference play and led the Pac-12 Conference with a 1.42 ERA through the end of the regular season. He was named Pac-12 pitcher of the year. Garcia possesses a clean arm action and delivery that allows him to command four pitches. His fastball ranges from 90-93 mph, his changeup and slider both flash above-average and his curveball is a usable offering. Nothing is plus, but he throws everything for strikes, mixes his pitches well and keeps hitters off balance with a strong feel for pitching. Garcia’s command and pitch mix have evaluators considering him a probable bet to reach the majors, with the upside of a back-of-the-rotation starter.
Curialle followed Chase Strumpf and Royce Lewis as the starting shortstop at JSerra High School and led the Lions to consecutive Boras Classic South tournament championships the last two seasons. This spring, he finished one hit shy of tying Lewis’ school single-season hits record. Curialle is an impressive blend of physicality and athleticism. He’s strong and broad-chested at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds and has big raw power, but he’s also a plus runner who glides around the infield remarkably well. He makes all the plays at shortstop and also has the athleticism for center field and third base. Curialle’s best tool is his plus-plus arm. He makes every throw from deep in the hole, cuts down runners on long relays and has touched 93 mph on the mound despite little pitching experience. Curialle swings and misses a bit too much, which is what prevents him from being a potential first-rounder, but he has the tools to project as an average or better hitter. A potential five-tool talent, Curialle is committed to UCLA and will command a hefty signing bonus.
Kreidler’s reputation as one of the best defenders on the West Coast dates back to high school, but he long struggled to hit, including in the Cape Cod League last summer. He improved his approach this spring and surprisingly emerged as one of UCLA’s top hitters, sending his draft stock soaring. Kreidler hit .314/.387/.529 in the regular season, although his numbers did dip in conference games. Kreidler is 6-foot-4 but has a chance to stay at shortstop. He has soft hands, reads hops well, has a plus, accurate arm and possesses advanced instincts that allow him to get to every ball. He projects as an above-average shortstop and a potential plus defender at third base. Scouts believe he could play an above-average or better second base and first base, too. Kriedler’s strength and long levers give him average power potential, but he’s a below-average hitter who doesn’t cover the outer half and is susceptible to breaking balls. Even with a questionable bat, Kreidler’s infield defense, strength and “gamer” makeup have teams interested in the top five rounds.
Freeman teamed with his older brother Tyler to lead Etiwanda (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) High to the first CIF championship in program history in 2017. Tyler Freeman was a supplemental second-round pick of the Indians that year, and now Cody is following his brother’s footsteps. Like his older brother, Freeman stands out for his premium instincts. At the plate, he tracks pitches well, separates balls from strikes and stays up the middle with an advanced approach. He’s more of a contact hitter than a home run threat, but he hits the ball hard to all fields and has a chance to develop more power as he matures. Freeman is an above-average runner who is aggressive but smart on the basepaths, and his advanced instincts enhance his ability to steal bases. He is a capable shortstop with reliable hands and an average, accurate arm, although he projects better as a potential plus defender at second base. Freeman has no standout tool, but his game is well-rounded and his instincts allow everything to play up. He is committed to Baylor.
A 13th-round pick of the Blue Jays out of high school, Lincoln struggled in UC Santa Barbara’s rotation as a sophomore before moving to the bullpen and flourishing as the Gauchos' closer this spring. His 13 saves tied for 10th in the nation through the end of the regular season. An athletic, physical righthander, Lincoln has a fast arm and saw his velocity tick up throughout the season. He pitches at 93-94 mph, can ramp up to 96-97 mph and touched 98 mph for the first time in April. Lincoln’s delivery is max-effort and batters hit his fastball better than his velocity would indicate (he had a .242 opponent average as of late May), but evaluators believe tweaks can be made to his delivery, which could help him hide the ball more and get his fastball to play better. Lincoln’s slider is wildly inconsistent, ranging from below-average to above-average, and the pitch will need to be sharpened. Lincoln is far from a finished product and still has room for growth. His upside and present velocity have him in top-five rounds consideration.
Murphy showed swing-and-miss stuff but also shoddy control in the Cape Cod League last summer. He elevated his draft stock with a dominant turn at the front of San Diego’s rotation this spring, but wildness continues to afflict him. Murphy boasts an attractive power arm from the left side. He sits 90-91 mph on his fastball and can ramp up to 94-95 mph, pitching in and out and elevating for swings and misses. His breaking ball is alternately referred to as a power curveball or slider and draws above-average grades, and his average changeup is an effective third pitch. Murphy’s stuff allows him to miss bats and keep runs off the board, but he gets into a lot of deep counts and falls into long innings because of below-average control. He walked more than six batters per nine innings this spring, with 15 hit batters on top of it. Murphy has the stuff to start, but his control may push him to the bullpen. Evaluators are split on his eventual outcome but want him regardless.
Pallante won third-team All-America honors as a sophomore and played for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team last summer. He wasn’t quite as sharp this spring but still put together a solid season as UC Irvine’s Friday night starter. Pallante’s fastball sits 90-92 mph and touches 94 mph as a starter, and he’s been up to 97 mph in relief. His heater stays off the barrel with late life and carry through the zone, inducing more soft contact than swings and misses. Pallante’s above-average 82-84 mph slider is his main secondary, and he’ll mix in an average 80-84 mph changeup and below-average 72-74 mph curveball. Pallante is a plus strike-thrower with four pitches and track record of durability, but his delivery and arm action raise questions about his command. Most evaluators project him to the bullpen, where they envision his fastball and slider playing up.
Sabol was taken in the 33rd round by the Indians in 2016, but he elected to enroll at Southern California instead. At the time, he ranked No. 226 on the BA 500 with impressive speed and athleticism, but he still showed some rawness at the plate. Three years later, scouts are intrigued by Sabol’s plus raw power but still see the same rawness at the plate. Sabol knows how to manage the strike zone but shows an over-aggressive approach at times, swinging early and often. Sabol also has a tendency to get into a slap-oriented approach without fully incorporating his lower half. If he can get into his lower half more in the future and take advantage of his raw power, Sabol could profile nicely in a corner outfield spot. Left field is more likely than right field because of his fringe-average arm, but he also has experience in center field and even played catcher in high school. Now listed at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, Sabol runs well with long strides, but his speed plays better underway than out of the batter’s box and he’ll need to refine his route-running in the outfield. There’s upside here thanks to Sabol’s power, but he’ll need plenty of refinement—both mechanically and mentally with his approach—at the next level.
Boyer has some of the best stuff in the class as well as one of its worst injury records. He missed most of this year with shoulder stiffness and never pitched more than 19 innings in any of his three seasons at San Diego State. When healthy, Boyer is electrifying. Big and physical at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Boyer comes at hitters aggressively with a power fastball that sits 93-94 mph and reaches 96-97 mph with cut life. It’s an easy plus fastball with its velocity and life, and he’s unafraid to challenge hitters in the strike zone, often winning that battle. Boyer mostly throws his fastball, but he also shows feel to spin a 75-78 mph breaking ball that he can land for strikes or bury in the dirt. His changeup lacks behind his other two offerings. Boyer’s arm action and delivery are clean and his strike-throwing has improved, but he just hasn’t stayed healthy. With his limited workload, his control also wavers. This year, he had 11 walks in just 13.2 innings. Boyer is a potential top-five rounds pick on talent, but a lot will depend on his medical reports.
Dixon is well-known to scouts after starting all four years for Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS, the winner of the last three National High School High School Invitational titles. Dixon long intrigued with his tools and finally added performance this spring, batting .352 with 15 stolen bases while playing some of the best high school competition in the country. Dixon is an exciting athlete with plus-plus speed, a plus arm and the ingredients to be a plus defender in center field. His pure athleticism is among the best in the class, and he has feel to play the game. Dixon’s bat is the question mark. He shows bat-to-ball skills but lacks natural timing or feel for the barrel, resulting in a lot of mishit balls and poor quality contact. He has plus bat speed and flashes raw power when he gets into proper launch position. Dixon’s tools have him in fifth- to eighth-round consideration even with questions about his bat. He is committed to Southern California.
Ralston struggled to throw strikes most of his UCLA career and in the Cape Cod League last summer, but he figured out his 6-foot-6 body and windmill delivery this spring and emerged as a linchpin of the Bruins rotation. Ralston’s over-the-top, explosive delivery makes at-bats uncomfortable for hitters and gives his pitches unique characteristics. His fastball sits 91-94 mph, and he holds his velocity deep into games. His biggest weapon is an overhand, high-spin curveball with depth that comes in at 80-82 mph. It’s a pitch that draws swings and misses by the bunch and rarely gets squared up, giving him a true out-pitch that will play at higher levels. Ralston mostly relies on his fastball and curveball. He does have a fringy but effective changeup. Evaluators largely see Ralston as a future reliever, with his curveball carrying him up the ladder.
Long regarded as the best pure hitter from Southern California in his class, Naranjo showed power with a long home run at Globe Life Park during the States Play series last summer and gained increased attention. He followed up with a strong senior season that included a home run in front of numerous evaluators at the Boras Classic. Naranjo draws comparisons to Dominic Smith and Jake Bauers as a 6-foot tall first baseman with excellent feel to hit and questions about his power. Naranjo takes an advanced approach to the plate and has superb bat-to-ball skills. He squares up both velocity and secondary stuff and projects to hit for a high average, with some scouts projecting him as to be a potential plus hitter. Naranjo’s power is average, which makes him a tough profile at first base. He is a plus defender at first base with smooth glovework, and he’s playable in right field. Naranjo gets a bump from Bauers’ and Smith’s success and is in day two draft consideration for some teams. He is committed to Cal State Fullerton.
Frechette transferred from San Diego’s Cathedral Catholic High to Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High as a senior and had a chance at increased exposure, but injuries hampered him from the start. He hurt his hamstring in the fall, suffered a hamate injury shortly after and then was struck by mononucleosis. Frechette looks the part at 6-foot-3 with a good-looking lefthanded swing and above-average to plus raw power. He mostly does his damage in batting practice, however, and struggles to repeat his swing in games. He had just three extra-base hits in 24 games this spring, furthering longstanding concerns about his ability to hit live pitching. Frechette is a decent athlete who is an average runner underway, but he’s a first baseman long-term and will have to get to his power to profile. Frechette’s body and swing have some teams interested on the draft’s second day. Others are content to let him honor his San Diego State commitment.
Lewis weighed 285 pounds in high school and received little college or professional interest because of it. He went to Los Angeles Pierce JC and dropped 70 pounds in two years to get in shape, and he earned a scholarship to UC Irvine after winning MVP of the California Collegiate Summer League last year. Lewis draws comparisons to C.J. Cron and Ryon Healy for his massive raw power. He hit 14 home runs this spring playing his home games at cavernous Anteater Ballpark, tying the program’s single-season record, while also leading UC Irvine in batting average, doubles and RBIs. Lewis’ raw power is easily plus-plus, and he has a loose, workable swing that allows him to frequently find the barrel and hit gargantuan pull-side home runs. He has some swing-and-miss to his game but not an overwhelming amount for a power hitter, although he has struggled against better velocity. Lewis is a big-bodied, below-average third baseman with a below-average arm who projects to move to first base, so a lot of pressure will be on his bat. Teams who believe he will hit enough to get to his power are considering him in the middle of the top 10 rounds.
Clarke began 2019 as USC’s setup man and became the Trojans’ closer when Connor Lunn ascended to the rotation. He quickly took to the role and was effective in both one-inning and multiple-inning stints. Clarke is a 6-foot-7 righthander who looks the part of a major league reliever. His fastball sits 92-95 mph with sink, and he complements his heater with a 70-grade curveball that is his out-pitch. Clarke is a good athlete despite his size and fills up the strike zone. He had Tommy John surgery in high school and his stuff drops off when he pitches back-to-back days, but he’s shown the ability to be effective even at lower velocities.
Estes emerged from tiny Paraclete (Lancaster, Calif.) High to make the Area Code Games and represent California in the States Play series at Globe Life Park last summer. He kept evaluators making the long drive to the Antelope Valley this spring with an uptick in his velocity. Estes is slightly undersized as a 6-foot-1 righthander but has a strong frame. His fastball sits 90-91 mph and touches 93 mph, and he backs it up with a slurvy breaking ball that could turn into an average slider as he adds strength. Estes has a mature body that lacks projection, but his two-pitch mix projects well in a bullpen. He is committed to Long Beach State but is considered signable.
Dashwood had Tommy John surgery his freshman year at UC Santa Barbara but returned to spend the last two seasons as a reliable starter in the Gauchos’ rotation. Dashwood is physically huge at 6-foot-6, 240 pounds. He pitches at 88-90 mph and ramps up to 92-93 mph with a fastball he moves around the strike zone. Dashwood’s slicing breaking ball tunnels well off his fastball and shows good depth. He throws everything for strikes despite his big body and demonstrates impressive pitchability and toughness, staying composed in adverse conditions. Dashwood’s upright delivery isn’t particularly functional and his stuff is a little short to project as a starter, but evaluators think his fastball could tick up out of the bullpen and like him as a potential lefthanded reliever.
Diamond was a showcase mainstay last summer, pitching at the Perfect Game National Showcase in Tampa Bay, the Under Armour All-America Game in Chicago, the Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif., and the Perfect Game All-America Classic in San Diego. He sat 89-93 mph throughout the summer and generated buzz as one of the top pitchers in the draft class, but he injured his right shoulder in a snowboarding accident over the winter and pitched in only five games this spring. Diamond is a good athlete who played quarterback for his high school’s football team. He has a clean delivery, shows advanced command for a prep and has a solid pitcher’s frame at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds. Diamond’s fastball remained in the low 90s in his few outings this season, but his curveball took a step back, coming in around 65 mph. He shows feel to spin in general and has tinkered with a slider in the past. Teams like Diamond’s talent, but given his injury and lack of innings this spring, they are wary of his high bonus demands. He is committed to Mississippi.
Hinkel primarily played shortstop as a high school underclassman before gradually converting to pitching. His fastball velocity ticked up from 86-90 mph to 90-94 mph this spring to establish himself as one of the better prep arms in Southern California. Hinkel is an athletic, 6-foot-1 righthander with a fresh arm and room to keep growing. He holds his velocity deep into games, pounds the strike zone, holds runners well and maintains good tempo on the mound. His slider and changeup have each flashed average but are generally fringy, although evaluators believe both will get better with more pitching experience. Hinkel missed time late in the season with a tender arm and is expected command a large signing bonus to forgo a Pepperdine commitment. On talent, he is in fifth- to eighth-round consideration.
A 35th-round pick by Indians in 2016, Smith mostly struggled in his first two seasons at UC Santa Barbara before breaking out this spring as a junior. He developed an effective launch angle swing under Gauchos associate head coach Donegal Fergus, keeping his bat in the zone longer on an uphill path to get to his massive raw power. Smith is built like a linebacker at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, and he has raw power some evaluators grade as an 80. He is a slugger with supreme bat speed who makes balls disappear when he connects, and he has the strength to muscle balls out even when he mishits them. Smith’s ability to make contact is steadily improving, although he still projects as a below-average hitter. He is an average right fielder with a fringe-average arm. Smith’s physicality, power and improved contact rate have him in consideration in the top 10 rounds. How well he maintains his new swing in pro ball will be key to his rise.
The son of former Dodgers minor league infielder Mike Carpentier, Carpentier Jr. backstopped Yucaipa (Calif.) HS to a CIF championship as a junior and carried on with an impressive senior season. After making the Area Code Games last summer, he doubled and homered at the Boras Classic this spring to lead the Thunderbirds to a surprising third-place finish. Carpentier is an advanced defensive catcher with excellent instincts and a high effort level. He’s an above-average receiver capable of catching good velocity, has plus arm strength and embodies the toughness teams want to see behind the plate. His short, stocky body lacks projection, but it’s fine for his position. Evaluators are split on Carpentier’s offensive potential. He produces more contact than power with his lefthanded swing, and he hasn’t driven the ball enough against good pitching to make scouts fully believe in his bat. Some are concerned Carpentier is no more than a future backup at best, but others see a strong defender who makes contact and has a high floor. He is committed to Arizona State.
Pries is the younger brother of UCLA outfielder and fellow 2019 draft prospect Jake Pries. He is the more highly regarded of the two brothers as a projectable athlete at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds with power and speed in center field. Pries rarely strikes out, puts everything in play and handles velocity, projecting as an average hitter to go with above-average power. A hamstring injury limited him to designated hitter duty most of the year, but he returned to center field by the end of the season and showed average speed underway. His arm is playable. Pries put up strong numbers playing against Division II competition in a small home ballpark, so some evaluators are skeptical. Others see a good athlete and well-rounded player worthy of a pick in the top 10 rounds.
Brubaker won the California junior college pitcher of the year award in 2018 at Saddleback (Calif.) JC and was drafted by the Rays in the 28th round. He transferred to UC Irvine rather than sign and put up a strong season as the Anteaters’ No. 2 starter this spring. Brubaker experienced a slight velocity bump and his fastball now sits 89-91 mph with the ability to ramp up to 94-95 mph. His looping curveball and changeup don’t excite evaluators, but they are competitive offerings that get the job done. Brubaker is strong and durable in his 6-foot-5, 220 pound frame, lasting deep into his starts and throwing strikes from start to finish. Brubaker lacks explosive stuff, but his physicality and track record have a select group of teams interested.
Cannon’s home runs became the stuff of legend at UC Riverside this spring, with scouts trading stories about how far they’d seen him hit a baseball and comparing him to Mark Trumbo. By the end the of year, he had set the school’s single-season (18) and career home run records (36). Cannon is a chiseled, imposing figure at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds with 80-grade power he’s able to reach in games. He generates huge loft when he connects, resulting in towering home runs that clear 450 feet and demoralize opposing pitchers. Cannon has steadily improved his plate discipline and doesn’t strike out much for a power hitter, and he runs the bases surprisingly well with a good stride. He has also touched 95 mph on the mound. The concern with Cannon is that he’s already a designated hitter who has had surgery on both knees as well as back and shoulder problems. His injury report is “scary” in one evaluator’s words. Cannon’s makeup is regarded as among the best in the draft class, so there is a belief he’ll overcome whatever ails him. His father, Scott, was a minor league pitcher in the Angels’ system from 1983-86.
Lunn began the year as Southern California’s closer before moving to the rotation for conference play. He won five of his first six starts, including beating No. 1 UCLA and then-No. 7 Arizona State in consecutive weeks, and assumed the role of the Trojans No. 1 starter. He went 7-4, 3.69 overall with 79 strikeouts and 23 walks in 83 innings. Lunn’s fastball sits 89-92 mph as a starter and 91-94 as a reliever. His heater plays up with natural cut and quality at the top of the strike zone, generating bad swings and staying off of barrels. Lunn tunnels his average breaking ball well off of his fastball to help both pitches play up. His control is inconsistent. Evaluators think Lunn has room to grow into more velocity in pro ball and see him as a potential mid-to-late inning reliever.
Stuka nearly signed with the Orioles as a 38th-round pick last year as a draft-eligible sophomore. The 6-foot-7 righthander returned to campus, improved both his stuff and his control and now stands to go significantly higher. Stuka’s fastball sits 92-93 mph and touches 95-96 with heavy sink. He pairs his sinking fastball with an above-average to plus splitter, inducing a heavy volume of ground balls. Stuka generates good plane on both offerings with his height and is difficult to square up. He also has an average slider. Stuka’s control comes and goes due to his big body. He walked 6 per nine innings this year, up slightly from last year’s 5.7 walks per nine. Stuka projects for most evaluators as reliever with two potential plus pitches in his fastball and splitter.
Dean is a 6-foot-5, 209-pound former football player with a strong, athletic build. His calling card is his powerful swing that yields above-average raw power, but he has a long way to go as a hitter. He mostly shows that power in batting practice. Dean struggles to identify breaking balls and doesn’t square up a lot of pitches, leading to inconsistent performances in games. He is a below-average runner with an average arm that profiles best in a corner outfield spot, and he needs to improve his jumps off the bat as well. Dean is a smart, sincere individual lauded as having some of the best makeup scouts have ever encountered. He is committed to UCLA and while scouts love his physicality and power, many want to see him improve his approach in the Pac-12.
Jew won MVP of the summer New England Collegiate Baseball League in 2017 and played in the Cape Cod League last summer. He returned to UC Santa Barbara this spring with added power and led the Gauchos to a Big West Conference title. Jew’s 11 home runs at the end of the regular season topped the nine homers he hit as a freshman and sophomore combined. Jew has plus speed in center field and projects to stick at the position. He has an average arm, good instincts and is fast in every direction. He uses his plus speed effectively on the basepaths and successfully stole 20 bases in 23 tries during the regular season. Previously more of a slap hitter, Jew began swinging to do damage this season and showed average power. His swings and misses increased with his power spike, but he has enough feel to hit to project as a .240 hitter, which is enough with his power, speed and ability to play center field.
Escobedo hit .316 while playing impressive defense in center field as a San Diego State sophomore to jump on scouts’ radars, but he slumped at the plate as a junior and lost a bit of helium. He finished with the lowest batting average and slugging percentage among San Diego State regulars with a .255/.350/.364 slash line. Escobedo is a natural center fielder with the arm, speed and instincts to stay at the position. He gets in trouble when his lefthanded swing gets too steep, but he has enough bat speed evaluators think he could be an effective hitter with a swing change. Escobedo gets high marks for his makeup. He is considered a potential backup outfielder in the majors with his lefthanded bat and ability to play center field.
Brown is one of most projectable players in the draft class, but he has a long way to go. One of the draft’s youngest players at 17 years old, Brown has a basketball background and stands an appealing 6-foot-4 with long levers. He is still very thin and not yet completely coordinated. Brown launches balls in batting practice and shows average power potential, but he’s still very raw as a hitter and has struggled the few times he’s faced good pitching. He’s a plus runner with above-average arm strength and the athleticism to remain in the infield. Brown needs a few years to grow into his body, but he has upside it if all clicks. He is committed to Fresno State but is considered signable.
Yang ably handled UC Santa Barbara’s talented pitching staff while hitting .383/.492/.567 to draw attention this spring. He led UCSB to its first conference title since 1986 and was named Big West Conference player of the year. Short but stout, Yang has a catcher’s build and the skills and makeup teams want behind the dish. He is average receiver capable of handling velocity and quality breaking stuff. He thew out 10 of 19 basestealers during the regular season with an average arm, and he puts in the effort behind the plate pitchers love. As a hitter Yang controls the strike zone, puts the ball in play and started getting into his legs better to generate more power this spring. Yang lacks any above-average or plus tools, but his abilities to catch and handle the bat have teams interested.
Koss was a Cape Cod League All-Star last summer as a slick defensive shortstop and entered the year as one of the West Coast’s top draft prospects. He instead changed his approach to try and hit for more power, stumbled badly, and then carried his offensive struggles into the field with him. At his best, Koss is a sure-handed shortstop with the range, athleticism and above-average arm strength to stay at the position. His defense became erratic as his offense cratered early this spring, however, leading more evaluators to project him to second base. Koss has never been a natural hitter, and his attempt at more power this spring instead resulted in more strikeouts early on, but eventually he began to figure out a plan at the plate. He hit .483 (30 of 62) from May 1 on, raising his average from .228 to .307. He also hit five home runs this season after hitting one in his first two seasons. Overall he hit .307/.397/.490. His late turnaround has put him back into consideration for the draft's second day.
Ydens was a 40th-round draft pick by the Cardinals out of high school and a 33rd-round pick of the D-backs as a draft-eligible sophomore last year. He earned All-Star honors in the Cape Cod League last summer and entered the spring anticipating a big junior year, but he was hit by a pitch and broke his finger in the ninth game of the season. He didn’t return until the final three weeks of the regular season. He hit .268/.379/.446 in limited playing time. Ydens has a loose, athletic swing and advanced feel to hit, allowing him to consistently be on time and drive the ball to all fields. He’s limited to a corner in the outfield, so he’ll need to tap into his projectable power as a professional.
Hahn has been long-known to scouts by virtue of playing at Huntington Beach (Calif.) High, which in recent years produced top draft picks Nick Pratto and Hagen Danner and has been an annual participant in both the National High School Invitational and Boras Classic. Hahn helped himself this spring when he touched 93 mph and struck out seven in a marquee matchup with top 2020 prospect Jared Jones to open the Boras Classic. Hahn is a two-way prospect most teams prefer as a lefthanded pitcher. He pitches at 88-91 mph and pounds the zone with impressive command for a prep. He shows excellent arm speed on a swing-and-miss low-80s changeup, although his loopy, low-70s curveball needs work. At the plate Hahn hits velocity and shows raw power, but he is limited to first base defensively. He is committed to UCLA and will be an expensive sign.
Hendrie popped up in a weak California junior college crop as an athletic catcher with advanced defensive skills. Hendrie is short but solid at 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, has a plus arm and is the rare catcher who is an above-average runner. His receiving is still a bit rigid because he is new to catching after primarily playing the outfield in high school, but he has the ingredients to project as an average or better defensive catcher. Hendrie is a contact hitter with a flat swing who hit .410/.479/.660. He controls the barrel and manages the strike zone well, but his power projection is limited because his swing is very compact. Hendrie is considered signable and projects to go late on the draft’s second day or early on the third day.
Netz touched 93 mph at the Perfect Game National Showcase last summer, but whe as never able to replicate that velocity and drew mixed reviews this spring. Netz is undersized as a 6-foot tall righthander. His fastball sits 89-92 mph on his best days but more often is in the 87-90 mph range. His curveball lacks power at 67-69 mph. Netz rarely faced good competition playing at a small, private high school, but he showed he could rise a challenge with a complete game against Orange Lutheran in the Boras Classic. He is committed to Arizona and expected to command a large signing bonus.
Cope is an athletic catcher whose strength is his defense. He has a plus, accurate arm, he receives well and he earned positive reviews for handling a young Cal State Fullerton staff this spring. Cope’s bat is very light. He hit .278/.346/.343 this year and never hit better than .280 in any college season.. He controls the strike zone and shows occasional pop, but he’s a well below-average hitter. Cope missed the final month of the season after he broke fingers when he was hit by the ball on a bunt attempt by UC Irvine’s Christian Koss.
Acosta led Southern California in home runs (7) and batting average (.319) while playing an impressive defensive center field this spring to jump on scouts’ radars. The lefthanded hitter has raw power, uses the whole field and jumps on mistakes, although his aggressive approach limits his walks and may leave him vulnerable against pro pitching. Acosta has fringe-average speed but runs down every ball in center field with tremendous instincts and quick lateral movements. None of Acosta’s individual tools jump off the page, but his overall package is attractive as a lefthanded-hitting center fielder with power.
Morrisey transferred from Venice (Calif.) HS to perennial power Serra (Gardena, Calif.) HS this year and increased his exposure and draft status as a result. Morrisey is one of the youngest players in the class and has an intriguing mix of power, speed and athleticism. He is an above-average to plus runner, shows hints of average power as a switch-hitter and is an accomplished pitcher with a fastball that reaches the upper 80s. He has good actions in the middle infield and projects to second base as a pro. Morrisey is strong for his frame, but he is undersized and still very raw. He struggled badly the few times he faced good velocity and will likely need two years in Rookie ball to catch up to his peers. Morrissey will still be 17 on draft day and has upside if a team is willing to be patient. He is committed to Cal State Bakersfield but is considered signable.
The Astros drafted Vines in the 32nd round in 2016 out of high school and the Cubs drafted him in the 27th round out of Oxnard (Calif.) JC in 2017. After a stint Yavapai (Ariz.) JC, he transferred to Cal State Bakersfield this year and ranked among the Western Athletic Conference leaders in strikeouts most of the season. Vines is athletic, competitive and has a four-pitch mix fronted by a big league-ready curveball. It’s a true, downer power curve at 78-80 mph with late bite that comes out of the same tunnel as his fastball, locking hitters up and drawing feeble swings. Vines’ 89-92 mph fastball is flat, so he’ll need to learn to manipulate it or improve his command of it. He also throws a slider and changeup that flash average. Vines has struggled with velocity drops in middle of each season, so he’ll need to improve his durability to remain a starter. Otherwise he projects as a reliever who will ride his curveball as far as it will take him.
Chaidez is a converted catcher who only recently began pitching and drew his first significant attention from evaluators last fall. He is an athletic 6-foot rigthander with a clean arm action and easy delivery. His fastball sits at 90 mph and he can reach back for 93-94 mph as needed. His short slider tightened up in the spring to give him a second average or better offering, and he shows feel for a changeup. All of those attributes made Chaidez one of the top junior college prospects in Southern California this year. He went 7-1, 3.48 with 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings and 4.8 walks per nine. He is still learning to pitch and hasn’t quite figured out command or sequencing yet. He is strongly committed to UCLA and will be difficult to sign.
Stubbs, the younger brother of Astros catcher Garrett Stubbs, began his college career as a pitcher before having Tommy John surgery and converting to catching. He caught for the first time this spring and showed impressive aptitude behind the plate, ably handling a young Southern California pitching staff and throwing out nearly half of attempted basestealers. Stubbs has a durable, strong body (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) and the athleticism to stay behind the plate. His receiving and blocking continue to improve the more reps he gets and he has the arm strength to control the run game. Stubbs hit above .300 most of the season, finishing the year hitting .285/.378/.466. He has a chance to grow into above-average power. Stubbs' physicality, makeup and growing defensive skills have teams interested early on the draft’s third day.
Esquerra is a unique player as an ambidextrous switch-hitter and switch-thrower with big power. He led Loyola Marymount in batting average (.335), slugging percentage (.647) and home runs (16) this year, with most of his power coming from the left side. He is an aggressive hitter prone to striking out, but he makes impact contact when he connects. Esquerra is just a fair defender at left field and first base. He will have to mash to rise in pro ball.
A 6-foot-4, 180-pound lefthander, Lucas showed a solid four-pitch mix this season but didn't have the results scouts expected given his stuff. Lucas throws an 88-92 mph fastball, an above-average slider and also has an average curveball and changeup, but batters still hit him consistently—he allowed 73 hits in 76.2 innings—despite solid strikeout and walk rates. A redshirt junior, Lucas missed most of his 2017 sophomore season with an injury. Last summer he had a solid stint in the Cape Cod League, posting a 2.28 ERA with 17 strikeouts and eight walks in 23.2 innings of work and earning a Cape Cod All-Star selection.
Scouts flocked to NAIA Hope International (Calif.) to see righthander Justin Friedman this spring and instead came away more impressed with McNeely, who often followed Friedman out of the bullpen. McNeely is a relief pitcher with a 6-foot-4 frame and compact, repeatable delivery. In 38 innings, he walked just five batters and collected 51 strikeouts. The righthander throws a fastball in the 91-93 mph range and an average slider. He is capable of closing or pitching in long relief.
Matthews is a 6-foot-4, 170-pound lefthander with a projectable body. He has good feel for locating a fastball that sits in the 86-89 mph range and has been up to 91 with a loose, easy delivery. Matthews throws two breaking balls, one a slow, looping curveball that’s a well below-average offering and another he calls a slider that has a chance to be an average offering. He also shows good feel for a changeup. Matthews is expected to be a tough sign out of Stanford, but with more strength and added bite to his secondaries, he could see his stock skyrocket in three years.
A bounceback from Div. II Concordia-Irvine, Ibarra generated buzz in the fall and shot up late in the spring when he pitched nine no-hit innings with 16 strikeouts in the opener of the California state junior college playoffs. Ibarra is physical 6-foot-2, 200 pound righthander with a fresh arm who throws hard. He sits 91-92 mph and ramped up to 95-96 mph in his playoff outing, generating swings and misses through his fastball at the top of the zone. He mostly gets chase swings and doesn’t have fastball command yet. His lone secondary is a potentially average curveball. Ibarra has a strong commitment to UC Irvine, but his playoff performance has teams willing to potentially sign him away.
Noll is a 6-foot-6 lefthander with advanced fastball command and a changeup that flashes plus. He tops out at 92 mph and sits in the 86-90 range with his fastball, but a funky delivery allows his stuff to play up. He throws from a deceptive, high-three quarter slot. Noll’s breaking ball is fringe-average at best. Some might prefer to take him next year as a senior sign, but he’s had enough success this spring with Point Loma Nazarene (2.92 ERA, 83.1 innings, 102 strikeouts, 29 walks) for a team to take a flier on day three even after two disappointing seasons with Oregon in 2017 and 2018.
Cruz intrigues scouts with his feel for the game and ability to make consistent contact, albeit without much power. The 6-foot-3 infielder is a below-average runner who lacks the range to stay at shortstop, and he'll need to add power to profile at second or third base. He has a projectable body and may grow into enough power eventually. He is committed to Cal State Fullerton.
Perry was chosen for both the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field and the Perfect Game All-America Classic at Petco Park last summer. He entered his senior year with high draft hopes, but he drew mixed reviews from evaluators who mostly felt he needed to go to college. Perry is a 6-foot-2, 215-pound catcher who controls the strike zone and has power in his bat. He has some athleticism behind the plate, but he plays with a slow motor and needs to improve his receiving with higher-end pitching. Scouts are split on whether he has enough quick-twitch to keep progressing and want to see him go to school and prove it. He is committed to UCLA.
Hliboki induced the most swings and misses of any pitcher at the National High School Invitational to put himself back on scouts' radars after a slow start to the season. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound righthander has a three-quarter delivery with good extension and excellent late life on his 88-90 mph fastball. His fastball explodes through the zone, causing hitters to wave through it even at modest velocities. He has a quick arm action on his three-pitch mix, with his 11-to-5 curveball particularly promising. Hliboki has plenty of projection remaining and room to add more velocity. He is committed to Vanderbilt.
Kuhn emerged as San Diego’s go-to reliever this year and opened eyes with a four inning, 10-strikeout relief appearance against Indiana on March 10. Kuhn has a high-tempo delivery befitting a power reliever. His fastball reaches 94 mph and his slider shows average, giving him the arsenal to project in the role. Kuhn is a good athlete but has well below average command due to the high pace of his delivery. He went 3-3, 3.54 with 64 strikeouts and 29 walks in 48.1 innings. Evaluators hope he can be smoothed out and that his strikes will improve in pro ball. Kuhn is a redshirt sophomore with the option to return to school.
Scouts are intrigued by Karros’ 6-foot-6, 185-pound frame and feel to pitch. He's gotten significantly taller recently, so his velocity is just starting to catch up to his body. The son of former Dodgers first baseman Eric Karros, Jared throws a fastball that sits in the mid-80s but now touches 88-90. He throws a low-70s curveball and mid-80s changeup he is comfortable throwing in any count. Karros is committed to UCLA.
A 37th-round pick of the Orioles out of high school, Pries steadily improved each year at UCLA. He hit .289/.399/.518 with nine home runs during the regular season, the best year of his career. The 6-foot-4 Pries is an adept fastball hitter with above-average pull-side power. He is patient with a good eye and rarely chases. Pries plays a mature game, but he lacks tools beyond his power and is limited defensively to left field. He’ll be drafted as a senior sign.
McAfee captured scouts attention playing behind pitcher Easton Lucas and by mid-April had surpassed Lucas as Pepperdine’s top draft prospect for some evaluators. He hit .310/.396/.433 this year as Pepperdine's starting shortstop. McAfee does everything well if nothing eye-popping. He’s a capable, average shortstop with an average arm, he’s an average runner adept at stealing bases and he’s a potentially average hitter with doubles power. McAfee projects to move to second base and lacks the power to profile for the position, but his well-rounded skillset has teams interested on the draft’s third day.
A 37th-round pick of the Braves out of Riverside (Calif.) JC in 2017, Miller teamed with Connor Cannon to give UC Riverside one of the country’s top power duos this spring. He hit .365/.401/.650 with 14 home runs, many of them tape-measure blasts. Thick and chiseled at 6-foot-2, 235 pounds, Miller boasts plus or better raw power and has increasingly tapped into it each year. Miller is a bit stiff, isn’t much of a runner and is limited to the corner outfield, but his bat plays. He will go as far as his offense takes him.
65. Kyle Hurt, RHP, Southern California
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 205 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Phillies '17 (34)
Hurt looked like a potential first-round pick at the Area Code Games the summer before his senior year of high school, but a knee injury sapped his stuff and led to an underwhelming year. Hurt went to Southern California to rebuild his stock and had high hopes as a draft-eligible sophomore this spring, but he logged a 5.69 ERA and was demoted to the bullpen at one point. At his best Hurt sits 92-95 mph on his fastball with a plus changeup and an above-average breaking ball. He spent most of this year, however, pitching at 87-90 mph with below-average command. Many teams want to see Hurt return to school, but others think he’s worth a late flyer based on the flashes he’s shown. He helped himself with two strong starts to close out the year, capped by seven scoreless innings with nine strikeouts at Oregon State.
66. Logan Rinehart, RHP, California Baptist
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 184 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Rinehart is the latest arm to come out of ascendant pitching factory California Baptist. After excelling in the Cape Cod League last summer, he went 9-0, 3.20 this spring to help the Lancers make a successful transition to Division I and was named Western Athletic Conference pitcher of the year. Rinehart is an athletic, physical righthander with a low 90s fastball that peaks at 94 mph. His fastball plays up with extreme armside run that gets in on righthanded batters and locks them up. His curveball and changeup are average to above-average offerings. Rinehart has missed time each of the last two years with elbow issues, but he has a track record of success when he’s been on the mound. He has the three-pitch arsenal to start or the running fastball to profile as a right-on-right matchup reliever.
67. Braden Olthoff, RHP, Palomar (Calif.) JC
Source: JC • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 210 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Baylor
Olthoff emerged as one of California’s top junior college prospects in a down year for the demographic, showing well as a reliever early before moving into the rotation. Olthoff is a sturdy 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame and has increased his velocity every year. His fastball sits 88-91 mph as a starter and 92-94 mph as a reliever, and he backs it up with a hybrid breaking ball with hard, late drop. His changeup is a work in progress. Evaluators generally view Olthoff as a future reliever. He is committed to Baylor.
68. Zach Arnold, SS, Great Oak HS, Temecula, Calif.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 175 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Oregon
Arnold led Great Oak (Temecula, Calif.) HS to the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 championship game at Dodger Stadium this spring while emerging as an intriguing draft prospect. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Arnold is an athletic shortstop with a good frame who projects to grow into more power. He makes hard contact against good pitching, has an above-average arm and is an above-average runner. He’s a quick, instinctive defender at shortstop and projects to hit enough if he has to slide to third base. Arnold lacks history on the showcase circuit and pressed at times when large groups of evaluators showed up, so not everyone got a good look at him. Those who saw Arnold well are interested in buying him out of an Oregon commitment.
69. Zak Baayoun, LHP, Long Beach State
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 180 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Bayooun sat 92-93 mph with a quality breaking ball in the fall but lost both his velocity and control in the spring after Long Beach State’s coaches attempted to raise his arm slot. After a midseason coaching change, Bayoon slowly began to get back on track and was up to 88-90 by the end of the year. His curveball has yet to regain its previous velocity and his changeup falls short of average. Bayooun is a strike-throwing lefthander when he’s right. He improved enough at the end of the year to regain some of the interest scouts had at the beginning of the season.
70. Kaden Hopson, C, Redlands (Calif.) East Valley HS
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 190 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Arizona
Hopson has shown ability on both sides of the ball but has yet to do so consistently. He flashes the ability to be an average hitter with the tools to be a fine receiver with an average arm. He is committed to Arizona.
71. Jake Saum, LHP, St. Bonaventure HS, Ventura, Calif.
Source: HS • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 161 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: UCLA
The son of a decorated Navy captain, Saum is a 6-foot lefthander with intangibles and solid stuff. His fastball sits 89-91 mph and plays up with late life. He pitches aggressively and intelligently, dominating his competition. His mid-70s breaking ball has good shape and room for growth. Saum’s talent has clubs interested, but he is strongly committed to UCLA and not expected to sign.
72. Kevin Holcomb, RHP, Glendale (Calif.) JC
Source: JC • Ht: 6-5 • Wt: 210 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Holcomb emerged as a prospect in the California Collegiate Summer League and helped pitch Glendale (Calif.) JC deep into the state playoffs this spring. A projectable 6-foot-5, 210-pound righthander, Holcomb works 89-93 mph on his fastball and has room to grow into more velocity. His mechanics are a bit stiff but his arm is quick. He also flashes feel for an average slider in the low- to mid-80s.
73. Andrew Martinez, SS, UC Santa Barbara
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 180 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Marlins '18 (33)
A 33rd-round pick by the Marlins last year, Martinez struggled to hit in the Cape Cod League last summer but batted .286/.405/.500 this spring to help UC Santa Barbara win the Big West Conference title. Martinez is an aggressive middle infielder who plays hard with a grinder mentality. He’s a tough at-bat who draws a lot of walks, has a sound swing and shows surprising pop for his 5-foot-11 frame. Martinez’s bat speed is below-average and his defense at second base is fringe-average. He contributes in enough ways to be picked on the draft’s third day.
74. Ian Churchill, LHP, Santa Barbara (Calif.) JC
Source: JC • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 185 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Arizona
Churchill excels more with his feel to pitch than his pure stuff. The 6-foot-2 lefthander sits at 89 mph and touches 91 with his fastball. His fastball plays up with a tick of deception in his delivery and he effectively pitches to both sides of the plate. Both his 76-78 mph slurvy breaking ball and 78-81 mph changeup are constantly improving. He is committed to Arizona.
75. Gabe Briones, C, Martin Luther King HS, Riverside, Calif.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Southern California
Briones played for USA Baseball's 15-and-under national team as an underclassman and finished his high school career at Martin Luther King (Riverside, Calif.) HS after beginning at national prep power Orange Lutheran. Briones has a catcher's body and average throwing and receiving skills. Evaluators aren't convinced he will hit, and as such largely feel he should honor his commitment to Southern California.
76. Mahki Backstrom, 1B, Serra HS, Gardena, Calif.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-5 • Wt: 220 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Fresno State
Backstrom played in the Perfect Game National Showcase and the Under Armour All-America Classic last summer and finished his tour of the showcase circuit by posting the top exit velocity (108.6 mph) at the World Wood Bat Association Championships in Jupiter, Fla. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Backstrom has impressive bat speed and plus raw power, but he’s still learning to translate his tools into production. He hit just .275 with five home runs playing middling high school competition this spring, and he often looked better in batting practice than in games. One of the youngest players in the draft class, his instincts and game awareness have a ways to go. Backstrom is a below-average runner and below-average defender at first base and left field, so he’ll need to get to his power more consistently moving forward. He is committed to Fresno State.
77. Bobby Ay, RHP, Cal Poly
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Ay starts his three-pitch mix with an 88-91 mph fastball that touches 93. His best pitch is a 76-78 mph curveball and he completes his arsenal with an average changeup. He throws all his pitches for strikes but occasionally struggles with his command. He projects to be picked on the draft's third day.
78. Garrett Irvin, LHP, Riverside (Calif.) JC
Source: JC • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 180 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Arizona
Irvin won Pacific West Conference pitcher of the year as a freshman at Division II Point Loma Nazarene and bounced back to Riverside (Calif.) JC this season in pursuit of a Division I offer. He got it with a scholarship to Arizona. Irvin sits 87-89 mph from the left side with a swing-and-miss curveball and an advanced feel to pitch. He’s slightly undersized at 6-foot, 180-pounds, but he’s succeeded against every caliber of competition, including at Norco (Calif.) HS when he was the only pitcher to strike out future Brewers first-rounder Brice Turang in Turang’s junior season. Irvin is strongly committed to Arizona and will be expensive to sign.
79. Matthew Kanfer, OF, Pepperdine
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Kanfer has a big body with raw power and some feel to hit. He batted .301/.356/.429 this spring. His power is mostly to the gaps now, but he has the body and strength to project home run power. He is a corner outfielder and should be drafted as a senior sign.
80. Nick Sogard, SS, Loyola Marymount
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 180 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Sogard is a cousin of Blue Jays infielder Eric Sogard and a nephew of former major leaguers Steve and Dave Sax. He hit .309 with 28 stolen bases as Loyola Marymount’s leadoff hitter this spring to lead the Lions to their first NCAA Tournament since 2000. Sogard is a smart player with good bat-to-ball skills. He projects to stay in the middle infield with the instincts and athleticism to handle shortstop.
81. Edgar Barclay, LHP, Cal State Bakersfield
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 200 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
A Hawaii native, Barclay spent two seasons at junior college in Arizona before transferring to Cal State Bakersfield this spring. He led the Western Athletic Conference with 111 strikeouts. Barclay does his damage with an 89-93 mph fastball and a swing-and-miss curveball. His short, squat body lacks projection, but he has enough stuff from the left side to project as a potential reliever.
82. Mitchell Berryhill, OF, Cal State Fullerton
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 180 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Berryhill ranked fifth in the nation with a .415 batting average at the end of the regular season. He is one of the oldest players in the draft as a 2013 high school graduate who spent two years on a Mormon mission. Berryhill excels playing the small game. He is a plus-plus runner, is a good bunter and takes a slash-and-dash approach to make the most of his speed. He makes very little impact and does not project for any power. Berryhill is a serviceable center fielder who can move around the outfield as needed.
83. Jarred Zill, RHP, Cal Poly
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 210 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
A fifth-year senior, Zill had Tommy John surgery in 2017 and had setbacks in 2018 and 2019 that limited his innings. He finished this season healthy, though, and went 8-2, 3.60 with 65 strikeouts in 46.1 innings. Zill is a physical 6-foot-3, 215-pound righthander who sits 90-92 mph as a starter and has shown more velocity at full health. His changeup is his best secondary pitch. With physicality and flashes of a live arm, Zill projects to be drafted as long as his medical report checks out.
84. Tora Otsuka, OF, San Diego
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-9 • Wt: 170 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
The son of former Padres and Rangers reliever Akinori Otsuka, Otsuka had high hopes as a draft-eligible sophomore this spring but was hampered by a knee injury. When healthy Otsuka is a slashing lefthanded hitter who lines the ball to all fields. He has an advanced approach, walks nearly as much as he strikes out and has the barrel control to take what the defense gives him. Otsuka was a plus runner in the past with a chance to stay in center field, but his knee injury slowed him down this year. He may return to school to show what he can do when healthy.
85. Nick Avila, RHP, Long Beach State
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Avila pitched two years at San Joaquin Delta (Calif.) JC before transferring to Long Beach State this year. He had an oblique injury in the fall but bounced back to pitch effectively in the Dirtbags rotation in the spring. Avila pitches at 90-92 mph and touches 94 with sink on his fastball. He holds his velocity deep into his starts and induces a heavy volume of ground balls. His curveball and changeup both flash average and he throws enough strikes to remain a starter. Avila had ulnar nerve transposition surgery earlier in his career, so his health will need to be monitored.
86. Jeff Houghtby, SS, San Diego
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 175 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
87. Bradlee Beesley, OF, Cal Poly
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 175 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Beesley hit .368 in the Cape Cod League last summer but followed up with a middling junior season, batting .283/.354/.371 for Cal Poly. Beesley has a line-drive swing and shows hints of pull-side power, although he's mostly a doubles hitter right now. He's aggressive early in the count and doesn't walk much, but he doesn't strike out much either. Beesley runs and throws well enough for center field but needs to improve his routes, particularly charging in. He projects to be picked on the draft's third day.
88. Andrew Bash, RHP/3B, California Baptist
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Bash logged a 1.98 ERA as California Baptist’s Sunday starter this season and started at third base or right field on days he didn’t pitch. Teams are split whether they like Bash more as a pitcher as a hitter. On the mound Bash sits 87-91 mph and throws four pitches for strikes, including a high-spin curveball, a high-spin slider and an improving cutter. Optimistic evaluators think his velocity will increase if he just focuses on pitching. As a position player Bash is an above-average defender at third base and right field with a plus arm. He has above-average raw power but regressed as a hitter this spring. He projects best as a right fielder if he can re-discover his hitting stroke, with some comparing him to Dodgers outfielder Kyle Garlick.
89. Cutter Clawson, LHP, Laguna Beach (Calif.) HS
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 195 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Brigham Young
Scouts expected more velocity by now from Clawson, who spent most of the spring pitching at 86-90 mph with a breaking ball that regressed from the fall. His best pitch is a changeup that projects above-average. Clawson has touched 93 mph in the past with a better breaking ball, but with both pitches showing below-average this spring, most evaluators are content to let him honor his commitment to Brigham Young.
90. Adrian Mardueno, RHP, San Diego State
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 170 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Mardueno pitched to a 1.93 ERA with 75 strikeouts and 28 walks in 65.1 innings primarily out of San Diego State’s bullpen this season. The undersized, 5-foot-10 righthander has a live arm with a 90-93 mph fastball and a breaking ball that flashes average. He is capable of pitching multiple innings and moved into the Aztecs rotation for two starts at the end of the year.
91. Laine Huffman, SS/2B, Long Beach State
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Mets '17 (25)
A 25th-round pick of the Mets in 2017, Huffman opted to return to school for his senior year but sustained a season-ending shoulder injury early in the season. He came back as a redshirt senior this spring and hit .261. Huffman previously played shortstop but is now a second baseman because his arm strength has not come back after shoulder surgery. He has tools but hit just .261 this year. He has a chance to be drafted late.
92. Hank LoForte, 2B, Cal State Fullerton
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-6 • Wt: 175 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
93. Chase Bushor, SS, Southern California
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
94. Luke Navigato, 2B, California Baptist
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-9 • Wt: 170 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Navigato tormented Division II competition for three years and proved it wasn’t a fluke by hitting .372 this year in California Baptist’s first season as a Division I program. Navigato is generously listed at 5-foot-9 and is a pesky leadoff hitter who drives opponents crazy. He almost never swings and misses, fouls pitches off until he gets what he wants, and drives hittable offerings into the gaps with a quick swing. He has enough power to ambush a fastball and is a smart hitter who adjusts his swing and approach to the situation. Navigato is a below-average runner and his below-average arm strength gives him trouble turning double plays. That lack of supplementary tools pushes him down, but his bat alone should get him drafted. He is the older brother of Oklahoma State shortstop and fellow draft prospect Andrew Navigato.
95. A.J. Curtis, OF, Cal State Fullerton
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 205 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Reds '18 (23)
96. Nathan Hadley, RHP, UCLA
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 182 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Hadley emerged as one of UCLA's top relievers this year and drew high praise from scouts for the way he competes on the mound. He finished the regular season on a run of 10 scoreless innings. Hadley sits 90-91 mph and touches 93 on his fastball. His slider is his swing-and-miss pitch and projects well for matchups with righthanders. Hadley's stuff plays up with deception and funk. He projects to be picked on the draft's third day.
97. Tim Holdgrafer, RHP, Cal Poly Pomona
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 180 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
98. Jonah Dipoto, RHP, UC San Diego
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 225 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Angels '15 (38)
Dipoto is the son of Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto. The Angels drafted him out of high school in the 38th round in 2015 when his dad was their GM. Dipoto served as the first man out of the bullpen for UCSD this season and helped the Tritons to the Division II College World Series. Dipoto sits 89-92 mph on his fastball and touches 94. Both his curveball and slider have high spin rates.
99. Justin Friedman, RHP, Hope International (Calif.)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 210 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Friedman bounced around a lot in his college career. He pitched his freshman year at George Washington, his sophomore year at Ventura (Calif.) JC, his junior year at San Diego and his senior year at NAIA Hope International. He started the year strong before tailing off in the middle of the season, and he eventually missed a month with arm soreness. He returned to make two appearances at the end of the season. At his best, Friedman brings a fastball that sits 90-93 mph with sink and life. His breaking ball is a swing and miss pitch when he locates it, but his control of it is inconsistent. Friedman started in college but projects as a sinker-slider reliever in pro ball. He projects to go on the draft’s third day.
100. Kyle Mora, RHP, UCLA
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 201 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Mora struck out more than a batter per inning in relief at the Cape Cod League last summer and emerged as UCLA’s top reliever this spring, posting a 2.22 ERA with 62 strikeouts in 43 appearances during the regular season. Mora’s low 80s slider is his main weapon and he commands his mid-to-upper 80s fastball well enough to get swings and misses despite subpar velocity.
101. Josh Hendrickson, LHP, San Diego
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 215 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Royals '18 (20)
A 20th-round pick by the Royals out of Barton (Kan.) JC last year, Hendrickson is the latest soft-tossing lefty to come out of Australia. The 6-foot-4 Perth native pitched in the Cape Cod League last summer before transferring to San Diego and logged a 6.92 ERA in the Toreros rotation. Hendrickson is a pitchability lefty in the same vein of his Australian forbears Josh Spence and Alex Wells. His fastball sits just 84-87 mph and will scrape a 90 early. He shows feel to spin both a slider and a curveball and throws all his pitches for strikes. Hendrickson shows feel to pitch, but his lack of stuff resulted in opponents batting .299 with 17 extra-base hits off of him in 39 innings. Even with his his struggles, the fact he’s big and lefthanded still has some teams interested.
102. James Ryan, RHP, St. Katherine's (Calif.)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Ryan pitched two years out of the bullpen at Arizona State before transferring to NCCAA St. Katherine and working as a starter. The 6-foot-2 righthander sits 90-92 mph on his fastball and complements it with a cutter, slider and changeup that all flash average. A few teams like him as a senior sign.
103. Jack Stronach, OF, UCLA
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 188 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Stronach hit .331 in the regular season, best among UCLA's talented group of draft-eligible players. He is a lefthanded hitter with a contact profile that hits a lot of singles and doubles. He has a good-looking swing and had more walks (19) than strikeouts (17) this spring, although he doesn't do much damage on contact. Stronach is a well below-average defender in left field with a fringe-average arm. Analytically-inclined teams have some interest on the draft's third day.
104. Cole Kleszcz, OF, Azusa Pacific
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 205 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Indians '17 (40)
A 40th-round pick of the Indians out of JC of the Canyons (Calif.) in 2017, Kleszcz spent one season at UC Santa Barbara before transferring to Division II Azusa Pacific. He led Div. II nationally with 27 home runs this spring. Kleszcz’s lone standout tool is his power. He is a below-average corner outfielder with below-average tools across the board except for power, so he’ll only go as far as his bat takes him. He largely struggled against good pitching the few times he saw it.
105. Aaron Shackelford, 2B, The Master's (Calif.)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 205 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Shackelford led NAIA nationally with 36 home runs and 99 RBIs this spring. A high school teammate of Yankees infielder Tyler Wade and Rays prospect Kevin Padlo at Murrieta Valley (Calif.) HS, Shackelford has a long track record of hitting from the left side. He is a short, 5-foot-10 fireplug who projects as more of a doubles hitter in pro ball despite his power numbers. He will likely move to second base and has the bat to profile there.
106. Octavio Corona, RHP, Otay Ranch HS, Chula Vista, Calif.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 175 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: St. Mary's
Corona emerged from relative obscurity to become one of San Diego County's most feared prep pitchers this year. He raised his stock by dominating Keoni Cavaco in a matchup with city rival Eastlake High. Corona is a former outfielder new to pitching. He is slightly undersized at 6-foot-1 but is extremely athletic with a fast arm. His fastball sits at 91 mph as a starter and works 93-94 in relief. Corona is still more of a thrower than a pitcher. Only about one in five breaking balls he throws flash average, and he doesn't yet have a third pitch. Corona is committed to St. Mary's. Some scouts think he has a chance to be a high pick after three years of college.
107. Codie Paiva, RHP, Loyola Marymount
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-5 • Wt: 215 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
108. Thomas Rowan, C/DH, UC Santa Barbara
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 200 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
109. Chad Bible, OF, San Diego State
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 225 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
110. Jayson Newman, 1B, Cal State Northridge
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 230 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
Newman is a physical first base/DH type who has some power in his swing. He has also been up to 92 mph on the mound. Newman was hitting .404/.500/.608 when he blew out his elbow in late March and needed Tommy John surgery.
111. Tyler Peck, RHP, Chapman (Calif.)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 230 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
112. Rhylan Thomas, OF/1B, Oaks Christian HS, Westlake Village, Calif.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 170 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Southern California
Thomas is the son of former NFL wide receiver Chris Thomas, who won a Super Bowl with the Rams in 1999. He is a small, speedy leadoff type who needs to add strength. He is a plus runner and projects to stick in center field, but he has no other loud tools. Most evaluators feel Thomas would be best served by honoring his commitment to Southern California and using his time there to get stronger.
113. Anthony Lepre, C, The Master's (Calif.)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
114. Alex Eliopulos, 3B, UC San Diego
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 195 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
115. Corbin Barker, RHP, Immanuel Christian HS, Ridgecrest, Calif.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 215 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: UC Irvine
116. Taylor Rashi, RHP, UC Irvine
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 216 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
117. Louie Crow, RHP, San Diego
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Brewers '16 (16)
118. Kobby Lopez, LHP, San Diego Mesa JC
Source: JC • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 170 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Blue Jays '18 (21)
119. Stephen Klenske, RHP, Sage Creek HS, Carlsbad, Calif.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-5 • Wt: 225 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Sacramento State
120. Ricky Tibbett, RHP, Eastlake HS, Chula Vista, Calif.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 175 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: San Diego State