Top Texas 2020 MLB Draft Prospects

Image credit: Texas A&M lefthander Asa Lacy (Courtesy of Texas A&M)

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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)

Nat Rank Player Pos School Ht Wt B-T Commit/Drafted
3 Asa Lacy LHP Texas A&M 6-4 215 L-L Indians ’17 (31)
Lacy entered the year among the top tier of college arms, with only Georgia righthander Emerson Hancock ahead, but performed at such a high level in his first four starts that most clubs now have him as the top arm in the class. Coming out of high school, Lacy was a projectable lefthander who was only just starting to fill out his 6-foot-4 frame. He had good pitchability and a fastball that got into the low 90s, along with a tumbling changeup that showed promise, but no real breaking ball. The Indians drafted him in the 31st round in 2017, but he instead chose to attend Texas A&M, where he has improved across the board and now harnesses some of the best stuff in the country. After filling out to 215 pounds, Lacy has plenty of strength and a fastball that ranges from 90-98 to go along with a wipeout slider, a plus changeup and a power curveball. After posting a 2.13 ERA with 130 strikeouts in 88.2 innings in his first full season as a starter in 2019, Lacy was well on his way to more dominance in 2020. In four starts he struck out 46 batters compared to eight walks and allowed just two earned runs—good for a 0.75 ERA. Previously, scouts had wondered about the quality of Lacy’s slider and whether he could shape develop it into a true swing-and-miss pitch. Lacy answered those questions this spring by unveiling a powerful, 87-90 mph version of the pitch. In fact, some scouts say it’s the best slider they’ve seen from a college lefty since Carlos Rodon in 2014. The pitch doesn’t have quite that depth, but it is a true wipeout offering now. His changeup has long been a reliable weapon, and while he hasn’t thrown it as much this spring, most scouts believe it’s a plus pitch. Lacy’s curveball gives him a fourth pitch that’s at least average and has above-average potential. The one critique of Lacy is his pitch efficiency. He has shown a tendency to pitch into deep counts, which scouts think has inflated his walk rate more than his above-average command would indicate, but he also strikes out plenty of batters and doesn’t allow much contact. Lacy’s delivery is fluid and clean, with good usage of his lower half to drive downhill and above-average deception achieved by hiding the ball behind his body before releasing from a higher three-quarters slot. In addition to all of his pure stuff, scouts love Lacy’s demeanor on the mound, with a stoic, no-nonsense mentality. He should be one of the first two pitchers off the board.
12 Jared Kelley RHP Refugio (Texas) HS 6-3 215 R-R Texas
A man among boys in the high school class, Kelley is the most MLB-ready prep pitcher thanks to his current stuff and physicality. Standing 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Kelley runs his fastball up into the 97-99 mph range with shocking ease. He looks like he’s playing catch on the mound with a loose, fluid delivery and little to no head whack in his finish. Perhaps in part because of the ease of his entire operation, Kelley locates his premium stuff in a way that’s beyond his years, with some scouts projecting him to have future plus command. The ease in which he does everything makes it look like his fastball explodes out of his hand, and he pairs that pitch with a low-80s plus changeup that he throws with good arm speed. The pitch is a swing-and-miss offering with excellent diving life and, like he does with his fastball, Kelley shows good feel to spot it where he wants in or out of the strike zone. The biggest question with Kelley entering the spring was in regard to his breaking ball. Over the summer he showed a slider in the low 80s, sometimes-slurvy slider. It was inconsistent and far from the wipeout projection that teams would like to see out of the top high school pitcher in the class. While Kelley didn’t get a full spring season, scouts still saw signs of improvement from his breaking ball and gave it a chance for it to become average or above-average. Kelley will battle the stigma and spotty track record that comes with being a hard-throwing high school righty, while also competing in one of the strongest college pitching classes in recent memory. Still, he does several things at an exceptionally high level that are impossible to teach, and has No. 2 starter upside. Kelley is committed to Texas.
29 Nick Loftin SS Baylor 6-1 180 R-R Never Drafted
A steady player on both sides of the ball for Baylor since taking over at shortstop his freshman year, Loftin is solidly in the mix of the top shortstops in the college class. While there are others who might have louder tool sets or are half-grade better defenders, Loftin seems to do everything well. He’s hit above .300 in every season in the Big 12 with a clean, simple swing. He fields his position well, has good instincts and is an above-average defender at shortstop with the versatility to play almost every position. After hitting for more extra bases as a sophomore, Loftin may have been headed for a breakout offensive campaign in 2020, with two home runs, two triples and four doubles through just 13 games. The .264 isolated slugging mark he posted in that time was far and away the highest of his career, and he started moving up draft boards as a result. Some scouts have said he has just fringe-average power and noted that when he does impact the ball it’s typically only to the pull side, but a full season of the performance he started the year with may have been enough to change minds. Loftin’s speed is just average. While Loftin might not have any standout tools, teams have generally coveted the college shortstop performer with an all-around game, and that description fits the Baylor product well.
39 Drew Romo C The Woodlands (Texas) HS 6-1 205 B-R Louisiana State
Romo has been regarded as an elite catch-and-throw backstop from essentially the first day he started playing high school baseball. Area scouts were quick to take note of his prowess behind the plate, and some think he’s been the best defensive catcher in the state for four years—and Baylor backstop Shea Langeliers was a top-10 pick in 2019. He’s at the top of a deep prep catching class in 2020, alongside the offensive-oriented Tyler Soderstrom, and teams believe he’s as high a likelihood major leaguer as you’ll find out of one of the riskiest draft profiles. Romo has soft hands, is an excellent blocker and receiver and brings a strong, accurate arm to the table as well. By the way scouts talk about his defensive reputation and ability, he has a chance to be a plus-plus defender with plus arm strength. On top of that, Romo offers solid raw power from both sides of the plate. His swing is a bit more grooved from the left side, where his righthanded swing is rigid with a tick more power. The biggest questions with Romo are how frequently he’s going to hit. He’s shown some swing-and-miss concerns and there’s reason to wonder how well he’ll hit against better pitching. Still, he has a good understanding of the strike zone and could carve out offensive value thanks to that, with some ambush power. The baseline for catcher offense in today’s game is low, and the scouting industry almost unanimously sees Romo as an impact defender at the game’s most premium position. So despite any offensive concerns, the Louisiana State commit has a chance to go in the first round or supplemental first round.
47 Masyn Winn SS/RHP Kingwood (Texas) HS 5-11 180 R-R Arkansas
Pound for pound, Winn could be the most purely talented player in the 2020 class. A legitimate two-way player, the Arkansas commit is overflowing with plus tools on both sides of the ball. As a hitter, he has bat speed, surprising raw power for his size (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) and plus speed that plays out of the box and on the bases. At shortstop, Winn is an exceptional athlete with massive arm strength, solid hands and impressive natural instincts. On the mound, he’s as electric. He’s been up to 98 mph with his fastball and more typically sits in the 92-96 mph range. He pairs that with a hard slider that can get slurvy, but he’s shown good feel to manipulate the pitch and has also flashed a plus changeup. All of his stuff likely plays up thanks to some deception that comes from a short and quick arm stroke. Some inconsistency and his smaller frame lead to legitimate reliever question marks. Teams are mixed on whether his upside is better as a pitcher or a hitter. If you squint you can see an impact player on both sides of the ball, though he needs more refinement and maturity on both sides. He plays the game at a quicker speed than most, but that can get him into trouble. As a position player, scouts would like to see Winn slow the game down, be more consistent on routine plays at shortstop, stay within himself more at the plate and chase fewer pitches out of the zone. Some teams wonder if he should continue playing both ways like former Louisville star Brendan McKay. He did that in a Jupiter performance last fall that is one of the best two-way performances scouts have ever seen at the event—he flashed three plus pitches on the mound and produced exit velocities of better than 100 mph three times. Winn’s upside and talent are obvious, but questions about his size and the all-around polish to his game persist.
50 Justin Lange RHP Llano (Texas) HS 6-4 191 R-R Dallas Baptist
Lange looked fairly pedestrian at the 2019 Area Code Games, with a fastball that ranged from 86-93 mph with no real breaking ball and a lot of hard contact against him. But he looked significantly better at the Future Stars Series at Fenway Park in the fall, when he was up to 95, struck out four batters and also ran a 6.50 60-yard dash. He took an additional step forward this spring, getting his fastball all the way up to 100 mph—showing some of the best pure fastball velocity in the 2020 class. Lange has all of the foundational pieces to be an impact arm at the next level. He’s tremendously athletic with easy, high-octane velocity and lots of natural life on the pitch as well. With a 6-foot-4, 191-pound frame, it would be easy to see him add more weight and maintain his fastball velocity deeper into games and more consistently. There are also a lot of question marks with Lange. While he has some of the best natural arm talent in the country, he’s extremely unrefined. His command is near the bottom of the scale and his slider is a work in progress, with well below-average grades and inconsistent spin at best. The pitch has impressive velocity, getting into the upper 80s, but the shape and spin of the offering needs plenty of work. Perhaps 10 years ago, Lange’s arm talent, projectable body and athleticism would be enough to make him a no-doubt first-round pick. Today, teams are more skeptical of hard-throwing prep righthanders, but he has enough projection and athleticism to believe he can make the necessary control improvement. Any player development program would love to work with Lange’s collection of high-end tools instead of watching him go to Dallas Baptist, and it’s possible a team buys into his upside at some point on the first day.
58 Clayton Beeter RHP Texas Tech 6-1 205 R-R Never Drafted
Beeter was a freshman All-American as a redshirt freshman in 2019, coming off a season in which he saved eight games in 21 appearances with a 3.48 ERA. He transitioned into a Friday night role for Texas Tech this spring, and performed well over four starts. In 21 innings Beeter posted a 2.14 ERA with 33 strikeouts (14.1 per nine) and four walks (1.7 per nine). As he’s gotten further from a Tommy John surgery he had in high school his stuff has gotten better and he’s thrown more strikes. Beeter was extremely erratic in 2019 (8.7 walks per nine) but showed significantly better control in a shortened 2020 season. Additionally, Beeter has a powerful pitch mix with a fastball that has gotten up to 97 mph, with a hammer curveball with top-to-bottom shape that has plus potential. Teams would have liked to see Beeter over a full season to see if his stuff and control were maintained the entire year in a starting role. The pitch analytics on both his fastball and curveball are reportedly impressive, and he has a solid arm action with a higher slot. Without a full 2020 season to scout him, teams will have to determine if the real Beeter is the 2020 version, the 2019 version or some hybrid between the two. He could be drafted as high as the second round to a team that believes he’s a starter.
64 Christian Roa RHP Texas A&M 6-4 220 R-R Never Drafted
One of many rising college arms in the 2020 class, Roa impressed scouts early this spring with a strong four-pitch mix, a physical 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame, solid strike-throwing ability and a clean arm action and delivery. He has a lot of starter traits on paper, and after being unranked on our preseason Top 200 list, teams believe Roa could go off the board as high as the second round. Roa throws a fastball, slider, curveball and changeup, all of which are at least average and a few much better than that. Roa’s fastball sits in the 92-93 mph range for the most part, getting up to 95-96 at the upper end, but some scouts are concerned with how true the pitch is. Batters square it up more than teams would like, which might mean Roa needs to rely more on a quality trio of offspeed offerings. His slider is his best breaking ball, an above-average pitch he can land for strikes consistently, while some scouts believe his changeup is his best overall offering. Some scouts have put double-plus grades on the changeup, while his curveball is more solid-average at best. Roa’s 2020 numbers don’t align with the scouting feedback, as he posted a 5.85 ERA in four starts and 20 innings, with 35 strikeouts and nine walks. One concerning metric is Roa’s career hits per nine mark, which is just under 10 and speaks to the concerns about Roa’s fastball playing too flat. Traditional scouts and analytics departments might have differing thoughts on Roa’s profile, but he possesses plenty of starter traits as a solid strike thrower with a strong four-pitch mix.
72 Burl Carraway LHP Dallas Baptist 6-0 173 L-L Never Drafted
The top college reliever in the class, Carraway has explosive stuff from the left side and, depending on the day, looks like he could be a late-inning reliever for an MLB club right now. A wiry athlete standing at 6-foot, 173 pounds, Carraway explodes off the rubber and uses his lower half extremely well, with a fast arm and crossfiring action in his delivery that adds to his deception. He pairs a fastball that’s regularly in the 96-98 mph range with spotty control, which makes it easy to see why hitters are always uncomfortable in the box against him. That’s especially for lefties, who struck out in 33 of 64 (52.5 percent) plate appearances against Carraway in 2019. Carraway’s fastball has 70-grade potential if he can improve his control, which is below-average. He also has a knee-buckling curveball in the mid-70s with 1-to-7 shape and sharp biting action, which he also struggles to land consistently. Carraway gets away with below-average control now because he generates so many whiffs outside of the zone, but more advanced hitters will be able to stand in the box and take those pitches more easily. His career walk rate over 42 innings with DBU is 5.36, and while the bar is lower for reliever control, he’ll have to improve that for an MLB club to trust him in any sort of high-leverage role. The timing of his release point is inconsistent, and the violence and effort of his delivery likely don’t help in that regard, so perhaps teams could try and calm that down a tick at the next level to help him stay in the strike zone more frequently. Carraway comes with plenty of risk thanks to his control and the poor track record of college relievers, but he could be a quick mover to a big league pen with a step forward in his strike-throwing.
83 Bryce Elder RHP Texas 6-2 220 R-R Never Drafted
A polished college righthander with a 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame, Elder doesn’t have the sexiest package of stuff, but he does have a solid three-pitch mix, an advanced feel for pitching and a solid track record of starting. After an iffy freshman season out of the bullpen (5.55 ERA in 35.2 innings), Elder shined in a starting role as a sophomore, posting a 2.93 ERA in 13 starts and 83 innings, with 86 strikeouts and 33 walks. He was having the same success through four starts in an abbreviated 2020 season, posting a 2.08 ERA in 26 innings with 32 strikeouts and seven walks. Elder throws a sinking fastball in the 88-93 mph range that induces plenty of groundouts, a slider that is his current out pitch and potentially an above-average offering, and a changeup that improved last fall. The sinker/slider combination is his bread and butter at the moment, but Elder is smart on the mound and has a good idea of what to go to in different situations. Elder is the type of player whose track record is heavily beneficial for his draft stock, so another strong season as a starter would have helped his cause, but teams should still feel relatively safe with his package of strike-throwing and a quality three-pitch mix.
87 Zach DeLoach OF Texas A&M 6-1 210 L-R Never Drafted
Perhaps no one could have used a full 2020 season more than DeLoach. After hitting .236/.338/.338 over his first two years with Texas A&M, DeLoach exploded in the Cape Cod League. With Falmouth, DeLoach hit .353/.428/.541 with five home runs and eight stolen bases. Coaches said DeLoach got some early confidence after having success and just kept rolling throughout the summer, faring particularly well against same-side lefthanded pitchers. He kept that up through 17 games in 2020, hitting .421/.547/.789 with six home runs and six stolen bases (both career highs) with 14 walks to just three strikeouts. Having that sort of loud offensive production against SEC competition could have shot him up into the second or even potentially the first round. DeLoach has a solid all-around tool set, but perhaps no plus tools. He has always shown a solid approach with good discipline at the plate, but scouts think he might have a bit of a grooved swing without a ton of bat speed. He dives in on pitches aggressively and there are questions about how his lower half works, but evaluators also didn’t get a full season to really figure out if the adjustments he made over the summer were real. Scouts think DeLoach has fringe power more than average or 55-grade juice, but he was off to a much better start in that department in 2020 and had bulked up a bit as well. Now listed at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, DeLoach fits best in a corner-outfield spot as a solid runner with solid-average arm strength, though some scouts believe he needs to refine his route-running.
92 Tanner Witt 3B/RHP Episcopal HS, Bellaire, Texas 6-6 195 R-R Texas
A massive, 6-foot-6, 195-pound two-way player out of Texas, Witt has legitimate pro potential as both a hitter and a pitcher. Offensively, Witt has big power from the right side to go along with decent barrel control, but his bat speed is a tick slow and the path of his barrel can get lengthy. Evaluators believe he’s more power than pure hit tool. He is a third baseman now with plenty of arm strength for the position, but he could already be too big to stick there and might be better served in an outfield corner or at first base. Most teams seem to like his upside on the mound more than his hitting potential, though his father, Kevin, played in the big leagues and is currently a minor league hitting coach. On the mound, Witt is a projection arm with an excellent frame that can still add strength, a clean arm action and solid control. He throws a fastball in the 89-92 mph range mostly, touching a 93 or 94 here and there. His best pitch is a curveball that’s presently an above-average offering and has plus potential. It’s a 73-78 mph breaker with three-quarters shape and massive spin and depth. At the Area Code Games last summer it was in the 2,600-2,900 rpm range. In addition to a fastball/curveball combination, Witt has thrown a changeup in the mid-80s that could become an average pitch as well. Witt is committed to Texas.
95 Connor Phillips RHP McLennan (Texas) JC 6-2 185 R-R  
Phillips had an impressive career at Magnolia (Texas) West High, but he showed some tendencies to overthrow as a senior. A 35th-round pick of the Blue Jays in 2019, Phillips decided to head to McLennan (Texas) JC instead of Louisiana State. At McLennan, he got to make four starts before the season was shut down. In those four starts, he showed flashes of dominance with a 93-97 mph plus fastball with plenty of arm-side run as well as more developed secondary offerings than he has shown in the past. His slider is above average right now but will likely get to plus one day. He also can spin a less consistent curveball and has solid depth on his average changeup. He is inconsistent at times with control that comes and goes, but he has a looseness to his delivery and athleticism to continue to develop.
102 Bryce Bonnin RHP Texas Tech 6-1 190 R-R Cubs ’17 (26)
Bonnin’s four 2020 starts will leave teams with some significant questions to work through. He was 2-0, 7.36 with 19 hits in 14.2 innings before the season was shut down. He had two good starts (Northern Colorado and Stanford) followed by rough outings against Florida State and Rice. Bonnin continued to show a big arm—he’ll touch 96-97 mph and sit 93-94 and he gets swings and misses with both his fastball and his above-average 85-87 mph power slider. He has started to show feel for a mid-80s fringe-average changeup as well. His command is spotty thanks in part to a long arm action, and a cross-body, rotational delivery that is hard to keep fully synced up. Bonnin was a 26th-round pick of the Cubs out of high school in 2017, and was a top recruit for Arkansas. He transferred a year later because he wanted to start and the Razorbacks saw him as a reliever. Texas Tech has let him start, but pro scouts see him more likely moving back to the bullpen. His 40 command on the 20-80 scouting scale won’t be as much of an issue in the bullpen and his struggles to work deep in games (he has finished the seventh inning once in 18 college starts) won’t be a concern. Bonnin is a good athlete, and he has the ability to miss bats (10.9 strikeouts per nine in two years at Texas Tech), so even concerns about his control shouldn’t push him out of the third-to-fourth round range.
110 Jimmy Glowenke SS Dallas Baptist 5-10 175 R-R Never Drafted
Glowenke is the kind of productive college middle infielder that often proves to be a valuable pick, even if he doesn’t have to wonder if he’ll hear his name called in the top two rounds. Glowenke has been a productive bat for Dallas Baptist for three years and he hit .296 last summer in the Cape Cod League. He’s a career .340/.433/.506 hitter who was hitting .415 in 13 games in 2020. After starting every game at shortstop in his first two years with the Patriots, he didn’t get a chance to play in the field this spring. He was coming back from an elbow injury that required surgery (but not Tommy John) last fall. Glowenke has a middle infielder’s actions and reliable hands. Before the injury, his fringe-average arm already led to concerns he’ll need to move to second base eventually in pro ball. Scouts also wonder if a below-average runner really fits at short long-term. Glowenke is an above-average hitter with enough thump to reach double digits in home runs. His reliable bat makes him a useful fourth-to-fifth round pick.
112 Cole Foster SS Plano (Texas) Senior HS 6-0 185 B-R Auburn
Foster is an area scout favorite because he has a refined swing from both sides of the plate and the game never speeds up on him.The Auburn signee is a fringe-average runner, but he maye be able to stay at shortstop because he has an excellent internal clock, solid actions and a strong, accurate plus arm. Foster’s bat is his best asset. He consistently catches up to good velocity and rarely gets fooled. He’s a plus hitter with fringe-average power. It may be tough to convince Foster to forgo his college commitment as a third-to-fourth round pick, but if he does get to school, it won’t be a surprise if he plays his way into being an even higher pick in a few years.
121 Luke Little LHP San Jacinto (Texas) JC 6-8 225 L-L South Carolina
Little is one of the hardest throwers in this year’s draft class, but until this year his wildness was just as notable as his fastball. As a freshman, Little walked more than a batter an inning (while also striking out 17.6 batters per nine). In brief glimpses this spring (nine total innings), he showed vastly improved control, although his delivery is still herky jerky and effortful. Little pitches at 96-97 mph, but has touched 100 at his best. He only made five appearances before San Jacinto’s season ended because he missed a few weeks with a back injury. He made one start before the injury, then pitched in relief four times upon his return. In those five appearances, Little struck out 17, walked three and allowed three hits in nine innings. A massive presence on the mound (6-foot-8, 250 pounds), Little was in better shape as a sophomore and showed better control and command. In part that came from better body control and in part because he synced up his lower half better in his delivery. He also showed a much better feel for locating his above-average 80-83 mph slider. It has less power than may be expected, but it has solid bite, although its spin rates are not exceptional. Little is a South Carolina signee. He would have benefitted from a full season which would have given him time to show his control improvements are sustainable, but a team looking for a power lefty could be enticed by his two-pitch package with the hope that there is more refinement to come.
131 Cam Brown RHP Flower Mound (Texas) HS 6-3 210 R-R Texas Christian
Brown checked basically every box you’d like to see out of a prep pitcher last summer. He showed a fastball in the 90-95 mph range, a swing-and-miss slider and a mid-80s changeup—all of which projected as above-average or better offerings with good control and a strong 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame. However, things were different early in the spring before the novel coronavirus shut down the baseball season. Scouts didn’t see the same Brown. He wasn’t throwing any of his offerings with the same ease. His fastball touched 95, but fell off quickly into the upper 80s and the breaking ball backed up as well, with Brown slowing down his arm action on the pitch. Teams have started questioning his athleticism and commented that he got a bit bulkier and stiffer this spring. He got hit much more frequently than he did over the summer, and without time to find his previously above-average stuff, it’s easier to see him getting to campus at Texas Christian. His control remained above-average, but he didn’t have the bat-missing stuff he showed previously. At his best, Brown showed a plus breaking ball with sharp biting action and impressive movement, with 2,500-2,800 rpm spin rate and a plus fastball, but he’ll need to work to reach that level again.
140 Trei Cruz SS Rice 6-2 200 B-R Nationals ’19 (37)
It’s hard to have better baseball bloodlines than that of the Cruz family, both at Rice and in the majors. Cruz’s grandfather, Jose Cruz Sr., played 19 years in the major leagues. His father Jose Cruz Jr. played 12 years in the majors after starring at Rice. Now Cruz (named Trei because he’s Jose Cruz III) has a chance to follow in their footsteps. Trei’s younger brother Antonio also plays at Rice. Trei Cruz has already been drafted twice—the Astros (35th round) out of high school and the Nationals (37th round) last year as a draft-eligible sophomore. Cruz has played second base, third base and shortstop in college. Some evaluators see his lack of foot speed as limiting him to second or third base as a pro, but a team confident in its player development department may believe it can improve Cruz’s poor footwork. His hands are excellent and his plus arm gives him the ability to make the spectacular play at times. He just struggles to consistently make the routine play and sometimes gets caught in between hops. As a switch-hitter, Cruz is very aggressive. He has plus raw power, especially as a lefthanded hitter, although his in-game power so far has been modest. Cruz has a solid track record as a hitter both at Rice (.296/.405/.482 in three seasons) and last summer in the Cape Cod League (.307/.384/.429). As a switch-hitter who should be at worst an above-average defender at second base, Cruz should slide into the late third or fourth round.
145 Brandon Birdsell RHP San Jacinto (Texas) JC 6-2 210 R-R Texas Tech
A 39th-round pick of the Astros out of high school, Birdsell pitched sparingly at Texas A&M as a freshman (nine appearances out of the bullpen) and opted to transfer to San Jacinto (Texas) JC for his sophomore season. After an impressive summer with the Matsu Miners in the Alaska Summer League, he got off to a slow start with the Gators. But his fastball got firmer and his control improved and he seemed to be hitting his stride when the shutdown happened. He had struck out 22 and walked 1 over his final 13 innings at San Jac. Birdsell had Tommy John surgery in 2016, but he’s been durable so far in college and his arm action is relatively clean. He sits 93-94 mph on his fastball and has touched 97-98 in short stints. His slider was a low-80s cement mixer not that long ago, but this spring he developed a much harder, 87-90 mph shorter slider. Birdsell is committed to Texas Tech if he doesn’t sign. He may benefit from another year of starting in college, but his upside could entice a team in the fifth round.
171 Travis Sthele RHP Reagan HS, San Antonio 6-0 195 R-R Texas
Sthele was a two-sport star, playing quarterback and shortstop/pitcher for San Antonio’s Reagan High, the 2019 Texas 6A state baseball runner-up. After a very busy summer, Sthele sat out the first two football games of the season to rest his arm, then returned to lead the team to the state playoffs. He was expected to help lead the baseball team back to the state playoffs as well (they had made the state finals in 2018 and 2019) before the coronavirus shutdown ruined those plans. Sthele is a Texas signee for baseball. The shutdown hampered his chances to show that he can get to the upper registers of his velocity range more often—he’s touched 95-96 mph at his best, including at the Area Code Games last summer, but he generally sits 90-93 with an above-average spin rate and late life. He shows good feel for setting up hitters and his short arm action makes for a repeatable delivery. His future above-average slider is short and can generate swings and misses. His nascent changeup sits in the mid-80s. He throws it with good arm speed, but the pitch doesn’t have much movement and is a little firm. Sthele could step into Texas’ rotation quickly if he makes it to college, which is more likely because of the shortened draft.
179 Mitchell Parker LHP San Jacinto (Texas) JC 6-4 195 L-L Kentucky
As a team, San Jacinto (Texas) JC averaged 13 strikeouts per nine innings, so high strikeout numbers are commonplace for the Gators. But even on a team that collected strikeouts in bunches, Parker stood out. He had 64 strikeouts and 18 walks in 30.1 innings, good for 19 strikeouts per nine innings, to lead all of NJCAA D-I in strikeouts. Parker has a strong lower half and has always had some funkiness to his delivery that makes it hard for hitters to get comfortable swings. Parker sits 89-93 mph with some armside run to his above-average fastball. His fastball has an above-average spin rate—he primarily throws a two-seamer. His big-breaking, slow mid-70s downer curveball plays well with his fastball. He struggles to locate it at times, but when it’s on, it’s a plus pitch. He’s messed with a slider, but it hasn’t really developed. His split functions as his changeup and shows above-average potential with some late fade. Parker is a Kentucky signee.
211 Levi Wells RHP La Porte (Texas) HS 6-2 195 R-R Texas Tech
The early shutdown of the 2020 high school season did Wells no favors and makes it more likely he’ll get to Texas Tech. With a normal season, Wells may have gotten a chance to show the consistency he lacked on the summer showcase schedule. In short flashes, Wells showed he can get to 93-94 mph and spin a 12-to-6 sharp high-70s plus curveball. But he rarely has been able to match that velocity with command and control, and sits 88-92 in other outings. Wells struggled to find the release point on his curveball at times and finishes his delivery with some recoil. He’s not close to being a finished product, but his velocity and ability to spin a breaking ball make him a name to remember.
220 Johnny Ray RHP Texas Christian 6-2 220 R-R Never Drafted
The 2020 season was supposed to be Ray’s chance to finally show what he could do after two injury-plagued seasons in college ball. Ray did not pitch as a freshman at Illinois State because of Tommy John surgery. He transferred to juco power John A. Logan (Ill.) JC in 2019, but an oblique injury meant he threw only eight innings all season. As a redshirt sophomore, Ray impressed in the fall with TCU and earned the Horned Frogs’ Friday starter role. Ray impressed in his Opening Day start against Kentucky and was even better in a highly-scouted matchup against Max Meyer and Minnesota (9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 SO), but he wasn’t as effective and his stuff wasn’t as impressive in his final two starts before the season was shut down. Ray has toned down what used to be a violent delivery, but he still throws into a stiff front side. He can touch 96-97 mph with his fastball, but generally sits 91-93. None of his four pitches are plus offerings, but his above-average fastball, above-average slider and average changeup pair well together. He shows the potential to have average control. In a normal season, Ray would have had a chance to pitch himself into third-round consideration, but with only 29.1 innings over three seasons of work, his lack of track record may work against him in a five-round draft.
237 Dominic Hamel RHP Dallas Baptist 6-2 206 R-R Never Drafted
After two productive seasons at Yavapai (Ariz.) JC, Hamel had two excellent starts and two poor starts for Dallas Baptist before the season ended. He dominated North Carolina, allowing one hit while striking out 10 in seven scoreless innings while carrying a no-hitter into the eighth, but Oral Roberts knocked him out in the third inning of his final start of the abbreviated season. He can miss bats with his above-average, high-spin 91-94 mph fastball. His curveball and slider are consistent, but he has the potential to eventually spin an above-average breaking ball. Hamel is going to be an interesting scouting challenge—he doesn’t have much Division I experience and there will be scouts who saw him good and others who came away underwhelmed.
271 Chase Hampton RHP Kilgore (Texas) HS 6-3 200 R-R Texas Tech
A Texas Tech signee with a solid 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame, Hampton’s 159 strikeouts as a high school junior ranked among the best marks in the state of Texas. Working from the extreme first base side of the rubber with a drop-and-drive delivery, Hampton has plenty of tempo to his delivery—he finishes by spinning off towards first base. Hampton has an impressive 2,300-2,400 rpm average 91-93 mph fastball with moderate arm-side run. He can spin a mid-70s curveball with solid spin, but sometimes it breaks too early out of his hand.
284 Dylan Neuse INF Texas Tech 5-9 175 R-R Never Drafted
Unlike his brother, A’s second baseman Sheldon Neuse, who is a stocky, power-hitting infielder, Dylan Neuse is a speedy center fielder who swipes bases and lines balls to the gaps. The younger Neuse is a plus runner with a skinnier but more athletic frame than his brother. The younger Neuse has a big swing and solid bat speed. He trades some contact and consistency for fringe-average power despite his 5-foot-9, 170-pound frame. Neuse was starting to make more consistent contact this spring—he was hitting .361/.447/.500 with 12 steals in just 18 games. That helped wipe away some o the concerns from his .197/.315/.316 performance in the Cape Cod League last summer.
291 Marco Raya RHP United South HS, Laredo, Texas 6-0 160 R-R Texas Tech
A 6-foot, 160-pound righthander with advanced ability to spin two breaking balls, Raya seemed to be steadily improving when the 2020 season was shut down. SIgned to play at Texas Tech, Raya already has a 90-94 mph fastball, but his curve and slider both have a shot to above-average. His curveball is an 80 mph power breaker while his slider will flash plus as well. He also flashes some feel for a changeup. Raya isn’t particularly big, and some scouts see him as close to maxed out-already, but if Raya gets to Texas Tech he could make an early impact.
320 Storm Hierholzer RHP Lake Travis HS, Austin, Texas 6-2 200 R-R Texas Christian
Scouts described Hierholzer’s summer as up and down, but the Texas Christian signee has all the components to develop into a solid starter for the Horned Frogs and become a more prominent draftee in a few years. A 6-foot-2, 200-pound righthander, Hierholzer has the frame to handle a solid workload and a present fringe-average 90-93 mph fastball that should develop into an average or better pitch as he matures. His slider and command waver right now, but the slider also shows promise of turning into a potential weapon as he shows some feel for spin.
350 Elijah Nunez OF Martin HS, Arlington, Texas 5-9 170 L-L Texas Christian
A speedy center fielder with bat speed and pitch recognition skills, Nunez’s plus speed, above-average defense in center and on-base skills make him a potential top-of-the-order table-setter whose fallback option is as a bottom-of-the-order bat whose speed, defense and lefty bat are useful enough to make him still playable. Nunez has gap-to-gap doubles power, but sometimes can get a little big in his swing. He’s a Texas Christian signee.
355 Wyatt Tucker RHP Douglass (Texas) HS 6-3 205 R-R Texas A&M
A Texas A&M signee, Tucker has lengthened his arm stroke in the back, which has helped smooth out his delivery. Tucker has a solid build already with a 90-92 mph fastball and a slider that is inconsistent now but shows the potential to develop into an above-average pitch.
357 John McMillon RHP Texas Tech 6-3 230 R-R Tigers ’19 (11)
McMillon was one of the hardest throwing high school arms in Texas in the 2016 draft class and also had some of the best raw power in the state. The Rays drafted him in the 21st round that year, but he opted to head to Texas Tech. Last year he turned down the Tigers as an 11th-rounder. McMillon still has an exceptional arm—he can reach triple digits with a plus-plus fastball and he can bury his slider in the dirt to go with it. He started—and showed off his power as a DH—as a sophomore, but he’s been exclusively a reliever the last two seasons. His control regularly deserts him. He walked 6.8 per nine for his college career and 7.7 per nine in 2020. As a wild power reliever, McMillon should be an attractive senior sign, although he could return to Texas Tech for a fifth season if he chooses.
358 Braxton Pearson RHP Georgetown (Texas) HS 6-1 185 R-R Texas Christian
Yet another interesting arm in TCU’s loaded signing class, Pearson has some present stuff with a 89-92 mph fastball with some armside run and life and a hard 80-83 mph slider with good shape and bite. He has quite a bit of length to his arm action, and his delivery isn’t the most fluid, which could give him some reliever risk.
365 Justin Collins C Rice 6-2 200 R-R Never Drafted
Collins has been Rice’s primary catcher since the day he arrived on campus. He has a reputation as a solid catch and throw backstop with well-below average hitting ability but enough raw power to run into 10 home runs a year. He has above-average arm strength although it hasn’t paid off in high caught stealing rates yet (27 percent in 2020). He projects as a pro backup but the shortened season did him no favors. He hit .190/.352/.214 and likely will need to return to school to try his hand in the longer 2021 draft.
368 Jack Riedel INF Memorial HS, Hedwig Village, Texas 6-1 180 L-R North Carolina
A North Carolina signee, Riedel most likely makes it to school, but he’s also got a chance to be a premium draftee in a few years thanks to a solid feel for hitting with a smooth lefty swing. He generates a lot of solid contact, although he doesn’t have much power yet. Riedel’s above-average arm should work at shortstop or third base, although his actions and range may not work at shortstop long-term.
388 Luke Boyers 3B Boerne-Champion HS, Boerne, Texas 5-11 188 B-R Texas Christian
Boyers’ small ball game is not the type that usually gets a player drafted out of high school, but the switch-hitter’s plus speed, above-average defense in center field and all-out, high-energy approach and athleticism should serve him well at Texas Christian. He led Boerne-Champion High to a state semifinal appearance as a quarterback as well.
389 Khristian Curtis RHP Port Neches-Groves HS, Port Neches, Texas 6-5 185 R-R Texas A&M
As a junior, Curtis decided to focus entirely on baseball to avoid the risk of injury on the basketball court. But he missed playing basketball with his friends, so the 6-foot-5 righthander and Texas A&M signee returned to the court as a senior, immediately becoming a steady double-double threat underneath for Port Neches-Groves High. Basketball season meant he didn’t get on the baseball field until just before the novel coronavirus shutdown, and he was still shaking off the rust when the season stopped. Curtis has a solid chance to develop into a valuable member of A&M’s rotation if he makes it to school as expected. He sits 88-90 mph now, but with an easy delivery and a tall but skinny build, it’s likely he’ll add velocity in the future. His curveball has solid shape, but needs to get harder.
397 Caleb Sloan RHP Texas Christian 6-3 215 R-R Never Drafted
Sloan never got into an official game for Texas Christian this spring, as his return from Tommy John surgery was derailed by the March coronavirus shutdown. That will almost assuredly mean he’ll be back at TCU for another season, but the redshirt sophomore was showing the mid-90s velocity he’d demonstrated pre-injury in bullpen sessions.
403 Aaron Nixon SS McAllen (Texas) HS 6-1 195 R-R Texas
Nixon has a lot of paths forward, as he’s a two-way player who is viable at both positions in college and maybe even in pro ball. As a position player, he’s a shortstop who likely ends up at second or third base who can hit thanks to a simple, compact swing and fast hands. He has plenty of arm strength, but he hasn’t shown he can handle the different throws and angles required from a shortstop. Nixon has a future on the mound as well with a 90-94 mph fastball and a promising slider. He likely will make it to Texas where his versatility could serve him and the Longhorns well.
406 Austin Smith RHP Southwestern (Texas) 6-3 205 R-R Never Drafted
Smith may have had a shot of slipping into day three of the draft in a normal year, but he barely pitched this spring because of blister issues. He had finished sixth in Division III in 2019 with 110 strikeouts. Smith has a low-90s fastball, but his command and breaking ball are both still raw. He’s a potential senior sign as one of the best Division III arms in the class.
421 Shay Hartis RHP Grayson (Texas) JC 6-2 190 R-R
Hartis spent the fall season at Dallas Baptist, but never pitched in an official game for DBU before transferring to Grayson. This spring he showed an improved low-80s tight slider that he has better feel for locating. His 92-94 mph fastball has downhill angle.
464 Blayne Jones SS Dallas Baptist 6-0 195 R-R Never Drafted
After spending his first two seasons as Dallas Baptist’s second baseman, Jones moved to shortstop this spring thanks to Jimmy Glowenke’s arm injury that kept him off the infield. Jones showed he’s not overmatched at shortstop and he did hit .286/.357/.619 with a team-high five home runs in just 16 games. He has a lot of swing and miss to his game and his fringy speed leads to concerns that he won’t be able to stay at shortstop long-term, but he has solid hands and actions with some gap power.
482 Jacob Brustoski LHP Texas Tech 6-2 237 R-L Never Drafted
Brustoski is pitching for his third team in three years. He began his college career getting plenty of work out of Youngstown State’s bullpen, racking up 35 strikeouts but walking 38 in 24 innings. He transferred to Sinclar (Ohio) JC where he again piled up whiffs and walks. Brustoski’s control has improved, although it’s still fringe-average at best. He attacks hitters with a 92-95 mph above-average fastball and an average slider. He’s toyed with a changeup as well, which will help him be a reliever who can work against lefties and righties.

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