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Track Record: Area scout Willie Romay started following Casas as a high school freshman, mesmerized by his exceptional ability to drive the ball to all fields--a skill also evident in summer wood-bat leagues, including his time with Team USA. Shortly after Casas signed as the 26th overall pick, he suffered a torn ligament in his thumb while making a diving play in the field; the subsequent surgery ended his pro debut, but he was back on the field by instructional league. Scouting Report: Casas shows light-tower power, a trait made evident in workouts where he deposited balls into the center-field bleachers and the distant bullpen in right-center. Yet his ability to stay inside the ball, cover holes and drive pitches to the opposite field suggests the potential for a strong hit tool. Given Casas’ size, there are likely to be holes in his swing as he adjusts to pro ball in 2019. He split time between first and third base in instructional league, but he most likely profiles at first, where his surprising athleticism and large wingspan could make him stand out. The Future: Casas has upside on par with any other Red Sox prospect, and if he performs at low Class A Greenville in 2019 he could vault to the top of this list.
Track Record: In January 2016, the Red Sox rushed Mata to the mound at a workout organized by Alex Requena to get a one-inning look before the skies opened in a downpour. It was enough to convince the team to sign him for $25,000 that day. Since then he has consistently held his own as one of the youngest players at his levels. Scouting Report: Mata struggled to throw strikes early in 2018 while moving from being chiefly a four-seam fastball pitcher to learning how to use a two-seamer in order to generate more ground balls. He has a starter’s mix, with above-average velocity--he averages roughly 94 mph and tops out at 97--and the ability both to spin a breaking ball and slow bats with a changeup that gets some swings and misses. The key for Mata will be reclaiming his control after struggling at times to maintain his delivery in 2018. His struggles were at least partly a result of his physical growth. The Future: Though Mata’s 2018 season was cut short in July, shortly after the Futures Game, by growth-related back discomfort, he will compete for a spot in the Double-A rotation to remain on an aggressive development track. He has the upside of a No. 3 or No. 4 starter.
Track Record: A two-way player at Arizona who dominated on the mound in the 2016 College World Series, Dalbec has had a pro career of extremes. He had a tremendous pro debut with short-season Lowell in 2016, then struggled severely in his first full season in 2017, which was interrupted by surgery to remove a broken hamate. With health in 2018, Dalbec turned heads with top-of-the-charts power to all fields as well as plus defense at third base. He set a high Class A Salem record with 26 home runs before his promotion to Double-A Portland. Scouting Report: Between his power, glove and arm, Dalbec has a combination of plus or better tools that few others in the system possess. Yet early in 2018, some scouts thought that it was a matter of time before he moved to the mound. Then Dalbec got on a roll in which he not only made more frequent contact but destroyed baseballs with eye-opening consistency. “My God, what power,” exclaimed one scout. To get to that elite power, he will need to control his strikeout rate, which ballooned to 37 percent at Double-A. It’s a challenge made greater by a hand hitch in his swing. But some believe that Dalbec’s hitting intellect will allow him to hit enough to make an impact, particularly given that (A) he handled good fastballs in the zone this year, (B) he may benefit from a more consistent strike zone as he moves up, and (C) he has the ability to stay back on pitches rather than selling out for power. He can hit line drives to right-center field that carry over the fence. Still, some evaluators view his profile as risky given the frequency with which he chases secondary pitches out of the strike zone. Though a 6-foot-4 frame sometimes works against third basemen, Dalbec shows surprising quickness and range, excellent hands and a cannon arm that delivered mid-90s fastballs from the mound. While he has the skills to play third, he also saw time at first base in the Arizona Fall League to open more potential pathways to the big leagues. The Future: If Dalbec can’t control his strikeout rate, his future role would be limited to that of a platoon corner bat with good defensive skills. But his power is so significant that if he can hit .250 while maintaining a high walk rate, he could be an above-average or better third baseman who offers ample run production as a five- or six-hole type of hitter
Track Record: Duran combined solid bat-to-ball skills and a good feel for the strike zone with standout speed at Long Beach State. The Red Sox drafted him in the seventh round and signed him for $189,800 with the hope of seeing how the college second baseman might fare in the outfield. In his pro debut, Duran showed not only those traits but also surprising gap power, hitting .357/.394/.516 with 28 extra-base hits in 67 games--one more than he had in his sophomore and junior years combined. Scouting Report: Duran shows an above-average hit tool, keeping the bat in the zone for a long time and getting the barrel on all pitch types. He also showed the ability to backspin the ball in unexpected fashion in his pro debut to both the pull-side and opposite field. His 70-grade speed allows him to make an impact on the bases and to take advantage of mis-hits, and ultimately should serve him well in center and right field. The Future: While Duran in college looked like a potential role player, the skill set he showed in a dazzling pro debut suggested a player with the ceiling of a Brett Gardner-type.
Track Record: The Red Sox were thrilled that a pitcher with Houck’s Southeastern Conference and Team USA pedigree remained on the board at No. 24 overall. Yet in his first spring training, Houck raised his arm slot and changed from a two-seam/slider mix to more of a four-seam/curveball combination that he struggled to command. He went back to a more familiar arm slot and mix in the second half of 2018, with strong results down the stretch. Scouting Report: Houck’s flexibility permits him to have excellent extension from a low three-quarters arm slot, though he has a lot of moving parts and sometimes struggles to hold his release point. Moving forward, he has the potential to employ both a sinking two-seamer with armside run and a four-seamer that stays true to his glove side to spread the strike zone for swings and misses at the top of it and grounders at the bottom. He also throws a potential wipeout slider. His changeup needs to make progress for him to stay in the rotation, even if he only lands it for occasional strikes. The Future: Houck is determined to prove he can start, though many feel his future is in the bullpen unless he improves effectiveness against lefthanded hitters. He has No. 4 starter potential if he starts.
Track Record: An elbow injury just before the opening of the 2013 signing period scared some teams off Hernandez, but the Red Sox signed him for $7,500. His stuff has improved steadily and he has dominated at times. He struggled badly with his control at high Class A Salem early in 2018, prompting questions about whether he could remain in the rotation. A dominant second half resulted in a promotion to Double-A Portland. Scouting Report: Hernandez works from a low three-quarters arm slot with a mid-to-upper-90s fastball, a slider that shows plus potential and a curveball that is solid when in the strike zone. He loses his delivery and release point at times, resulting in control struggles and pitch inefficiency that have convinced some that he will be a reliever, where he worked in Double-A and the Arizona Fall League. The Red Sox want to see if Hernandez can mix in a few changeups for strikes, which could help him excel for a couple turns through a lineup. The Future: If Hernandez clicks, he could be a potential Jake McGee-type reliever who can blow away opponents with his fastball. Others see a Robbie Ray-type starter--if he can cut down his walk rate. Hernandez will return to Double-A, this time as a starter.
Track Record: In the two years since the Red Sox jumped when Groome fell to them at No. 12 overall, the lefthander has shown glimpses of why he was viewed as perhaps the most talented high school pitcher in his draft. After a difficult first pro season in 2017, he appeared poised for a leap forward after an offseason spent in Fort Myers, Fla.,working out frequently with Chris Sale. Yet at the end of a dominant spring training he suffered an ulnar collateral ligament tear and had Tommy John surgery in May. Scouting Report: When healthy, Groome showed a strong mix of three average to plus pitches and a tremendous ability to manipulate the ball with an easy delivery that augurs well for the ability to command a complete mix. In spring training, his fastball sat regularly in the mid-90s, and his sharp, two-plane curveball got plenty of swings and misses. He also showed improvement with his changeup. Down the road, his feel for the ball suggests that a cutter could be added to the mix. The Future: If all goes well, Groome will join an affiliate by the middle of the 2019 season. He still has No. 2 starter ceiling, but with concerns throughout the industry about how close he’ll come to reaching it.
Midseason update: A reliever at Central Florida, Ward has proven to be a revelation for the Red Sox. He’s handled a transition to starting with few issues. He can sit 91-93 mph and touched 95 while mixing in a plus slider.
Track Record: Jimenez slipped through the cracks in the 2017-18 interantional signing period, permitting the Red Sox to sign him for just $10,000. He stood out as a dynamic top-of-the-order hitter with a balanced skill set while hitting .319/.384/.420 in the Dominican Summer League in 2018. Scouting Report: A natural righthanded hitter, Jimenez posted much better numbers batting lefthanded (.350/.416/.478) than righthanded (.204/.259/.204) in his first year as a switch-hitter. He showed the speed to impact the game both as a true center fielder and on the bases, though his 16 steals came with 14 times getting thrown out. He shows an across-the-board tool set that grades as average or better except for his power, though it’s possible that he could grow into the ability to drive the ball. The Future: Jimenez has as much upside as nearly any outfielder in the system, though years remain to show whether that promise takes shape as eventual big league production.
Track Record: After he missed almost all of his first full pro season in 2017 with a recurring hamstring injury, Chatham returned with a strong performance across two levels in 2018, competing for the Carolina League batting title until the final days of the season while showing solid defensive skills. Scouting Report: Chatham showed a knack for getting the bat on the ball, sometimes demonstrating doubles power and sometimes by flipping singles to right field. His feel for hitting suggests a solid hit tool that should allow him--in concert with his defense--to reach the big leagues. Though Chatham hit for power in college, he hasn’t done so as a pro. Now that he has a healthy season to his name, he is spending his offseason in a strengthening program to try to tap into more power. Defensively, Chatham lacks explosive actions but has good footwork and body control. Though he lacks standout tools, he showed a solid all-around game to project as a potential everyday up-the-middle player with the floor of a utility player. The Future: Chatham seems likely to open 2019 at Double-A Portland, and he may not be far from offering the Red Sox a righthanded infield depth option.
Track Record: The Red Sox signed Flores out of Venezuela for $1.4 million in 2017 based on the attraction of his all-around tools as well as his feel for the game. He stood out in the Dominican Summer League enough to convince the Red Sox to promote him to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League after just 13 games, but a conservative course with lower-half injuries limited him to just two games in the GCL. Scouting Report: Flores has shown the Red Sox a consistently strong feel for hitting with advanced plate discipline and a good feel for getting the barrel on the ball, with strength gains allowing him to post higher-than-expected exit velocities. He was wiry at the time he signed, somewhat akin to a young Alcides Escobar, but Flores has already filled out quite a bit. As he continues to do so, there’s a chance he will outgrow shortstop and move to third base. Still, his potential to develop into an above-average shortstop stood out in a system that is light up the middle. At least one rival evaluator viewed Flores as the best prospect in the entire system. The Future: Flores seems like a candidate to join short-season Lowell in June, though he has a chance to push for low Class A Greenville at some point in 2019.
Track Record: The Red Sox believed Howlett possessed an advanced approach and intriguing upside for a 21st-round selection, but didn’t realize those traits would become so quickly apparent in pro ball. After signing for $185,000 to pass up a Florida State commitment, Howlett had a standout debut backed by a new contact lens prescription. Scouting Report: Howlett squared up balls frequently in his debut, showing easy home run power to the pull side and driving doubles to right-center. The ability to use all fields suggests a player who has the ability to post high averages, and Howlett has also shown considerable plate discipline, even with some swing and miss. Evaluators are split on whether he’ll stay at third or move to first base or left field, but he showed well at third in his debut and will continue to get time there. The Future: Howlett has the upside of a middle-of-the-order run-producer, potentially at a premium position, thus making the teenager one of the potential steals of the draft thanks to his improved vision. He will be in the conversation to open 2019 at low Class A Greenville.
Coming out of Mountain Ridge HS in Glendale, Arizona in 2016, Cannon was the D-backs’ 21st-round pick. But instead of signing with his home state’s pro baseball organization, Cannon decided to attend the state’s flagship university and honor his commitment to the University of Arizona. A career .330 hitter with the Wildcats, Cannon is producing another fine offensive campaign in 2019, hitting .370/.463/.582 with 29 extra-base hits through his first 45 games. But while he is hitting well, Cannon’s approach is pull-heavy, and he has just fringe-average power. This season also hasn’t been his best defensively, as he’s committed a career-high 18 errors as of early May. Even with those recent struggles, Cannon is known for having a good arm and overall instincts at third base. He shows enough range to move around the diamond, if necessary, as well. Although he plays mostly third base, Cannon may be best suited to play multiple positions in a superutility role in the future in order to make up for his lack of power.
Track Record: Decker dominated his New Jersey high school peers while also impressing the Red Sox with his makeup--an impression formed in no small part by the opportunity for scout Ray Fagnant to coach Decker at East Coast Pro. The Red Sox selected Decker with the 64th overall pick and signed him for $1.25 million to forgo a Maryland commitment. Decker got into just two games in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League before a non-displaced wrist fracture forced him to miss the rest of the season. Scouting Report: Decker has the hand strength and bat speed to generate all-fields power. There’s the potential for a fair amount of swing-and-miss in his game, though during instructional league he showed a hit tool that was more advanced than expected. For now, he’ll likely develop in center and right field. While he has the arm for right, it remains to be seen whether he maintains the range to stay out of left. The Future: As a player who contended with the abbreviated high school schedules of the Northeast, Decker may take some time to develop. There are likely to be periods of struggle in his game, interspersed with some prodigious shows of power that suggest the upside of a power-hitting corner outfielder.
Track Record: Feltman split time between pitching and catching in high school, but with a full-time move to the mound at Texas Christian, his velocity exploded. He went from the upper-80s to the upper-90s as a freshman and emerged as TCU’s closer. He punctuated a great college career with a dominant junior campaign (0.74 ERA, 43 strikeouts and 6 walks in 24 innings) and signed with the Red Sox for $559,600 as the 100th overall pick. He continued to dominate in his pro debut, posting a 1.93 ERA with 36 strikeouts and five walks in 23 innings while jumping to high Class A Salem. Scouting Report: Despite a max-effort delivery that creates durability questions, Feltman commands two swing-and-miss pitches. His high-spin, 95-99 mph fastball has two-plane movement, seeming to rise above bats with cut to generate tons of swings and misses. He also features a wipeout mid-80s slider. Those offerings are so sufficiently developed that, entering the draft, there were questions whether Felltman might be in the big leagues in 2018. While the Red Sox decided to tap the brakes on such hype by keeping him in the low minors, there’s a good chance that he will stay on an aggressive path in 2019. The Future: Feltman might open 2019 in Double-A Portland, and there’s a strong likelihood that he will be in the big league bullpen by next year. He could be an important late-innings factor--either as a setup man or closer--in the near future.
Track Record: Wilson put together one of the better seasons of any position prospect in the system in 2017, but he struggled to follow it up in 2018, posting alarming strikeout totals and getting chewed up by righthanded pitchers at high Class A Visalia. Scouting Report: Facing better pitchers than he ever had, Wilson's timing appeared to be off for much of 2018, some of which could be attributed to an inability to sync up his pre-pitch movements and his swing. A year ago, he drew praise for his plate discipline, but his approach backed up on him. He tried to stay patient and often wound up working deep counts, then got beat or chased with two strikes. His season might not have been as bad as the numbers show; Wilson's batted-ball data suggest he hit into tough luck. Opinions are split on his ability to remain in center field, though he has a solid-average arm that would play on a corner. He still earns good marks for his athleticism and coaches say he works as hard as anyone. The Future: Always viewed as a slow developer, Wilson might have to prove in spring he's ready for Double-A or else return to Visalia to begin 2019.
Track Record: Shawaryn has moved steadily through the system, offering the sort of consistent performance that has permitted him to deliver solid performances as a starter across four levels in two years. Scouting Report: Shawaryn is a physical strike-thrower who attacks the zone with a low-90s fastball that has natural cut and a swing-and-miss slider whose speed and break he varies, with some evaluators coming away describing it as a cutter. At Triple-A Pawtucket, he showed an increased willingness to employ a changeup that grades as below-average now but has the potential to improve. If it doesn’t, Shawaryn has the potential to be a solid medium-leverage reliever who can be trusted to throw strikes out of the bullpen. He has shown flyball tendencies that suggest home run vulnerability, a trait that would be a concern at Fenway Park. Still, Shawaryn receives high marks for his work ethic, makeup and aptitude, giving evaluators confidence that he has a good chance of emerging as a solid big league contributor. The Future: Shawaryn will open 2019 back in Pawtucket as a depth option, either for the rotation or bullpen. In preparation for the possibility of a relief role, he worked out of the pen in the Arizona Fall League.
The top Puerto Rican prospect in the 2019 class, Lugo isn’t at the level of Delvin Perez in 2016 or Heliot Ramos in 2017, but he gives the island a shot at a Day 1 selection that the 2018 Puerto Rican class didn’t possess. Lugo is a raw but toolsy, 6-foot-1, 185-pound shortstop who has a chance to provide long-term defensive impact at a premium position. In addition to being a plus runner, Lugo has above-average arm strength, quick footwork and fast hands. But despite all of that talent, he still needs to improve his defensive reliability, including his positioning and routes to the ball. Lugo has offensive upside as well, with a skinny but projectable frame that scouts think will one day hold above-average raw power. He showed some of this potential impact at Perfect Game’s Jupiter showcase last fall, when he roped a hard-hit double to straightaway center field that left that bat at 97 mph. However, his swing can get too long at times, and he often struggles against quality secondary offerings. Ultimately, there’s a lot to dream on with Lugo, and he has a chance for above-average tools across the board if he adds more physicality. But whichever team drafts will need to be patient as he learns the intricacies of the game and adds more polish. Lugo is committed to Miami.'
Track Record: Reyes converted to the pitching from shortstop after signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2014. While he lacks big stuff, his superb command and pitchability have allowed him to dominate the lower levels. Reyes posted a miniscule 1.97 ERA at the Class A levels in 2018, with 145 strikeouts and 19 walks in 155.2 innings. Scouting Report: Taken on their own, none of Reyes’ four pitches grades average, but he embodies the art of pitching. Reyes has plus command and creative sequencing along with some deception to his 89-92 mph fastball, a combination of traits that has befuddled low-level hitters. He’ll mix in a slider, curveball and changeup, with the slider he can backdoor his best secondary. While some note that the big-bodied righthander could add velocity, his present ability to sequence and mix gives him back-end starter potential. His lack of stuff may make it hard for him to turn over a lineup more than once or twice, but he can pitch to a game plan. The Future: Some evaluators believe Reyes’ sophistication on the mound could allow him to serve as a big league depth option relatively soon, with a chance to emerge as more than that.
The most talented senior in the country, Song ranked No. 135 on the 2018 BA 500 thanks to a plus fastball that touched 98 mph, a 1.92 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 89 innings. Yet complications with his Naval commitments and Song’s desired signing bonus meant he went undrafted, despite the fact that multiple teams viewed him as a second-round pick on talent alone. This spring, Song has taken another step forward, and through his first 11 starts he led the country with 133 strikeouts in 73 innings. After showing a below-average breaking ball a year ago, Song has improved all of his secondary pitches enough to where some scouts now consider his curveball a plus pitch. He’s struggled with walks at times, but he’s likely an average strike-thrower with a clean delivery from his 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame. Song’s draft status is once again clouded by the fact that, under the current U.S. Department of Defense policy, he would have to complete two years of military service before he could pitch professionally, at which point he would be 24 years old. In 2016, Air Force righthander Griffin Jax was in a similar situation, but the third-round pick was able to join the Twins’ organization immediately. That was because Jax’s situation played out prior to former U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis rescinding a Department of Defense policy in 2017 that allowed athletes to avoid active-duty service after graduating in order to pursue a career in professional sports. Regardless, it’s an unusual hurdle for teams—and Song—to have to climb over, but in a draft class that lacks high-end college pitching, it might be one that a team decides is worth it.
Track Record: Though Lakins showed some of the best stuff of any Red Sox starting pitching prospect, both of his first two pro seasons ended with stress fractures in his right elbow tip, prompting the team to move him to the bullpen in 2018. Scouting Report: Lakins still uses the entire four-pitch repertoire that he employed as a starter, though he relies chiefly on his fastball that reaches 96 mph and a plus cutter. Even so, the breadth of pitches gives him a chance to be more than a single-inning reliever. Lakins’ fastball is straight, so velocity and location are essential for its effectiveness. His the ability to shape his cutter played off his fastball well and showed the ability to generate swings and misses. The Future: Lakins likely will open the year in Triple-A. He should be a big league depth option in 2019 with a middle-innings future.
Track Record: In five pro seasons since signing for $450,000, Ockimey has shown an ability to drive balls out of the park from line to line, work counts en route to a high volume of walks, and pulverize righties, whom he tagged at a .273/.393/.531 clip in 2018. However, his swings and misses have grown at every level he’s climbed, culminating in a concerning 31-percent strikeout rate at Double-A and Triple-A. Scouting Report: Ockimey possesses raw power and the ability to drive the ball in the air to all fields, favorable traits for a potential resident of Fenway Park. Yet while he does a good job with pitch recognition, his lack of rhythm at the plate contributes to a high-volume of swings and misses, especially against lefties. He’s also defensively limited. Despite a tremendous work ethic, most view him as a future DH with the ability to spend time at first base rather than an ideal everyday first base option. The Future: While Ockimey concluded 2018 in Triple-A, his profile--lefthanded platoon DH/first baseman--creates a challenging path to the big leagues. Even so, some believe that he still has the ability to emerge as a more consistent hitter with significant power, with a best-case scenario of an Adam Lind-like role.
Track Record: After transferring from Indian River (Fla.) to Florida Gulf Coast as a junior, Crawford posted a 1.71 ERA that ranked eighth in NCAA in 2017. But the fact that he did it in the mid-tier Atlantic Sun Conference and the absence of a clear plus offering left him on the board on day three of the draft, when the Red Sox picked him in the 16th round. In 2018, Crawford’s performance became harder to overlook. He had a 3.26 ERA, 9.8 strikeouts and 3.0 walks per nine in 27 starts at the Class A levels. Scouting Report: Yes, he has a cutter, and it’s the best offering in Crawford’s four-pitch mix, projecting as a potential average to above-average big league pitch. He also features a fastball that averaged 92 mph early in the year but ticked down a bit later. He mixes in a curveball and changeup, with everything seemingly coming out of the same tunnel. Crawford helps his stuff play up by being a competitor who has an aggressive tempo and mixes his pitches. The Future: Crawford’s four-pitch mix suggests a potential depth starter. It remains to be seen if he can develop another pitch to the point of surpassing that outlook.
Track Record: Castellanos has done nothing but hit since entering the Red Sox’s system, posting a .319/.365/.437 slash line in three seasons and batting over .300 every year. That line was held down by back injuries that limited him in the first half at low Class A Greenville in 2018. Once healthy, he posted a .330/.360/.427 line in the second half. Scouting Report: Castellanos defies expectations. He’s a big man who looks like he should feature plenty of power while having holes in his swing. Instead, he has miniscule strikeout rates (13.2 percent in 2018) and sprays the ball to all fields. For now, he features an atypical corner profile of a potential plus hit tool with well below-average in-game power. Castellanos does have the size and strength to suggest an uptick in doubles and homers if he starts lofting the ball. He’s hit .370 in his career with more power against lefties. The Future: Castellanos has a track record that suggests he can hit, and if he continues to post huge averages against lefties, he’ll keep moving up as a potential platoon bat. If he taps into his reservoir of raw power without severely compromising his sound offensive approach, he has a chance to emerge as a regular. He will open 2019 at high Class A Salem.
Track Record: Scherff, the 2017 Gatorade High School Player of the Year in Texas, got off to a dreadful start at low Class A Greenville in 2018 while attempting to make some delivery adjustments. But after forging a 9.35 ERA with more walks than strikeouts through four starts, he recovered to post a 3.25 ERA with 7.3 strikeouts and 1.9 walks per nine the rest of the way while showing improved stuff and command. He missed two months in the middle of the year with an intercostal strain. Scouting Report: Once Scherff restored his mechanics, he frequently worked at 93-95 mph on his fastball with a good feel for a solid changeup that misses barrels. His fastball lacks deception, but he should have the velocity and command to compensate. His third pitch is a work in progress. In high school he threw a curveball, but he worked during instructional league to shift to a slider, and it’s possible that he’ll refine that to more of a cutter. The Future: If Scherff finds an average or better third pitch, he has the makings of a starter. If not, his future is in the bullpen. His spring training performance will determine whether he opens 2019 at high Class A Salem or back in Greenville.
Coming out of high school in 2016, Zeferjahn was the clear third wheel in one of the best high school pitching classes in Kansas history. While Riley Pint and Joey Wentz were both Day 1 picks out of high school, Zeferjahn made what looks to be a wise choice by heading to college. Over the intervening three years, he’s filled out his once rail-thin frame, adding an inch in height and 25 pounds in weight since arriving at Kansas. He’s also added 3-4 mph to his fastball and significantly improved his changeup and slider while pitching for the Jayhawks. Zeferjahn has one of the better fastballs in this year’s draft class, sitting 94-95 mph but ranging anywhere from 92-97 mph with consistent plus life. At times, he will flash both a plus slider and plus changeup, so on the perfect day he can show three plus pitches, which is a true rarity for this year’s class. As of early May, Zeferjahn had already amassed three games with at least 10 strikeouts, including an impressive 14-strikeout performance against Texas. However, the lack of consistency in all three of his offerings is why he’s not going to hear his name called early in the first round. Two weeks before striking out 14 against the Longhorns, he walked seven hitters in six innings against Baylor. Zeferjahn’s arm slot wanders from a very low three-quarter slot to almost completely over the top. Sometimes he sticks with a consistent arm slot for an entire outing, but other times it changes from inning to inning. Zeferjahn can also get a little east-west in his delivery at times as well. His slider’s shape varies with his arm slot, but no matter where it comes from, it has both depth and tilt. If Zeferjahn was consistently dotting the zone with his varying release points, scouts would be less worried. Instead, his below-average control has long been a problem. He has shown some improvement, but as a junior, he’s still walking 4.7 batters per nine innings. Zeferjahn’s eventual landing spot could be in the bullpen as a power reliever, but whoever drafts him will most likely see if he can improve his control enough to start, at least initially. He has one of the higher ceilings among this year’s college pitchers, which could be enticing in a class lacking high-ceiling college arms.
Track Record: Schellenger showed overpowering late-inning stuff at Seton Hall and especially in the 2016 Cape Cod League but health and durability issues have persisted in pro ball. He forged a 1.65 ERA with big strikeout (38 percent) and groundball (71 percent) rates in 2018, but it came in just 16 innings against Rookie-level and low Class A opponents due to a shoulder impingement and back soreness. Scouting Report: Though Schellenger lacks fluidity in his delivery, he repeats from a low three-quarters arm slot that’s uncomfortable for hitters, particularly righties. While he touched the upper 90s in college, he’s worked more in the mid 90s as a pro with his two-seamer, a pitch that features both sink and armside run, and a wipeout slider. Both pitches show plus potential. The Future: Schellenger is hard to forecast. He’s got the stuff to fly to the big leagues in a late-innings role, but he hasn’t been on the mound enough. Though he’s spent little time in Greenville, his stuff may allow the Red Sox to push him to high Class A Salem if he’s healthy to start 2019.
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