With the MLB Draft just days away at this point, starting Thursday night(6/9), now is a good time to take a look at some of the top available talent. This list includes the Top 25 prospects on my own personal board.
1. Jason Groome, LHP, New Jersey HS
Groome has had a strange spring from a dominant no hitter to a suspension over transfer rules(he spent last year in Florida) followed by some up and down performances. He's got some maturity questions from teams, but he's a lefty who can hit 96 with a big curve and usually solid command. He's got everything needed to be a top of the rotation starter.
2. Delvin Perez, SS, Puerto Rico HS
Perez may be the biggest upside player in the entire draft. He's got the raw tools to join fellow Puerto Rican shortstops Carlos Correa and Manny Machado with athleticism, defense, and power. However there are questions on his bat- a bat much further behind Correa and Machado at this stage, and could be more of an Alcides Escobar type of player if the bat doesn't develop. Further complicating things is that he has put a bunch of teams off with maturity questions. There is upside but there is also risk here.
3. AJ Puk, LHP, Florida
Puk is a giant 6'7" lefty with huge stuff and good results in the SEC. The problem with him is that his command has been an issue at times and he's also had some maturity questions- though he has apparently matured a bit in the past year. He could be a #2/3 starter, or he could be a Trevor Bauer type with big stuff and strikeouts, but his success becomes limited by command issues.
4. Mickey Moniak, OF, California HS
Moniak is a smaller kid with a great ability to hit and very good speed and defense. His offensive game reminds me a bit of Adam Eaton, though with more speed and better defense in center field. If he can become Adam Eaton with steals, that's a fantasy star.
5. Corey Ray, OF, Louisville
Ray is a very good hitter with the ability to hit for average and power along with stealing bases. The main concerns with him are defensive, as he projects to be a below average left fielder. There is some thought that he could only be a platoon guy offensively, but he's a hard working kid that I see making the adjustments to be a solid every day player. He could be a 20/20 guy for your fantasy team. Ray Lankford's name has been thrown around as a comparison.
6. Riley Pint, RHP, Kansas HS
Pint has potentially three plus pitches and can hit 102 with the fastball. The biggest concerns with him are if that can hold up as kids that age don't usually throw that high and he's from an area without a lot of competition. He's got the most upside of any pitcher in the class, but he's got a lot more risk than Groome and Puk.
7. Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer
Lewis has all the tools to be a star but there are some questions too. He's been called a right handed Jason Heyward because of his build, athleticism, defense, and power potential. However he plays in a very small conference and there are a lot of questions on his ability to hit as he has a lot of swing and miss. I'm personally worried about how he will fare against more advanced pitching so I have him a bit lower, but he's got easy 30 homer power.
8. Blake Rutherford, OF, California HS
Another well built outfielder with plenty of upside, Rutherford has questions of his own. He was once a potential Top 3 guy, but there are some questions that he may have physically matured a bit early and he has swing and miss in his game. He's also older than the typical high school prospect, which is another mark against him. However if it all comes together for him there was a David Justice comparison for him.
9. Ian Anderson, RHP, New York HS
Anderson is another big armed right hander from an area without great competition, however you can't ignore the fact he throws up to 97 and has two more very strong pitches including a plus curveball. He's got a similar profile to Pint, though his stuff is just a bit behind Pint.
10. Matt Manning, RHP, California HS
The son of former NBA player Rich Manning, Matt Manning is a tall, athletic kid who can hit 98 and has seen the rest of his pitches make progress as well. He may slip a bit in the draft, but that's got more to do with reported large signing bonus demands than talent. High school arms are always risky, and Manning still has a lot of development left, but he's got immense upside.
11. Joshua Lowe, 3B, Georgia HS
Lowe is a big athletic kid with huge power. He's also spent plenty of time pitching. He's not going to be a cheap signing either. But if he signs he has 30 homer pop in his bat from third base.
12. Nick Collins, C, Miami
Collins is regularly compared to Kyle Schwarber as a very advanced college hitter who may not be able to stick at catcher. I think Collins may have a bit less power than Schwarber, but his hit tool and on base skills could be a bit better. He's probably best moving off catcher, but he would be Top 5 if he could catch and if he gets some catching time in like Schwarber, he is a fantasy star.
13. Braxton Garrett, LHP, Alabama HS
Garrett is a talented lefty arm with a big curveball. He's got at least strong #3 starter upside.
14. Alex Kirilloff, OF, Pennsylvania HS
Kirilloff is an advanced hitter- he is the son of a famous national hitting instructor. He could hit for average and power and should be able to adjust to minor league pitching with his advanced feel for hitting.
15. Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State
Hudson isn't as much of an upside guy as the arms above him, but he is a safer prospect with the potential to be a #3/4 starter.
16. Nolan Jones, SS/3B, Pennsylvania HS
Jones is a bigger framed shortstop who may need to move to third base in time, but would have plenty of power from the shortstop position.
17. Taylor Trammell, OF, Georgia HS
Trammell is a late rising prospect with top of the lineup skill set- speed, contact, and center field defense.
18. TJ Zeuch, RHP, Pittsburgh
Zeuch is another guy rising late. He's a big kid from a cold weather state, but he's been successful in the ACC and has the pure stuff to be a #3 starter.
19. Justin Dunn, RHP, Boston College
Dunn has a similar profile to Dillon Tate last year- moving from the pen to the rotation and having a big breakout. He's got big stuff and could rack up the strikeouts. However he's got a limited track record, keeping him a bit further back in the rankings.
20. Kyle Muller, LHP, Texas HS
Muller is a big armed Texan. He's more advanced as a pitcher than some of the other prep arms, but he's already close to physically developed so there isn't much more to come in the tank velocity wise. He's got a chance to be a solid #3 starter.
21. Matt Thiass, C, Virginia
Thiass is a very good hitting catcher who may not be able to catch long term. His bat would still be an asset elsewhere, but he has a better chance than Collins to stay at catcher. He's not as powerful as Collins, but he's a much better pure hitter who knows how to get on base. He could be a very solid fantasy catcher.
22. Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Vanderbilt
The brother of Justus Sheffield, Jordan has huge stuff and can rack up strikeouts after a very good career in the SEC. The biggest red flag on him is the fact he is under-sized.
23. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Texas HS
Whitley is another huge armed prep pitcher in this class with a big, wide body. He compares to Luken Baker from last year's draft as a pitcher with his big body and arm.
24. Will Craig, 3B/1B, Wake Forest
Craig is a very advanced college hitter with some power and also the closer for Wake Forest. The question is if he can stay at third or needs to move to first. As a third baseman he is a very strong fantasy asset, but he's more solid than anything at first base as his power isn't quite as big there.
25. Alex Speas, RHP, Georgia HS
Speas is a very athletic young pitcher with a huge fastball and plus to plus plus curve. The problem with him is that he's got real command issues from his mechanics which need fixing. He's a high risk, high reward type.