20-80 Word Scouting Reports, MLB Draft 2017 Part 2

Second batch of scouting reports on players for the upcoming 2017 MLB Draft. Again, observations are a mix of my own and various scouting services:

Hunter Greene – RHP/SS
6’4, 205
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 17.10
Notre Dame HS, CA
Commitment: UCLA

Consensus top high school player in draft. Two way talent. Very athletic. Near unanimous thought is he’ll be pitcher as a pro. Throws 95-99 about as easily as one could, and it has good life to boot. Breaking balls are inconsistent and he’ll need to pick one as a pro. Changeup is little used and will need work as well. Should have plus command eventually. Taking a huge risk by not drafting him, if you have a chance.

Logan Warmoth – SS/2B
6’0, 190
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 21.9
Junior at North Carolina
Last drafted: Never

Short, compact stroke from right side of plate allows him to take pitches, especially pitches on inner half, to all fields. Power is decent for middle infielder, though will not be a trademark at the pro level. Some scouts think he can stick at shortstop, but arm and agility seem to suggest a move to second. Value diminishes at second, but he would be premium defender there with a good bat.

Alex Lange – RHP
6’4, 200
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 21.8
Junior at Louisiana State
Last drafted: Never

Big, intimidating presence on the mound with a violent over the top delivery and head whack. Throws two fastballs (2-seam with sink and straight 4-seam that runs up to 94, and which he tends to overthrow) and two curveballs (a hammer and a slower get-me-over). The hammer curve is one of better curves in draft. Not much of a changeup. Some see reliever due to delivery, command issues, and two-pitch mix.

Wil Crowe – RHP
6’2, 250
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 22.9
Redshirt Junior at South Carolina
Previously drafted: 2016, 21st round (Cleveland)

Primary pitch is a sinking 2-seam fastball that sits 91-93 and can be pushed up to 97. Good plane from high arm angle. Used to induce weak contact more than to get swing and miss. Curveball can be good strikeout pitch, thrown in high 70s. Changeup has made progress this year, but still lags. That pitch will be key to letting him remain as a starter at pro level. Command generally there. Older prospect due to TJ surgery in 2015.

Tristan Beck – RHP
6’4, 165
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 20.11
Sophomore at Stanford
Last drafted: 2015, 34th round (Milwaukee)

Has missed all of the season with lower back stress fracture, though it is unclear how injured he is as of draft time. When’s he pitching, has a sinking fastball at 91-94. Could still be extra velocity in skinny frame. Changeup and curveball both flash plus at times. Command generally good. Very smart. Will have to prove lower back injury won’t impact durability long term.

Cole Brannen – OF
6’1, 190
B/T: L/R
Draft age: 18.10
The Westfield Schools HS, GA
Commitment: Georgia Southern

Athletic, potential five tool centerfielder. Best tool is speed, which has grades from 70-80, depending on the scout. Made even better by leaving box from left side. Has a quick swing, short swing path, and good barrel control. Uses all fields. Good fit for centerfield given on base prowess and emerging power. His power is only possible below average tool. Arm is fine for center. Very nice all around package.

Kevin Merrell – 2B/SS/OF
6’1, 180
B/T: L/R
Draft age: 21.5
Junior at South Florida
Last drafted: Never

Up the middle burner. Plays shortstop right now, played second last year, could play center next year. Top of scale speed, one of the fastest players in the country. Knows his game is not power, goes to all fields. Strong enough gap hitter to not get bat knocked out of his hands. Arm is not electric, but it works at short.

Michael Mercado – RHP
6’4, 160
Draft age: 17.11
Westview HS, CA
Commitment: Stanford

Commitment to Stanford thought to be strong – could be a tough sign. Tristen Beck starter kit. Tall, lanky, with a good curveball and command of 2- and 4-seam fastballs. Former at 90-93, latter at 88-90. Room for velocity growth. Throws slider that flashes plus. Unusually good command for his age. Not yet 18.

Daniel Tillo – LHP
6’5, 215
B/T: L/L
Draft age: 20.11
Sophomore at Iowa Western CC
Last drafted: 2015, 39th round (Minnesota)

Inexperienced and raw arm will need plenty of minor league seasoning, but he has about as much upside as any left handed pitcher in the draft. Nice 3/4 delivery, ball comes out easily. Good sink on fastball that sits 92-96, and has a slider that might end up being plus as well. There is hope for a changeup, but he hasn’t used it much. Command comes and goes but that seems to be more about reps.

Jeremiah Estrada – RHP
6’1, 185
B/T: S/R
Draft age: 18.7
Palm Desert HS, CA
Commitment: UCLA

Undersized but athletic righty whose stuff has gone the wrong way since last summer. At best, fastball is 91-94 and he compliments it with a great changeup and solid curveball. All three pitches have been inconsistent this spring. Energy noted as being low. Still should be high pick given how he was pitching a year ago.

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