20-80 Word Scouting Reports, MLB Draft 2017 Part 6

Previous entries in this series:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Now the sixth upload in a series of somewhere under 20 uploads of scouting reports on players for the upcoming 2017 MLB Draft. Again, observations are a mix of my own and various scouting services:

JB Bukauskas – RHP
6’0, 195
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 20.8
Junior at North Carolina
Last drafted: 2014, 20th (ARI)

Bukauskas has arguably the best fastball and the best slider in this college class. If either aren’t, they’re close. He’s short and doesn’t throw from a high arm slot so 93-95 MPH fastball is flat, but it gets some movement when kept down. Slider has devastating late break, thrown in the upper 80s. Change was better offspeed pitch in HS, and could become plus again. Can lose command within zone. Will have to prove durability. Young for class.


Jordon Adell – OF/RHP
6’3, 205
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.2
Ballard HS, KY
Commitment: Louisville

Adell throws 97 as pitcher, but will be drafted as a hitter. Adell just about does it all. He grades as plus to double plus in hitting for power, running, throwing, and defense. He looks like he’ll fill out some, so speed/defense may be lower at peak. Hitting is the question – he hit well this spring, but against middling competition. He has shown ability to make adjustments at plate, and continued adjustments will be the key to his success.


Chris McMahon – RHP
6’2, 190
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.4
West Chester Bayard Rustin HS, PA
Commitment: Miami

Few fastballs have better life in this draft than McMahon’s, especially among high schoolers. It’s hard velocity life, too, with McMahon sitting in the low 90s and touching 95. He has a simple, repeatable delivery taking the ball out of his hip pocket and whipping it toward home with great arm speed. Control/command/release point and breaking pitches are all works in progress at this point, though he has a big curveball that looks very promising at times.


Seth Corry – LHP
6’2, 195
B/T: L/L
Draft age: 18.7
Lone Peak HS, UT
Commitment: Brigham Young

Extremely physical – Corry played safety at All-State level during the fall. His body seems to be about maxed out, but optimistic scouts think that if he can rework his delivery, there will be more velocity and movement than his 90-92 mph fastball shows. His curveball has an incredible spin rate and may project as double plus. His delivery does need work and command is not close to ready for prime time yet, but there’s a lot to build from.


Ricardo De La Torre – SS
6’3, 190
R/R
Draft age: 17.4
Puerto Rico BB Academy HS, PR
Commitment: Auburn

Possibly youngest player in this draft, De La Torre does not turn 18 until January. That’s more than two years younger than the older high schoolers. Right now, he’s a defense-first prospect. And it’s pretty impressive defense for a 6’3 teenager. His best tool is his arm, and he shows good range, though footwork can get messy. At the plate, he has almost no stride and is almost all upper-body with his swing. Swing needs work, but he has time.


JJ Matijevic – 1B/OF
6’2, 200
B/T: L/R
Draft age: 21.6
Junior at Arizona
Last drafted: 2014, 22nd round (Boston)

Matijevic has both barrel control and aggression in his swing, which is one of the prettiest in college baseball. What will push Matijevic up or down the charts is how teams think his power game will be at pro level. He’s really only a first baseman, so that will be important. Defense at first is fine and he could probably back LF. Does not walk or strike out much.


Landon Leach – RHP
6’4, 213
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 17.11
Pickering HS, ON
Commitment: Texas

Big kid from the great white north. For a relatively inexperienced, long-levered young man, Leach has a smooth delivery he repeats well. Control is already there, though in-zone command is not. He has a heavy fastball that sits 90-93, and compliments that with a curveball and changeup. Neither offspeed pitch is particularly impressive at the moment, so drafting team will need to be patient and wait for one or both to emerge.


Drew Ellis – 3B/1B
6’3, 210
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 21.6
Junior at Louisville
Last drafted: Never

Quick wrists and big time raw power have thrust Ellis onto the prospect stage this spring. There are questions about his ability to recognize breaking balls, though that hasn’t hampered power stroke this year, as his 17 home runs and .376 BA show. With limited agility, probably becomes a first baseman down the line, or possibly left field as his arm is above average.


Zac Lowther – LHP
6’2, 235
B/T: L/L
Draft age: 21.1
Junior at Xavier
Last drafted: Never

Durable lefty starter who doesn’t throw all that hard and whose offspeed isn’t that great, but Lowther hides the ball exceptionally well and gets awkward swings despite the middling stuff. Fastball sits in the high 80s, touching 92. Curveball ranges anywhere from plus to below average, depending on who you talk to. Changeup isn’t really there. Not a high upside prospect, but has enough going that someone’s going to want to take a chance on him as a starter.


KJ Harrison – 1B/C
6’2, 205
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 20.10
Junior at Oregon State
Last drafted: 2014, 25th round (Indians)

Harrison’s draft status hinges on two things. First, is he a catcher? If teams think he can move back behind the plate, he has a lot more value than he does at first base. Second, can he get his pop back? Harrison’s been more contact oriented this spring and though he gets great natural loft with his swing, he’s hit only 5 home runs. So spectrum runs from power hitting catcher to contact-centric first baseman. Lots of changing value there.


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