20-80 Word Scouting Reports, 2017 MLB Draft Part 8

Previous entries in this series:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

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

Drew Waters – OF
6’2, 190
B/T: S/R
Draft age: 18.5
Etowah HS, GA
Commitment: Georgia

Best high school switch hitter in the draft class. Waters has a big timing step in his setup, but his bat takes a nice, clean path to the ball from both sides, and he regularly produces hard, line drive contact. Power is better from left side right now. He’s a plus runner with a plus arm, and should be able to stay in center field long term. There’s some worry about offspeed recognition.

Tristen Lutz – OF
6’3, 205
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.9
Martin HS, TX
Commitment: Texas

Lutz could walk into an MLB dugout tomorrow and not look out of place. Mature physically, and a rock solid athlete. Calling card is power, but he also shows good barrel control and uses the whole field despite a lot of pre-swing hand movement. Plays center now, however he is likely moves to right field as a pro. He has a strong, easy plus arm. Running speed is average, but he has good outfield instincts.

Luke Heimlich – LHP
6’0, 190
B/T: L/L
Draft age: 21.4
Junior at Oregon State
Last drafted: Never

“Pitchability” is the word that keeps coming up with Heimlich. A smallish lefty with a tick above average command, he does throw hard enough into the low 90s to avoid the “crafty” tag. From a high 3/4 arm slot, he gets some sink and cut on his fastball, which he readily moves around the zone. He is also adept at manipulating his curve, and his change is adequate. General consensus is back-end rotation guy.

James Marinan – RHP
6’5, 220
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.8
Park Vista Community HS, FL
Commitment: Miami

One of the taller high school pitchers in the draft. Was a two-way prospect up to this season, and would project as a solid first base prospect as well. Fastball is his primary pitch, which runs up to 95 with really good sink thanks to high 3/4 delivery from his already imposing frame. Arm action is clean, though he lands partially closed, which is a red flag for some people. Curve projects as average. Changeup is in its infancy.

Joe Perez – RHP/1B/3B
6’3, 210
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 17.10
Archbishop Edward McCarthy HS, FL
Commitment: Miami

Young for his class, but unfortunately that development time will be eaten up by rehabbing his Tommy John surgery, which Perez had just a few weeks before the draft. Yet another two-way prospect, Perez was a third baseman for most of his prep career. He has plus power potential with the bat. Huge fastball from the mound, though he’s still learning how to pitch. Slider has a chance to be plus, too. A project before Tommy John, now even moreso.

Bryce Bonnin – RHP/SS
6’1, 180
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.8
Barbers Hill HS, TX
Commitment: Arkansas

Shorter but athletic sinker-slider pitcher. Bonnin gets good sink on his fastball, which runs 90-95. He’s relatively new to pitching, having played third base mostly as a prep (similar to Perez above). He should develop more consistent velocity as he focuses on pitching. Slider is also inconsistent, but flashes between plus and double plus. Crossfire delivery with long arm action creates deception and command issues. Changeup isn’t there yet.

Matt Whatley – C
5’10, 190
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 21.5
Junior at Oral Roberts
Last drafted: Never

A solid defender with contact issues. Whatley grades out above average in both blocking and arm strength behind the dish, and is regarded as a leader on the field. He walks a lot, and strikes out a lot. Has above average power, but uses a long swing to get to it. He runs decently for a catcher as he’s pretty athletic. Projects right now as fringe second division starter, but swing improvements could boost that.

Adam Oviedo – SS
6’0, 186
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.5
Alvarado HS, TX
Commitment: TCU

Oviedo has a plus arm and glove at shortstop, and has a chance to stick there as a pro. He doesn’t have outstanding agility or foot speed however, so there’s some thought he winds up at second or third. Hit tool draws some questions. He can mash fastballs, but gets over-committed to fastball hunting and can get fooled by offspeed stuff. Busy swing, but he gets some loft.

Joe Dunand – SS/3B
6’2, 205
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 21.8
Junior at North Carolina State
Last drafted: 2014, 35th round (Cleveland)

Nephew of Alex Rodriguez, whatever that amounts to. Has two above average tools: power and arm. His approach at the plate can be lacking, which may give him difficultly in getting to his 55-60 grade power in pro ball. Hit tool is 40, maybe 45. His arm at shortstop or third is very good as well. He’s athletic, and he may start at shortstop as a pro, but he likely shifts to third at some point. Below average runner.

Tommy Mace – RHP
6’6, 195
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.7
Sunlake HS, FL
Commitment: Florida

Height closer to 6’7 now, which gives him a few inches even on the aforementioned James Marinan. There can be a lot going on with his delivery, though Mace repeats relatively well given his limb length and experience. Upper body-lower body timing seems to be biggest issue, as he seems to land early at times. Fastball is 92-95 with great plane when Mace gets full extension. Curveball gets projected as plus, and at times is there now. Changeup needs work.

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