20-80 Word Scouting Reports, MLB Draft 2017 Part 10

Previous entries in this series:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

Now the tenth installment in a series of scouting reports on players for the upcoming 2017 MLB Draft. As always, observations are a mix of my own and various scouting services:

Jeren Kendall – OF
5’10, 180
B/T: L/R
Draft age: 21.4
Junior at Vanderbilt
Last drafted: 2014, 30th (Boston)

The two thing primarily associated with Kendall from a scouting perspective are his premium speed and his swing and miss tendencies at the plate. His hitting will make or break him as a player. Swing gets long and pitch recognition is not great. Draws comparisons to Jacoby Ellsbury and Corey Ray. A very good defender that should have no problem sticking in center, and he has an above average arm there. At least average power. Great athlete.

Griffin Canning – RHP
6’1, 170
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 21.1
Junior at UCLA
Last drafted: 2014, 38th (Colorado)

A pitcher in every sense of the word. Canning throws four pitches, all of which grade average to plus depending on the day. In addition to a 90-94 fastball that has decent sink, he also throws a short slider, curveball, and changeup. There’s no consensus on which one is the best, but he throws them all for strikes. He uses all quadrants of the plate as well. Shorter pitcher, but clean high 3/4 delivery. High pitch counts are concerning.

Conner Uselton – OF
6’3, 185
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 19.0
Southmoore HS, OK
Commitment: Oklahoma State

One of the most complete hitting prospects in high school this year. Uselton ticks the boxes for size, strength, speed, and thunder in his bat. Very physical, aggressive approach in batter’s box. Deep hand load, quick hands, and good elevation. He hits bombs. Will chase outside – contact ability is biggest question mark. Above average runner, easy plus arm. Looks like a prototypical right fielder. Could be tough sign – already 19 and eligible for draft again in two years.

Brian Miller – OF
6’0, 187
B/T: L/R
Draft age: 21.9
Junior at North Carolina
Last drafted: Never

Former walk-on who has exceeded all expectations and has become one of the premier table-setters in the country. Miller is a 65-70 runner who takes good routes in center field and has enough arm – just enough – to stick there. Does a good job both working pitchers for walks and making contact when he needs to. Power isn’t there outside of batting practice, but it’s possible swing tweaks could lead to more of it in-game.

Blaine Knight – RHP
6’3, 165
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 20.11
Sophomore at Arkansas
Last drafted: Never

A tall but quite slender righty. The upside of his body type is you can dream up a lot of physical projection. The downside is there will be questions about durability. His physical delivery adds to durability concern. Knight’s best pitch is a 91-94 fastball that touches 97, with which he exhibits great command. None of his secondary pitches are of the strikeout variety yet, though there are good reports on both his slider and changeup.

Matt Tabor – RHP
6’2, 160
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.10
Milton Academy HS, MA
Commitment: Elon

Tabor’s senior year growth spurt pushed his fastball velocity up from the mid 80s touching 90, into the middle 90s touching 97. Tabor has great arm speed and generates solid run, though his delivery gets off balance. He throws a breaking ball that’s somewhere in-between a slider and curve, and isn’t really either most of the time. His changeup is the better offspeed pitch, showing plus potential. A northeast kid, Tabor needs more reps to gain consistency.

Shane Drohan – LHP
6’2, 190
B/T: R/L
Draft age: 18.5
Cardinal Newman HS, FL
Commitment: Florida State

Calling card is not velocity, but command of three solid pitches. Drohan throws his fastball in the upper 80s, scraping 90-91. The pitch does have nice movement, and he’s able to command it. His curveball is advanced for his age, breaking 11-5 with great spin. Many project his changeup as above average as well. Whether or not there’s more velocity coming is an open question, but with the stuff he has now, he may not need it.

Ernie Clement – SS/OF
6’0, 165
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 21.2
Junior at Virginia
Last drafted: Never

In 516 at-bats between 2016-2017, Clement struck out a grand total of 19 times. Granted he also walked only 26 times. Obviously has elite bat to ball skills. It’s not always hard contact, though, and his power is well below average. He’s an above average runner and modestly successful base stealer. Can play shortstop and center, though arm is just adequate at either position.

Blake Hunt – C
6’3, 180
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.7
Mater Dei HS, CA
Commitment: Pepperdine

Defensive-first catcher who has maybe hit enough this spring to be drafted high enough to forego his commitment to Pepperdine. Hunt has a strong arm, quick pop time, sets low well for his size, and moves laterally well, too. He has some power in his bat, and he is plenty athletic enough at the plate, but he’s likely going to be somewhat of an offensive project for the team that signs him.

Michael Baumann – RHP
6’4, 225
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 21.9
Junior at Jacksonville
Last drafted: 2014, 34th round (Minnesota)

Big, physical pitcher who throws a lively middle-90s fastball and a very good slider with late life. Also throws a more pedestrian curveball and changeup, though they are both usable pitches. Baumann struggles with command due in part to long arm circle and crossbody delivery. If he can find more consistency in his delivery, he could be a steal a few rounds into the draft as his raw stuff is first-round worthy.

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