20-80 Word Scouting Reports, MLB Draft 2017 Part 11

Previous entries in this series:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Now the eleventh 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:

Nate Pearson – RHP
6’6, 240
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 20.9
Sophomore at Central Florida JC
Previously drafted: Never

There with Brendon Little as top juco talent in draft. Huge guy, though conditioning doesn’t seem to be an issue. Touches 100; works in the middle 90s with solid velocity stamina. Fastball has good sink. Changeup regarded as best chance at second plus pitch, showing decent fade. Slider also has a chance to be above average. Neither are there regularly yet. Present plus control from high 3/4 delivery; command should be at least average. Has a screw in his elbow.

Caden Lemons – RHP
6’6, 175
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.6
Vestavia Hills HS, AL
Commitment: Mississippi

Lemons has a huge wingspan that would not look out of place as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. He has not quite mastered repeating his mechanics, and his arm slot can be all over the place. Which in turn means control and command have a ways to go. Fastball runs up into the mid-90s but sits in the low-90s. No clear offspeed pitch yet, and wavering arm slot doesn’t help that. Will need a lot of development time.

Connor Wong – C
5’11, 180
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 21.0
Junior at Houston
Last drafted: Never

Basically is a shortstop playing catcher. And a catcher who can also play anywhere else on the diamond. Wong is about the best athlete in the college catching ranks, which serves him well behind the plate. He’s only started playing the position regularly in the past few years, so there is still development needed. At the plate, swing is simple and there’s at least gap power. Maybe most strangely, is a plus baserunner and base stealer.

Trevor Stephan – RHP
6’5, 225
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 21.6
Junior at Arkansas
Last drafted: 2016 18th round (Boston)

A fastball-first pitcher with some reliever risk due to inconsistency in offspeed weaponry. His fastball is a good one, commanded to either side of the plate and hidden with a crossfire delivery. It sneaks up on opposing hitters at 95, and has decent run, if not much sink. Slider and changeup both need work, though his slider has come along this year. Developing those pitches will be crucial to staying in the rotation.

Cordell Dunn – C
6’0, 190
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 17.11
Center Hill HS, MS
Commitment: Texas Tech

Intriguing prep catcher who is raw and will need time, but has potential big time upside. Dunn is a bit young for his class, which helps. Explosive swing using almost all upper body strength, though it gets grooved and he can have trouble barreling up offspeed. Arm is around average and pop times can be good, but just about everything defensively is inconsistent.

Riley Mahan – 2B/OF
6’3, 185
B/T: L/R
Draft age: 21.5
Junior at Kentucky
Last drafted: 2015, 40th round (San Francisco)

Moved off shortstop to second base this year, and seems destined to move off second to a corner OF position as a pro. Mahan has both erratic hands and erratic command from an otherwise plus arm. He is more than athletic enough to play second, if hands can be improved. A very good line drive hitter with at least average power potential, though there will be strikeouts as well. A tick above average runner.

Sam McMillan – C
6’1, 195
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.6
Suwannee HS, FL
Commitment: Florida

High school backstops are the single most risky draft selection, and the defensive-first subgroup are even more risky than the hitters. McMillan falls into that defensive category, so a team would have to project heavily onto his bat to make a high draft selection make sense. He is a quality defender is all facets, and the hitting might come down the line. May be likely to honor commitment to Florida.

Will Gaddis – RHP
6’1, 185
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 21.2
Junior at Furman
Last drafted: 2014, 36th round (Yankees)

In a word, pitchability. Gaddis’ distinction is that he has one of the higher floors among top college pitchers in this class. Shows advanced command of a modestly heavy 89-92 mph fastball. Has a complete arsenal of pitches, including a curve, cutter, and changeup, though none of them are much more than average at their best. His frame is on the smaller side, though durability hasn’t been an issue.

Riley Ottesen – RHP
6’0, 185
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 22.7
Sophomore at Utah
Last drafted: Never

Old for his class due to LDS mission, and also relatively inexperienced because of it. Throws really hard, into the mid-90s, though fastball has little deception and is straight. Slider and changeup can be useful at times, but neither project as more than average, and command is often lacking. For all of those reasons, Ottesen is most likely going to be a reliever in pro ball.

Cade Cavalli – RHP
6’4, 200
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.9
Bixby HS, OK
Commitment: Oklahoma

Has missed a lot of time with injury, first a wrist last summer and now a back this spring. Physically mature and gets mid-90s velocity without a ton of effort. Control is there, command is not quite. Offspeed stuff needs work. Slider shows promise at times. Changeup is barely ever used. Teams will have to dream a little on him to see a future as a starter, but he at least has the groundwork laid. Old for class.

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