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.

20-80 Word Scouting Reports, MLB Draft 2017 Part 1

Welcome to 20-80 word scouting reports, which are scouting reports of 20-80 words. In this case, for players in the upcoming 2017 MLB Draft. Observations are a mix of my own and various scouting services. Right to it:

MacKenzie Gore – LHP
6’2, 170
B/T: L/L
Draft age: 18.3
Whiteville HS, NC
Commitment: East Carolina

Extraordinarily polished for his age. Strike thrower, plus command. Can manipulate low 90s fastball with both cut and armside run. Fastball touches 96-97 but sits lower and lacks plane due to delivery. Delivery includes 80 grade leg kick. Three impressive secondaries: plus mid-70s curveball, potential plus low 80s change, and above average low-mid 80s slider. Keeps fastball velocity and feel for secondaries deep into outings. Minor worry about how mechanics will age given flexibility needed. Good hitter.

DL Hall – LHP
6’2, 170
B/T: L/L
Draft age: 18.8
Valdosta HS, GA
Commitment: Florida State

Common Scott Kazmir comp. Shorter but not small lefty with athletic build well equipped to handle his physical delivery. Probably best curve in draft class, thrown in high 70s with late break and great depth. Fastball not too shabby either, with velocity up to 97, and sits 91-94. Fastball straight but driven down well. Improving changeup that needs reps. Plus command potential, but arm wanders through slots at times and he has a slight cross body delivery.

Adam Haseley – OF/LHP
6’1, 185
B/T: L/L
Draft age: 21.1
Junior at Virginia
Last drafted: Never

Two-way player who will be drafted as a hitter. Top of scale hand speed with the bat. Can drive balls to all fields. Swing is a bit unorthodox and he has to make concerted effort to lift ball at contact in order to drive it out. Some question about how power will translate to wood. Probably can stick in CF, but won’t be special there defensively. Good outfield arm. Above average underway speed.

Heliot Ramos – OF
6’2, 185
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 17.9
Alfonso Casta Martinez HS, PR
Commitment: Florida International

Some see him as a five tool talent, others question whether he’ll be able to hit. Raw power and speed are both plus. Athletic. With work and reps, speed should allow him to stay in CF. Arm is good if not always accurate. Loose wrists help make loud contact, but a neophyte when it comes to pitch recognition and swing consistency. Need lots of projection to see success with swing. Bat speed is there, if he can make it work. Not yet 18.

Evan White – 1B/OF
6’3, 177
B/T: R/L
Draft age: 21.2
Junior at Kentucky
Last drafted: Never

Athletic and lanky with a flat swing plane but great bat speed and projects to be a high average hitter at the next level. Works the count. The rare backwards bat/throw profile. If he threw righty, could play anywhere on diamond. Plays first at a 70 level, Gold Glove caliber. Probably plus corner OF as well, with a good arm. Could even be a CF. Plus speed regardless of position. Power is single big (and it’s a big) question mark.

Brendon Little – LHP
6’2, 195
B/T: L/L
Draft age: 20.10
Sophomore at State JC of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
Previously drafted: 2015, 36th round (San Francisco)

Intriguing arm from left side. Based on stuff alone, a solid first rounder. Fastball is 92-95+, usually with good life and plane. Curveball is also plus, a true hammer thrown from high 3/4 arm slot. Changeup is somewhat nascent, but projects as average. Main issue is command, and even control. Short stride in delivery causes both to short-circuit at times. Many scouts think he’s a reliever due to delivery. Misses bats either way.

Jacob Heatherly – LHP
6’3, 200
B/T: L/L
Draft age: 19.0
Cullman HS, AL
Commitment: Alabama

A lot of Braxton Garrett comps. A delivery about as simple as it gets – looks like he’s playing catch. Athletic pitcher whose calling card needs to be command. Fastball is solid at 90-93, but doesn’t have a lot of movement beyond a little sink. High 70s curveball flashes plus but has been inconsistent. Has not needed to throw a changeup much, but that will change. Good hitter. Physically mature. Will be 19 on draft day. Could be fast riser.

Hagen Danner – RHP/C
6’2, 195
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.8
Huntington Beach HS, CA
Commitment: UCLA

Two-way prospect who teams are split on as to a position. As a catcher, he has an arm touching double plus and moves well behind the dish. At the plate, there are question marks regarding pull-heavy nature of swing, though he has at least average raw power. As a pitcher, throws 90-94 and spots fastball well, though he catches too much of the plate at times. Curveball and change both flash plus. Some durability worries.

Alex Scherff – RHP
6’4, 205
B/T: S/R
Draft age: 19.4
Colleyville Heritage HS, TX
Commitment: Texas A&M

Workhorse build. Fastball jumped in velocity after he lost 40 pounds. Heavy fastball sits in the middle 90s, touching 98. But changeup is even more impressive, arguably best in class. It’s thrown with same arm slot/arm speed as fastball, and thrown with conviction. Breaking ball hasn’t been needed in games and needs work. Command can be iffy due to stiffness and short stride in delivery. Some see him as a power reliever due to this. Very old for class.

Jacob Pearson – OF
6’0, 195
B/T: L/R
Draft age: 19.0
West Monroe HS, LA
Commitment: LSU

Shorter, but strong, physical, high energy player whose only major fault is a well below average arm in the outfield. There’s some question as to whether he’ll stick in center field, and he’ll be limited to left field or first base if he can’t. Good bat to ball skills and improved swing have lead to projection for at least average power. Above average to plus runner. Old for class.