Wednesday, April 12, 2017

2017 MLB Draft: First Look At The Draft Prospects Part 2

Welcome to the long awaited part 2 of my 2017 draft scouting reports. This will be exclusively posted in my blog since it's all pure scouting reports and not a lot of topic conversation. There are some prospects that are in the hunt while some are what I really want. Enjoy this one folks!

Logan Warmoth  SS
6’0” 184 lbs.  R/R
Videos: Credits to Jheremy Brown and Perfect Game Baseball

One of the highest risers in the draft class, Warmoth has a good chance to be an everyday Major Leaguer in the future. Lean and lanky before, he has matured in his frame in a way that he didn’t compromise his athleticism.

He got a good, short swing that is smooth and balanced. His hands got stronger as he matures and that helped him barrel balls better and produce loud contact together with his quick bat speed. His homer power is more on his pull side and I don’t see it going beyond average but he has above average to plus speed to leg out infield hits and doubles. If he can spray more pitches towards right field, he may be a double machine moving forward.

He has improved his base stealing this season and has a chance to steal 25-30 bases in pro ball. The good speed with his great agility and very good defensive actions may make him stay at short for the time being but his average at best arm might make him shift towards second base.

The Giants are stacked in the infield already so I don’t really see them drafting Warmoth unless something really weird happens but he will be a safe pick with some upside to whoever will draft him in Day 1.

Grades: Hit 50+ | Power 50 | Speed 60 | Arm 45 | Glove 55

Adam Haseley  OF/LHP
6’1” 195 lbs.  L/L

In a Benintendi-esque rise, two-way lefty Adam Haseley has risen from being a decent prospect to a potential top 10-20 pick as a hitter and somewhere in the 2nd round at best as a pitcher. I don’t really like Haseley as a pitcher so I’m scouting him here as a hitter.

He got a pretty mature body with a thick torso with very good athleticism. He got a crouched set-up at the box and a huge leg kick that reminds me of Jeff Bagwell and Nick Swisher. He shifts his weight pretty violently but his head stays put and focused at the baseball. He’s a front body hitter like Bryce Harper that transfers his weight to the bat well. His eye improved throughout the years and he now has an impressive understanding of the strike zone without compromising his power. Those things along with his very good barrel control and quick swing with slight uppercut, he produces loud contact often.

His speed is only average but it gets a tick better once he gets going and he could steal double digits at best. His range in center field is good and his defensive actions is better but he might get pushed to a corner, possibly to right field where his arm capable of throwing as high as 92 MPH on the mound fits well.

I can see Haseley get drafted in the teens as a hitter and he might be a possible pick by the Giants with the outfield situation. The only thing that’s making me worried is that he’s a Virginia product and his Cape Cod stint is not impressive. There is a bad rep against hitters coming from Virginia so I’m always going to keep that in mind.

Grades: Hit 60 | Power 55 | Speed 50 | Arm 60 | Glove 55

Clarke Schmidt  RHP
6’1” 205 lbs.  R/R

The Gamecocks have a pair of arms that will be in the conversation when the first round of the draft comes. The first that I’m going to talk about is Schmidt. His body is already full and large that can hold the innings. I have slight concerns over the stockiness of his build and he needs to stay in shape.

He always has that great fastball that can reach 96 MPH on the four-seam and will sit mid-90s early but will sit at 90-92 MPH late with massive sink. He needs to improve his conditioning to have his stuff sit at mid-90s late in the game. His mid-80s slider is his best secondary pitch that flashes plus with two-plane break and will draw swings and misses. His curveball looks like a knuckle-curve that flashes above average but is inconsistent. His high-80s change flashed above average but is still very behind but is improving.

He got a slow rocking delivery with slight drop and drive. His arm speed on his fastball is above average but he slows down his arm whenever throwing his offspeed pitches but his drive doesn’t change. His arm slot varies from time to time but he often has the true ¾ release point which helps his sinker have that great sink. He fills the strike zone well with his fastball and can locate his slider well but his change and curve still needs work.

Schmidt could be high in the Giants draft list with his great sinker and very good command but the knocks on him are pretty evident that some say that he’s a relief prospect in pro ball (below average change, slight stocky build, primarily two-pitch pitcher) but if he improves on those parts in pro ball, he could be a mid-rotation starter.

Grades: FB 60 | SL 55 | CB 50+ | CH 45 | CMD 55

Wil Crowe  RHP
6’2” 245 lbs.  R/R
Videos: Credits to Chris Slade 1, 2 and 3

The other half of the Gamecocks aces, Crowe is quite similar to Schmidt but is different in his own right. Crowe is a redshirt junior (will turn 23 in September) due to Tommy John surgery. The two aces are similar because of their builds. Crowe is stocky in build but has better athleticism than guys his size and is well built.

 What I like about Crowe is that he got an athletic mechanics and his return from Tommy John. Most pitchers often take a year or two to recover from Tommy John in terms of command and velocity. Crowe’s velocity has been better than ever and his command pre-TJ is already back (3 BB/9 so far).

His fastball is 93-97 MPH with strong two-seam action that he holds deep into games and fills the zone well with it. His curveball remained sharp in high-70s and peaks at 80 MPH with 12-6 break and is his main secondary pitch. The low-80s slider is a present average with a chance for a tick better and the changeup still needs work but it can be an average pitch for him. His feel for his four pitches is already great post-TJ and the command will improve. All of his pitches come from an athletic mechanics with a high ¾ release point that he repeats well but the worry about his mechanics is there is effort in his arm.

The Giants will also have him high alongside Clarke in their draft list but the obvious concerns will be his age and his changeup which I think is a bigger issue than Clarke’s. But the Giants know that they also have a tight window and Crowe can be a fast mover in the minors as a potential mid-rotation option or as a high-leverage relief option.

Grades: FB 65 | CB 55 | SL 50 | CH 45 | CMD 50

Nate Pearson
6'6" 245 lbs.  R/R
Videos: Credits to Steve Givarz and Baseball America

He's the opposing pitcher of Brendon Little when I saw Little's video and I slowly begin to appreciate Pearson more as well. He's an intimidating presence on the mound and will be capable of eating up tons of innings in a starting role. His mechanics is drop and drive style with a high arm swing with a plus arm speed and the athleticism is evident on it.

He's all fastballs before in high school but he has improved his repertoire. His low-90s fastball improved as his body matures, now sitting at low to mid-90s and will reach 100 MPH when he wants to. His fastball has some tail in it but will be flat high in the zone due to the drop and drive nature of his delivery. Even though he threw harder, his feel for his fastball didn't changed and still locates it well. His best secondary pitch is his low to mid-80s slider with massive two plane break. He also got a mid-70s curveball with 12-6 break that can be a tick above average. Both his breaking balls still has inconsistency written all over it and needs more reps but both are promising. His changeup is shaping up to be an average fourth offering.

Pearson has obvious mid-rotation ceiling given his fastball velocity and command as well as the prototypical power pitcher's frame. The key to him is to improve the consistency of his secondary pitches. The Giants might take a shot at him with his obvious ceiling and youth (he's turning 21 in August) and he is rising fast.

Grades: FB 70 | SL 50+ | CB 45+ | CH 40+ | CMD 50+

David Peterson  LHP
6’6” 235 lbs.  L/L
Videos: Credits to Pac-12 Networks

This guy has risen way towards the top of my draft wishlist and the stats show why. Peterson has been masterful for the past month and a half with 77 strikeouts and just 4 walks. Yes. 4 walks. A lot can be attributed to the work he put on with the new Oregon pitching coach both in his mechanics, repertoire and his mentality.

At 6’6” 235 pounds, he brings the intimidation on the mound and is quite an athlete even though his mechanics doesn’t seem too athletic. His arm action while not that rotational is short and hides the ball in his body really well. Combine it with him pitching on the first base with long arms and a true ¾ slot, lefties really have an uncomfortable time.

His four-pitch mix is a tick higher due to his improved command. His fastball got a two-seam and four-seam variety that sits on low-90s but reached 95 in the past. His slider flashes above average and his curveball has that Adam Wainwright grip and also flashes above average but the latter is inconsistent. His changeup massively improved with same arm action and speed as his fastball and impressive fade. He isn’t afraid to throw any pitch to any count and fills the strike zone very well.

His size, athleticism, very good command of a four-pitch mix, and improved mentality has Peterson at the very top of my top pitching wishlist, possibly at the very top of my Giants draft board. He looks to be a fast mover and has a mid-rotation ceiling with a present high floor.

Grades: FB 60 | SL 55 | CH 50+ | CB 50 | CMD 55

Shane Baz  RHP
6’3” 190 lbs.  R/R
Videos: Credits to Baseball America, FanGraphs and Jheremy Brown

Alongside Peterson, Baz is the one that I want whenever the Giants will draft a pitcher. The first thing that will hit you is his body frame. He’s loose with long arms and longer legs. His thin frame oozes massive projection without losing a bit of athleticism.

Second that hits me is his clean mechanics. His delivery is on the drop and drive side which kills some plane on his fastball but he got a clean arm swing and massive hip-shoulder separation. He might have a too massive separation that it worries me that he’s exerting too much effort on his elbow and he could be headed to Tommy John. I also worry about him about him leaking his front side that hurts his command which is fixable by adjusting his front foot to land on a 45 degree angle since he spins hard on his front foot.

Third is the stuff. His fastball sits in the low-90s that reaches 95 at the past. This season, I have read that it reached as high as 98 MPH. With his future projection, I think it will sit mid-90s and might touch triple digits. The fastball is straight and doesn’t jump on hitters as much as I expect. His best pitch might be the high-80s cutter with hard late cut and is a swing and miss pitch. He also morphs it into a slower slider-ish pitch at times. His hard curveball is a potential plus pitch with late and hard 11-5 break. His changeup lags behind his other pitches.

His command is raw which is understandable for a high schooler and tends to overthrow his fastball at times. The delivery is max effort as well so he might need to tone it down in pro ball. With that said, a high schooler with a smooth mechanics, wide array of pitches, and plus athleticism is in short supply and Baz is going to be right in the Giants doorstep. The window to win for the Giants is running out and it might be time to develop a future front-of-rotation starter and Baz has that kind of formula.

Grades: FB 65 | CUT 65 | CB 55 | CH 40 | CMD 45

You will probably see the 2nd big board of prospects in Scout and here sometime in late-April and possibly a 1st round mock as well in my blog. I hope you enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment