Feature Photo: Hans Crouse, LHP, Dana Hills (CA) HS
After looking at college position players last week, I stay within my home state of California to look at a group of prep players who all could be selected in the first round on June 12th.
After California produced five high school first-rounders last year (Mickey Moniak (OF, Phillies), Matt Manning (RHP, Tigers), Blake Rutherford (OF, Yankees), Dylan Carlson (IB, Cardinals), and Nick Lodolo (LHP, Pirates) it looks to be an even deeper crop this year.
Ed. Note: Access our 2017 MLB Draft Class Library, which contains videos of over 200 draft prospects to-date, and is growing by the day.
2017 MLB Draft Class Video Spotlights
Hunter Greene, RHP/SS, Notre Dame (CA) HS | 2017 Draft Class
Ht/Wt: 6’3”/195 lbs. B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 17y, 10m
Green has a chance of becoming the first prep right-handed pitcher to ever go 1:1, and looks the part of a future star. Still just 17 years old on draft day, Greene shows off power stuff from a long and lean body, controlling an upper-90s fastball and above-average slider with put-away bite. When not pitching, Greene shows off five-tool potential with an advanced hit tool and raw power as a smooth fielding shortstop.
Royce Lewis, SS/OF, JSerra Catholic (CA) HS | 2017 Draft Class
Ht/Wt: 6’1”/185 lbs. B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 18y, 0m
Lewis is another potential five-tool prep shortstop, showing off athleticism and range all over the field, with a loud bat that drives balls into the gaps. He’s got double-plus speed from the right side, taking extra bases while creating havoc on the base paths. Defensively, the biggest question about Lewis will be his position at the next level. Some see him remaining in the middle of the infield, while others see the athleticism and envision an elite center fielder.
Nick Pratto, 1B, Huntington Beach (CA) HS | 2017 Draft Class
Ht/Wt: 6’1” / 195 lbs. B/T: L/L Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 18y, 4m
Pratto is a sweet-swinging first baseman who has moved up draft boards all season due to a plus hit tool and the ability to show in-game power while making consistently loud contact. The former USA Baseball 18U National Team member has shown plus defensive skills at first base with an above-average arm, regularly hitting in the upper 80s on the mound, while leading his high school team to a number one ranking in the state.
Hans Crouse, RHP, Dana Hills (CA) HS | 2017 Draft Class
Ht/Wt: 6’5”/190 lbs. B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft) 18y, 3m
With a large, projectable frame and lightning arm, Crouse (Our reigning 2080 Baseball Prospect of the Year, BTW) attacks hitters with a power arsenal coming from multiple angles and a deceptive delivery. The lanky righty works in the mid-to-high 90s with his heatert, with his curveball flashing above average, and his changeup looking like a quality third pitch.
Nick Allen, SS, Parker (CA) HS | 2017 Draft Class
Ht/Wt: 5’8”/160 lbs. B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft) 18y, 4m
Allen may have a small frame, but teams shouldn’t overlook the slick fielding shortstop come draft day. Allen shows off an above-average hit tool with the ability to shoot balls all over the field and utilize his plus speed to take the extra base. On defense, Allen will stick at shortstop, showing plus range and an above-average arm, able to smoothly make the toughest plays.