Feature Photo: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, CA)
POSITIONAL PREVIEW LINKS
The deepest slice of the 2017 draft class is by far the year’s crop of right-handed hurlers, with at least eleven arms capable of coming off the board in the first round and 60-plus in the mix in the top three rounds. The class is highlighted by Vandy ace Kyle Wright and prep wunderkind Hunter Greene (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks, CA), with fellow power arms Shane Baz (Concordia Lutheran, Tomball, TX)) and UNC’s J.B. Bukauskas also getting heat in the top five overall picks.
With a well-proportioned frame, Wright looks every bit the part of a front-line starter, and he has the stuff and pitchability to back it up. Following an up and down first half of the season pitching on Fridays for the Commodores, Wright was moved to the Saturday spot in the rotation in early April, and has since re-established himself as a candidate to go first overall in the draft.
Working with a plus fastball that sits 92-to-94 mph and tops out at 97 mph, Wight rounds out his repertoire with three secondaries that rate as at least average offerings. His is hard curveball has improved in both shape and consistency this Spring, while his sharp low- to mid-80’s slider generates swings and misses as an out-pitch. Though his changeup lacks consistency, it flashes above-average tumble, playing up due to Wright’s ability to replicate his fastball arm speed. When he’s on, there’s no better pitcher at the amateur ranks. He’s on a very short list of potential front-end arms in the draft class, and he’s a lock to go in the top ten overall picks.
Hunter Greene, RHP/SS, Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, CA)
Ht/Wt: 6’4”/205 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 17y, 10m
Greene is a special talent, oozing athleticism and easy actions on the mound while uncorking mid- to upper-90s heat that can even reached triple-digits on occasion. While the arm strength alone is impressive, Greene also shows feel for a solid slider that grades out as a future above-average offering, and a changeup that so settle in as at least average at maturity, given his arm action and feel. Greene is smooth with fluid actions, easily hitting his mechanical checkpoints maintaining good timing and a consistent release, helping him to pound the zone with his arsenal and projecting to above-average in-zone command down the line.
A prep right-handed pitcher has never gone first overall, but Greene is the type of the talent worthy of claiming that honor. He’ll be in the mix for the Twins with the first pick of the draft and is a lock to go in the top five overall picks regardless. He’s also a legit first round prospect as a shortstop, and would gladly devote developmental time on both sides of the ball should his drafting team agree to roll the dice.
Shane Baz, RHP, Concordia Lutheran (Tomball, TX)
Ht/Wt: 6’3”/190 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 17y, 11m
A 2016 Under Armour All-American, Baz entered the year as one of the top prep arms to follow and has since separated himself as the clear top prep righty behind Hunter Greene. Baz boasts a wide assortment of weapons, including a low- to mid-90s fastball that has reached as high as 98 mph this spring, a hard upper-80s cutter and low-to-mid-80s slider that run together, an above-average, upper-70s 11-to-5 curveball with good depth, and an average to above-average changeup with excellent arm speed deception and hard fade.
The TCU commit shows clean athletic actions on the bump, helping him to project to above-average command at maturity, and shows confidence with each of his offerings. He rounds out the package with a sturdy build and easy arm action, putting him on the short list of prep arms with legit front-end upside. He could go as high as the top five overall picks, and it would be a shock to see him last into the second half of the first round.
Standing just 6-feet tall, Bukauskas has had to force his way into early first round consideration of the strength of his stuff. He’s done just that between last summer with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team and a strong spring for North Carolina, now projecting as a potential top ten pick. While there is certainly effort in his delivery, which commences with an abbreviated windup and continues with exertion via a hard push off the rubber, he maintains balance and control throughout his release and repeats his motion fairly consistently.
With an exceptionally quick arm, Bukauskas regularly sits 93-to-96 mph with his fastball, topping out at 98 mph, and his slider grades out as one of the best pitches in this entire draft class. Sitting in the middle 80s with tremendous bite and vertical movement, the slider is a nightmare for right-handed hitters. Though seldom used, Bukauskas has a changeup that flashes average potential. His command can falter at times, and there’s a non-zero chance that he will ultimately shift to relief work if a pro starter’s work load proves to be too much. Should that happen, he would immediately profile as a potential shutdown closer.
Sam Carlson, RHP, Burnsville (Burnsville, MN)
Ht/Wt: 6’4”/195 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 18y, 6m
A strong Spring has lined Carlson up as a potential first-round target, as the durable righty has seen a bump in velocity as well as further refinement in his slider and changeup over the past four months. Now sitting comfortably in the low-to-mid 90s with a very heavy fastball, Carlson excels at keeping hitters working off of the top half of the ball while pounding the bottom of the zone. His slider and changeup each flash plus, with the former having a little more room for growth and the latter showing more consistently on a start-to-start basis.
A Florida commit, there were questions as to whether or not Carlson would be signable entering the Spring. Those questions have mostly ceased, as the big-bodied righty has performed well enough this Spring to ensure selection early on Day One, and perhaps within the first 15 picks. He profiles as a future mid-rotation starter, with a chance to top out as a quality number two.
Alex Faedo, RHP, Univ. of Florida
Ht/Wt: 6’5”/220 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 21y, 7m
Following an outstanding sophomore season that continued into the summer with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, Faedo looked like a potential 1:1 candidate. After missing some time in the fall with arthroscopic surgery to both knees, Faedo took some time to get rolling this Spring as his fastball velocity backed up a tick and his control also took a hit. Despite the occasional struggles, Faedo has also flashed dominance over the past few months, logging nine starts in which he’s allowed one or fewer earned runs.
There’s some projection remaining Faedo’s frame, with room to fill out and firm up a body capable of eating innings at the professional level. With an above-average fastball that sits 91-to-93 mph, a hard-biting plus slider that registers as one of the better pitches in the entire draft class, and a seldom used changeup that can flash above average, Faedo provides an attractive target for teams looking for a collegiate arm that can offer upside and a solid track record. He should be selected relatively early on Day One and is a lock to go in the top 50 picks.
Nate Pearson, RHP, Central Florida (Junior) College
Ht/Wt: 6’6”/240 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 20y, 9m
Pearson has held on to the title of top JuCo arm for the duration of the spring, showing consistently impressive stuff throughout his sophomore season and recently topping out at 102 mph with the fastball during a pre-draft bullpen session. The burly right hander backs up his big heat with a hard slider and can also mix in a fringy changeup and curveball.
Pearson has a screw in his right elbow that was inserted during high school, but has shown no signs of fatigue or medical issues this Spring, and he very much looks the part of a potential first-rounder. He’ll need to tease his changeup and/or curveball up to an average offering in order to keep bats from sitting on his harder stuff, profiling as a potential mid-rotation arm with number two upside if it all comes together. He should be in play anywhere from the mid-first to supplemental-first round.
Blayne Enlow, RHP, St. Amant (St. Amant, LA)
Ht/Wt: 6’4”/180 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 18y, 3m
Enlow boasts one of the best breaking balls in the class with his hard 12-to-6 curveball, which sits in the low 80s with turbo dive. A consistent low-90s arm on the showcase circuit, Enlow has worked a half-grade lower this spring, sitting more regularly in the 88-to-92 mph velo band. He commands the ball well to both sides of the plate and uses both the curveball and fastball masterfully in setting each other up. Though he doesn’t have much use for it now, Enlow can also flash an average changeup with soft fade.
Committed to LSU, there were grumblings entering the spring that Enlow may be difficult to buy away from Baton Rouge, though most now believe he should go early enough in the draft to dispel those concerns. He fits comfortably as a Day One arm, and he could be selected as early as the back of the first round.
Griffin Canning, RHP, Univ. of California – Los Angeles
Ht/Wt: 6’1”/170 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 21y, 1m
Canning was a steady performer for the Bruins this spring, logging 119 innings over 17 starts and striking out 140 batters against just 32 walks over that span. The Bruins’ ace lacks power in his repertoire, working mostly in the low 90s with his fastball, but makes up for it with one of the better changeups in the class. His quality offspeed comes with arm speed and pitch plane deception, effectively disrupting hitters’ timing and helping his average fastball velocity to play up. He’ll mix in an average slider and changeup, as well, for a different look.
Reports of concerns with Canning’s medicals have started to trickle out, which have cast his draft day stock status into question. Based on stuff and performance, Canning would be an easy first-round arm. Even with some health questions now attached to the profile, the UCLA righty should come off the board at some point on Day One.
Alex Lange, RHSP, Louisiana State Univ.
Ht/Wt: 6’3”/200 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 21y, 8m
Tall and lean, Lange has room to fill out as he matures. Using an arm slot that is almost completely over the top, the LSU standout maximizes his downhill plane while using his long limbs to get good extension though his release, pounding his offerings on a tough angle for batters to square up. His fastball has backed up a bit this spring, sitting 90-to-92 mph opposed to the 92-to-96 mph range it showed last summer, but his plus hammer curveball continues to impress. A true out-pitch with 12-to-6 movement, Lange’s curveball regularly generates swings and misses both in and out of the zone, and helps his fastball to play up even when the command gets loose in the zone.
Lange occasionally mixes in a changeup that flashes average overall quality due to its late fade, and will need to use the pitch more if he’s to succeed as a starter at the next level. An intense competitor, Lange’s passion is evident on the mound, often staring down opposing hitters after strikeouts, and leads some evaluators to believe his fastball/curveball combo and bulldog mentality would fit best in the late innings, as opposed to starting. Though he’ll certainly be given a chance to start, having a fallback as a power arm out of the pen is a nice bonus for the LSU product. He projects as an easy top 50 pick.
Tanner Houck, RHSP, Univ. of Missouri
Ht/Wt: 6’5”/218 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 20y, 11m
Tall and lean with long levers, there are a lot of moving parts in Houck’s delivery which creates deception, but also makes it challenging for him to repeat the motion and consistently hit his release points. Employing a high leg kick, Houck hides the ball well before opening up with a crossfire delivery. He doesn’t leverage the totality of his six-foot-five frame, instead utilizing a low-3/4’s arm slot before falling off the mound to the first base side, the degree of which is exaggerated when he throws his slider.
Houck’s fastball is a plus pitch at its best, sitting in the low 90s and touching 95 mph with remarkable late sinking movement. Of his secondary pitches, Houck throws his slider most frequently, locating the pitch effectively to both sides of the plate, while his seldom used changeup is a firm, inconsistent offering that still requires additional seasoning. Evaluators are split on whether Houck projects better as a relief arm or starter. Out of the pen his fastball and slider would likely tick up a notch or two, while his projectable build and potential for three major league offerings could profile well as a number three or four starter with further refinement. Houck will be in play in the back-half of the first round, and he should be off the board in the early second round at the latest.
Crouse has some Johnny Cueto (RHP, Giants) funk to his style, utilizing varying delays in his leg lift and incorporating the occasional shoulder shimmy into his motion to help disrupt batters’ timing. He’s much more than gimmicky mechanics, however, as the Dana Hills ace can bring double-plus heat with his fastball, reaching into the upper 90s on occasion, while mixing in an average curveball that has its moments, and could mature into an above-average weapon. Crouse will flash an average changeup, as well, though it’s inconsistent and rarely used at present.
There’s projection left in Crouse’s broad, limby frame, allowing evaluators to dream on another uptick in stuff somewhere down the line. Even on his present developmental trajectory, Crouse could wind up with a true double-plus fastball flanked by and above-average breaker and solid-average changeup – good for a mid-rotation upside. He likely fits best somewhere in the supplemental-first to second-round range, but could go a tad higher to a club that values his quality makeup and on-field leadership in addition to the enticing pitching package.
NAMES TO KNOW
Clark Schmidt, RHSP, Univ. of South Carolina
Ht/Wt: 6’1”/200 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 21y, 3m
Schmidt was pitching himself into early first round consideration before tearing his UCL and undergoing Tommy John surgery in April. Through nine starts, he had pitched to a 4-2 record with a 1.34 ERA and 70 strikeouts compared to just 18 walks over 60.1 innings. Though sturdily built at 200 pounds, Schmidt is on the smallish side for a right-hander, and his 3/4’s arm slot delivery doesn’t do him any favors in terms of working downhill.
When healthy, his fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90s, earning plus grades thanks to its sharp sinking action. Schmidt also mixes in two average breaking balls, with the slider presently ahead of the curveball, and also flashes feel for an average changeup. In 2014, Jeff Hoffman and Erick Fedde each were selected in the first round despite needing the season ending surgery during their draft year. Schmidt’s power arsenal and competitive demeanor make him a candidate to do the same.
Hagen Danner, C/RHP, Huntington Beach (Huntington Beach, CA)
Ht/Wt: 6’1”/195 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 18y, 9m
A standout behind the plate, Danner also projects as a potential Day One talent on the mound, where he works in the low-90s with his fastball, touching 94-to-95 mph from time to time, and mixes in a quality curveball and changeup, each of which grade out as future average offerings. Danner is athletic and fills up the strikezone with each of his offerings. There’s physical projection left in his frame, and some evaluators believe there’s a chance for an uptick in velocity over the next couple of seasons as the body continues to mature.
Danner has the upside of a mid-rotation arm with above-average command and balanced repertoire, and should profile well as at least a durable number four starter if things come together at the next level. He’s in play in the top 50 picks and should be off the board at some point on Day One.
Steven Jennings, RHP, Dekalb County (Smithville, TN)
Ht/Wt: 6’2”/175 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 18y, 7m
Despite suffering a significant knee injury during football season, requiring surgery to repair a torn ACL, Jennings has stormed back to the diamond this Spring with aplomb, rapidly climbing draft boards to the point where he is now getting Day One talk. His best offering is a plus fastball that works regularly in the low 90s and tops out around 95 mph. He backs up the heater with a quality slider that should be at least an above-average offering at maturity, and a solid changeup with soft fading action.
Jennings shows athletic actions on the mound and an easy arm action that helps him to pound the strike zone. He projects to above-average command at maturity and could develop into a mid-rotation arm if things break right for him developmentally. Once thought to be a potential get for Ole Miss, it now looks like Jennings may go to0 early in the draft for him to turn down pro ball. He fits well in the top two rounds, and he would be an obvious over-slot target for any team with extra cash should he slip to the third round or later.
Matt Sauer, RHP, Righetti (Santa Maria, CA)
Ht/Wt: 6’4”/195 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 18y, 5m
Sauer has as much helium as any prep arm entering draft day, with the projectable righty creeping into first-round discussions thanks to a loud Spring filled with plus fastballs and hard-biting sliders. Sauer has ramped up his fastball as high as 97 mph up in the zone, and proponents believe he’ll be able to more regularly hit those heights as his body continues to strengthen, and he fills in his 6-foot-4 frame. His best secondary is a mid-80s slider with solid tilt and impressive pitch-plane deception.
Sauer lacks a consistent third offering at present, though he will show a rudimentary changeup on occasion. There’s some effort in his actions and he may ultimately profile best as a two-pitch power arm out of the pen. Clubs believing in the Arizona commit’s potential as a three-pitch, mid-rotation workhorse could pop him as early as the late first round, with a good chance that he’s selected at some point on Day One regardless.
Drew Rasmussen, RHP, Oregon State Univ.
Ht/Wt: 6’2”/225 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 21y, 10m
After undergoing Tommy John surgery last Spring, Rasmussen returned to action this Spring for the Beavers, showing consistent low- to mid-90s velocity with his fastball and returning feel for a potential above-average slider and changeup. He’s still easing back to full strength, but evaluators have walked away impressed with his outings and excited to see what he can do once back to full strength with further distance from his surgery.
He projects as a potential number three or number four starter, with a fallback as a late-inning power arm who can keep hitters working off the top half of the ball. Thought to be more of a third- or fourth-round target entering the Spring, Rasmussen has placed himself into Day One conversations and should fit nicely somewhere in the second or third round.
Corbin Martin, RHP, Texas A&M Univ.
Ht/Wt: 6’2”/200 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 21y, 5m
Martin pitched almost exclusively out the bullpen throughout his first two years at College Station and was particularly impressive in that role last summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League where he saved six games and posted a 1.15 ERA and 0.70 WHIP while striking out 22 compared to just three walks over 15 2/3 innings. At the onset of his junior campaign, Martin was once again in the bullpen before moving to the rotation as the Aggies entered conference play, where he’s more than held his own.
While his fastball sits in the mid-90s out of the pen, he’s more consistently low 90’s as a starter, with late life through the zone. Although Martin has a starter’s repertoire, with three secondaries that all flash as average-or-better offerings, he’s had some trouble throwing strikes historically. While his control has improved this Spring, it’s still below-average overall, and it could put pressure on his profile as a starter against more advanced bats. On pure stuff, Martin is a top-two-round talent. Where he ultimately comes off the board will be determined by whether a drafting club ascribes more import to his stuff, or to his production.
Wil Crowe, RHSP, Univ. of South Carolina
Ht/Wt: 6’2”/250 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 22y, 9m
Next week will mark the third time Crowe will be drafted, as the Indians spent a 31st round pick on him in 2013, and selected him again in the 21st round last year, though Crowe has consistently been more highly regarded than those draft ranges would suggest. The righty missed all of 2016 recovering from Tommy John surgery and has shown promise in his return to the mound for the ‘Cocks this season.
Crowe has a power arm, with a fastball that sits in the middle 90s and touches as high as 97 mph up in the zone. He pairs with the heater two above-average breaking balls and a changeup that flashes average. Crowe is big bodied, and will need to maintain a conditioning program to maintain his durability and stamina. Despite the prior injury and double-XL frame, Crowe’s upside, track record of success, and deep arsenal make him a potential Day One talent, and a potential bargain if slips past the second round.
Blaine Knight, RHSP, Univ. of Arkansas
Ht/Wt: 6’3”/165 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 20y, 11m
Undrafted out of in-state Bryant High School, Knight made an immediate impact for Arkansas as a freshman, contributing as both a starter and reliever. One year later as a draft eligible sophomore, Knight served as the Razorback’s Friday starter, logging an 8-4 record with a 3.28 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and .222 batting average against. Slight of frame, Knight will need to add strength in order to withstand the rigors of a professional workload, and there’s projection in his build to allow for that growth.
He is able to pound the strike zone with a low-90s fastball that earns above-average grades, and backs it up with an above-average slider that comes with east-west action. While his curveball and changeup lag behind his primary offerings, the four-pitch mix lays the foundation for Knight to be given the chance to start as a professional. He has some leverage as a young draft-eligible sophomore, which could scare some teams away, and ultimately fits as a second-to-fourth round pick off of the quality of his stuff and projection in his frame and build.
Tristan Beck, RHP, Stanford Univ.
Ht/Wt: 6’4”/165 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 20y, 11m
Beck was sidelined all spring with a stress fracture in his back, preventing evaluators from getting an updated look at the talented draft-eligible sophomore. When healthy, he shows a balanced repertoire highlighted by a plus changeup with excellent deception and dive and above-average low-90s fastball that he commands effectively to the quadrants. His breaking ball is a solid average curveball with good shape.
It’s always a risk drafting an arm off the shelf, but Beck’s well-rounded profile provides some developmental security. If he’s ready to start his pro career he could be a nice fit as an under-slot signing in the first two rounds and fits comfortably as a second-or-third round talent on the merits.
One of the oldest prep talents in the class, Scherff could nevertheless find himself coming off the board in the early rounds thanks to a potential plus combo in his low- to mid-90s fastball (topping out at 96 mph) and low- to mid-80s changeup. The Texas A&M commit also mixes in a quality slider with tilted action, and a fringy curveball that serves as a change-of-pace offering.
There’s effort in his arm action and he doesn’t yet repeat his mechanics particularly well. If he falls far enough to make his way to College Station he would be draft eligible again as a sophomore in 2019. The profile fits comfortably in the second-to-third round range.
Michael Mercado, RHP, Westview (San Diego, CA)
Ht/Wt: 6’4”/160 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 18y, 2m
Entering the Spring, Mercado was a bit of an after-thought for area evaluators, with many viewing him as a tad too underdeveloped to warrant early-round consideration, and thus highly likely to make his way to Stanford in an effort to grow his stock over the next three seasons. Things have changed just five short months later, as Mercado has performed extraordinarily well this Spring, working consistently in the 89-to-93 mph velocity band with his fastball while, spinning an above-average 11-to-5 curveball and flashing a changeup with good pitch-plane deception and bottom.
Mercado also shows feel for a nascent slider which could be tightened into an average-or-better cutter in time. Loose and projectable, Mercado looks like an excellent over-slot target for teams with extra cash to burn and could even end up going high enough on Day One that a slot deal gets the job done.
Burns faces the stigma of being a short right-handed pitcher though there’s nothing small about his arsenal. Staring as a two-way prep star, Burns has prodigious power at the plate, though teams are significantly more interested in the power in his right arm on the mound. Burns has a plus fastball that sits in the low-to-mid 90s, an above-average power curveball with 11-to-5 break, and a chance to develop a changeup that should grade out as at least average at maturity.
Should Burns follow through on his commitment to Auburn, he could be a contributor on both sides of the ball for the Tigers immediately, though evaluators believe it’s likely he’ll be selected high enough to forgo college.
Caden Lemons, RHP, Vistavia Hills (Vistavia Hills, AL)
Ht/Wt: 6’6”/175 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 18y, 6m
Lemons is a long-and-limby power arm with lots of sling to his game. The Ole Miss commit has seen a marked increase in his velocity this Spring, now sitting regularly in the low 90s and reaching up into the 96-to-97 mph range on occasion in the early innings. Evaluators love the projection in his frame and the uncomfortable at bats he forces upon hitters thanks to his long limbs and solid extension.
Lemons shows some feel for a rudimentary slider that can flash average and has worked with a fringy changeup as well, each of which show promise. He’ll break off an occasional “show me” curveball, as well, though it may lack utility at the next level. Lemons fits somewhere in the third-to-fifth round range, depending on your thoughts on Spring velocity spikes and the likelihood of long-limber prep arms growing into average control and command.
Matt Tabor, RHP, Milton Academy (Milton, MA)
Ht/Wt: 6’1”/163 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 draft date): 18y, 10m
Tabor is slight of frame with a Walker Buehler (RHP, Dodgers) body type, and the similarities don’t end there. Like Buehler, Tabor has a quick arm and gets the most out of his modest height, coming completely over the top in an attempt to generate some semblance of downhill plane. Though not without effort, Tabor’s delivery is balanced and repeatable.
The Elon commit throws his fastball consistently in the low 90s while also showing feel for spin with a hard curveball that regularly plays between 79-to-82 mph with bite and 11-to-5 movement. Tabor’s changeup is perhaps his best offering, sitting in the low 80s with deceptive arm speed and showing distinct tumble and fade depending on his release. Legitimate three-pitch arms are a rarity at the prep level and a commodity in the draft, and Tabor’s overall package could propel him into Day One consideration.
Jake Thompson, RHP, Oregon State Univ.
Ht/Wt: 6’2”/205 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 22y, 9m
The Sunday starter for a dominant Oregon State club, Thompson has been a godsend this spring, pumping mid-90s heat and a power slider that you don’t normally see at the back end of a collegiate weekend rotation. The redshirt junior also throws a solid-average changeup that works well down in the zone but can get firm and flat when left up.
The biggest red flag for the hard-throwing righty, outside of his “advanced” age (he’ll turn 23 later this summer), is his below-average command, leaving some to project him as a potential late-inning weapon out of the pen. Thompson should fit somewhere in the second-to-fourth round, depending on whether teams value him more as a potential back-end starter or late-inning relief piece.
James Marinan, RHSP, Park Vista Community HS (FL)
Ht/Wt: 6’5”/210 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2017 MLB Draft): 18y, 8m
Marinan has improved his stock considerably this Spring, thanks to a significant velocity jump and consistently strong performances against advanced prep competition in the Sunshine State. While he sat in the middle 80s last year, Marinan now runs his fastball into the middle 90’s with a potentially-average slider and a developing changeup. It’s easy to dream on Marinan’s tall, lean frame that offers plenty of projection as he fills out, and evaluators have grown more and more enamored with the overall profile as the spring has worn on.
While six months ago it appeared likely that Marinan would follow through on his committed to Miami, the helium this spring clouds that projection should Marian get selected on Day One. Given the abrupt nature of his velocity increase, teams may be reluctant to roll the dice on him as an over-slot investment in the later rounds.