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Check out our 2018 Draft Spotlight Library for more notes on the top prospects in the 2018 MLB Draft Class.
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Burke Granger, Nick Faleris and Will Bryant were on hand to take in USA Baseball’s 2018 National High School Invitational and returned with update notes on some of the top performers at the event. Below are spotlights on five position players that stood out and links to five more write-ups on noteworthy performances.
Brice Turang, SS, Santiago (Corona, Calif.)
Ht/Wt: 6’0”/165 B/T: L/R Age (as of 2018 MLB Draft): 18y, 6m
A two-time participant in the USA Baseball’s Tournament of Stars, Turang is no stranger to the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. At the National High School Invitational this week, Turang showcased advanced bat-to-ball skills, defensive aptitude, and speed that grades out as at least plus.
Lean and high-waisted, Turang looks as if he’s added muscle to his 165-pound frame he carried over the summer, while still maintaining his trademark athleticism. A smooth defender, Turang ranges well to either side and displays soft hands and above average arm strength with easy carry across the diamond. The game appears to come easy to him, which occasionally bleeds into lackadaisical footwork. Offensively, Turang was impressive throughout the week, slashing .455/.571/.727. There is some length to Turang’s swing, but he does a fine job of spraying line drives the other way, though it’s unclear if he’ll hit for much power as a professional. Turnag’s speed is an asset, as he consistently produces home-to-first times in the 4.05-to-4.15 range from the left side, then subsequently shows long, fluid strides as he zips around the bases.
As an LSU commit the talent and track record to warrant a first round selection, it’s unlikely Turang will set foot on campus.
Nolan Gorman, 3B/1B, Sandra Day O’Connor (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Ht/Wt: 6’1”/205 B/T: L/R Age (as of 2018 MLB Draft): 18y, 1m
Despite a slash line of .300/.400/.500 over his 14 plate appearances, Gorman had a slightly disappointing showing at the National High School Invitational, striking out four times (to go with four walks) and missing a number of drivable pitches throughout the four-game stretch. He showed-off impressive power in batting practice and smoked a handful of balls in game action, as well, highlighting his easy plus bat speed and strength.
Defensively, the Arizona commit displayed a plus arm and soft hands belied by his thick frame and at-times clunky lower-half. He is a solid defender within his one-step zone but will have to work to maintain enough mobility and agility to stick at the hot corner long term, as he may have difficulty closing on balls in front of him and to the glove side as the game speeds up at the next level.
Despite swing-and-miss concerns and an uneven performance at USA Baseball’s training complex over the past week, Gorman is still a potential impact bat with some of the best bat speed in the class and a chance to grow into a true middle-of-the-order threat. His hit tool may not be quite as advanced as previously advertised, however, and with questions about his ultimate defensive home he may be lining-up as a better fit in the second half of the first round than in the top 10 overall selections.
Raynel Delgado, SS, Calvary Christian (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Ht/Wt: 6’2”/180 B/T: S/R Age (as of 2018 MLB Draft): 18y, 2m
Delgado did a little bit of everything for Calvary Christian (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), helping the Eagles to a 3-1 record in this year’s National High School Invitational. At the plate, Delgado showed a patient approach – primarily from the left side – as well as above-average bat speed, good balance and feel for contact. He finished the tournament 3-for-11 with a single, a double, a triple, and two walks. More impressive, he did not strike out in 13 plate appearances.
Delgado flashed impressive leather at the six-spot while showing off solid arm strength from the hole and impressive body control, making several difficult plays after leaving his feet. He looks the part of a solid defender at the next level and has a good shot at sticking at short stop long term. Should he slide over to second base he could be a plus defender there.
The Florida International commit is a solid average runner whose speed plays up some on the bases thanks to good reads and jumps, as well as efficient lines. He should slot somewhere into the top three rounds of the MLB Draft come June, and profiles as an up-the-middle defender with a high-contact offensive approach and solid on-base production.
Triston Casas, 3B/1B, American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
Ht/Wt: 6’4”/241 B/T: L/R Age (as of 2018 MLB Draft): 18y, 5m
Casas finished a four-game stretch at USA Baseball’s National High School Invitational going 3-for-9 with a double, a triple, three walks and a strikeout, slashing .333/.538/.667 over that span. He also threw two innings of relief work in Thursday’s quarterfinals loss to John Curtis Christian (River Ridge, La.), striking out four and allowing no runs, no walks and no hits while working 90-to-93 mph.
Casas is a big-bodied thumper with easy plus power from the left side. He was mostly pitched around during NHSI action, giving the Miami commit an opportunity to showcase a solid approach and patience in the box. His six outs and three hits alike included a number of hard hit balls, including a triple deep to the right-center warning track with a seven-plus second hang time that was held up by a stiff wind blowing in.
Casas has plenty of arm strength for the hot corner but the jury is still out as to whether there is enough mobility in his lower half for the 6-foot-4, 240-pound slugger to handle the position long term. His offensive prowess and easy pop make him a Day 1 target at present, likely fitting best in the top forty picks or so.
Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope (Cary, N.C.)
Ht/Wt: 6’2”/180 B/T: R/R Age (as of 2018 MLB Draft): 18y, 7m
Adams was a force on Thursday at the National High School Invitational Tournament, utilizing his plus athleticism in the outfield to make tough plays look routine. A top recruit as a two-way athlete, Adams is committed to play both baseball and football at North Carolina.
Adams plays wide receiver in football, and his ability to track the ball translates well to centerfield, where he gets good reads off the bat, and uses his plus-to-double-plus speed to run down balls in either gap. He also proved to be a run creator at the plate in Green Hope’s 8-3 win over Mountain Ridge, getting three hits — including a triple he laced down the left field line — and scoring three runs. Adams gets out of the right handed box extremely well, constantly producing plus-to-double-plus run times in the 4.15 range. Adams changed the momentum of this game with his electric speed and above average baseball IQ. With the score tied 3-3 in the top of the fifth inning, Adams hit a leadoff single. He proceeded to steal second, then proceeded to score after a throwing error during his swipe of third to give his team a lead they would not relinquish.
Adams flashed impressive tools in both the field, and at the plate. He proved to be a game changer on the bases, and may have a difficult choice between football and baseball in June if he keeps performing at such a high level.
Five More Noteworthy Performances