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26. Tyler Soderstrom (C/3B, Turlock (CA) | Video)
A UCLA commit, Soderstrom is a bat-first backstop with one of the more appealing hit tools in the prep class. There’s not a lot of wasted movement in his fluid stroke, and he finds the barrel without expanding the zone or selling out for power. Additionally, he displays a sound approach at the plate and above average raw power to all fields. The receiving needs refinement, but he does a good job of sliding his feet and getting in position to smother balls in the dirt. He recorded 1.90 pop times in showcase settings but was more consistently in the 2.00-2.09 range during games. A team that likes the bat could move him to third base or a corner outfield position to accelerate his development.
Yet another college righty who regularly works into the mid 90s with his fastball, Burns is put together in a sturdy and compact six-foot, 215-pound frame and utilizes a crossfire delivery and three-quarter arm slot to create solid angle on his offerings. His slider and changeup show solid pitch plane overlap with the heater, sitting with an optimal 8-to-10 mph delta of the fastball, while the freshly minted 77-to-80 mph curve plays well as a true change-of-pace pitch that disrupts timing and thrives as a steal-a-strike offering and chase pitch, alike. Burns profiles as workhorse with mid-rotation upside and should figure into consideration starting around the second half of the first round.
28. Nick Bitsko (RHP, Central Bucks East (PA))
Bitsko was the surprise of the 2020 draft as a former high-ranking member of the 2021 draft class who reclassified late in the process. With prep baseball shut down, evaluators are significantly limited in the number of recent looks available to help fill out a profile, but there’s an underclass book on the righty thanks to his previous participation on the showcase and tournament circuit. Bitsko impressed in 2018 as an underclassman in Jupiter with the Dulin Dodgers, reaching 93 with the fastball, then upped the ante this past summer while tossing for the East Coast Sox Select team at the WWBA 16U National Championship and topping out at 97. The righty backs up his top tier fastball with a developing upper-70s slow curve and mid-80s slider, each of which could be above-average pitches at maturity. He won’t turn 18 until this summer and makes sense as an upside play for teams with extra picks and an appetite for a high upside dev play.
A fluid, instinctual defender, Loftin shows above average first-step quickness to either side, and makes the routine play in front of him with soft hands, a quick exchange and above-average arm strength across the diamond. At the plate, he shows feel for the barrel with a compact line-drive stroke that is direct to the ball and he uses the entire field in the process. A contact-oriented hitter, he struck out in just 6.34% of his at-bats last season. He hit for decent power with wood over the summer while splitting time between the collegiate national team, slugging .583 and .447 respectively and he continued to show some pop this spring before things shut down.
A first round selection in 2018, Ginn entered the season well positioned to improve upon his previous selection (30th overall to the Dodgers) before exiting his first start of the season and subsequently undergoing Tommy John surgery. When healthy, Ginn relies on a lively mid-90s fastball that can reach 97 mph and a hard, sharp slider with good depth. Primarily a two-pitch specialist in 2019, Ginn worked hard to improve his changeup, which now projects as a potential above-average offering. With no minor league season in the making at present, the danger of Ginn falling behind similar arms post-draft, developmentally, is slightly lessened. He handled 85-plus innings for the Bulldogs as a freshman without much trouble and, with his changeup now developing, has the stuff to grow into a mid-rotation arm.
31. Jared Shuster (LHP, Wake Forest Univ. | Video)
Though he was an all-star on the Cape last summer, Shuster improved his stock considerably in a short period of time this spring. After walking nearly five hitters per nine last season, the lefty allowed just four free passes in 26.1 frames this season to go with 43 punchouts. There’s deception in the delivery; keeping his front shoulder closed and pumping mid-90s velocity with short arm action. He’ll feature a two-seam fastball with significant run to the arm side. His 80-83 mph changeup is plus and one of the best in the class. Thrown with elite arm speed, his natural pronation causes the ball to fade and tumble out of the zone to generate empty swings. He’ll also miss bats with his 82-83 mph slider, a two-plan breaking ball with 1-to-7 movement and moderate depth.
Winn is one of the top athletes in the class and the best two-way talent at the prep ranks. He plays a solid short with left side arm strength and smooth actions and should have the range and hands to stick there long term. Offensively, despite his sub-six-foot stature the Arkansas recruit has plus raw power thanks to bit time bat speed and a quick twitch core, giving him impact potential in the box. On the bump, Winn works in the low-to-mid 90s and has touched as high as 97/98 mph. His best secondary is a hard and sharp 12-to-6 curve with good depth, and he’ll also show you some feel for a developing change. He is a legit pro prospects on both sides of the ball and should be an enticing target on draft day – particularly for orgs who have dabbled with two-way development in recent years.
33. Justin Lange (RHP, Llano (TX))
The hard throwing Texan has been one of the highest risers on the prep side this spring, as his fastball has climbed from a low-90s offering last summer to a legit double-plus weapon capable of hitting triple digits. The 6-foot-4, 220 pound Lange has a lot of profile overlap with Michael Kopech, most notably with the two sharing a similar frame, build and easy arm action at the same developmental stage, though Lange has seen his big jump in stuff materialize about 15 months ahead of Kopech’s arc. Both his slider and changeup have plus potential and share a similar plane and path to his fastball, allowing the entire repertoire play up. Had the spring played out, and Lange continued on the same trajectory, it’s easy to picture him jockeying for position as perhaps the top right-handed prep arm in the class. With the limited track record and recent bump in stuff, it could be a club ends up with a true impact talent 15 to 20 picks later than the profile would typically come off the board.
34. Justin Foscue (2B, Mississippi State Univ. | Video)
After a solid but unspectacular freshman campaign in Starkville, Foscue burst on the scene as a sophomore, slashing .338/.402/.582 with 14 home runs and nearly as many walks (29) as strikeouts (31). A high floor offensive talent with plus bat-to-ball skills, he controls the barrel and shows feel for the strike zone. At 6-foot, 200-pounds, he’s nearly maxed out physically, with minimal projection remaining. His range and hands at second base are adequate, though his average arm could handle third base where he played as a freshman for the Bulldogs. An average runner, he doesn’t project to be a base stealing threat as a professional but shouldn’t be a base-clogger either.
Big and projectable at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, Walker has a profile that evaluators can dream on with a toolset to match. He produced triple digit exit velocities and ran a 6.56 60-yard dash at PG National, though the straight-line speed doesn’t play that fast on the bases. The Duke commit’s combination of strength and bat speed produce easy plus raw power, but the length in the swing makes it difficult for him to get to in games. He’s athletic enough for the hot corner, but he could grow off the position as he continues to fill out. Walker held his own getting some time in right field in Jupiter, and his above average arm could be an asset in the grass.
36. Carson Montgomery (RHP, Windermere (FL) | Video)
Young for his class, Montgomery won’t turn 18 until mid-August. He was impressive throughout the duration of the showcase circuit, pumping easy velocity that reached the mid-90s in short stints. There is significant movement on the fastball, with sink and run to the arm side. His best secondary is a low 80s biting slider that tunnels with the fastball from a high three-quarter arm slot. He’ll miss bats with an occasional changeup. Firm at 88-89 mph, it’s thrown with fastball arm speed though it lacks ideal separation. A Florida State commit, it seems unlikely that he makes it to Tallahassee.
A two-way standout for the Panthers, Allen earned All-Conference USA honors in a utility role last season after striking out 120 in 84 frames and slashing .276/.321/.434 with three home runs. Though he lacks physicality and future projection at 6-foot, 180-pounds, he’s already a polished lefty with a moderate ceiling. He’ll sit in the low 90s with his fastball that plays up due to his plus command. Allen also showcases a late breaking 78-80 mph bender, and late fading changeup that flashes plus. The lefty’s ceiling is that of a back-end starter, but he has a higher floor than many of his college pitching peers.
Cabrera has been a high collegiate follow dating back to his impressive freshman campaign wherein the outfielder slashed .315/.405/.525 with eight home runs. That loud collegiate debut earned Cabrera a spot on the USA Collegiate National Team that summer, where he continued to swing a hot bat, slashing .300/.375/.400 in the top half of the national team’s lineup. This past summer, Cabrera opted to forgo another run with the national team and opted for a tour through the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League where the Tiger standout put up a respectable .287/.369/.400 slash line for Harwich en route to an all-star selection. Cabrera can produce above-average raw pop in BP but struggled last summer to find that power in game action, though his maturing trunk and quality hands should help him to tease out more playable power as the body matures. He’s a good defender on the grass who profiles best on a corner.
39. Burl Carraway (LHP, Dallas Baptist Univ. | Video)
Carraway was “lights out” last summer working relief for the USA Collegiate National Team, logging five relief appearances without allowing a run while holding opponents to a .200 average. Already in possession of a stellar plus fastball/curveball combo that draws Clayton Kershaw comparisons for those fluent in TrackMan, Carraway consulted Kershaw himself this offseason for repertoire advice. The result was the development of a third swing-and-miss offering in the form of a mid-to-upper-80s slider with tight action and sharp bite. Adding the slider to the southpaw’s mid-to-upper-90s fastball and plus slow curve, Carraway solidified his status as this year’s top relief arm and should move quickly once he hits pro ball.
40. Bobby Miller (RHP, Univ. of Louisville | Video)
Miller is yet another 6-foot-4, power-armed righty with mid-rotation upside thanks to mid-90s velo on the fastball and a quality four-pitch mix in the aggregate. His best secondary offering is probably his mid-80s short slider, which he snaps off with sharp action when hitting his release. He also folds a fringy low-80s curve and changeup into his sequences, helping to keep hitters off plane and off balance. At present he’s too loose in the zone with all of his offerings and his secondaries are more solid than impact, but there’s a lot for a dev staff to work with and the potential for a good starter or impact relief arm when all is said and done.
41. Clayton Beeter (RHP, Texas Tech Univ.)
The Texas Tech righty was one of the more impressive conversion stories this abbreviated spring, with Beeter transitioning from relief work in 2019 to a starter role in 2020. The results, albeit in limited looks, were impressive, as Beeter showed an ability to maintain mid-90s heat throughout his starts and also showcased three potential above-average offerings in his slider, curve and changeup (with the slider slightly edging out the other two as his best present secondary). With Tommy John surgery already under his belt and a limited track record for starting, he’ll likely be viewed by clubs as more of a “conversion candidate” than a player who has already successfully converted from the pen to the rotation, and the smart money may be on Beeter ultimately winding up as a high-leverage relief arm, regardless. Like Miller, he could draw interest as early as the middle of the first round but likely fits best as a late-first or sandwich round pick.
Jones has been on the prospect scene for years, appearing in the Under Armour All-America game as an underclassman. He’s got a live arm, with a fastball sitting in the 92-96 mph range with sink and run. He shows a penchant for snapping off his plus 79-83 mph breaker with 11-to-5 movement, and he showcased feel for a firm high 80s changeup this summer, a potential average pitch. Like many prep arms, his command can be spotty and he wore down a bit over the long summer. If there is a knock on Jones, it’s his present lack of physicality and a slightish frame that raises questions about his durability. If you can get past those concerns, you just might get a Max Meyer starter kit in your system 30 picks after Meyer comes off the board.
43. Kyle Nicholas (RHP, Ball State Univ. | Video)
At 6-foot-4, 225-pounds, Nicolas works downhill from a high three-quarter delivery. He doesn’t shy away from challenging hitters with a fastball that he can run into the upper 90s, while flashing a plus 87-90 mph slider with swing-and-miss properties. He’ll seldomly mix in a changeup, though it’s presently behind the other offerings. Additionally, he was working on a curveball late in the spring to add to his repertoire. Control had previously been a challenge for Nicolas in Muncie, as he walked 51 in 55.1 innings last season. As the year was wrapping up, the big righty was showing signs of flourishing into an ace, cutting his walk rate to just 2.74 per nine. He was dominant in his final start of the year, striking out 17 over seven innings while allowing just one hit and one walk.
44. Ben Hernandez (RHP, De La Salle (IL) | Video)
A participant in both the Under Armour All-America Classic and Perfect Game All-American Classic last summer, Hernandez has been a fixture on follow lists for some time. This February, however, he flashed an uptick in stuff at the PBR Super 60 that helped to push his stock even higher, with his fastball reaching 95 mph and already impressive change grading out as a true plus pitch with sharp fade. Hernandez also mixes in an average, slurvy breaking ball that could grow into a third weapon for the righty as he tightens the pitch and works to more consistently implement it. Hernandez figures to come off the board early on Day 2 of the draft and projects as a starter at the next level.
45. Aaron Sabato (1B, Univ. of North Carolina | Video)
The draft-eligible sophomore thumper is one of the strongest bats in the class, capable of driving the ball to all corners of the park even when he mishits it. After launching 18 bombs as a freshman last spring, Sabato was well on his way to upping the ante in 2020 before the season was cut short, racking up seven dingers through his first 19 games and posting a jaw-dropping .416 ISO. His bat speed isn’t special, but Sabato’s strength and compact swing allow him to make regular hard contact across the hit zone and utilize the whole field effectively. There are some questions as to how consistently he’ll be able to tap into that power at the highest pro levels as the velocity and quality of secondaries increase. There’s little value outside of the bat, but a team leaning heavily on college bats and statistical production could grab him as early as the first round.
46. Dax Fulton (LHP, Mustang (OK) | Video)
At 6-foot-6, 220-pounds with sloping shoulders. Fulton’s build resembles Spencer Jones, a day one talent from last year’s class who ultimately ended up at Vanderbilt. Despite being shut down with Tommy John surgery in the fall, the Oklahoma commit still ranks as the top prep lefty in the class. When healthy, Fulton gets out front with his 90-93 mph fastball, coming downhill from a high three-quarter arm slot. At 78-81 mph, his downer curveball is a high spin plus pitch with depth and 1-to-7 shape. Thrown with fastball arm speed, he shows feel for a mid-80s changeup that could develop into an average pitch.
47. CJ Van Eyk (RHP, Florida State Univ. | Video)
Van Eyk should draw early round interest thanks to his relatively high floor and flashes he’s shown of more stuff in the tank. His minimalist delivery and easy arm action should allow him to continue to improve upon his command across his arsenal, and his physical 6-foot-1, 200-pound build should aid him in shouldering a pro starter’s load. This spring he worked primarily in the low 90s with his fastball, touching 95 mph, and also showed an upper-70s curve and low-80s changeup that each grade out as above-average or better, depending on the day. There are some consistency issues to be smoothed out, but when he’s clicking he has the look of a future #4 starter.
48. Nick Swiney (LHP, North Carolina State Univ. | Video)
Swiney has one of the more impressive changeups in the college class, working in the 77-to-80 mph range with excellent arm speed and pitch plane deception to go with good dive. He pairs it with an 88-to-92 mph fastball that touches 93 mph regularly and has proven effective to both sides of the plate and as both a set-up and elevated put-away pitch. His breaking ball is a slow curve with 1-to-7 action and excellent depth, which he throws out of the same slot and release point as his curve and fastball, helping all three offerings to play up in concert. Swiney helped his cause greatly this spring with a dominant four-start effort in which he posted a 1.29 ERA, 0.68 WHIP and .144 BAA over 28 innings while striking out 42 and walking just 6. He’ll be in play as early as the comp round and fits very well as an early Day 2 target.
McMahon will show three above-average-to-plus offerings when you catch him right and has the frame and mechanics to project as a starter at the next level, making him another college righty likely to come of the board in the early rounds. His fastball works in the low-to-mid-90s with some giddy-up, and uses it effectively to each of the quadrants. McMahon shows solid command of a mid-80s slider and changeup, each of which hold plane with the fastball while showing action to opposite sides (the effect is three offerings that tunnel well with three disparate finishes). He profiles as a potential mid-rotation arm and decent bet to reach at least a back-end projection.
Romo burst into the scene as an underclassman, when he was selected as the only catcher on a start studded USA Baseball 18U team that included Bobby Witt, Jr., C.J. Abrams and Riley Green. The switch-hitting backstop slashed .458/.618/.708 and had a team high nine walks in route to a gold medal. A sure thing to stick behind the dish, Romo has advanced catch and throw skills for a prep receiver. With quick feet and a rocket arm, he routinely records in game pop times in the 1.91-1.95 range. He displays a compact line drive stroke from both side of the plate, though his fringe average bat speed could hinder his future power.