Checking in on the Top Draft Prospects: Week 4 Doug Gray March 13, 2018 14 Comments More and more we are starting to see high schools around the country begin their seasons. College baseball is, and has been in full swing for a while now. This series will show up each Monday afternoon until the draft (except today because real life things were far more important for Monday). Baseball America updated their Top Draft Prospects within the last week and you can see it all here. The Pitchers Casey Mize | RHP | Auburn The top performance of the week goes to Casey Mize, who threw a no-hitter against Northeastern last week. Only an error kept him from throwing a perfect game. He would strike out 13 batters along the way, throwing 105 pitches. He now has 38 strikeouts and just three walks on the season. Brady Singer | RHP | Florida After a tough outing the previous week, Brady Singer rebounded on Friday against Rhode Island. The righty tossed 7.0 shutout innings, allowing just two hits and two walks. He also struck out eight batters and recorded 10 ground outs. Through his four starts he has a 2.08 ERA in 26.0 innings with three walks and 25 strikeouts. Jackson Kowar | RHP | Florida Pitching in the second game of a double header on Saturday, Jackson Koward threw well against Rhode Island. The Gators #2 starter allowed two runs on two hits and a walk over 7.0 innings with nine strikeouts. He now has a 2.05 ERA in 26.1 innings with eight walks and 27 strikeouts. Shane McLanahan | LHP | South Florida It was another strong outing for Shane McLanahan. Taking on Central Michigan he tossed 6.2 shutout innings with three walks and nine strikeouts. He threw 113 pitches, which seems like a bit much. He’s been a strikeout machine, fanning 41 batters in 24.2 innings this season. But, he’s also walked 10 batters in that span. The lefty has yet to allow an earned run. Matthew Liberatore | LHP | Mountain Ridge HS (AZ) Fangraphs has 40 minutes of video from Matthew Liberatore’s most recent start. In the start he allowed two runs in 5.1 innings with two walks and nine strikeouts. Here’s the video: Ryan Rolison | LHP | Ole Miss Taking on Eastern Illinois on Friday in the first game of a double header, Ryan Rolison picked up the win. The righty allowed two runs in 7.0 innings with three walks and eight strikeouts. He also hit a batter. On the season he’s posted a 2.28 ERA through four starts. That’s come withnine walks and 32 strikeouts in 23.2 innings pitched. The Hitters Nolan Gorman | 3B | O’Connor HS (AZ) It was a Joey Votto-like week for Nolan Gorman. In three games he would draw six walks, two in each game, and go 5-7 with a double and a home run. Through eight games on the year he’s hitting .500/.667/1.111 with 11 walks, two strikeouts, two doubles and three home runs. Travis Swaggerty | OF | South Alabama It wasn’t the best week for Travis Swaggerty. He went 0-4 with three strikeouts to start the week. Overall he managed just two hits in 12 at-bats, though one of those was a home run. He would also walk twice during the week. On the season, through 16 games, he’s hitting .340/.551/.642 with four doubles, four home runs, 23 walks and 12 strikeouts. Jeremy Eierman | SS | Missouri State It was a slow start to the year for Jeremy Eierman. He’s begun to heat up in March, though. Last week he played in four games and racked up a hit in each one. Taking on Oklahoma State and Arkansas State, he went 8-17 with a walk and a strikeout. Of those eight hits, four were doubles and another one of them was a triple. He would also steal two bases on the week. 14 Responses Kap March 13, 2018 Im back and forth on this, but right now, I would like to have one of the top college pitchers (singer, mize, mclanahan, rolison). Someone quick to the majors to give the competition a jolt to the current core and someone healthy as well. One of those guys plus castillo would look good moving forward looks mighty hopeful, followed by romano, mahle, and whoever grabs the fifth starter job (garrett, stephenson, lopez) Reply wes March 13, 2018 I’m with ya Kap. I thought Greene was worth the risk due to depth in system but Wright was the most sure fire pick. Getting three more years of more abundant scouting allows you to make the most sure fire choice- just got to be wise! Reply Bill March 13, 2018 A few of things stood out watching Mize’s start. While I didn’t chart his pitches, I would estimate he only used his fastball about half the time mixing in three other offerings throughout. He threw all four pitches for strikes and seemed very comfortable throwing any pitch in any count. His 95-96mph fastball velocity was sustained through the 9th inning. Finally, he and the catcher called their own game–pitches weren’t being called from the dugout. Competition increases this weekend as SEC play begins. Auburn hosts Texas A&M, Florida will be at S. Carolina. Reply The Duke March 13, 2018 If Mize’s health concerns are behind him, I don’t know if he lasts until 5. Multiple pitches, best control in the draft, plus fastball, he’s just super polished. Those arm injuries in the past though….. He’s avoided TJS, and if he can hold up for the first 6-7 years of his career, he’d be worth it. Reminds me of Mike Leake in that he’s a guy if you wanted to be aggressive could probably start 2019 in the big leagues. I think he has a better fastball and offspeed pitches than Leake though. Gorman seems to be separating himself as the top HS bat in the draft, and likely the top bat in the draft. Doesn’t have the up the middle positional value, but he won’t be relegated to 1B or LF either. Some people have tried to compare Liberatore to Gore, but that seems a bit rich to me. Control and fastball might be similar and both are left handed, but I think Gore had better secondary’s. Still might be the top HS arm in the draft, just not as good as last years I think. My ever evolving top 5 right now, would likely be: Nolan Gorman Casey Mize Nick Madrigal Matthew Liberatore Shane McClanahan Reply CP March 13, 2018 Duke, Is this your top 5 overall, or your top 5 on who you think will be there for the Reds to take at the fifth pick? Reply The Duke March 13, 2018 My top 5 overall, albeit in no particular order yet. Singer is a consensus top 5 guy, and I’m just not comfortable with his arm action over the long term. I hope Singer goes somewhere 1-4, because that’s just another options for the Reds. Michael March 13, 2018 If Gorman slips to #5 would we take him over a pitcher? If so, could he play an outfield spot? Reply The Duke March 13, 2018 I think I would. He’s either a 3B or a RF, but I think the bat will play wherever he is put. Maybe the best power in the class, he has great plate discipline, and the hit tool is plus too. Assuming that in 3-5 year that when Gorman would be a big leaguer Senzel moves back to 3B, my long term plan would likely be Gorman in RF, but I leave him at 3B after the draft even if I think he is a RF long term. If he became a trade chip, 3B is more valuable than RF with the bat being equal. donny March 13, 2018 I will agree with you on Nolan Gorman separating himself as the best high school bat. I will disagree however on your opinion of thinking he can play 3b or Rf. I see him as a 1st baseman and possible Votto replacement 6 years down the road or a DH, but i guess anything is possible with Winker and Schwarber playing the outfield for the Reds and Cubs, but it doesn’t mean that there a true outfielder. Reply Kindell March 13, 2018 Gorman is really impressive. It can be difficult for HS kids to show patience because they are trying to prove more in less AB’s. I really would love to see us take Gorman to replace Senzel as that top hitting prospect in our system. Reply wes March 13, 2018 So what’s up with S Florida’s schedule compared to an Auburn or Florida? Obviously SEC is more difficult, but is it very close? McLanahan looks fantastic but is it due to his competition level? Reply AirborneJayJay March 13, 2018 To this date schedules are similar, but USF might have had the tougher early schedule. AUB=Longwood (3 games), Ga. St., Troy U., Bryant U. (3), So. Ala., BYU (3), UAB, Northeastern U. (3). UF==Siena (3), FAU, Bethune-Cookman, Miami (3), UNF, Stony Brook (3), UCF (2), Rhode Island (3). USF=UNC (3), FL St., Fordham (3), Bethune-Cookman, Columbia U. (3), Jacksonville U., Central Michigan (3). Reply AirborneJayJay March 13, 2018 Wichita St. OF Greyson Jenista went 6-17, 2 R, 5 RBI, 6 BB, 2 K, 1 HR in 5 games played last week. On the season he is at .314/.462/.627 with 13 BB and 9 K in 14 games. I’d take McClanahan at #5 if he is there. The top 4 picks before the Reds at #5 are #1 Detroit, #2 SF, #3 Philadelphia, and #4 Chicago White Sox. Detroit is just entering the rebuild stage. SF is reloading and retooling. Philadelphia is at the end of their rebuild and exiting the rebuild stage. Chicago White Sox are about 1 year from end of their rebuild. Cincinnati is almost at end of their rebuild stage, kind of in between PHL and CWS. All 5 teams are at a different stage of their rebuilds, or in SF’s case, a retooling. I can see all 4 teams ahead of the Reds selecting pitchers first. I can also see a scenario where all 4 teams could select hitters first. Or some kind of combination. If the draft were held today, I think it would shake out to DET- Mize SF–Singer PHL-Liberatore CWS-Gorman (I hate the WhiteSox as much as the Cubs now). McClanahan would be hard to pass on in this scenario for the Reds at #5. Reply todd March 13, 2018 I live in NW Phoenix, so I will see if I can get some video of Gorman and Liberatore (both HS are with 5 miles of my house!!) Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.