Scouting Baseball's 2014 MLB Draft Content
Evaluations & Rankings: Pre-PG Showcase Notes, PG Junior National Hitter Rankings, PG Junior National Pitcher Rankings, Top Five High School PItchers With Full Video & Reports, Top Five High School Hitters With Full Video & Reports, SEC Commit Scouting Reports, Pac-12 Commit Scouting Reports, Big 10 Commit Scouting Reports, Big 12 Commit Scouting Reports & ACC Commit Scouting Reports
Marginal Prospects Podcasts: Post Showcase Class Breakdown with BA's Clint Longenecker & PG's Frankie Piliere, Early Cape Cod League & Pop Up Prep Names, ECU righty Jeff Hoffman interview & Cardinal Director of Scouting Dan Kantrovitz
1. Ricky Thomas, LHP, Mira Mesa HS (CA)
- WIth the recent coaching change, OU has only one current commit but look for them to recover and pick up a few more highly regarded players. Thomas is a 6'1/165 lanky athletic lefty in low to mid 80's right now with a high 60's curveball and low 70's changeup from a low-stress, arm-heavy delivery with good plane.
1. Jon Littell, OF, Stillwater HS (OK)
- 6'4/190 righty bat is athletic with a lot of projection, above average speed and an average arm that could improve. He's a classic right field profile that probably loses a step as he fills out his frame and adds to his raw power which is fringe-average now. His power will be at least average at maturity (15-18 annual HR in MLB) and many scouts would call it above average. Littell doesn't load his hands as deep as many similar players would and his swing is slightly awkward and rushed, so MLB teams will want to tweak it some. He's a 2nd-4th round type prospect right now with a lot of his ability being tied up in projection and his swing, both of which are things on which scouts will vary greatly in their opinions. I would say the odds are a little below 50% that he gets to campus.
Carson Larue, RHP, Dewey HS (OK)
Caleb Eldridge, 1B, Deer Creek HS (OK)
Kennon Fontenot, SS, Barbe HS (LA)
Mason O'Brien, 1B, Owasso HS (OK)
1. Tyler Kolek, RHP, Shepherd HS (TX) - #3 player in the HS class
- Kolek was just a name area scouts knew until he blew up two weeks back when he hit 100 mph in an regional workout for the Area Code Games, an August showcase in Long Beach, CA. After talking with some sources, some JUGS guns (less reliable) clocked him as high as 102 mph, many Stalker guns (most reliable) had him hitting 100 mph, while others had him topping out at 98 mph. Regardless of where his velocity truly was isn't important, as this big Texan vaulted to the top group of prep arms in what is proving to be a very deep class. I was told in Minnesota last week (where all this video was taken) that Kolek and his younger brother Stephen (covered here) had to bale extra hay for their father at the ranch they live on to earn their trip. Some scouts were saying the elder Kolek reminded them of this month's #3 overall pick, former Sooner and current Rockies fireballer Jonathan Gray and this Texas cowboy type imagery isn't hurting.
As for his talent, Kolek isn't Gray or Stephen Strasburg right now and he didn't hit 100 mph at the PG National or this week's Tournament of Stars, so dial back the expectations a bit. He sat 93-95 mph in his two inning stint in Minnesota, getting as high as 97 mph on some guns and worked in the low 90's this week, hitting 95 mph at TOS, but dipping into the high 80's in the 4th inning of a longer outing. Kolek is still 17 and probably hasn't traveled or thrown this often or in these types of circumstances before, so the velocity dip isn't surprising or troubling, happening pretty often in showcase season. His breaking ball was very good, flashing above average at times and having plus potential, but still needs some work. Kolek's 79-81 mph slider and 75-77 mph curveball blended together at times, a problem that a similar prospect, 2012 Reds 1st rounder and former Miami-area prep righty Nick Travieso also had. Kolek threw a changeup in warmups in Minnesota that looked like it could be a useable, average pitch, but didn't throw it in the game in Minnesota. He threw one in a game at TOS at 82 mph in a longer outing, but it clearly isn't a big part of his repertoire right now.
Scouts were talking before Kolek's outing in Minnesota that he didn't look that athletic when he was taking some hacks in BP. This is important since a guy that's his size with a recent velo spike needs to be able to repeat his delivery to stay healthy and Kolek clearly hasn't grown into his body/delivery yet. The good news is this normally comes later for bigger guys and Kolek is still 17, so it's just something to monitor rather than worry about. His arm works well and his delivery is good, so all the elements are here for a top 10 pick if he continues progressing.
2. Justin Twine, SS, Hemphill HS (TX)
- He's a plus runner and a compactly-built 5'10/195 kid that can play shortstop in college but is more of a second baseman professionally. There's some strength to his swing and some feel to hit, but still has some work to do. If he continues to progress, he could go in the 3rd-4th round range but is about a 50/50 chance to get to campus for me right now.
3. Jared Janczak, OF, Belton HS (TX)
- He's a 6'1/185 outfielder that's an above average runner with an average arm that could play center in college but is maybe more of a right fielder in the pros. He has a good swing and some power but is a bit of a tweener right now (not fast enough for CF, not enough power for RF) and isn't too projectable so he could be a top-end college bat unless his profile changes.
4. Francisco DeJesus, 1B/RF, McKinney Boyd HS (TX)
- Thick 6'1/215 lefty power bat is a fringy runner with a plus arm that would be a right fielder in college and may be able to play there professionally for now but likely is a first baseman long term. He has a tick more power than Janczak with a fluid swing and more strength, but is already maxed-out strength-wise with a very developed upper body. He also has a good chance to get to school and be a premium bat.
Evan Skoug, C, Libertyville HS (IL)
Drew Gooch, LHP, Argyle HS (TX)
Austen Wade, OF, Midland HS (TX)