Final 2015 MLB Draft Prospects Ranking: 36-75

With the 2015 MLB Draft only days away, Jeff Ellis posts his final ranking of the top 2015 MLB Draft prospects. Inside, prospects 36-75 on his list.

Click here for prospects 1-35

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Juan Hillman
Orlando, Fla. / 6'1 / 170 lbs
  • P
  • 36
  • Olympia HS

Analysis

Juan Hillman is a solid left-hander with an advanced feel for pitching. He is a good athlete who I think could add some velocity as he fills out. He is one of the safer bets among the prep arms. The most important thing for him is to continue to get bigger and more refined. — Jeff Ellis

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Justin Hooper
San Ramon, Ca. / 6’7 / 200 lbs
  • P
  • 37
  • De La Salle HS

Analysis

Justin Hooper is rumored to have a huge bonus demand. I get a ton of questions on him because the upside is exciting, yet this is a guy who showed 30 command for large parts of the year. He has the size and velocity to be a front-of-the-rotation starter, but I would not bet on it. He has a lot of areas he needs to work on. It will take the right team to get the most out of his amazing talent. — Jeff Ellis

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Drew Finley
Poway, Ca. / 6'3 / 200 lbs
  • P
  • 38
  • Rancho Bernardo HS

Analysis

Drew Finley is a bit like Juan Hillman. Finley is ranked lower because he is right-handed. The son of the Dodgers VP of international and amateur scouting, Finley has grown up in the game. He doesn’t have big velocity but knows how to pitch. His secondary stuff is more advanced than we typically see in a prep arm. He is more a future mid-rotation guy, but he has been very good this year. He has been linked to nearly a dozen teams during the draft scouting process and will go in the top-40 picks. — Jeff Ellis

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Alex Young
Hawthorne Woods, Ill. / 6'3 / 180 lbs
  • P
  • 39

Analysis

Alex Young really struggled in his last start and I wonder if that will impact him on draft night. It was the last time for a lot of teams to scout him. Young is your typical command lefty. He has four average to above-average pitches. He projects as a backend guy who can move quickly. Any team that drafts him is looking for a lefty who can help them within the next two years. — Jeff Ellis

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Beau Burrows
Weatherford, Tx. / 6'1 / 180 lbs
  • P
  • 40
  • Weatherford HS

Analysis

Beau Burrows fits the Texas stereotype as a hard-throwing, right-handed arm. The area where he does not fit the mold is his size. He is only 6’1”and his secondary pitches project to be average at best. There are some concerns that long term he might be a bullpen arm. I do like that he manages to work the ball low in the strike-zone and repeats his delivery well. His height will be the reason he ends up going a bit lower than he should on draft day. — Jeff Ellis

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Mike Matuella
Great Falls, Va. / 6'6 / 220 lbs
  • P
  • 41

Analysis

At the start of the year, Mike Matuella was a top-three talent on every board. Then Matuella had Tommy John surgery, which is really the least of my concerns. Matuella has never managed to stay healthy and hence he pitched only four innings in any summer leagues. His track record is less than most of the high school seniors on the board. I have talked about the back concerns which many scoff at, but I talked to PhD in anthropology whose job it is to study bones and the PhD said the injury was a concern. Matuella’s back is not improving; its degenerative and it caused him — along with an elbow issue — to not pitch last summer. His upside is without doubt, but the doubt is how long a career can he have. — Jeff Ellis

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Kyle Funkhouser
Oak Forest, Ill. / 6'2 / 218 lbs
  • P
  • 42

Analysis

There are some medical concerns with Kyle Funkhouser and his advisor Scott Boras has advised him to refuse to release his medicals, which was enough for me to drop him to 42. Uncertain medicals on a guy who really struggled over the last month is not a player I would spent a high pick on. Funkhouser showed me most of the year he was the same player he was last year. He still has the mid-rotation upside with command troubles but the medicals are a concern for me. — Jeff Ellis

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Christin Stewart
Lilburn, Ga. / 6'0 / 0 lbs
  • OF
  • 43

Analysis

Christin Stewart, in some ways, is reminiscent of Nick Plummer. He is a 6’0’’ left-fielder with nice power. His eye is not as strong as Plummer’s but he is not a hacker by any means. His bat is his calling card. Stewart is going to be an average defender, at best, more than likely a sub-average defender in left field. His power is an above-average skill. That, paired with his production this year, leads me to expect to see him off the board before the end of the second round. — Jeff Ellis

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Dakota Chalmers
Gainesville, Ga. / 6’3 / 195 lbs
  • P
  • 44
  • North Forsyth HS

Analysis

Dakota Chalmers is a guy who seemed to peak too early. He came onto the scene and was talked about as a possible top-30 pick. He had some struggles and the effort to his delivery has raised some concerns. His fastball is his best pitch and he has shown the ability to adapt and grow this year as a pitcher. Chalmers is another arm who might end up in the bullpen longterm. — Jeff Ellis

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Blake Trahan
Kinder, La. / 5'9 / 0 lbs
  • SS
  • 45

Analysis

Blake Trahan brings plus speed to the shortstop position. He has some surprising pop despite his small frame. Trahan is a guy who has performed very well at a lower level of NCAA competition. I have even heard that he has a chance to go in the top-30 picks. Trahan is a safe pick. His floor really seems to be a future utility player down the road with a chance he can start in the bigs at shortstop. — Jeff Ellis

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Mitchell Hansen
Plano, Tx. / 6’4 / 190 lbs
  • OF
  • 46
  • Plano Sr. HS

Analysis

Mitchell Hansen, like Tristan Beck, is a player with a hard commitment to Stanford. Hansen might be unsignable. He is a guy who projects as a five-tool player with above-average to plus skills everywhere. I would lean more to the above-average side of projection. He is a great athlete who more than likely is headed to school. — Jeff Ellis

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Tyler Nevin
Poway, Ca. / 6’3 / 200 lbs
  • 3B
  • 47
  • Poway HS

Analysis

Tyler Nevin is another player who reminds me greatly of his father (in this case, Phil Nevin). He is a big kid with right-handed power. Nevin will start out at third but longterm I think he ends up at first. It is very hard to find right-handed power and Nevin has the frame to provide it. — Jeff Ellis

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Jalen Miller
Atlanta, Ga. / 6’3 / 185 lbs
  • SS
  • 48
  • Riverwood HS

Analysis

Jalen Miller is a no-doubt shortstop defensively. He has somehow managed to still gain a ton of talk despite playing in a very deep Georgia prep field and playing at the deepest position in the draft this year. He doesn’t have any skill that wows you, but it is not often I will look at a prep player and be sure he can stay at shortstop. — Jeff Ellis

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Jacob Nix
Los Alamitos, Ca. / 6'4 / 205 lbs
  • P
  • 49
  • IMG Academy

Analysis

Jacob Nix was the player who also got the short end of the stick in the Brady Aiken fiasco with the Astros last year. He has pitched well this year at IMG but it is still a limiting situation for him. He is a big kid with good velocity. I think he goes in the top-50 to a team that likes big-bodied, high-velocity arms like Detroit. — Jeff Ellis

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Steven Duggar
Moore, S.C. / 6’1 / 185 lbs
  • CF
  • 50

Analysis

Steven Duggar is not on any other top-draft prospects board right now, which confuses me. He was top-40 on every board when the year began after a good showing in the Cape. At the time, Duggar was a tools guy who could never seem to translate them into the game. He has plus bat speed which should generate power. This year with Clemson, he started out badly and everyone finally gave up. Then a funny thing happened, the unrepentant hacker actually walked more than he struck out this year. I see a potential centerfielder with really good tools including plus speed and arm. I think the worst case is a solid fourth outfielder. I am not sure why everyone else has completely given up on him. — Jeff Ellis

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Richie Martin
Valrico, Fla. / 6'0 / 180 lbs
  • SS
  • 51

Analysis

Richie Martin had his best year yet for Florida, but people are still dropping him on their boards. Martin is what he is at short. He is a solid defender with plus speed who should be able to start in the big leagues but might not be more than a second division starter. I think people are upset he hasn’t turned into more, even though what he is, is plenty good. I also need to point out he won’t be 21 till December, so he is a very young player for his class. — Jeff Ellis

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Josh Naylor
Maple, Ont. / 6’0 / 225 lbs
  • 1B
  • 52
  • St. Joan of Arc Catholic HS

Analysis

Josh Naylor is one of the hottest names I have heard during the last week. His performance with Team Canada has caused him to gain a ton of buzz. His power is his calling card. He is a thick kid who has naturally been compared to Prince Fielder. He is never going to be a great defender, even at first, but the bat will get him drafted early. — Jeff Ellis

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Chandler Day
Pataskala, Oh. / 6'4 / 165 lbs
  • P
  • 53
  • Watkins Memorial HS

Analysis

Chandler Day is a big, cold weather arm who is all about projection. He has slipped quite a bit from his preseason ranks. He is 6’4” and 160 pounds and he needs to get stronger. He is like another Vandy commit Donny Everett. A team can dream on the upside of the big right hander’s arm and he comes with less wear and tear than a kid from a traditional baseball state. He doesn’t have the velocity of Everett but I doubt that these two players will ever get a chance to be teammates at Vandy. — Jeff Ellis

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Lucas Herbert
San Clemente, Ca. / 6’0 / 185 lbs
  • C
  • 54
  • San Clemente HS

Analysis

Lucas Herbert is only the third catcher I have listed so far, although he is the one most likely to stick at the position of anyone listed thus far. He is a defense-first catcher but that does not mean that he lacks offensive upside. He has caught high upside talent in high school and I expect him to move up boards because of the lack of true catchers in this draft. — Jeff Ellis

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Kyle Holder
San Diego, Ca. / 6’1 / 185 lbs
  • SS
  • 55
  • USD

Analysis

Kyle Holder is an excellent athlete. One might say he is a better athlete than he is a baseball player right now. He was a two-sport player to start in college, playing basketball and baseball. He gave up basketball when it became clear where his future was. He is easily the top current defender at shortstop in this draft.The question is, can he hit enough? He seems like a likely future major leaguer because of his defense alone at this point. I have been told shortstops in general are rising and this could cause Holder to go much higher than this ranking would suggest. — Jeff Ellis

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Casey Hughston
Mobile, Ala. / 6’2 / 205 lbs
  • UT
  • 56

Analysis

Casey Hughston is a draft-eligible sophomore who is more about projection than production. He is a plus runner who could handle centerfield but is not the most natural defender. If he is given more time, he might be able to stay there, however. He also has plus power projection to all fields from the left side. Here is what scares me for his college career: he has 107 strikeouts to 27 walks. If should be noted he jumped to 22 walks from five the year before. The upside is clear — with projected plus power and speed — but he needs a lot of development.— Jeff Ellis

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Alonzo Jones
Columbus, Ga. / 5'10 / 190 lbs
  • SS
  • 57
  • Columbus HS

Analysis

Alonzo Jones might be the one Georgia prep talent who has seen his stock take a sizable hit. He was once viewed as a likely top-30 selection but he has been a bit over-shadowed. Jones has one of the best tools in the entire draft with his true 80 grade speed. I would still try him out at second, with centerfield as a fallback option. — Jeff Ellis

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Peter Lambert
San Dimas, Ca. / 6’2 / 185 lbs
  • P
  • 58
  • San Dimas HS

Analysis

Peter Lambert is another one of the high school arms from the state of California. He has a bit more projection than some of the others. Lambert is at the lower limit of accepted height at 6’2” but has been able to hit the mid 90’s this year. He has a chance to go as high as the sandwich round as a guy with nice projection and a frame that should allow him to grow into an innings eater. — Jeff Ellis

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Jahmai Jones
Norcross, Ga. / 6'0 / 205 lbs
  • 2B
  • 59
  • Wesleyan School

Analysis

Jahmai Jones was a guy I had big expectations for in the fall. He was in my top-20 and the reports I got on him reminded me a bit of the early reports I had on Addison Russell. He is nowhere near that type of player but I still like his future. He comes from a family of football players and he was a very good one himself. Jones is clearly a very good athlete with plus speed. He is like Alonzo Jones where you want to give him every chance to stick at second before you try him in centerfield. — Jeff Ellis

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Chad Smith
Snellville, Ga. / 6’2 / 200 lbs
  • OF
  • 60
  • South Gwinnett HS

Analysis

Another Georgia high school bat, Chad Smith is the riskiest of the bunch so far. He is basically just a big bucket of tools that lacks serious polish. His bat speed and power potential intrigue me. He could be a special player but he needs a lot of work. Right now Smith has never met a pitch he didn’t think he could hit. It’s a gamble with Smith but one that could pay off. — Jeff Ellis

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Mariano Rivera Jr.
Harrison, Ny. / 6'0 / 155 lbs
  • P
  • 61
  • Iona

Analysis

Mariano Rivera, Jr. had a real breakout year and is here not because of who his father is but because he was regularly hitting 97 MPH this year. He sits low to mid 90’s and has a slider which looks to be average. He is undersized but being a small school player in the middle of a breakout, I think he can possibly start. He will need more time than your typical 21 year old but the payoff could be a possible back-end starter with the floor of a solid bullpen arm. I am intrigued by the velocity jump. He needs a lot of coaching, as he reportedly didn’t even play baseball in high school, but Rivera has the beginner package for an interesting starter down the road even if the bullpen is the likely outcome.— Jeff Ellis

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Cadyn Grenier
Las Vegas, Nev. / 6’2 / 180 lbs
  • SS
  • 62
  • Bishop Gorman HS

Analysis

Cadyn Grenier is yet another player who looks like a shortstop in the big leagues. He has plus speed along with a killer work ethic which makes it impossible not to root for the kid. His quickness allows me to project him confidently out at shortstop. Grenier hits the ball to all fields with a clean, compact stroke. I have him at 62, which might be too low. He is a guy who a few years from now teams might wonder how he lasted until the second round. A sure shortstop that has some doubles pop, plus athleticism, and out-works everyone sounds like a guy who will find success. — Jeff Ellis

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Austin Smith
Boynton Beach, Fla. / 6'4 / 215 lbs
  • P
  • 63
  • Park Vista HS

Analysis

Austin Smith has some of the best easy velocity in this class. He is a natural athlete who has hit 97. He is a big kid at 6’4”, as well, and should be able to hold his velocity more as he gains mass. The issue is that his secondary stuff is in its beginning stages. If you draft Smith, it is with the understanding that he is very far away and will need a lot of coaching. He is another player who could easily make us look back in a few years and go ‘well how did everyone miss on him?’ It will just take the right team to get him there. — Jeff Ellis

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Taylor Ward
Oviedo, Fla. / 6'1 / 190 lbs
  • C
  • 64

Analysis

Taylor Ward is the fourth and last of my catchers in the top 75. He is a solid bet to stay behind the plate and has done nothing but produce during his time at Fresno State. He is the safest bet of any of the catchers who are likely to go in the top two rounds and is really the only college catcher of note. He had a jump in his doubles pop this year while continuing to keep his BB:K nearly even. He won’t be a future star but I would be surprised if he isn’t at least a solid backup someday. — Jeff Ellis

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Joe McCarthy
Scranton, Pa. / 6'1 / 0 lbs
  • RF
  • 65

Analysis

Joe McCarthy is a guy I have to throw out the stats on. He missed most of the year after requiring back surgery right before the season began. A year ago, he looked like a solid defensive outfielder who got on-base with some solid doubles pop. He also got hit an astounding 18 times which helped his on-base percentage, as well. This year McCarthy was not the same player, so you are counting on a rebound. It seems that teams are buying in. He is linked to quite a few teams. I would bet they think they can get a steal in a potential first-round talent who slid because of an injury. — Jeff Ellis

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Kevin Kramer
Turlock, Ca. / 6’0 / 0 lbs
  • 3B
  • 66

Analysis

Kevin Kramer is yet another shortstop in this strong class. I think those who watch the PAC-12 might tell you that there was not a huge separation between Kramer and Kevin Newman. Newman is the better athlete and possesses the better hit tool but Kramer is a guy who I think can stick at short and surprise some people. He does have some injury issues and scouts worry he might outgrow shortstop. I think even if he moves to second he projects out there as a starter. He does a bit of everything and has shown some doubles pop. Power is the one area he clearly beats Newman. Kramer is a player who can do a bit of everything and projects as a solid starter at second and a good starter at short. — Jeff Ellis

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Chris Shaw
Lexington, Mass. / 6’3 / 250 lbs
  • 1B
  • 67

Analysis

Chris Shaw was a likely top-40 pick before he broke the hamate bone in his hand. The hamate bone when broken in players has been known to sap power for up to a year. Shaw’s calling card is plus left-handed power. He had shown some big improvements to his walk rate and he had lowered his strikeout rate before injury. He had been trending upwards. The problem is Shaw is still a first baseman who has left-handed power and missed most of the year. The premium and what teams want is power from the right side. Shaw is a very good player but I think he ends up waiting until round two to hear his name. — Jeff Ellis

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Demi Orimoloye
Orleans, Ont. / 6'4 / 225 lbs
  • RF
  • 68
  • St. Matthew HS

Analysis

Demi Orimoloye was once viewed as a possible first-rounder. Now he is not even considered the top draft-eligible prospect from Canada. If you want a swing for the fences talent, Orimoloye is your guy. He is 6’4” kid who was born in Nigeria but has lived virtually his entire life in Canada. He is big and strong but very raw. He is going to take a while to develop but the upside could be that of an All-Star. The big question is the hit tool. If he ends up at Oregon and continues to develop, he could be a candidate for the top pick in three years. — Jeff Ellis

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Brandon Lowe
Suffolk, Va. / 6’0 / 180 lbs
  • IF
  • 69

Analysis

Brandon Lowe was not on my radar to start the year at all. I had seen him as I watched Jake Stinnett, who I considered the top senior in the draft last year. I didn’t pay attention to Lowe and then I was told I should check him out. He is a red-shirt sophomore after tearing his ACL as a freshman. He has been an on-base machine at Maryland. He doesn’t offer much power or speed but he has been a steady defender who understands the strike zone and gets on-base. He hits a lot of doubles with his quick stroke and has walked more than he struck out in college. Lowe is another guy who also gets hit an astounding number of times; 24 for his career. He is another up the middle talent who I think has a chance to be a starter. He is never going to wow anyone but I would not be shocked if he had a solid 15-year career. — Jeff Ellis

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Andrew Suarez
Miami, Fla. / 6’0 / 225 lbs
  • P
  • 70

Analysis

Andrew Suarez was a second rounder a year ago who failed to sign with the Nationals. He had a bit of an up-and-down season for Miami. He is a redshirt junior, but he turns 23 this year. He had labrum surgery which caused him to miss his freshman year. Suarez has one very big thing going for him: he is left-handed. He is a well-known pitcher having been drafted by the Blue Jays out of high school in the ninth round and as mentioned before going in the second a year ago. He has shown good stuff at points but consistency has been an issue. I think the majority of us expected him to be a sandwich pick this year but he seems again ticketed to the second round. — Jeff Ellis

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Mikey White
Birmingham, Ala. / 6'1 / 195 lbs
  • SS
  • 71

Analysis

Mikey White is the opposite of the high-ceiling talent in this draft. He has worked very hard at Alabama to make sure he ends up getting a shot in the pros. He is yet another shortstop with a chance to go in the first or second round of this year’s draft. If you like your players gritty, look no further. He is more than likely going to end up at second and doesn’t really have a plus tool or even anything I am sure would be above-average. He has a chance to be a starter but strikes me as a utility player more than likely down the road. — Jeff Ellis

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Bryce Denton
Brentwood, Tn. / 6’1 / 200 lbs
  • 3B
  • 72
  • Ravenwood HS

Analysis

If you followed me before this year then you know I place a premium on bat speed. Bryce Denton has some of the best in this class. The ball flies off his bat and he flashes above-average to plus power. He tends to swing at everything and his approach needs work. I would try him at third and then move him to the outfield as needed. I am a fan of the upside and that is why I have him here as a late second round guy. I know there is a lot of risk but the right-handed power along with the bat speed is enough for him to make my board. — Jeff Ellis

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David Hill
Orange, Ca. / 6’2 / 200 lbs
  • P
  • 73
  • USD

Analysis

David Hill has generated more news based on his over-use than his actual performance this year. He had a 147-pitch game earlier this year. Hill is a potential back-end starter to me. He has the size to be an innings eater and his fastball, which is in the low to mid 90’s, is clearly his best pitch. He needs some extra development as he has played for three different programs in three years bouncing from D1 to D2 and back. This late if you can add a guy with a good chance to be a starter, I consider that a good value. — Jeff Ellis

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Nolan Watson
Indianapolis, Ind. / 6’2 / 190 lbs
  • P
  • 74
  • Lawrence North HS

Analysis

Nolan Watson is another guy who I was late to the party with. I discovered him when I went to look at a Vanderbilt recruit list. There are worse ways to figure out who the top pitching talent in the country is than to look at who Vanderbilt is recruiting. He is an athlete with mid 90’s velocity. His secondary stuff needs work and some think he is ticketed to the bullpen. Watson is a plus athlete with easy velocity is a solid value after the second round. — Jeff Ellis

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Jeff Degano
Surrey, B.C. / 6’2 / 200 lbs
  • P
  • 75
  • Indiana State

Analysis

Jeff Degano is a guy I wrote on earlier. He is old for the draft, turning 23 this year. This was due to injury and a series of transfers. He is another player for Canada in this draft, as well, which is an area that is really growing significantly in terms of baseball talent. He is a 6’4” lefty who hit 95 at points this year. I don’t care if he is older, that kind of velocity in a lefty intrigues me. He has three legit pitches and with an aggressive development schedule projects as a solid backend starter from the left-side. If not for age and injury concerns, he would go much higher. — Jeff Ellis


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