2018 MLB Draft: High School Batter Rankings
Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: May 9, 2018.
- Nolan Gorman, 3B, O'Connor HS (AZ) Projected Round Round 1
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-1 210 lb Nolan Gorman has really stood out in 2018. He's batting .397 and hit 10 home runs for O'Connor High School so far in 2018. Gorman has batted .310 or higher in all four seasons at O'Connor High School so he's got that consistent batting average you look for. Gorman also displayed a mind boggling slugging percentage of .902 or higher in each of his last three seasons as a full-time starter at O'Connor High School.
Nolan Gorman, SWOT Report
- Strengths: Nolan Gorman is probably the most consistent home run hitter I've seen coming out of High School in quite some time and its also worth noting that he's got the best slugging percentage of a High School Batter since Mike Moustakas who was drafted second overall back in 2007 since he's the first player since Moustakas to have three consecutive seasons with a slugging percentage of .900 or better in High School. He's had three consecutive seasons with 10 home runs or more at the High School level. The ceiling to develop into a 30 to 40 home run hitter once he reaches the Major Leagues while carrying a slugging percentage of anywhere between .400 to .500 is certainly there.
- He's also great with line drives as well as home runs. Gorman may not be a complete 5-tool batter like the last two number one picks Mickey Moniak or Royce Lewis, however you can certainly argue he's a better power hitter at the plate on tape.
- If a High School batter goes first overall for the third year in a row the power hitting will be the huge selling point for Gorman because Royce Lewis could hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases while Moniak had 4 consecutive seasons with a batting average of .420 in High School and they both went number one while Gorman is a guy who can probably provide some spark to the team that drafts him. Detroit has a very good idea of who they want at 1 and will probably take one of the two highly touted SEC pitchers. It would come as a huge shock to me if they took Gorman at 1 even though he's the only High School Batter in this group that I see developing into an MLB All Star.
- Weaknesses: Despite being a consistent home run hitter, Gorman did not hit a grand slam during his four years at O'Connor High School. He's limited to home runs and line drives due to the fact that he's not a 5-tool batter. He can struggle with grounders and bunts.
- His plate discpline when it came to swinging at certain pitches needs some refinement despite having a consistent batting average and remarkable power at times. Sometimes you get the impression that he lacks confidence at the plate despite the fact that he knocks it out of the park consistently.
- Nolan Gorman is not someone who will steal double digit bases. He's also had 20 errors in his past three seasons at O'Connor High School along with an inconsistent fielding percentage including two seasons where his fielding percentage was below .900. He's still developing this part of his game and will get the chance to make this weakness a strength once he gets to the minor leagues.
- Opportunities: 5. Cincinnati Reds, 7. San Diego Padres, 9. Oakland Athletics, 10. Pittsburgh Pirates, and 11. Baltimore Orioles. Jeimer Candelario is blossoming as a 24-year-old third baseman for the Detroit Tigers. That's why I seriously doubt Gorman is even in the conversation to go first overall to Detroit.
- Gorman is rawer then the last two High School batters that went first overall and is not someone that I would consider a blue chip High School batter like the last two players that went first overall. However if a team believes they can fix all of his flaws in the minors they could argue he's someone that's worthy of taking in the top 10 even though I mocked him to the Orioles at 11 because he's a better home run hitter than the last two number one picks and if you fix the rest of his game, you can certainly debate that his ceiling is higher then the last two top selections.
- Threats: There are no threats with Nolan Gorman as far as injuries or off the field concerns go. You're getting a very tough, very durable young man who has remarkable character for a High School Senior. Gorman may be raw for a defender, but he's got the work ethic you want despite the errors and fielding percentages being inconsistent.
- If a team loves the fact that he's got the power bat that Evan Longoria and Kris Bryant had when they were drafted they may look past the fact that he relies on his power bat and take a flyer on Nolan Gorman at some point in the top 10. If Gorman falls past pick 11 then teams may be scared off by how inconsistent Gorman was with his defense and lack of plate discpline and may assume he doesn't have the work ethic when in reality he has the work ethic and arguably more upside than any High School Batter in this class.
- Potential Grade: 93/99
- Nolan Gorman started near the end of his freshman season in 2015 where he batted .310 having his best fielding percentage. Gorman's best season came as a sophomore when he batted .490 in 2016 and had a .980 slugging percentage. Gorman aid well as a junior and matched his 11 home runs from his sophomore season in 2017. Gorman needs to refine his game a bit, but has all the tools to be a first round pick.
- Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS (CA) Projected Round 1st Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-1 175 lb Brice Turang's batting average in 2018 hasn't matched his batting average in 2017, but he's got 5 home runs in 2018 and seems like he's really made some progress as a power batter this season.
Brice Turang SWOT Report
- Strengths: Versatile enough to play anywhere in the infield at third base, second base, shortstop, or first base despite shortstop being his natural position. Can hit line drives and grounders at will. Finallly developing as a home run hitter. Possesses remarkable plate discipline only struck out once in 2017 in 108 at bats. Displays excellent speed when running towards the bases. Has a remarkable attitude and the right work ethic to make it in the MLB. May be the most mentally disciplined shortstop coming out of High School since Derek Jeter despite some flaws on tape.
- Weaknesses: Brice Turang is still raw to a degree. He didn't develop as a power bat until this season and will still continue to develop. He's committed more errors this season compared to any other season at Santiago High School, depsite this he's calm and unphased by this even pointing out that he cannot expect perfection on a game to game basis. While Turang has weaknesses, he doesn't have as many weaknesses Nolan Gorman despite having a lower ceiling.
- Opportunities: I don't see Brice Turang falling past the Toronto Blue Jays at 12. He could develop in their farm system fo a few years before taking over for Troy Tulowitzki.
- Threats: I don't see a threat with Brice Turang. He may actually be the safest High School Batter in the 2018 MLB Draft. I compared Nolan Gorman to Mike Moustakas and see a lot of similarities between Nick Senzel, Brian Dozier, and Derek Jeter when watching Brice Turang.
- Potential Grade: 92/99
- Brice Turang batted .750 as a true freshman. Turang had a fielding percentage of 1.000 as a sophomore in 2016 during his sophomore season. Turang only struck out once on 108 at bats in 2017. Turang has all the tools to be a top 15 pick with another strong season in 2018 and some think he could go top 5.
- Triston Casas, 1B, American Heritage HS (FL) Projected Round 1st Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-4 238 lb Triston Casas really impresses me on tape. He's a power bat who has a slugging percentage of .902 so far in 2018.
Triston Casas SWOT Report
- Strengths: Triston Casas has the power bat that you covet. Rarely steals bases, but 5/5 when stealing bases the last two years. He's also an outstanding defender who may possess Gold Glove ability. Has an arm that will force quick outs. Versatile enough to play third base, shortstop, second base, and first base.
- Weaknesses: He relies on his power swing. He doesn't always put enough contact and power on his swings. If he could fix those things and develop the ability to hit line drives, grounders, and bunts he could be someone you'd consider a 5-tool batter.
- Opportunities: Many believe Triston Casas is a top 25 talent. After rewatching his tape I see a top 15 talent that the Seattle Mariners would be foolish to pass on at 14.
- Threats: Triston Casas has no threats. He's another safe prospect who checks out most of the boxes for me.
- Potential Grade: 91/99
- Triston Casas batted .446 in 2017. He only had a slugging percentage of .702. If he improves his batting average and slugging percentage he could go from a top 25 pick to a top 15 pick.
- Jarred Kelenic, LF, Waukesha West HS (WI) Projected Round 1st Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 5-11 184 lb Jarred Kelenic finished third in the 2017 Home Run Derby for MLB Draft Prospects. Kelenic is versatile enough to play left field, center fielder, or right field in the outfield.
Jarred Kelenic SWOT Report
- Strengths: He's a complete 5-tool bat that can hit home runs, line drives, grounders, bunts, maintain a .300 batting average, steal bases, throw well, and field well.
- He's versatile enough to play left fielder, center fielder, and right fielder. He plays center fielder at Waukesha West High School, but he projects better as a corner outfielder plus he's slightly undersized at 5-11 184 lbs.
- Weaknesses: Jarred Kelenic has the arm of a corner outfielder rather than a center fielder. That along with him needing to make some minor tweaks to his plate discipline are the only flaws with his tape.
- Opportunities: He entered the year as a top 10 talent. 12. Toronto Blue Jays, 14. Seattle Mariners, 21. Milwaukee Brewers, and 22. Colorado Rockies could all be opportunities for Kelenec.
- Threats: There are no threats with Kelenec. Jarred Kelenec may be the one High School batter who works his way up the minor leagues the quickest.
- Potential Grade: 90/99
- Jarred Klenec played left fielder as a freshman in 2015. He played both corner outfield spots in 2016. He played all three outfielder spots in 2017.
- Connor Scott, CF, Plant HS (FL) Projected Round 1st Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-4 180 lb Connor Scott became the leader of Plant High School's Baseball team as a true sophomore after being mentored by top 5 pick Kyle Tucker who the Astros took fifth overall in the 2015 MLB Draft. Scott has showcased the tools and leadership of a first round pick since then amd is currently batting .520 in 2018.
Connor Scott SWOT Report
- Strengths: Connor Scott played both as a batter and a pitcher. He may be more versatile and flexible then most teams realize. Has outstanding speed and a quick release that will allow him to get easy outs. Displayed a .310 batting average or higher in all four seasons at Plant High School dating back to his freshman season in 2015.
- Weaknesses: Connor Scott really doesn't have many weaknesses on tape. He could be a future All Star.
- Opportunities: I got Connor Scott going to the Boston Red Sox at 26. He could go earlier than that though.
- Threats: There are no threats with Connor Scott. Most believe he's a first round prospect.
- Potential Grade: 90/99
- Connor Scott had a .311 batting average as a freshman in 2015. He's improved on that each of the past two seasons at Plant High School after Kyle Tucker got drafted by the Houston Astros.
- Will Banfield, C, Brookwood HS (GA) Projected Round 1st Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-0 191 lb Will Banfield led USA to a gold medal in a Baseball tournament. He's very proactive and a great community guy as well.
Will Banfield SWOT Report
- Strengths: Displays a nice power bat. Can hit any type of pitch whether its a home run, line drive, grounder, or bunt. Well rounded defender.
- Weaknesses: Needs to improve speed and plate discipline. He's not a consistent base stealer and his plate discipline is still a work in progress. These two areas need to be fixed in the minors.
- Opportunities: I have Will Banfield going to the Cleveland Indians at pick 35. He'd be a great addition for their farm system.
- Threats: I don't see any threats with Will Banfield. He seems like a pretty sound prospect.
- Potential Grade: 90/99
- Will Banfield won regional player of the year in Georgia as both a sophomore in 2016 and a junior in 2017. Banfield had a .409 batting average, hit 7 home runs, and had a .995 fielding percentage in 2017.
- Parker Meadows, CF, Grayson HS (GA) Projected Round 1st Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-4 195 lb Parker Meadows is the little brother of Austin Meadows. Parker Meadows is batting .346 in 2018 which is his worst batting average at Grayson High School. He has a career high 30 RBI's to go with that batting average though.
Parker Meadows SWOT Report
- Strengths: Parker Meadows has a consistent batting average and had a batting average of .300 or higher in every season at Grayson High School. Meadows is also a fantastic base stealer. His fielding percentage has improved each year as well. Is versatile enough to play lefte
- Weaknesses: Has awful plate discipline. This is a huge flaw in his game tape.
- Opportunities: I have the Cleveland Indians taking Parker Meadows at 41. Pittsburgh may also consider him since they drafted Austin Meadows.
- Threats: There are no threats with Parker Meadows. I just don't see him as someone who has the upside Austin Meadows had.
- Potential Grade: 87/99
- Parker Meadows had a .367 batting average in 2016 as a sophomore. He improved on that with a .410 batting average in 2018.
- Mike Siani, CF, Penn Charter HS (PA) Projected Round 1st Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-0 195 lb Mike Siani has posted a batting average of .400 or better in every season with Penn Charter High School. Siani is expected to be a first round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.
Mike Siani SWOT Report
- Strengths: Mike Siani has a powerful bat that can hit home runs and line drives consistently. Had a batting average of .400 or better in all four seasons at Penn Charter High School. Has the speed to steal bases and get on base quickly.
- Weaknesses: Struggles to get on base with grounders and bunts despite having the speed to steal bases. He relies on his power bat despite having impressive plate discipline.
- Opportunities: I have the Colorado Rockies getting Mike Siani to bolster their prospect pool at 42.
- Threats: Mike Siani is one of the safer prospects. He's an under the radar player too with extremely high character.
- Potential Grade: 86/99
- Mike Siani is the top high school batter in the 2018 MLB Draft. If Siani puts everything together, he could be a 2018 first round pick.
- Maeto Gil, SS, Deer Creek HS (TX) Projected Round 2nd Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-1 180 lb Maeto Gil entered the year as a top 10 propspect. A disappointing senior season has Gil falling to the second round.
Maeto Gil SWOT Report
- Strengths: Gil has the power bat to hit home runs and line drives. Has a batting average of .300 or higher in all four seasons at Deer Creek High School.
- Weaknesses: Maeto Gil does not have the speed t get hits on grounders or bunts. His fielding skills took a step back in 2018. Gil also regressed with plate discipline.
- Opportunities: I'm not sure where Maeto Gil ends up. I got a second round grade on him.
- Threats: There are no threats with Maeto Gil. He's got the ceiling of a borderline starter.
- Potential Grade: 85/99
- Maeto Gil dominated in his first three seasons at Deer Creek High School. Another strong season could cement his status in the top 10 overall.
- Anthony Siegler, C, Cartersville HS (GA) Projected Round 2nd Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 5-10 180 lb Anthony Siegler is a home run hitter. He's got great power in his bat despite the lack of size.
Anthony Siegler SWOT Report
- Strengths: Anthony Siegler can hit home runs and line drives with his power bat. He's a switch hitter meaning he can bat both left handed and right handed.
- Weaknesses: Lacks the speed you want your batter to have. Will be an easy out on grounders and bunts.
- Opportunities: I have a second round grade on Anthony Siegler. I'm not sure where he ends up.
- Threats: There are no threats with Anthony Siegler. He's a pretty safe prospect for someone in the second round.
- Potential Grade: 85/99
- Anthony Siegler is someone to keep an eye on. If he builds on what he did in 2017 then he's got an outside shot to go in the late first round.