2017 MLB Draft: High School Batter Rankings
Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: May 31, 2017.
- Royce Lewis, SS, JSerra HS (CA) Projected Round Top 5 Pick
- 2017 Season Recap Royce Lewis stuck to shortstop. Lewis is versatile enough to play anywhere in the infield or the outfield and is a 5-tool bat that can hit home runs, line drives, grounders, or bunts. He's the most complete High School bat in 2017. Lewis won the Trinity League MVP for the third year in a row and won the 2017 Gatorade High School Player Of The Year award.
Royce Lewis SWOT Report
- Strengths: Royce Lewis led JSerra High School to 3 consecutive Trinity League Championships from 2014-2016. Once he fully develops this is a guy with 20/20 potential with 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in the same season. Think Francisco Lindor on the Cleveland Indians or Jean Seguar of the Seattle Mariners. He's not going to be the top pick like Carlos Correa or Dansby Swanson, but is easily the best shortstop I've seen on tape since those two. Lewis has the arm to get easy outs plus the plus speed to be a base stealer in the MLB. I love the confidence that Lewis plays with.
- Weaknesses: He isn't as big as you would like him to be a 6-0 190 lbs. He's physical though because he's an aggressive base runner which makes up for you wanting to question his physical ability. He's not afraid to slide or dive to get on base.
- Opportunities: 4. Tampa Bay Rays. I see a top 5 prospect that will not get past the Tampa Bay Rays at 4.
- Threats: There are no threats with Royce Lewis. Lewis is the most complete High School batter in the 2017 MLB Draft.
- Royce Lewis led JSerra to 3 consecutive Trinity League Championships from 2014-2016. Lewis has a chance to end his senior season leading JSerra to a fourth consecutive Trinity League Championship. His best season came in his freshman year when he batted .391, but has maintained a batting average of .300 or higher in all 3 seasons with JSerra.
- Alex Toral, 1B, Archbishop McCarthy HS (FL) Projected Round Top 10 Pick
- 2017 Season Recap Alex Toral is batting .371 in 2017. He hit 8 home runs during a home run derby. I can see more upside with him than Royce Lewis.
Alex Toral SWOT Report
- Strengths: Alex Toral is the best power hitter among High School bats. He's a big batter at 6-1 220 lbs. He has potential to become an Anthony Rizzo type of first baseman down the road if he keeps improving his power and technique on tape. Makes great contact with the bat and displays a very compact swing at the plate. Toral has awesome leadership for a team that made it to the Quarterfinals of the National Invitational despite being the top overall seed.
- Weaknesses: Alex Toral is not the fastest shortstop. He will get on base, but he relies on home runs and line drives.
- Opportunities: 6. Oakland Athletics, 8. Philadelphia Phillies, 9. Milwaukee Brewers, 10. Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim. I feel the Oakland Athletics is the best spot for Toral to land, but with 7 top 5 talents in this draft, Toral may slip to Philadelphia or Los Angeles. He can develop into a special first baseman in their loaded farm system.
- Threats: I don't see a threat with Alex Toral. He's one of the best power batters in the 2017 MLB Draft.
- Alex Toral batted .314 in 2016. Toral has a chance to be a stud power bat in the MLB and may go in the top 5 if he can improve in 2017.
- Quentin Holmes, CF, Monsignor McClancey HS (NY) Projected Round 1st Round
- 2017 Season Recap The 6-2 180 lb Quentin Holmes really impresses me on tape. He's a 5-tool center fielder who can anchor an outfield and do everything well. Holmes is like a young Dexter Fowler in terms of batting whild displaying Kenny Lofton's speed on tape. Holmes can be a cornerstone center fielder.
Quentin Holmes SWOT Report
- Strengths: Quentin Holmes can hit line drives, grounders, and bunts. He has incredible speed and ran a 6.65 60-yard dash which translates to 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash. Holmes is fast and is a threat to get on base every single time an infielder or outfielder doesn't catch a ball hit their way. Holmes is also alert enough to avoid hitting it near an infielder or outfielder and makes you work for the ball. He's got a fantastic baseball IQ.
- Weaknesses: Quentin Holmes needs to get stronger. I'm not sure if he's a home run threat, but he does everything else well on tape and can be a guy with 10 home runs and 30 stolen bases a year kind of like Starling Marte is right now on the Pittsburgh Pirates.
- Opportunities: 11. Chicago White Sox. I think Holmes is a guy who could go in the 11-20 range. I need to look more into the teams that are in the market for a center fielder, but Holmes could improve some teams center field problems.
- Threats: Quentin Holmes has no threats. He's another safe prospect.
- Quentin Holmes is fast on tape. I love the contact he shows on tape when swinging the bat.
- Jordon Adell, CF, Ballard HS (KY) Projected Round 1st Round
- 2017 Season Recap The 6-3 200 lb Jordon Adell hit 12 home runs in one round of a home run derby in 2017. Adell is the best home run hitter among the High School bats in 2017 outside of Alex Toral.
Jordon Adell SWOT Report
- Strengths: Jordon Adell is a home run hitter. He's fast too and his speed can get him on base easily. Does a great job defending in the outfield. Can force an easy out with his arm.
- Weaknesses: The one knock on Adell is that he's a swing and miss type of batter. If he can get his batting average around .300 he could blossom into a 5-tool bat assuming he corrects issues with generating contact with the ball at the plate.
- Opportunities: I'm not sure where Jordon Adell ends up. He's a top 15 talent though.
- Threats: There are no threats with Adell. Adell is a future stud in the MLB. He just needs to get stronger and correct any issues when at the plate because he's a swing and miss type of batter sometimes he will blast a run and other times he won't swing or swing at a ball and strike out and that's something he has to correct in the minors otherwise he's at risk of being rushed up to the majors which may hinder his chances of success.
- Hit 40 home runs in 2016 during a 3 round home run derby. Adell's father is trying to mold his son into the MLB's modern day version of Bo Jackson.
- Nick Brueser, 1B, Hamilton HS (AZ) Projected Round 1st Round
- 2017 Season Recap Nick Brueser has shown he is one of the most consistent bats in the 2017 MLB Draft. Some have a fifth to sixth round grade on Brueser, but I see a guy with first round talent and similar consistency to 2016 first overall pick Mickey Moniak.
Nick Brueser SWOT Report
- Strengths: Nick Brueser has the lethal home run hitting that MLB teams covet. Unlike most High School kids who hit home runs in AA stadiums. Brueser hit home runs in Petco Park. He swings the bat with a ton of contact and may be more MLB ready than teams realize.
- Weaknesses: The only weakness with Nick Brueser is that he had his worst statistical season in 2016-2017 since his freshman season. His .347 batting average as a senior is a career low.
- Opportunities: I'm not sure where Brueser ends up. He could go anywhere in the top 20 though.
- Threats: Nick Brueser is a fifth to sixth round prospect on a lot of MLB Boards. He's coming off his worst career season which doesn't help his cause, but I love Brueser's tape and he will be a steal if he falls out of the first round.
- Nick Brueser struggled as a freshman. He did much better during his sophomore season in 2015 with a .447 batting average, 34 RBI's 11 doubles, and 9 home runs.
- Brueser improved on that with 47 RBI's 13 doubles, and matched his 9 home runs during his junior season. Brueser is coming off a huge junior season where he dominated at a PetCo Park Home Run Derby during the 2016 MLB All Star Break for the High School Home Run Derby Championships heading into his senior season. Brueser could be a dark horse to keep an eye on as he reminds me a lot of Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt when I watch his tape.
- Mark Vientos, SS, Charles W. Flanagan HS (FL) Projected Round 1st Round
- 2017 Season Recap Mark Vientos has been up and down as a batter at times in 2017. He made the Baseball America Preseason All American Team though and should be a first round shortstop.
Mark Vientos SWOT Report
- Strengths: Mark Vientos knows how to bring in RBI's. Has the ability to hit effective line drives and grounders. Is versatile enough to play third base, shortstop, second base, and first base.
- Weaknesses: Mark Vientos has an inconsistent batting average. That and his raw swing at the plate make me iffy about Vientos at times.
- Opportunities: Mark Vientos has too much talent to fall out of the first round. He's a top 25 prospect.
- Threats: I don't see any threats with Mark Vientos. He seems like a pretty sound prospect.
- Mark Vientos batted above .300 as a sophomore in 2015. He struggled to do the same in 2016 and is hoping for a bounce back season in 2017.
- Drew Waters, CF, Etowa HS (GA) Projected Round 1st Round
- 2017 Season Recap Drew Waters may have more patience and poise than any High School batter in the 2017 MLB Draft. Waters is not a home run hitter, but he consistently drives in RBI's. Waters is very sound defensively.
Drew Waters SWOT Report
- Strengths: Extremely patient and disciplined at the plate. That patience could make him extremely effective in the MLB when it comes to generating RBI's off line drives.
- Weaknesses: Needs to get stronger. His lack of size is why some teams have a third round grade on him.
- Opportunities: I have a top 30 grade on Drew Waters. Waters could be a late first round pick, but he could also slip to the top of the third round.
- Threats: Being 6-1 160 lbs may give him less upside than most. His patience as a batter is why I trust him.
- Drew Waters batted .300 in 2016. He needs to match that total in 2017 or really step up as a home run hitter in 2017.
- Austin Beck, CF, North Davidson HS (NC) Projected Round 1st Round
- 2017 Season Recap The 6-0 180 lb Austin Beck added some height and weight to increase his size to 6-2 205 lbs. Beck has been much better in 2017 and has been productive enough to warrant top 5 consideration. I have a late first round grade on him.
Austin Beck SWOT Report
- Strengths: Austin Beck has a powerful line drive. He also has good speed for a batter. He shows 5-tool ability at times.
- Weaknesses: Has durability issues. Failed to stay healthy in 2016.
- Opportunities: Lots of scouting communities have a top 5 grade on Beck. I don't see it, but he's talented enough to get picked in the late first round.
- Threats: Austin Beck has some durability and off the field concerns. He's a great leader and motivator for his teammates, but others believe he can get too cocky and let a hot streak go to his head.
- Austin Beck hardly played in 2016. Beck needs to stay healthy in 2017 to have any shot of going in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft.
- Bubba Thompson, CF, McGill-Toolen Catholic HS (AL) Projected Round 2nd Round
- 2017 Season Recap The 6-2 180 lb Bubba Thompson posted a .404 batting average with 9 home runs and 30 RBI's in 2017. Thompson is being widely considered a first round prospect, but we got a second round grade on him.
Bubba Thompson SWOT Report
- Strengths: Displays good speed and range. Bubba Thompson seems like a 5-tool batter with the home run hitting, line drives, grounders, and bunts. Has a cannon for an arm and can force quick outs.
- Weaknesses: Plate discipline is the biggest concern with Thompson. His awareness at the plate needs to improve. If this wasn't an issue you could argue that Bubba Thompson is a top 10 pick based on talent and skill alone.
- Opportunities: Lots of scouting communities have a first round grade on Thompson. I don't see it, but he's talented enough to get picked in the the second round. He will get picked anywhere between picks 20 and 50. There is no question he's a top 50 prospect on tape.
- Threats: There are no threats with Bubba Thompson. You just want to see him fix his plate discipline.
- Bubba Thompson played center fielder and quarterback at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School. Being a two sport athlete may help him crack the first round if he has a huge senior season.
- Jeter Downs, SS, Monsignor Pace HS (FL) Projected Round 2nd Round
- 2017 Season Recap The 5-10 165 lb Jeter Downs posted a .388 batting average with 7 home runs, 4 doubles, 4 triples and 24 stolen bases in 2017. Jeter Downs showed first round tape. His size though drops him to the second round though.
Jeter Downs SWOT Report
- Strengths: Jeter Downs has the speed, arm, and fielding to be a gold glove infielder. He can hit spectacular line drives, grounders, or bunts with his bat.
- Weaknesses: Needs to get stronger and add 20 lbs of muscle while maintaining his speed. Being 5-10 165 lbs is the biggest reason scouts have questions with him as a power batter even though he put together a strong season in 2017. He also needs to develop as a home run hitter.
- Opportunities: Jeter Downs has first round tape. His size knocks him down to the second round.
- Threats: There are no threats with Jeter Downs. You just want to see him add more muscle.
- Jeter Downs had a .517 batting average as a sophomore in 2015. Downs batted .430 in 2016 during his junior season.
- Tristen Lutz, RF, Martin HS (TX) Projected Round 2nd Round
- 2017 Season Recap The 6-3 210 lb Tristen Lutz is a power batter who has the bat speed to get on base with line drives, but lacks the natural speed to get on base when he hits a grounder.
Tristen Lutz SWOT Report
- Strengths: Tristen Lutz has the potential to be a 5-tool batter down the road. He's raw though and will be a 3-5 year project in the minors.
- Weaknesses: Lutz has elite bat speed. His speed when running on bases is average though.
- Opportunities: Lots of scouting communities have a second round grade on Lutz. I agree with that and see Lutz as a second rounder.
- Threats: There are no threats with Tristen Lutz. You just want to see him get faster.
- Tristen Lutz is a fantastic power hitter. If he can improve his speed, he's got a chance to sneak into the first round.
- Calvin Mitchell, RF, Rancho Bernado HS (CA) Projected Round 2nd Round
- 2017 Season Recap Calvin Mitchell also known as Cal Mitchell had a disappointing 2017 season with only 4 home runs and a career low .259 batting average. That could get Mitchell pushed down to the second round.
Calvin Mitchell SWOT Report
- Strengths: Calvin Mitchell has excellent patience and awareness at the plate. Being that alert makes Mitchell a tough out every time he steps to bat. He's pretty sound defensively in the outfield.
- Weaknesses: Calvin Mitchell's swinging can be hit or miss. He has the right technique down, but sometimes he will swing too high or too low at the plate and needs to correct this.
- Opportunities: I have a second round grade on Calvin Mitchell. I had a first round grade on Mitchell in the preseason.
- Threats: Calvin Mitchell has no threats. He's actually one of the safer prospects in the 2017 MLB Draft.
- Calvin Mitchell struggled as a freshman in High School. Things came together for him though in 2015 as a sophomore. Mitchell posted a .337 batting average, 35 hits, 31 RBI's, 7 doubles, 3 triples, and 6 home runs in his sophomore season.
- Mitchell did even better as a junior in 2016. Mitchell posted a .371 batting average, 39 hits, 41 RBI's 6 doubles, 3 triples, and 12 home runs in 2016. Mitchell looks like a first round pick in 2017 with his monster 2016 season and could be a first round pick as long as he avoids an injury or sets himself back.
- Jayson Gonzalez, 3B, Bishop Amat HS (CA) Projected Round 2nd Round
- 2017 Season Recap Jayson Gonzalez may be the most MLB ready infielder from a defensive standpoint. He's sound defensively.
Jayson Gonzalez SWOT Report
- Strengths: I love Gonzalez defensively as an infielder. Gonzalez has Gold Glove potential if he can remain that focused by the time he gets to the MLB. Gonzalez has improved his batting average in 2017.
- Weaknesses: Gonzalez needs to be more consistent as a batter. That's the only thing keeping him out of the first round.
- Opportunities: Gonzalez is now a second round prospect. He entered the year as a first round prospect.
- Threats: I don't see any threats with Jayson Gonzalez. He's one of the more intriguing High School Batters in the 2017 MLB Draft.
- Jayson Gonzalez has huge potential. He's raw right now heading into 2017, but there is a huge ceiling for him if he can grow and develop.
- Nick Allen, SS, Francis Parker HS (CA) Projected Round 2nd Round
- 2017 Season Recap The 5-9 154 lb Nick Allen posted a .299 batting average in 2017. Allen posted other career lows in 2017.
Nick Allen SWOT Report
- Strengths: Nick Allen is very sound defensively. That's the only positive with Allen at this point.
- Weaknesses: Nick Allen is undersized to the point where it may be beyond repair. I think Allen's defense is his best and only positive attribute.
- Opportunities: Lots of scouting communities have a first round grade on Allen at the beginning of the year. I don't see it, but he's talented enough to get picked in the the second round. He will get picked anywhere between picks 20 and 50. There is no question he's a top 50 prospect on tape.
- Threats: Nick Allen's size isn't just a weakness, but a huge threat as well. You rarely see players at 5-9 154 lbs ever crack the Major Leagues.
- Nick Allen batted .379 as a freshman in 2014. Allen had a batting average of .342 as a sophomore in 2015. Allen posted a career high .469 batting average and 5 home runs as a junior in 2016 which is why he has first round consideration right now. It will be hard for Allen to top that in 2017.
- Ryan Vilade, 3B, Stillwater HS (OK) Projected Round 2nd Round
- 2017 Season Recap Ryan Vilade entered the year as a first round pick. He's disappointed this year though.
Ryan Vilade SWOT Report
- Strengths: Ryan Vilade has a power bat. He relies on that though.
- Weaknesses: Needs to improve speed. Also needs to get better defensively.
- Opportunities: Ryan Vilade has second round tape. He should get picked the second round.
- Threats: There are no threats with Ryan Vilade. You just want to see him add more muscle.
- Ryan Vilade enters the year a first round pick. He needs a huge year to validate that stock though.
- Steven Williams, C, Deerfield-Windsor HS (GA) Projected Round 2nd Round
- 2017 Season Recap Steven Williams makes solid contact with the baseball. He doesn't force things and is the leader on Deerfield-Windsor's baseball team.
Steven Williams SWOT Report
- Strengths: Waits for the play to develop. Does not force things and is willing to load up the count to a full count if it means wearing down the pitcher or finding the pitch he likes the best.
- Weaknesses: Steven Williams needs to add more power and muscle to his game. Williams is a great RBI machine, but a terrible home run hitter.
- Opportunities: I had a third round grade on Steven Williams. Williams has a chance to sneak into the second and I moved him up into my second round.
- Threats: I don't see any threats with Steven Williams. He may be the best catcher in the 2017 MLB Draft among High School batters.
- Steven Williams was okay in 2016. He needs to do more to jump into the first two rounds of the 2017 MLB Draft.
- Christopher Seise, SS, West Orange HS (FL) Projected Round 3rd Round
- 2017 Season Recap Christopher Seise is an incredible defender. He's versatile enough to play anywhere in the infield at third base, shortstop, second base, or first base.
Christopher Seise SWOT Report
- Strengths: Christopher Seise has a good stance at the plate. He does well following through at times. He's incredibly sound defensively.
- Weaknesses: Christopher Seise is not a power hitter. That's his only weakness.
- Opportunities: I have a third round grade on Seise. He could go in the second round though.
- Threats: I don't see a threat with Seise. He's one of the better High School Batters in Florida.
- Christopher Seise had some bright moments in 2016. He could be a riser if he puts everything together in 2017.
- Nick Egnatuk, SS, Immaculata HS (NJ) Projected Round 4th Round
- 2017 Season Recap The 6-2 180 lb Nick Egnatuk is a good power hitter. He seems fluent with his swings at the plate.
Nick Egnatuk SWOT Report
- Strengths: Nick Egnatuk goes an awesome job making contact at the plate. He's fast, versatile, and gets on base quickly. Defends well and has an arm that can get quick outs.
- Weaknesses: Would like to see him plant his feet better at the plate. Also has terrible vision which could limit him to a utility role.
- Opportunities: I have a fourth round grade on Nick Egnatuk. Some people have fifth to sixth round grade son him while others have second to third round grades on him. That's why I gave him a fourth round grade.
- Threats: I see no threats with Nick Egnatuk. This is one of the best shortstops I've seen on tape so far outside of his problems with vision sometimes.
- Nick Egnatuk is a stud at third baseman. He can improve his stock if he shows he can excel on offense in 2017.
- Andrew Papantonis, SS, Delbarton HS (NJ) Projected Round 4th Round
- 2017 Season Recap Andrew Papantonis is very sound. He can be both effective as a bat and fielder on defense.
Andrew Papantonis SWOT Report
- Strengths: Andrew Papantonis is set defensively. He has incredible footwork.
- Weaknesses: Andrew Papantonis hardly has any weaknesses. I'd like to see him throw the ball more to other bases besides first base and look up when throwing. This is a minor tweak that Andrew can fix over time.
- Opportunities: I have a fourth round grade on Papantonis. Papantonis is a guy you can argue for him going earlier than this.
- Threats: I see no threats with Papantonis. This is one of the most complete prospects.
- Andrew Papantonis has ability to play anywhere in the infield. This young man is an upcoming star, but he's also someone who can anchor your infield like Nick Senzel did in last years draft.
- Baron Radcliff, CF, Norcross HS (GA) Projected Round 5th Round
- 2017 Season Recap The 6-4 215 lb Baron Radcliffe is awesome as a center fielder. He's a two sport athlete who played both football and baseball.
Baron Radcliff SWOT Report
- Strengths: Baron Radcliff is a complete 5-tool bat. He does pretty much everything well and showed rapid improvement in hitting home runs in 2017.
- Weaknesses: He has no weaknesses. I am asking why some have a sixth round grade on him. He deserves to be drafted a lot higher than that.
- Opportunities: I have a fifth round grade on Baron Radcliff. Radcliff could be a late riser.
- Threats: The only threat to Radcliff being in the MLB is that he may committ to College Football like Patrick Mahomes did because he's a quarterback on his High School team.
- The two sport athlete Baron Radcliff had 25 RBI's in 2015 as a sophomore and 23 RBI's as a junior. He hit no home runs in 2016 and needs to correct that next season.