Similar to the college crop, the high-school class is weaker than in previous year. It pales in comparison to 2011, which saw close to 50 first-round talents. The class does, however, offer some players with immense upside, and one of the better offensive players to come along in at least three of four years.
This list will be continuously updated throughout the season.
Even without the injury to Giolito, Buxton has shown enough to warrant the top spot amongst high-schoolers. A true five-tool stud with equal parts Alfonso Soriano, Desmond Jennings, and brothers B.J. and Justin Upton.
Even with an injury that has sidelined him for almost the entire 2012 season, Giolito doesn’t fall too far thanks to amazing velocity and a hammer curveball.
3) Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rican Baseball Academy
The consensus now seems to be that Correa can stick at shortstop, making him an elite prospect. His bat would have profiled at third base, but at shortstop he could be the next Manny Machado.
Pitching out of the shadow of Giolito has allowed him to blossom into one of the top high school arms.
Almora has five-tool potential as well, with the most impressive skills being his incredible raw power and rocket arm.
Some scouts saw regression in his 2012 campaign (10-0, 72 K in 55 IP), but what we saw was a guy who wasn’t challenged. Big, physical pitcher who’s only going to get better as he fills out.
Best true shortstop from the HS crop. Bat has improved from this point last year, but it’s still behind his glove. Higher offensive ceiling than Deven Marrero.
Few have ever seen a catcher with Trahan’s tools. His speed is blinding and he’s off the charts in terms of athleticism. Mastering catching could take a while, but his offensive potential will make it worth the wait.
Nobody made more of his 2012 campaign than Hawkins, who profiles as a power-hitting corner outfielder. He might play center for a while, but his arm will be more dangerous in right field.
10) Zach Elfin, RHP, Hagerty HS (FL)
Great frame (6-5, 220) and impressive stuff. Mid 90s fastball complemented by arguably the HS crop’s best changeup.
Reliever or starter? That is the question. What’s not in question is McCuller’s elite velocity. Improvement in his secondary stuff could lead a team to take a chance on him earlier than expected.
Dahl has faced questions all spring about his ability. Still, he’s a five-tool talent with at least two above-average tools (speed and arm strength), which means he won’t fall out of first-round.
13) Ty Hensley, RHP, Santa Fe HS (OK)
From the state that produced Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley, Hensley is arguably the top RHP east of the Mississippi. Great size (6-5, 200), great velocity (92-95 mph) and a really great curveball.
14) Addison Russell, SS, Pace HS (FL)
Best pop besides Correa among HS shortstops. Lost a ton of weight in the off-season and has looked great at SS this year. Could stick long-term, enhancing his value.
Very polished lefty with a lithe, athletic frame. Can scrape the 96-97 mph range and spins a very strong curveball.
Hard to discount a guy with two plus-plus tools (power and arm strength), but he’ll have trouble finding a position long-term.
17) Tanner Rahier, SS, Palm Desert HS (CA)
Second best defender behind Cecchini, although that gap is wide. Excellent bat skills and an off-the-charts work ethic/attitude. Phenomenal arm strength as well.
18) Rhett Wiseman, OF, Buckingham Brown and Nichols HS (MA)
Mike Trout taught us to keep our eyes open for guys from the Northeast. Wiseman has great tools including raw power, plus speed and outstanding athleticism.
19) Mitchell Traver, RHP, Houston Christian HS (TX)
He’s going to be a tough sign (TCU), but Traver has two things you can’t teach: size (6-7, 250) and velocity (mid 90s).
20) Lewis Brinson, OF, Coral Springs HS (FL)
Toolsy, big (6-4, 180) outfielder with great power (won ’11 Under Armour HR derby). Strong arm (85 mph) and a very smart baserunner. Committed to UF.