Brendan Rodgers, SS, Lake Mary HS (FL)
Rodgers has looked sharp this season, both at the plate and in the field. He’s made solid contact, shown good pop, and has shown he has the talent to make all the plays required of a big-league shortstop.
.385/.467/1.000, 2 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
Dazmon Cameron, OF, Eagle’s Landing HS (GA)
As expected, Cameron has also dominated the high-school circuit, going deep three times, stealing three bases and maintaining an average north of .400. He’s a far better talent than his father was, and his ceiling is much much higher.
.417/.500/.916, 11 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K, 3 SB
Phil Bickford, RHP, CC of Southern Nevada
Bickford looked sharp last year, pitching for Cal State Fullerton, but he wanted to be draft-eligible this year so he transferred to the school that Bryce Harper made famous a few years ago. The results have been sensational, and Bickford has kept himself in contention to go as high as #2 overall.
5-1, 2.06 ERA, 9 GP, 9 GS, 48.0 IP, 28 H, 11 ER, 89 K, 13 BB
Nathan Kirby, LHP, Virginia
The Rangers would love to get their hands on Bickford, a strong, durable flamethrower, but chances are he’ll be off the board by the time they pick at #4. The three candidates the Rangers love the most are all lefties: Kolby Allard, Brady Aiken and Kirby. The recent announcement that Aiken underwent Tommy John surgery might DQ him, and while Allard is a tantalizing prospect that is seen in many circles as Aiken 2.0, Kirby shouldn’t need much seasoning, and there’s no doubt the Rangers could use some big-league pitching help.
4-1, 1.01 ERA, 7 GP, 7 GS, 44.2 IP, 34 H, 5 ER, 62 K, 21 BB
Michael Matuella, RHP, Duke
How great a drama would it be if the Astros selected Aiken again, now that he has legitimate concerns about his arm? Don’t count on it, especially with Matuella still available. After missing a few starts early on with several ailments, the massive right-hander has looked sharp the past month and a half, reinvigorating his draft stock.
1-1, 1.08 ERA, 6 GP, 6 GS, 25.0 IP, 20 H, 3 ER, 24 K, 11 BB
Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt
The gap between Brendan Rodgers and Swanson isn’t as big as you’d think, and as such, getting the chance to select him with the #6 pick would be a veritable steal for the Twins. The shortstop position has been a revolving door at the big-league level, and Swanson could finally bring some consistency to an infield that has had to do with makeshift pieces for years. He’s a legit five-tool talent.
.351/.467/.568, 39 R, 8 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 25 RBI, 23 BB, 20 K, 10 SB
Boston Red Sox
Dillon Tate, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
Tate was a known commodity before the season began, but the wiry right-hander exploded onto the scene with several scintillating starts that showcased his mid-to-high-90s fastball and pinpoint control. Through seven starts, he’s been good for at least eight or nine strikeouts per outing, and his draft stock has increased with each performance.
3-3, 1.39 ERA, 7 GP, 7 GS, 51.2 IP, 27 H, 8 ER, 59 K, 15 BB
Chicago White Sox
Greg Pickett, OF, Legend HS (CO)
Pickett actually has the lowest batting average of any of the high-school prospects we track here at MLBDC, but that shouldn’t affect his status as a top-ten talent. Checking in at an imposing 6’4” and 205 pounds, Pickett oozes raw power, and the rest of his game (above-average speed, arm strength and defense) isn’t far behind
.278/.391/.444, 2 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K, 0 SB
Brady Aiken, LHP, IMG Academy
There’s no doubt that Aiken is a better prospect than former first-rounder Lucas Giolito, who was drafted #16 overall in 2012, despite undergoing surgery before that year’s draft. As such, expect Aiken to get drafted somewhere in the top-ten, with the Cubs a good a landing spot as any. With the collection of elite talent they’ve acquired over the past few years, Chicago is one franchise that can actually afford to give Aiken the rest he needs to bounce back to his best form.
Did not pitch in 2015 (out with injury)
Ian Happ, 2B/OF, Cincinnati
You wouldn’t know it from his performance, but Happ plays on one of the worst major conference teams in all of college baseball. Despite that, the junior infielder/outfielder is tearing the cover off the ball. His average hovered around .500 for the first month of the season, and he’s shown great patience at the plate, and even more pop than anyone expected. Happ will likely be the first position player to reach the Majors from this draft class.
.393/.509/.708, 18 R, 7 2B, 0 3B, 7 HR, 20 RBI, 23 BB, 20 K, 5 SB
Trenton Clark, OF, Richland HS (TX)
Clark has burst out of the gate and is currently hitting well over .500 on the season. A similar prospect to Pickett, Clark oozes talent. He’s got blazing speed and he should be a Gold Glove caliber defender, while his tools at the plate are impressive as well. He should hit for both average and power.
.550/.710/.900, 9 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 11 BB, 2 K, 6 SB
Richie Martin, SS, Florida
Of all the shortstops in this class, Martin is easily the most talented, seasoned defender. He could probably play the position in the Majors right now, but his bat currently lags behind his glove. He’s shown some good things at the plate so far in 2015, but it’s hard to imagine him being successful at the plate at the pro level if he can’t maintain a .300 average in college
.296/.402/.426, 30 R, 4 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 16 BB, 11 K, 10 SB
Tampa Bay Rays
Kolby Allard, LHP, San Clemente HS (CA)
As mentioned above, Allard is seen by many as a diet version of Brady Aiken, so it wouldn’t be incredibly surprising to see him get popped in the first five picks, but with a commitment to UCLA, he could come with a pretty big price tag. There’s not as much wiggle-room as there was under the old draft rules, so expect some pretty hard-handed haggling between Allard and whichever team selects him. That said, if the Rays or any other team could get him to sign, it would be a major coup.
.2-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 GP, 2 GS, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 9 K, 6 BB
Nick Plummer, OF, Brother Rice HS (MI)
Plummer placed on most pre-season All-American lists and for good reason. At 5’11” and 200 pounds, he’s a spark-plug of a player who flashes at least three above-average tools (arm strength, hitting for average and defense). Some scouts aren’t sold on his bat, but if he reaches his ceiling he’s a .290/.350/.450 hitter.
2015 season has not yet begun
Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Louisville
After his first start, it looked like the #1 overall pick was the ceiling for Funkhouser, who has since come back to earth and shown first-round talent, no doubt about it, but likely more middle-to-end of the first-round talent. When he’s locating his fastball and mixing in his other pitches, he’s incredibly tough to hit, but that control has been spotty this year.
3-2, 2.40 ERA, 7 GP, 7 GS, 45.0 IP, 34 H, 12 ER, 49 K, 19 BB
New York Yankees
Ashe Russell, RHP, Cathedral HS (IN)
Russell is eerily similar to the last first-round pitcher to come out of Indiana, Jarrod Parker. While he’s a few inches taller, Russell shows the same low-to-mid-90s fastball and a top-notch breaking ball. Russell is also one of just a handful of high-school pitchers that has the chance to develop at least three above-average offerings. He could sneak his way into the top-ten, but he’s more likely a player that falls into the 15-20 range.
2015 season has not yet begun
Walker Buehler, RHP, Vanderbilt
Like Michael Matuella, Buehler got off to a slow start in 2015 after dealing with some nagging injuries that have limited him to shortened starts. In those three- and four-inning outings, however, he’s looked really sharp. As he continues to go deeper into games as the season progresses, look for him to start working his way back up draft boards.
2-0, 1.93 ERA, 5 GP, 5 GS, 23.1 IP, 22 H, 5 ER, 26 K, 6 BB
San Francisco Giants
Alex Bregman, 2B/SS, Louisiana State
Let’s face it. Bregman just looks like the kind of guy that plays for the Giants. Hard-nosed and gritty, and in possession of several above-average, but not eye-popping, tools. While he’s been able to quiet concerns about his bat this year, Bregman has also flashes some serious pop and great wheels. He’s arguably the most polished hitter in this class, and it wouldn’t surprise if he beat Ian Happ to the big-leagues.
.304/.373/.557, 23 R, 9 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 25 RBI, 11 BB, 4 K, 14 SB
Justin Hooper, LHP, De La Salle HS (CA)
The Pirates struck paydirt with another massive flame-thrower from California in 2011 when they were able to snag Tyler Glasnow in the fifth-round. They could find a similar gem in Hooper, who is lacking in polish, but has as much raw talent as anyone in this draft class. Hooper can dial his fastball up to 97-mph and could squeeze a little more as he continues to fill out his 6’7” frame, and his curveball flashes plus.
1-1, 1.75 ERA, 3 GP, 3 GS, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 10 K, 8 BB
Luke Lowery, 1B/OF, East Carolina
Lowery has already hit as many homers in 2015 as he did the two previous years combined. Expect more from the massive slugger, who has also kept his average near .400, including a possible first-round selection. Teams like Oakland value Lowery’s ability to get on base and to destroy fastballs. He could play either first base or in an outfield corner, where his above-average arm strength would play quite well.
.390/.505/.732, 4 2B, 0 3B, 8 HR, 27 RBI, 15 BB, 19 K, 4 SB
Kansas City Royals
Mike Nikorak, RHP, Stroudsburg HS (PA)
The Royals have seen much of their pitching depth depleted by graduations to the big-leagues and trades that helped acquire a lot of the talent that brought them within a few games of a World Series title. They made a big splash two years ago by selecting Sean Manaea, but he too is on the cusp of reaching the Majors. Nikorak is a solidly built right-hander who owns a blazing fastball and a couple of good secondary offerings.
2015 season has not yet begun
Cornelius Randolph, 3B, Griffin HS (GA)
Georgia is quite the hotbed of talent this year, and one of the best talents after Daz Cameron is Randolph, who flashes above-average or better arm strength, hitting for power and average and defense. He’s not a terrible runner, but it’s by far his weakest tool. Still, he a bona-fide first-round talent, who would be a steal with the 22nd pick.
.348/.531/.695, 12 R, 5 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 7 BB, 4 K, 9 SB
St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Betts, C, Wilson HS (CA)
Betts is the best offensive catcher in a position class that does little to get the blood flowing. That said, he’s an immensely talented backstop that has a sweet left-handed swing that oozes raw power. He’s a 35-homer kind of guy, who should also hit for a decent average if he reaches his ceiling. Defensively, he’s pretty solid too, possessing an incredibly strong arm and quick footwork
.412/.574/.970, 12 R, 4 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 12 BB, 3 K, 0 SB
Los Angeles Dodgers
Doak Dozier, OF, Arlington Heights HS (TX)
The Dodgers have drafted pretty savvily the past few years, and adding a five-tool talent like Dozier would be a great move. The Virginia commit has all the tools to be a plus defender in the outfield and his bat looks similarly promising.
2015 seasons stats not available
Donny Everett, RHP, Clarksville HS (TN)
Everett has been one of the breakout stars of the 2015 campaign so far. Through four outings, he’s racked up 41 strikeouts (and just one walk) in just 19 innings. He’s committed to Vanderbilt, so he’ll be a tough sign, but adding his mid-90s fastball and above-average curve would give the Orioles even more pitching depth, depth that is a necessity to continue to rebuild a team that will see nearly half it’s squad enter free-agency after the 2015 season.
3-0, 1 SV, 0.74 ERA, 4 GP, 3 GS, 19.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 41 K, 1 BB
Los Angeles Angels
Tyler Jay, LHP, Illinois
Jay looked sharp last year pitching out of the Illini bullpen, but he’s taken his game up a notch in 2015. He’s allowed just three earned runs in 27.2 innings and has already picked up six saves and four victories. Not bad for a closer. Even more impressive is just three walks. Jay has the fastball (91-97-mph) and the secondary offerings (curveball, changeup) to pitch as a starter, but he might have to wait until he reaches pro ball to get the chance.
4-1, 6 SV, 0.98 ERA, 13 GP, 1 GS, 27.2 IP, 14 H, 3 ER, 29 K, 3 BB