Rare are the years that see one player earn top ranking at two different positions.
If we had told you before the season began that it was Hunter Greene that would have that honor (as both RHP and SS), you may not have been surprised. However, here we are in June, and Louisville sensation Brendan McKay claims the honor not only as the top left-handed pitcher, but also as the top first baseman available in the 2017 draft class. McKay has always been an impressive talent at the plate, hitting a combined .321 his first two years, but he grew into some power this season. In just 202 at-bats, he slugged 17 home runs, but he didn’t sacrifice anything at the plate, hitting a career-best .356. Furthermore, McKay showed incredible patience, drawing 45 walks to just 35 strikeouts.
While McKay is the cream of the crop, he is followed up by some impressive prospects that will likely have long and successful pro careers. Pavin Smith also came into his junior campaign with above-average hitting ability, and like McKay, he tapped into a never-before-seen power source, slugging 13 homers and driving in 77 runs. He also earned the reputation as the toughest hitter to strike out in college baseball, whiffing just 12 times in 228 at-bats.
If we had ranked the top first basemen in January, there’s no doubt that high-schooler Nick Pratto would have headed the list. He offers an impressive package at the plate that includes above-average raw power, and despite playing for one of the best prep teams in the nation, he had an uninspiring senior season, leading to a slight drop down the rankings. He’s still a bonafide first round talent though.
While McKay, Smith, and, to some extent, Pratto are bat-first, this crop does have its fair share of defensive standouts. Kentucky’s Evan White and Wake Forest’s Gavin Sheets are two of the most athletic first basemen we’ve seen in quite some time, and both can swing the bat as well. Sheets even has above-average speed.
These rankings are current as of 6/6/17, and will be updated throughout the draft season.
|1||Brendan McKay||1B/LHP||University of Louisville||6-2||220||L-L||Average (50/60)|
|2||Pavin Smith||1B||University of Virginia||6-2||210||L-L||Average (55/65)|
|3||Evan White||1B/OF||University of Kentucky||6-3||205||R-R||Fielding (50/60)|
|4||Nick Pratto||1B/LHP||Huntington Beach High School (CA)||6-2||195||L-L||Average (45/65)|
|5||Gavin Sheets||1B||Wake Forest University||6-5||235||L-L||Fielding (55/65)|
|6||Brent Rooker||1B/OF||Mississippi State University||6-4||220||R-R||Power (50/60)|
|7||J.J. Matijevic||1B||University of Arizona||6-0||199||L-R||Power (55/65)|
|8||K.J. Harrison||1B/C||Oregon State University||6-0||209||R-R||Fielding (50/55)|
|9||Terriez Fuller||1B/OF||Griffin High School (GA)||6-2||240||L-R||Power (45/75)|
|10||Dylan Busby||1B/3B||Florida State University||6-3||190||R-R||Power (50/60)|
|11||Tim Elko||1B/3B||Hillsborough High School (FL)||6-4||225||R-R||Fielding (45/65)|
|12||Alex Toral||1B/OF||Archbishop McCarthy High School (FL)||6-2||220||L-L||Power (50/70)|
|13||Nick Storz||1B/RHP||Poly Prep Country Day School (NY)||6-6||255||R-R||Power (50/75)|
|14||Jake Adams||1B||University of Iowa||6-2||250||R-R||Power (60/70)|
|15||Joe Perez||1B/3B/RHP||Archbishop McCarthy High School (FL)||6-3||210||R-R||Arm Strength (60/70)|
|16||Evan Skoug||1B/C||Texas Christian University||5-11||200||L-R||Power (45/55)|
|17||Bryson Hutchinson||1B/RHP||Spruce Creek High School (FL)||6-6||255||R-R||Power (50/75)|
|18||Nick Breuser||1B||Hamilton High School (AZ)||6-3||190||R-L||Fielding (45/60)|
|19||Sean Bouchard||1B||University of California, Los Angeles||6-3||215||R-R||Fielding (50/55)|
|20||Carl Stajduhar||1B||University of New Mexico||6-1||215||R-R||Power (55/60)|