The Top MLB Draft Prospects In Texas
1. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Central Heights HS, Nacogdoches, Texas (BA Rank: 24)
HS • 6-4 • 230 • L-R
The biggest pop-up player of the 2018 draft class, Grayson Rodriguez is a huge, 6-foot-5, 230-pound righthander who was primarily in the lower 90s over the summer with some bad weight on his body. Over the winter he got into the gym, worked with a trainer and overhauled his body, cleaning it up and looking like a completely different pitcher this spring. The results were astounding, as Rodriguez has regularly been up to 97-98 mph with his fastball and sits in the mid-90s throughout his starts with remarkable ease in his delivery. In addition to the velocity that he’s shown he can sustain, Rodriguez has heavy life to his fastball and spots it fairly well in the strike zone, giving the pitch the makings of a 70-grade offering—If it’s not already there. In addition to the fastball, Rodriguez has a low-80s slider and a curveball that is a step ahead at 72-74 mph and occasionally slows up. He doesn’t throw it often, but he mixes in an occasional changeup to show it’s in the repertoire as well. Rodriguez has a very poised approach on the mound and rarely shows any emotion as he cuts through opposing lineups in front of deep crowds of scouts and high-level decision makers. Reportedly many teams in the back end of the first round have been bearing down on Rodriguez and he’s done enough this spring to establish himself among the top tier of high school arms.
2. Adam Kloffenstein, RHP, Magnolia (Texas) HS (BA Rank: 35)
HS • 6-5 • 220 • R-R
Kloffenstein is a strong, 6-foot-5 projectable righthander out of Magnolia (Texas) High, who showed an interesting package of starter traits over the summer and impressed scouts and scouting directors early this spring. He has a high, three-quarter slot and a quick arm, with a fastball in the low 90s. His breaking ball had a curveball shape over the summer and came across in the low 80s, but now looks more like a slider thanks to a mechanical tweak made by the Texas commit. This past year, Kloffenstien has shown a lot of progression, as he was always a big, physical presence but has now taken steps mentally and physically. He has cleaned up his body and holds his velocity deeper into starts, while also flashing a changeup in the mid-80s that induced several swings and misses over the summer.
3. Jordan Groshans, 3B/SS, Magnolia (Texas) HS (BA Rank: 38)
HS • 6-4 • 190 • R-R
Groshans might never wind up at Kansas with his older brother, Jaxx, thanks to his performance throughout last summer and this spring at Magnolia High in Texas. A 6-foot-4, 190-pound shortstop, Groshans has quick bat speed and plus raw power and he showed the ability to square up elite pitching on the summer showcase circuit in 2017. He hit 90-plus mph velocity hard all over the field in multiple events, including a home run against a 95-mph fastball from New York righthander Lineras Torres Jr. in the Perfect Game All-American Classic. Over the summer, Groshans used a big leg kick to start his load and when he was on time it didn’t hinder him, instead helping him generate more power. But there were instances where Groshans would get out on his front side and fly open early, leaving some scouts to question whether the big leg kick would create more timing issues as he advanced against better pitching. This spring, Groshans has quieted the leg kick and improved his balance and hand path to the ball, attempting to lift the ball less frequently and has been hitting lasers the entire season. He’s also added around 10 pounds of muscle while maintaining his lean body. Groshans has an above-average arm and he’s shown good defensive actions at a number of infield positions, though most scouts believe he will eventually move to third base with a chance to be an above-average defender as he continues to fill out his frame.
4. Jameson Hannah, OF, Dallas Baptist (BA Rank: 48)
4YR • 5-9 • 184 • L-L
Hannah went undrafted out of Flower Mound (Texas) High in 2015, but was part of a Texas 5-A state championship team as a junior in 2014 and has hit at a high level in each of his three seasons at Dallas Baptist. Accounting for his first 41 games this spring, Hannah is a career .340/.420/.502 hitter with 16 home runs, 41 doubles and 28 stolen bases—caught stealing just twice in three seasons. A solid athlete who has gained strength since getting to college, Hannah profiles as a center fielder at the next level thanks to his 60-grade or better speed and a hit tool that grades out at 50 or better as well. Hannah is not overflowing with tools, but as a premium position defender with speed and a smooth swing, he has put himself in position to go on day one of the draft. He has also improved his plate discipline each year. After striking out 39 times (17.6 K%) and walking 20 times (9 BB%) in 2016, Hannah is now walking almost as much as he is striking out, with 25 walks (12.1 BB%) and 28 strikeouts (13.6 K%) as a junior. Hannah operates with a doubles-oriented approach but has the strength that could allow him to reach double-digit homers as a pro if a major league team wants to change his mentality in the batter’s box. Scouts also believe that Hannah could rack up more stolen bases with a more aggressive approach, as he has the speed and efficiency to do damage there as well. The knock on Hannah could be his performance in the Cape Cod League last summer, when he hit just .265/.331/.356 with the highest strikeout rate of his collegiate career, but his wood bat track record in the Coastal Plain League in 2016 was solid.
5. Braxton Ashcraft, RHP, Robinson (Texas) HS (BA Rank: 58)
HS • 6-5 • 195 • L-R
An immensely athletic pitcher, Ashcraft also plays football at Robinson (Texas) High as a wide receiver and had a record-setting junior campaign, where he caught 204 passes for 2,090 yards and 37 touchdowns—including a seven-touchdown game in Robinson’s season opener. His athleticism translates to the mound as well, where Ashcraft throws from a three-quarter slot with a loose arm, feel to spin a breaking ball and physical upside. Ashcraft didn’t have eye-opening velocity during the showcase circuit, and scouts have said his velocity has been up and down this spring, but he has shown the ability to spot the pitch to both sides with cutting and running action. Widely seen as a pro pitching prospect, some scouts have wondered what Ashcraft would look like with a bat in his hands, as he’s shown impressive power and can glide around the baseball field as a runner. Still, the upside he has on the mound is too much to ignore, and if he takes a jump with his stuff at some point—and he has the arm speed, athleticism and frame to do so—he could be a steal in the draft. He is expected to be a tough sign as a Baylor commit.
6. Luken Baker, 1B/DH, Texas Christian (BA Rank: 68)
4YR • 6-4 • 240 • R-R
A two-way star in high school who ranked No. 58 on the BA 500 in 2016, Baker has lived up to lofty expectations at TCU, when healthy. His career has been marred by a number of freak injuries, however. Baker’s sophomore season ended early when he injured his arm and elbow in a collision at first base and he need surgery to repair his elbow. As a junior, he missed a couple of games after he took a bad hop off his eye, then saw his season end prematurely when he broke his left fibula sliding into second base. Baker began his TCU career as a two-way star with a low-to-mid-90s fastball, but he gave up pitching as a sophomore. His best position is designated hitter, but he can play a below-average first base as well. The 6-foot-4, 265 pounder doesn’t move well enough to be an outfielder. And that makes it tough to project him as a pro. He’s best suited for an American League team because of his defensive limitations. Baker has been productive, but his 11 home runs as a freshman remain his season high and because of his injuries he has no real track record of hitting with wood bats. Righthanded-hitting first baseman have to put up massive stats in college to go high in the draft. A team looking for power could take him in the second or third round, but some scouts wouldn’t be surprised if Baker returned to TCU to try to get healthy and put up bigger numbers.
7. Simeon Woods-Richardson, RHP/3B, Kempner HS, Sugar Land, Texas (BA Rank: 76)
HS • 6-4 • 210 • R-R
One of the youngest players in the 2018 draft class, Woods-Richardson is a 6-foot-4, 210-pound righthander out of Texas who impressed scouts at multiple summer showcase events last year. At both the Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif., and Perfect Game’s World Wood Bat Association world championships in Jupiter, Fla., during the fall, Woods-Richardson pitched with a low-90s fastball that touched 93 mph at times. He features both a four-seam and two-seam fastball, as well as two breaking balls—one a sweeping slider in the upper 70s and the other a mid-70s curveball with an 11-to-5 shape. He showed the makings of a plus breaking ball at the Area Code Games and even flashed a potential plus changeup during the Tournament of Stars in Cary, N.C. After all the flashes of upside over the summer, Woods-Richardson has continued to trend up this spring, with his fastball velocity ticking up. Scouts have noted, however, that he doesn’t always hold his velocity into starts as long as they would like to see. As a younger, athletic righthander out of Texas who has trended in the right direction this spring, Woods-Richardson has checked enough boxes on his scouting report to get him drafted quickly in June. If he did make it to campus at Texas, he would be a two-way talent with some impressive raw power with the bat as well.
8. Josh Breaux, RHP/C, McLennan (Texas) JC (BA Rank: 88)
JC • So. • 6-2 • 200 • R-R
Breaux has one of the best arms in this draft class, as he sits 95-98 mph and has touched 100 mph on some radar guns when working as a one-inning reliever. But teams have rarely seen him pitch as he’s also McLennan’s catcher and best power hitter, and Breaux wants to be a position player. Breaux threw 13 innings as a freshman and, as a sophomore, he’d thrown only four innings as of early May. As a catcher, Breaux is below-average defensively, but he’s shown significant improvement over the past two years. His plus-plus arm serves him well, but he’s a little stiff and has to work on improving his flexibility and receiving. Breaux is a solid athlete and runs well for a catcher (6.8 seconds in the 60-yard dash), giving him an option of playing in the outfield as well. Breaux’s calling card as a hitter is his plus-plus raw power. He has 25-plus home run potential, although scouts wonder if his significant swing-and-miss will keep him from being better than a below-average hitter. He does have a track record of hitting with wood last summer in the Cape Cod League (.271/.310/.474) and he has produced this spring (.398/.524/.801) with more walks (40) than strikeouts (34). Breaux has signed with Arkansas, where he could be a two-way star, but his power potential could get him drafted as a position player, and he always has a fall-back option of moving to the mound if hitting doesn’t work out.
9. Sean Wymer, RHP, Texas Christian (BA Rank: 89)
4YR • 6-1 • 190 • R-R •
After serving as Texas Christian’s moment of truth reliever as a sophomore, Wymer moved into the Horned Frogs weekend rotation as a junior. Unfortunately for Wymer, he showed in his new role that he’s probably better suited as a reliever. Eventually, TCU moved the 6-foot-1 Wymer back into a multi-inning relief role as April turned to May. Pitching as a starter, his fastball tailed off from 93-95 mph he showed out of the bullpen and settled closer to 90-92 mph. Wymer’s high-70s, 12-to-6 curveball was still an above-average pitch as a starter, but it’s even sharper out of the bullpen. He started using his below-average changeup more in longer stints, but at his best, it’s his above-average control of his big breaking ball and an above-average fastball that could make him a useful reliever in pro ball.
10. Durbin Feltman, RHP, Texas Christian (BA Rank: 94)
4YR • 6-0 • 190 • R-R •
Feltman has served as Texas Christian’s closer for three years. He set the TCU single-season saves record in 2017 with 17 saves and tied Riley Ferrell’s school career record with 32 saves by the end of April. The 6-foot righthander is a fast worker who attacks hitters with two plus pitches. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and has touched 98-99 mph at times. His hard, 84-85 mph slider has plenty of depth and late break, with more of a curveball’s downward break than late, lateral tilt. Both are swing-and-miss offerings—in his first 16 appearances in 2018, Feltman was striking out nearly 16 batters per nine innings. Feltman’s size and energetic delivery—which ends with him flying off the mound toward first base—make him best suited to continue in his relief role in pro ball. College relievers have stopped hearing their name called in the first round, but as one of the best closers in the country, Feltman should be a very solid pick in the second or third round.
11. Aaron Hernandez, RHP, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (BA Rank: 97)
4YR • Jr. • 6-2 • 175 • R-R •
Hernandez has some of most consistent velocity in Texas, as he regularly sat 92-95 mph touching 97-98 this season. Hernandez pitches across his body as well, which helps hide the ball early in his delivery. But scouts say that Hernandez’s fastball doesn’t play to the radar gun readings, as it’s very true with minimal late life. Hernandez relies a lot on his above-average 80-83 mph slurvy breaking ball. It has some power, although its shape is more side-to-side than a true, downer curveball and it has a bigger break than a harder slider. Hernandez has some effort to his delivery and some evaluators believe his stuff will eventually player better out of the bullpen.
12. Mitchell Kilkenny, RHP, Texas A&M (BA Rank: 99)
4YR • Jr. • 6-5 • 210 • R-R •
Kilkenny has stood out as a junior because of his consistency. In his first 12 starts, he worked six or more innings nine times and made it out of fifth in all but one start. His 2.20 ERA was best in the Southeastern Conference (ahead of Casey Mize) as of early May. With three average pitches, Kilkenny has kept SEC hitters off balance all year by mixing a 91-93 mph fastball that can bump 95 mph when he reaches back, an improved, average slider that he can work to both righthanded and lefthanded hitters and an average changeup that he can locate with precision. Nothing about Kilkenny’s stuff is truly exceptional, but he has a clean delivery, holds runners well and has such a well-rounded repertoire that he projects as a solid back-of-the-rotation starter thanks to his above-average control.
13. Nolan Kingham, RHP, Texas (BA Rank: 100)
4YR • Jr. • 6-4 • 200 • R-R •
The younger brother of Pirates righthander Nick Kingham, Nolan has been a fixture in the Texas rotation for two seasons, although his junior year has failed to match the dominance he showed at times as a sophomore. He was pushed to the bullpen one weekend for academic reasons, something that also happened in 2017, and he’s been erratic otherwise. Kingham has plenty of arm speed, as he can touch 96-97 mph with his four-seam fastball and gets plenty of sink with his 90-92 mph two-seamer, but early on this season his two-seamer straightened out and he left it up in the zone too often. He also has an above-average 80-81 mph curveball that has earned a few plus grades and he has flashed a potentially average changeup at times. Kingham was a 39th-round pick of the Brewers out of high school. His brother was a late-bloomer, and Kingham has a little more stuff and athleticism than Nick had at the same age. At his best, he’ll flash first-round stuff, but his best stuff this year has most often come in short relief stints. A team that liked him as a sophomore may be willing to bet on his stuff, but his poor junior season (6-2, 4.50 with 85 hits in 64 innings) makes it tougher to feel confident that he can put it all together.
14. Steven Gingery, LHP, Texas Tech (BA Rank: 103)
4YR • 6-1 • 210 • R-L •
One start into his junior season, Gingery blew out his elbow and had to have Tommy John surgery. That put a halt to his run as one of the most productive pitchers in college baseball. Gingery stepped right into the Red Raiders rotation as a freshman and led the Big 12 conference with a 1.85 ERA in conference games (and a 3.18 ERA overall). He was even better as a sophomore, posting a conference-best 1.58 ERA in 2016, fifth best in the country. Gingery also had a 1.12 ERA in 16 innings with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team. Pre-injury, Gingery had what many scouts considered the best changeup in college baseball, as it has excellent deception and late fade as it dives below bats. It’s an easily plus pitch that earns some 70 grades. His changeup and his above-average control are vital to his success, as he does a good job of spotting his fringe-average 88-91 mph fastball and an average curveball he can throw for strikes. Gingery’s easy delivery, above-average control and long track record of success made him one of the safest bets in the draft class before his injury. If Gingery makes a full recovery, he projects as a solid back-of-the-rotation starter.
15. Jonathan Childress, LHP, Forney (Texas) HS (BA Rank: 107)
HS • 6-4 • 215 • L-L •
Figuring out what to do with Childress is going to be one of the tougher calls in draft rooms around the country. The big, 6-foot-4 lefthander has one of the best curveballs in the draft class, earning plenty of plus grades and 70s at its best. Childress has showed velocity too, as he’s touched 93-94 mph in shorter stints. But this spring Childress has generally sat at 87-89 mph more often, scraping 90-91 at his best. An aggressive team could draft Childress in the second or third round and count on his frame and projection, expecting to see him grow into someone who throws in the low 90s at least, while also breaking off outstanding curveballs. But most teams are likely to prefer letting him get to Texas A&M, where they will be able to watch him for the next three years to see if his velocity spikes. If it does, he’ll be paid very well down the road.
16. Korey Holland, OF, Langham Creek HS, Houston (BA Rank: 117)
HS • 6-0 • 173 • R-R •
A Texas signee, Holland has steadily improved himself as a player. As he’s matured, he’s gone from being an average runner to a plus runner and he shows solid feel for hitting thanks to quick hands and a fluid swing. He’s shown very little power so far, but there are scouts who say they believe he will eventually grow into someone who can hit 10-15 home runs a year. His pro profile is still subject to much debate. His routes and reads need significant improvement if he’s going to stay in center field. If he can’t, his below-average arm limits him to left field, where his average hitting ability and present below-average power would limit him.
17. Davis Martin, RHP, Texas Tech (BA Rank: 119)
4YR • Jr. • 6-2 • 220 • L-R •
When Steven Gingery was lost to Tommy John surgery at the start of the season, Martin ascended to the Friday night starter role for the Red Raiders. As he always does, he battled and rarely buckled, but his margin of error is pretty fine, as he just doesn’t have a true swing-and-miss pitch. His 90-91 mph fastball has some arm-side run and he’ll touch 93 mph, but it’s not firm enough to be successful unless he’s spotting it precisely and his command right now is not good enough to do that. He has potentially average control but below-average command, which means he often catches a little too much of the strike zone. Martin’s slider and changeup both are fringe-average to average pitches as well, and his slider in particular has backed up as the season wore on. Martin’s stuff is that of a back-of-the-rotation starter. With his track record of success, he’s likely to hear his name called on day two, but he lacks the ceiling of some of the pitchers who will be picked around him.
18. Trey Dillard, RHP, San Jacinto (Texas) JC (BA Rank: 122)
JC • 6-2 • 215 • R-R •
Very few junior college relievers get drafted and even fewer will get popped early on day two of the draft, but Dillard is the exception thanks to his pair of plus pitches. Dillard’s 92-97 mph fastball is excellent with some arm-side run and modest plane, but it’s actually less impressive than his low-80s hammer of a 12-to-6 curveball. The curveball earns easy plus grades. He has plenty of arm speed and a strong frame. Dillard didn’t work all that much this year at San Jacinto, throwing only 15.2 innings in 16 appearances as of mid-May. He was dominant, however, going 1-0, 1.72 with 7 saves and 15.5 K/9. His control will need to improve. He’s generally around the zone, but he did walk 6.3 batters per nine innings this year.
19. Mason Englert, RHP/SS, Forney (Texas) HS (BA Rank: 126)
HS • 6-4 • 215 • B-R •
Every year the draft has a number of projectable young pitchers whose “arrows are pointing up” according to scouts. Englert is one of those, as he has the look and developing stuff of a future mid-rotation starter, even if it requires some projection right now. He can touch 94-95 with his fastball at times, but he has generally pitched at 88-90 mph. He’s a skinny 6-foot-5 with the frame to fill out over the next few years. Englert throws a promising slider and curveball that both need refinement and currently grade as fringy, but they flash enough to project into future above-average offerings. If Englert gets to Texas A&M it’s easy to see him developing into a potential first rounder in a few years, but an aggressive team could try to pay him enough now to skip the three-year wait.
20. Max Marusak, OF, Amarillo (Texas) HS (BA Rank: 138)
HS • 6-0 • 175 • R-R •
Called the “Amarillo Flash,” by scouts, Marusak—who attends Amarillo (Texas) High—has an 80-grade nickname to go with his 80-grade speed. Arguably the fastest player in the entire class, Marusak floats around the bases and outfield with ease, giving himself plus-plus range in center field to go along with plus arm strength. He had a loud showing at the Area Code Games last summer, where he displayed tremendous bat speed and barreled one ball deep into the left-center field gap with an aggressive swing. That last part is where scouts have to do some projecting, as Marusak has struggled with the bat this spring against north Texas competition that is not great. He has swing-and-miss issues that come from both bat-to-ball questions and questions regarding how well he sees spin. His swing path and mechanics itself are not bad, but a team will have to be very patient with him in professional ball. He has the physical tools to improve in this area, and his speed will always give him more room for error than other players, but as scouts have said—you can’t steal first base. The upside is tremendous with Marusak because of his off-the-chart speed, and a loud performance at a big-time national event should give him a chance at being drafted in the first few rounds.
21. Grant Little, OF, Texas Tech (BA Rank: 158)
4YR • DE-So. • 6-1 • 185 • R-R •
Little is a left fielder who most scouts grade as having below-average power. That would seem to be the kind of player teams would pass on, but, as a draft-eligible sophomore, Little is an athletic, versatile player with an outstanding ability to put the barrel on the ball. Even though he plays left field for the Red Raiders, there’s enough athleticism that scouts believe he can play second or third base, as well as some center field, in pro ball. He makes good reads and takes solid routes to make the most of his average speed and he has even played some shortstop in fall ball. His fringe-average arm keeps him from projecting there, but he could play shortstop in an emergency. Little’s swing is compact and generates plenty of contact. Scouts are particularly impressed with his pitch recognition and his ability to do damage when he gets into hitters’ counts. He has hit 10 home runs this season as part of his .380/.478/.678 slash line, but scouts don’t see average power during batting practice and several of his home runs are of the wind-blown variety.
22. Ford Proctor, SS, Rice (BA Rank: 202)
4YR • 6-0 • 190 • L-R •
Proctor has been Rice’s shortstop since the second game of his freshman season. He immediately moved now-Rays infielder Tristan Gray to second base and has been Rice’s starter at shortstop ever since. He’s blossomed at the plate as a junior, hitting .346/.434/.514 with seven home runs as of mid-May. The question for Proctor is whether he can play shortstop in pro ball. His range is fringe-average at best, although his hands work fine and his above-average arm is plenty for the position. Proctor has enough bat to be a viable second base option if shortstop doesn’t work.
23. Josh Watson, OF, Texas Christian (BA Rank: 204)
4YR • Jr. • 5-11 • 195 • B-R •
Watson had one of the better freshman seasons in the country, as he hit .280/.398/.506 for the Horned Frogs and was equally impressive that summer at the Cape Cod League. He then suffered through a significant sophomore slump as he seemed to lose confidence at the plate. He’s bounced back as a junior, showing more fluid hands and a looser swing. Watson was hitting .320/.453/.534 in mid-May. He has a chance to be an above-average hitter, but he doesn’t show the at-least average power scouts are looking for in a left fielder.
24. Kody Clemens, INF, Texas (BA Rank: 208)
4YR • Jr. • 6-0 • 185 • L-R •
A 35th-round pick of the Astros out of high school, the youngest of the Clemens sons has blossomed as a junior. He struggled at the plate as a sophomore as he was limited to designated hitter because he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. Given a chance to get back into the field as a junior, Clemens’ bat awoke. He was hitting .345/.439/.680 in mid-May and he’s proven he can play a fringe-average second base. There are evaluators who are still skeptical as they note he’s already 22, which makes him as old as many of the senior signs.
25. Michael Helman, OF/2B, Texas A&M (BA Rank: 217)
4YR • Jr. • 6-1 • 190 • R-R •
Helman made an immediate impact for the Aggies, as he stepped in as the team’s second baseman and quickly became the Texas A&M leadoff hitter. He was leading the team in mid-May with a .365/.456/.521 slash line. Helman’s best attributes as a hitter are his ability to grind out at-bats, as he works counts and has above-average hand-eye coordination. Helman is a plus runner who understands leads well enough to be a basestealing threat in pro ball (he’s 11-for-13 on steals through mid-May). Defensively, he’s a fringe-average second baseman who is just adequate there with modest range and hands and a fringe-average arm. But he makes the routine plays at second, has played third base when he was at Hutchinson (Kan.) JC and probably best fits in pro ball as a rangy center fielder. Helman’s athleticism and his solid production makes him a useful day two pick who has some offensive potential and defensive versatility.
26. Ty Madden, RHP, Cypress (Texas) Ranch HS (BA Rank: 240)
HS • 6-3 • 180 • R-R •
A year ago, Madden, a Texas signee, was a 6-foot-4 flagpole. He’s gained nearly 40 pounds since then as his frame has caught up to his growth spurt. He already can touch 96 mph and will sit 90-94 with a plus fastball and he throws a slider that is easily plus at its best. But right now he can’t maintain either pitch or his control consistently over the length of an outing. That inconsistency may ensure he gets to Texas, but if he continues to add strength, he could climb a number of spots on this list in a few years.
27. Mason Montgomery, LHP, Leander (Texas) HS (BA Rank: 245)
HS • 6-2 • 185 • L-L •
Montgomery was one of the Texas prep pitchers who took a step forward as a senior. After sitting at in the low-90s previously, he jumped up to 94-96 mph at his best early in his senior year, leading to teams circling back to take a closer look. But the Texas Tech signee was unable to maintain that velocity jump consistently, as he settled back into the low-90s. His control and his breaking ball are also less consistent than scouts would like. He could be a high-risk, high-reward pick this year, but scouts would get a much better idea of what Montgomery is going to develop into if he heads to Texas Tech.
28. Devlin Granberg, OF, Dallas Baptist (BA Rank: 246)
4YR • Sr. • 6-2 • 224 • R-R •
Granberg has been one of the most productive hitters in the country this year. As of mid-May he was hitting .408/.520/.612 and showing the ability to drive the ball while making plenty of contact. Granberg is a plus hitter who handles velocity with no issues. His swing also allows him to generate some loft that could develop into average power. Granberg has sneaky above-average speed as well–he had swiped 19 bags in 20 attempts. That speed hasn’t helped him yet in the outfield where he’s fringe-average defender in left field at best. His below-average arm is overtaxed in right field. He can also play an adequate first base. Granberg is a productive senior sign who has legitimate potential as well as a nice price.
29. Joseph Menefee, LHP, George Ranch HS, Richmond, Texas (BA Rank: 248)
HS • 6-1 • 210 • L-L •
Menefee could have pitched his way into early Day Two consideration thanks to a low 90s fastball and a potentially plus slider. Some scouts thought his approach and delivery would eventually lead to a move to the bullpen, but he’ll almost assuredly make it to Texas A&M now as he injured his elbow and had Tommy John surgery in March. Menefee played with the 18U National team last summer, where he threw five shutout relief innings, with six strikeouts and four walks.
30. Braydon Fisher, RHP, Clear Falls HS, League City, Texas (BA Rank: 259)
HS • 6-4 • 180 • R-R •
Fisher is another Texas prep arm who has done a lot to help himself this spring. A well-built 6-foot-4, 180-pound righthander, Fisher has seen his velocity tick up during his senior season. After topping out at 91-92 mph in showcases last summer, he’s touched 96 this spring. The Lamar signee now sits 92-96 mph at his best with a slurvy breaking ball and a developing changeup.
31. Brandon Birdsell, RHP, Conroe (Texas) HS (BA Rank: 268)
HS • 6-4 • 205 • R-R •
Birdsell, a Texas signee, has one of the best arms in Texas, as he’s shown he’s fully recovered from the Tommy John surgery he had in 2016. The righthander can sit 91-93 mph and touch 95. His feel for pitching and his secondary offerings have work to do to catch up to his fastball, but his frame, athleticism and fast arm could entice teams that he’s worth being patient.
32. Mateo Gil, SS, Timber Creek HS, Fort Worth (BA Rank: 283)
HS • 6-1 • 180 • R-R •
Gil draws some comparisons to Luke Wakamatsu, a 20th-round pick of the Indians in 2015 who received a day two signing bonus. Like Wakamatsu, Gil has big league bloodlines—he’s the son of long-time big leaguer Benji Gil. And as the son of a big leaguer, Gil shows advanced feel and understanding of the game. He’s a smooth, polished defender at shortstop with an accurate, average arm and solid athleticism. Gil is a divisive prospect. A majority of teams do not see him as having enough tools to be worthy buying him out of his Texas Christian commitment. But there are a few teams who see Gil’s strong hands and wrists and see him developing more power as he matures to go with an advanced approach at the plate.
33. Blair Henley, RHP, Texas (BA Rank: 285)
4YR • DE-So. • 6-3 • 190 • R-R •
Henley was a 22nd-round pick of the Yankees out of Arlington Heights (Texas) HS, where he threw back-to-back-to-back no-hitters during his senior season. After serving as a mid-week starter/reliever as a freshman he’s developed into a reliable weekend starter for Texas as a draft-eligible sophomore. Henley’s 90-94 mph fastball plays a little better than the radar gun would indicate because of an excellent spin rate. His 81-83 mph slider also is a high RPM pitch, giving him a pair of potentially above-average offerings.
34. Chase Shugart, RHP/INF, Texas (BA Rank: 294)
4YR • Jr. • 5-10 • 180 • L-R •
After a solid summer in the Cape Cod League, Shugart was poised to prove to scouts that he could start, as he was slated to move into the Longhorns rotation after two years in the bullpen. The move to the rotation hasn’t gone as smoothly as Shugart hoped. He’d touched 96-97 in shorter stints, but it’s dropped to 89-93 mph as a starter. His fastball and his 81-84 mph slider and 73-75 mph curve have proven more hittable than expected in longer outings. As a reliever both played up a little more, but starting has allowed him to use a playable changeup as well. He struggles at times to get his fastball down in the zone, and without much plane on the pitch, it’s hittable up in the zone even when it has solid velocity. Shugart already faced draft headwinds because he’s a 5-foot-10 righthander, and he’s yet to prove he can stick in the rotation in pro ball.
35. Caleb Kilian, RHP, Texas Tech (BA Rank: 299)
4YR • DE-So. • 6-3 • 185 • R-R •
Kilian is a draft-eligible sophomore who moved into the Red Raiders rotation midway through the season and proved to be a revelation. He was 8-1, 2.30 with 22 walks and 53 strikeouts in 58.2 innings. Kilian’s stuff is as good as anyone on the Texas Tech’s roster. His fastball sits in the low-90s and has touched 95. His changeup and curveball are both potentially average offerings. He commands the curveball very well, but it’s not a true swing-and-miss pitch, which is the knock on Kilian. He doesn’t have a plus pitch that scouts project as a weapon in pro ball, so he’ll have to either add some life to his fastball or refine his breaking ball.
36. Matt Rudis, RHP, Madisonville (Texas) HS (BA Rank: 343)
HS • 6-3 • 195 • R-R •
Rudis caught a lot of attention late last summer as he pitched with one of the more impressive fastballs in the prep class. Rudis could run his fastball up to 94-96 mph at its best, but it was the outstanding late tailing action on the heater that most impressed evaluators. His lower arm slot helped generate that movement and he also showed an ability to locate his usable breaking ball. But Rudis’ stuff backed up some this spring, making it more likely he makes it to Texas Christian.
37. Hunter Watson, 3B/SS, Pottsboro (Texas) HS (BA Rank: 354)
HS • 6-3 • 210 • L-R •
An athletic quarterback/third baseman who has lefthanded power potential, Watson rushed for over 1,000 yards and threw for over 1,000 yards for Pottsboro (Texas) HS last fall. But Watson’s development on the baseball diamond seemed to stall late last summer and into his senior year as scouts are less enamored with his hit tool now than they were a year ago. The Texas A&M signee’s above-average arm fits at third, although he may end up outgrowing the position. If he does, his plus raw power could fit at first base as well.
38. Jack Neely, RHP, Churchill HS, San Antonio (BA Rank: 357)
HS • 6-9 • 230 • R-R •
A colossal, 6-foot-9, 230-pound righthander out of San Antonio, Neely was a big-time basketball player growing up, but recently stepped away from the court to focus on baseball. The Texas commit pitched at a Prep Baseball Report event early this spring and impressed with a 90-93 mph fastball with a low spin rate and significant natural sinking action. There are rumors of Neely hitting 94-95 mph in bullpens in the fall, but scouts haven’t seen him at that level this spring, where he’s been mostly 87-91 and touched 93. His arm works well for his size, but there are some present strike throwing questions, as is to be expected from a prep pitcher with levers as long as his. Neely works hard at improving his craft, and could take massive steps forward at Texas. He also throws a curveball in the mid 70s and a mid 80s changeup.
39. Stephen Kolek, RHP, Texas A&M (BA Rank: 372)
4YR • Jr. • 6-3 • 215 • R-R •
The brother of Marlins 2015 first-round pick Tyler Kolek, Stephen’s fastball has never matched Tyler’s triple digit radar gun readings, but he’d shown the potential to have three average or better pitches and average control coming into the 2018 season. But his 91-94 mph fastball has backed up this season. There have been outings where he’s dipped to pitching in the high 80s. Kolek’s slider gives him a chance to survive even with less arm speed. The pitch has less bite at lower velocities and has been more fringe-average than above-average this year. His changeup also has taken a step back this year and he mixes in a get-me-over curveball early in counts. Kolek has shown the ability to be a No. 4 starter at his best, but scouts have only seen that in glimpses this year. His 5-6, 4.58 season isn’t making a strong draft case, but there’s still something there.
40. George Janca, SS/3B, Texas A&M (BA Rank: 381)
4YR • 6-2 • 190 • R-R •
Janca has one of the best throwing arms in college baseball. In fact, Janca’s plus-plus arm might give him a fallback option as a pitcher even though he’s never thrown a pitch in college. Janca’s arm is also a weapon defensively. He has good hands, a railgun of an arm and a quick release, but his below-average range limits him as a shortstop in pro ball. He has more than enough glove for second or third base. But to handle a slide to a lesser defensive position, Janca has to make scouts comfortable he can hit, and that’s been a problem. Janca was a star in the Cape Cod League last summer, where he hit .327/.370/.536 with a wood bat. But he’s hit .233/.282/.333 with just nine extra-base hits this spring.
41. Mason Bryant, RHP, McCallum HS, Austin (BA Rank: 478)
HS • 6-5 • 215 • R-R •
Bryant is a Texas signee who was just as noted for his highlight catches as a 6-foot-5, 215-pound tight end/wide receiver who averaged over 26 yards a catch as a senior, helping Austin, Texas’ McCallum High to the state semifinals. He’s been equally impressive on the mound where he can bump 94-95 mph at his best. He’s also a solid outfielder. Bryant has an athletic body and a loose arm, but he has work to do on improving his direction to the plate and the consistency of his currently below-average control. His slider comes and goes right now. Bryant isn’t fully ready for pro ball, but he has athleticism that is hard to find in a pitcher with a low-90s fastball, so it wouldn’t surprise evaluators if he turns into an ace at Texas.
42. Christopher Weber, LHP, Boerne-Champion HS, Boerne, Texas (BA Rank: 480)
HS • 6-4 • 200 • R-L •
Weber has already told teams to not draft him as he’s planning to go to Texas A&M. A top student, he’s planning to study aerospace engineering, but he’s also going to be a great addition to the Aggies pitching staff. Weber had a 0.61 ERA this spring with nearly two strikeouts per inning. The lefthander sits in the high 80s, but his velocity has improved to where he now can touch 91-92 mph. He has a cerebral approach on the mound and mixes in his breaking ball and changeup at any point in the count.
43. Coy Cobb, RHP, Katy (Texas) HS (BA Rank: 487)
HS • 6-4 • 190 • R-R •
Cobb, a Texas signee, has all the building blocks to either be a useful pro starter or a stalwart for the Longhorns. He mixes an 88-92 mph fastball and a promising high-70s slider, both of which have potential to develop into above-average offerings. He also has shown the feel for dropping in an early-count slow curve. Cobb is a pretty developed pitcher, but scouts do worry a bit about the effort he uses to get to to his velocity.
44. Cody Farhat, OF, Texas Tech (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. • 6-0 • 195 • R-R •
45. Brendan Meyer, RHP, Trinity (Texas) (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Sr. • 6-5 • 225 • L-R •
Meyer has very little track record, but he has a 91-94 mph fastball and flashes a breaking ball with a big physical frame. So if he puts it together, he could be an intriguing senior sign. (JJ)
46. Kaylor Chafin, LHP, Texas A&M (BA Rank: N/A)
47. Cason Sherrod, RHP, Texas A&M (BA Rank: N/A)
48. Davis Wendzel, 2B, Baylor (BA Rank: N/A)
49. Cam Warren, OF, Texas Tech (BA Rank: N/A)
50. Tyler McKay, RHP, Howard (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
McKay has a low-90s fastball and a change that flashes plus. His 8-3, 5.06 stat line doesn't look all that promising until you remember that Howard's team ERA was 8.10. He struck out 11.5 per nine innings this year.
51. Bo Blessie, RHP, Lee HS, Midland, Texas (BA Rank: N/A)
52. Alex Palmer, RHP, Cisco (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
JC • So. • 5-11 • 160 • R-R •
Palmer impressed scouts this spring with a fastball that bumps to 93-94 mph at times.
53. Cole Stilwell, C/1B/3B, Rockwall-Heath HS, Rockwall, Texas (BA Rank: N/A)
Stillwell is a strong-armed catcher with some power potential.
54. Trey Cumbie, LHP, Houston (BA Rank: N/A)
55. Josh Sawyer, LHP, Texas (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • R-Jr.
56. Saul Garza, C/1B, Howard (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
JC • Fr.
A 31st-round pick of the Cardinals out of high school, Garza hit .378/.486/.899 for Howard this season with 23 home runs. The power is apparent, his ability to stick at catcher is less certain.
56. Matt Duce, C, Dallas Baptist (BA Rank: N/A)
57. Zack Phillips, LHP, Grayson County (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
JC • So. •
58. Cole Haring, OF, Baylor (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. •
59. Jose Gutierrez, C/1B, Lamar HS, Arlington, Texas (BA Rank: N/A)
60. Kolby Kubichek, RHP, Bryan (Texas) HS (BA Rank: N/A)
61. Alec Carr, SS, Fort Bend Kempner HS, Sugar Land, Texas (BA Rank: N/A)
62. Herbert Iser, C/1B, San Jacinto (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
JC • So. •
63. Owen Meaney, RHP, St. Thomas Catholic HS, Houston (BA Rank: N/A)
64. Brett Brown, OF, Godley (Texas) HS (BA Rank: N/A)
65. Taylor Floyd, RHP, Grayson County (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
JC • So. •
66. Beau Ridgeway, RHP, Texas (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. •
Ridgeway was one of the best relievers in the Longhorns bullpen as a sophomore but it all fell apart for him in 2018, as his ERA ballooned from 1.89 to 11.32.
South Atlantic League Top 20 Prospects For 2019
Seattle's duo of Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez ranks prominently, plus a slew of Yankees arms make the list.
67. Aaron George, RHP, San Jacinto (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
JC • So. • 6-5 • 225 • R-R •
68. Michael McCann, C, Texas (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • R-Jr.
69. William Duncan, RHP/OF, Richardson (Texas) HS (BA Rank: N/A)
Duncan's high 80s fastball could gain a bump or two at Sam Houston State as he's got a projectable frame.
70. Spencer Hynes, LHP, Grayson (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
71. Ricky Martinez, SS, Grayson (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
72. Matt Wilrodt, RHP, Cisco (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
JC • So. • 6-3 • 225 • R-R •
Wilrodt has a pro body and a low-90s fastball with some arm-side run.
73. Michael Berglund, C/3B, Cisco (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
A kickback from Texas Tech, Berglund hit .387/.490/.670 this year. He's a lefthanded hitting catcher who can play third base as well.
74. Tyler Myers, RHP, Paris (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
JC • So. • 6-2 • 185 • R-R •
75. Cooper Coldiron, SS, Houston (BA Rank: N/A)
76. Gabe Constantine, LHP, Grayson County (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
JC • R-So. •
77. Jean Carlos Correa, 2B, Alvin (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
Correa, the younger brother of Carlos Correa, hit .369/.482/.500 this year. He plays a solid second base as well.
78. Brandon Young, RHP, Howard (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
JC • So. •
79. Garrett Cobb, RHP, Cisco (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
Cobb has touched 95 mph.
80. Doug Facendo, C/1B, Howard (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
JC • So. •
Facendo is a hit-first catcher who hit .412/.513/.765 this year. He's a Tennessee signee.
81. Ty Coleman, INF, Midland (Texas) Lee (BA Rank: N/A)
82. Braxton Webb, LHP, Grayson County (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
JC • So. •
83. Ryan Kotulek, RHP, Cisco (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
Kotulek is a projectable righthander with a 91-93 mph fastball, but he doesn't have consistency yet to make his velocity work. He walked 11 in six innings this year.
84. Dawson Barr, RHP, Liberty Christian HS, Argyle, Texas (BA Rank: N/A)
85. Ryan McKay, RHP, Howard (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)
86. MacKenzie Muller, 1B/OF, Cisco (Texas) JC (BA Rank: N/A)