The Early 32 by Don Olsen ( The Pre-Season top 32 for the MLB draft with 25 more names to know)
Don Olsen is a former professional baseball player and long time scout who has experience in the game and a weatlh of contacts. He also is a frequent contributor to bullpenbanter.com
“Here is a way too early to peg list in the rule 4 draft. ¬†The reports are clean, but high school arms and guys who filled out a bit more can rise like a helium balloon in a heart beat. ¬†This list is personal and fluid from my point of view and talking with friends in other parts of the states who have chimed with their two cents. ¬†This list will change with movement all over the map, even the top will change. ¬†There are no sure slots right now and everyone can rise and slide. ¬†I never call a class weak, it is a disservice to these young men. ¬†I will say that even the top have one or two tools that standout. ¬†This group of players has solid depth in certain areas. ¬†There is a good deal of raw power and raw power arms, who could shock a organization system of talent. ¬†As the spring wears on, a few will pull away from the pack. ¬†My rankings are in who I feel will stick in the upper crust or pull themselves into the conversation through March, April, and May.”
*Note: most of the radar reading are from summer, unless noted.
Left handed pitching
Raw power – Both HS and College
1. Sean Manaea LHP Indiana State
- 94-96 mph, live 3 pitch mix with heavy movement from slot, TOR lefty with size and frame. Iron wrinkles in delivery and could be dominating.
2. Mark Appel RHP Stanford
- Mentally tough, solid arsenal, solid No. 2 type with outside chance of No. 1
3. Clint Fraizer OF Loganville HS GA (Committed to UGA)
- Big player in a small package, 4 plus tool potential, with above average running.
4. Ryan Stanek RHP Arkansas
- Power arm 93-95, touch 97 mph, shape to curve, above average CH, small mechanical tweaks needed.
5. Austin Meadows OF Grayson HS GA (Committed to Clemson)
- 5 tool guy who oozes projection and athletic ability, more power than contact bat, but dual threat potential.
6. Jonathan Crawford RHP Florida
- 90-93 (95) mph arm, clear 2 pitch mix with flashing CH, should stick to slider to improve break, good pitchability and command.
7. Austin Wilson OF Stanford
- Has the power and profile to be a solid corner outfielder, must answer contact concerns, path and approach lacked when I saw him.
8. Trey Ball LHP New Castle HS IN (Committed to UT)
- True two way prospect, prefer LHP in my eyes, touched 93 mph over summer,¬†foundation¬†for nasty 2S, flashed plus CH.
9. Aaron Judge OF FresnoState
- He has top ceiling power, actually like the approach that contact is growing on me, could vault to top in the spring.
10. Kohl Stewart RHP St. Pius X HS TX (Committed to TAMU)
- Touched 97 in an exhaustive summer, sits 91-94 mph, baby slider/cutter with good movement, dual sport athlete with TOR potential.
11. Kris Bryant 1B San Diego
- Maybe enough chops to play 3B, but more 1B to me, enough bat with power to stick, needs to refine with wood.
12. Bobby Wahl RHP Ole Miss
- 90-93 (95) mph, good sink to it at times, nice plane for size, good tilt on above average slider, CH can play and improvement in that pitch could drive him up the board.
13. Dominic Smith 1B JSerra HS CA (Committed to USC)
- Needs mechanical tweaks, but finds the barrel and solid blend of contact and power ceiling, real agile athlete, a lot of versatility.
14. JP Crawford SS Lakewood HS (Committed to USC)
- Bloodlines, body, hand speed, projection, all around athletic game is the flash up the middle defender in class, bat vaults, value vaults.
15. Jon Denney C Yukon HS OK (Committed to Arkansas)
- Four tool catcher with a great comp, bat has power, approach is improving, defense and¬†receiving¬†shows great promise.
16. Colin Moran 3B North Carolina
- Best contact in college, any power added to his game that does not hamper contact will vault him on boards. Quick setup to left side has me feel 3B can stick.
17. Oscar Mercado SS Gaither HS FL (Committed to FSU)
- Soft hands, flashy defensive actions, needs to improve balance in the box, can sqaure up on anything with sneak power.
18. Ian Clarkin LHP James Madison HS CA (Committed to USD)
- 89-91 (93) mph with tail and sink to it. ¬†One of the better CH ceilings in the class, potential with break, deceptive.
19. Reese McGuire C Kentwood HS WA (Committed to USD)
- One of the best combinations of polish and ceiling bat, both contact and power, sound defensively, #1 catching prospect on some boards.
20. Robert Kaminsky LHP ¬†St Joseph HS NJ (Committed to UNC)
- Limited¬†projection, huge pitchability, 87-91 (93-94) mph, projectable plus slider with tilt, change flashed and improvement with it could vault to top HS LHP.
21. Michael Lorenzen OF Cal State Fullerton
- Solid defender and arm with good speed and agility, spray contact driven bat with a bit of pop, more of gap power bat, could offer more power down the line. Some prefer his pitching.
22. Brett Morales RHP King HS FL (Committed to Florida)
- 89-92 (93-94) mph with good command, needs to refine secondary offerings, change and curve show promise. Clean delivery and live arm could push higher. Strong early showing this spring, shows helium.
23. Jake Brentz LHP Parkway South HS MO (Committed to Missouri)
- 92-94 mph in the fall, touched 96 mph. ¬†He sustained this¬†speed¬†in recent workouts, all signs pointing to late blooming arm at the right time. ¬†Good shape on the curve, decent deception on change, name to remember as a rising power lefty.
24. Marco Gonzales LHP Gonzaga
- Solid command of 90-92 (93) mph fastball, soild change up that grades to plus with action and touch of deception,¬†decent¬†break as a clean three pitch mix. Clean loose arm, solid No.2-3 type lefty.
25. Ryan Boldt OF Red Wing HS MN (Committed to¬†Nebraska)
- The athletic chops, speed, defense, and bat to showcase a total package. ¬†He has more contact than power, but both should play a strong part of his game. ¬†He could be a lot higher by May.
26. Jordan Sheffield RHP Tullahoma HS TN (Committed to Vanderbilt)
- Fall was 94-96 (97) mph on my gun, 98 mph on others. Clean plus-plus curve with shape and drop off table offering, needs to refine a change up, progression in that pitch, top 5 arm potential, extream helium guy this spring.
27. D.J. Peterson 1B New Mexico
- Above average contact and power, maybe a chance to reach plus. 1B/DH type that needs to sustain his approach from team USA this summer.
28. Devin Williams RHP Hazelwood West HS MO (Committed to Missouri)
- A ton of projection on thin frame, live arm 92-93 (94) mph with sink, run, and late rise at times. I feel more left in the tank, as he flashed a decent change and curve, improvements on command in early workouts are encouraging.
29.¬†Mike Mayers RHP Ole Miss
- Borderline plus command of 89-92 (93-94) mph fastball, good tilt on the slider that is borderline plus and clearly above average. ¬†Change has good command, deception, can pull the string on both sides with sound action.
30. HunterRenfroe C MississippiState
- His game grew on me; shot up the few times I saw in the CAL RIPKEN LEAGUE. ¬†Power is finally showing and can do so to all fields, contact has improved. ¬†If the bat can sustain this spring, he could rise up the draft. ¬†Solid defensive skills and enough to stick.
31. RyanEades RHP LouisianaState
- 91-93 (94) mph fastball with some run and sink to it at times. ¬†Power curve has some serious bite and change shows solid fade have a clear three pitch mix. ¬†
32. Philip Ervin OF Samford
- More of 5’9″ and stout wide frame, little projection. ¬†Bat speed to produce power, compact stroke, patient approach. Decent runner and enough to stick in centerfield, average mix of tools with a chance for power to shine, given size.
32 B. Carlos Salazar RHP Kerman HS CA (Committed to¬†FresnoState)
- 93-96 (97) mph fastball with a plus power curve and bite; it creates a clean two pitch mix. ¬†His mechanical traits, command of power arsenal have him in a bullpen role.
¬†Karsten Whitson RHP Florida
- Top shelf talent 93-95 (97) mph, arsenal to match anyone in draft, but he will now miss this season with what is being said to be a minor shoulder clean up. Will a team take a chance on him or will he return to Gainesville in 2014?
25 Additional Names:
Justin Williams OF Terrebonne HS LA
Dustin Driver RHP¬†Wenatchee HS WA
A.J. Vanegas RHP Stanford
Andrew Mitchell RHP TCU
Adam Plutko RHP UCLA
Stephen Gonsalves LHP Cathedral HS CA
Dan Slania RHP Notre Dame
Chris Okey C Eustis HS FL
Josh Hart OF Parkview HS GA
Chris Rivera C/SS El Dorado HS CA
Trevor Williams RHP Arizona
Casey Shane Centennial HS TX
Tom Windle LHP Minnesota
Jacoby Jones 2B/OF/SS LSU
Garrett Williams LHP Calvary Baptist HS LA
Kevin Ziomek LHP Vanderbilt
Clinton Hollon RHP Woodford County HS KY
A.J. Puk LHP¬†Washington HS IA
Jonathan Gray Oklahoma
Jason Hursh RHP Oklahoma State
Jan Hernandez 3B¬†Carlos Beltran Academy San Lorenzo PR
Connor Jones RHP¬†Great Bridge HS¬†VA
John Simms RHP Rice
Scott Frazier RHP Pepperdine
Chris Oakley RHP St. Aug Prep NJ
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