Twins Daily 2019 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 21-30
30. Maurice Hampton | Memphis University HS (TN) | Pos: OF | B/T: R/R | Height: 6’0” | Weight: 195 | Age: 17
Hit: 50 Power: 55 Run: 70 Arm: 55 Field: 55 Overall: 50
Maurice Hampton has many of the tools that I admire out of a high school outfielder. He is an elite athlete that has the potential to be a top of the line defensive centerfielder and has shown signs that he could develop a quality bat to go along with it.
Many organizations would love to get their hands on a young and raw talent like Hampton to have their coaching staff develop him into the player that they want him to become.
Perhaps the main concern for teams when deciding to draft Hampton is signability issues as Hampton is committed to play both football and baseball at LSU. As a four-star cornerback Hampton has NFL potential as well, and by choosing to go to LSU he could leave his options open for both football and baseball for another 3 or 4 years.
29. Jack Leiter | Delbarton HS (NJ) | Pos: RHP | Height: 6’1” | Weight: 195 | Age: 19
Fastball: 50 Curveball: 60 Slider: 50 Changeup: 50 Control: 60 Overall: 50
If the name rings a bell, it should, because Jack Leiter is the son of former major leaguer Al Leiter. His experience growing up around the game, along with the fact that he is already 19-years-old has helped him develop into a more polished pitcher than most high schoolers.
Leiter features a low-90’s fastball, that can occasionally touch 94 or 95. What makes it so effective is the command that he already has with it. Leiter’s best pitch is his put-away curveball. The combination of a well-controlled fastball and a dominant curveball is something that is hard to find from high school pitchers.
The real negative for Jack is the lack of upside he brings, which makes it hard to imagine him ever becoming a top of the rotation starting pitcher. However, I do think he has what it take to have a long career as a 3 or 4 starter in an MLB rotation.
28. Braden Shewmake | Texas A&M | Pos: SS | B/T: L/R | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 190 | Age: 21
Previously Drafted: Never
Hit: 60 Power: 50 Run: 55 Arm: 50 Field: 50 Overall: 50
As a three-year starter for one of the top programs in the SEC, Braden Shewmake has had plenty of experience proving himself against some of the best college pitchers the country has to offer. Additionally, Shewmake has served as the Aggies number three hitter in the lineup since day one after stepping on campus as a freshman.
His pure hitting ability is the best trait that Shewmake brings to the table. In his college career, Shewmake has a .322/.378/.489 slash line with 22 home runs, 38 doubles, 10 triples and 30 stolen bases across 182 games. He showed more signs of power as a freshman when he hit 11 of his 22 home runs, but if he can keep filling out his body, Shewmake could develop into a 20 home run per year player as a professional.
While Shewmake has played the last two seasons at shortstop, he looked a lot more comfortable defensively when he played second base as a freshman. If he does need to move to second, Shewmake has the bat to make it work, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Shewmake playing a Marwin Gonzalez like super-utility role down the road.
27. Seth Johnson | Campbell | Pos: RHP | Height: 6’1” | Weight: 195 | Age: 20
Previously Drafted: Never
Fastball: 65 Slider: 50 Curveball: 40 Changeup: 55 Control: 45 Overall: 50
Don’t let the fact that Seth Johnson is a college pitcher fool you. He is without a question the most raw pitching prospect in the upper end of this year’s draft class. That is due to the fact that Johnson has only been pitching for a little over a year now, after making the switch from shortstop at the end of last season.
When it comes to stuff, Johnson is electric, a trait that is very rare in this year’s class. He has a fastball that ranges quite a bit in velocity at times, but can reach the upper 90’s at times. He has also featured both a slider and a curveball this spring, but for the time being the slider seems to be his better pitch.
The surprising part about Johnson is how naturally he has learned how to throw a changeup this early in the game. If he continues to develop this pitch, he has the potential to be a number two starter a ways down the road. Johnson will surely be a project for whichever team drafts him, but if they develop him properly, he could be well worth the wait.
26. J.J. Goss | Cypress Ranch HS (TX) | Pos: RHP | Height: 6’3” | Weight: 190 | Age: 18
Commitment: Texas A&M
Fastball: 55 Slider: 55 Changeup: 55 Control: 50 Overall: 50
J.J. Goss comes into this draft as one of the most impressive and productive prep pitchers in the class. He has spent his last few years in the high school pitching factory that is Cypress Ranch High School in Houston, Texas. One of his teammates, Matthew Thompson, is ranked not too far outside my top 50 in this year’s class at 63.
Goss has all the features that you look for when drafting a high school pitcher this high in the draft. He has three solid pitches in a fastball, slider and changeup that are all already quite developed as plus pitches. Additionally, he has a body that he will continue to grow into that will help boost his stuff even more.
Signability concerns might cause Goss to slip some in the draft, as he is committed to pitch for Texas A&M, which is building itself a strong reputation getting the most out of its pitchers. If the Twins are able to get a guy under slot value with their pick at 13, they might be able to take a flyer on Goss if he were to fall to them for their next pick at 39.
25. Quinn Priester | Cary-Grove HS (Il) | Pos: RHP | Height: 6’3” | Weight: 200 | Age: 19
Fastball: 55 Curveball: 60 Changeup: 50 Control: 50 Overall: 50
While prep right-handers Jack Leiter and J.J. Goss are more well-polished pitchers at this stage, Quinn Priester has far more upside than either one of them, which is why I chose to rank him slightly higher.
Priester has the ability to pump his fastball up into the mid-90’s, but will typically sit in the 91-93 mph range, and has pretty good arm-side run on the pitch. He also has a sharp breaking curveball, that is up there near the top of his class. Priester is still lacking a third offering, but with time that is something that can be developed.
What makes Priester so appealing is his raw ability and athleticism. As is the case with most prep players from northern states, Priester hasn’t been exposed to as much elite coaching as players from the south have. One could assume, that with high end coaching at the professional level he might be able to hit a whole new gear.
24. Michael Busch | North Carolina | Pos: 1B | B/T: L/R | Height: 6’0” | Weight: 205 | Age: 21
Previously Drafted: Never
Hit: 55 Power: 60 Run: 40 Arm: 50 Field: 50 Overall: 50
Many of you might remember Michael Busch as one of the top Minnesota high school prospects in the 2016 class. While Busch could have been considered to be an early round pick in that year’s draft, he was committed to play at UNC and as a result was skipped over in the draft.
Busch is an excellent hitter with a combination of great vision and great power that is needed from a player who is limited defensively. Over the last two seasons for the Tar Heels, Busch has hit 25 home runs and walked 109 times with just 65 strikeouts. Busch also had a lot of success last summer in the Cape Cod League, which gives scouts encouragement that he can hit well with a wood bat.
After primarily playing first base in his first two seasons, Busch has made the move to the outfield in 2019. While he hasn’t been bad out there, he hasn’t really flashed speed, an ability needed to play there. While some hold hope in his ability to play the outfield and will probably be given the opportunity to start there in the minor leagues, I see his future as a 1B/DH type.
23. Logan Davidson | Clemson | Pos: SS | B/T: S/R | Height: 6’3” | Weight: 185 | Age: 21
Previously Drafted: 30th Round, 2016 (PHI)
Hit: 45 Power: 60 Run: 55 Arm: 55 Field: 55 Overall: 55
Logan Davidson has been one of the best shortstops in college baseball since his freshman year at Clemson. Davidson brings the unique combination of plus power and high-quality defense at the shortstop position.
Davidson has been the model of consistency in his three years at Clemson. In all three seasons he has right around his career average of .292, hit at least 12 home runs, stolen at least 10 bases and walked at least 40 times. What’s holding
Davidson back is the swing and miss in his game.
He did struggle with defensive consistency as a freshman, leading to 22 errors, but he has cleaned that up and committed just 17 in his last 2 seasons combined.
22. Will Wilson | N.C. State | Pos: SS | B/T: R/R | Height: 5’11” | Weight: 175 | Age: 20
Previously Drafted: Never
Hit: 55 Power: 55 Run: 45 Arm: 55 Field: 55 Overall: 55
To follow along with the theme of ACC hitters we were on, Will Wilson might just be the best prospect of the group. Just like Davidson, Wilson is a refined shortstop defensively and has a plus power tool, though he doesn’t have quite the power potential that Davidson has.
What Wilson has that Davidson lacks is his all-around hitting ability. From a production standpoint Wilson has been incredible, especially in his junior year this spring. So far in 50 games, Wilson has a .361/.450/.703 slash line with 16 home runs and 19 doubles.
The hangup with Wilson is he lacks the athletic upside of other shortstop prospects. He is no Tre Turner, who also played at N.C. State, and was taken with the 13th pick in the 2014 draft.
21. Brett Baty | Lake Travis HS (TX) | Pos: 3B | B/T: L/R | Height: 6’3” | Weight: 220 | Age: 19
Hit: 60 Power: 65 Run: 45 Arm: 55 Field: 45 Overall: 55
Brett Bety has one of the best all-around bats of any prep player in this year’s draft. Baty is one of the older high schoolers in the draft as he will already turn 20 in November. This will give Baty some leverage when negotiating his signing bonus, as he will be eligible for the draft again in just two years as opposed to three.
As I mentioned, the potential with the bat is unreal. He has a solid swing that he generates incredible amounts of exit velocity. He is very well developed physically and uses his frame well in the box.
One concern I do have is the fact that given his size, and the fact that he so much older than other prep players, he is literally a man amongst boys right now, so it is hard to know if he will maintain this level of dominance as he starts facing pitchers that are at his level of physical maturity.
Rest of the 2019 MLB Draft Top 50
Twins Daily 2019 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospect: 31-40
Twins Daily 2019 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospect: 41-50
- Tom Froemming and caninatl04 like this