2018 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 21-30
30. Greyson Jenista, Wichita State
Pos: 1B/OF | B/T: L/R | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 220 | Age: 21
Previously Drafted: Never
Hit: 50 Power: 55 Run: 55 Arm: 55 Field: 50 Overall: 50
For Greyson Jenista, where he might go in the draft will depend greatly on MLB teams thinking he has what it takes to make it as an outfielder. While Greyson’s bat is big enough to be worthy of an early round selection as a first baseman, he will bring a lot more value to a team if he can man a corner outfield position.
Jenista has spent most of his college career at first, though he did get some playing time in center field last summer on his way to winning the Cape Cod League MVP. He has played a little bit of outfield for Wichita State again this year but has mostly gone back to playing first later in the season.
Despite Jenista’s big frame, he has always been more of a high contact and on-base guy than a pure power hitter. In his three seasons at Wichita he has a career .320 batting average with a .433 on-base percentage, but he has only managed to hit 23 home runs. A far cry from the 50 fellow first base and corner outfield college slugger Seth Beer has hit.
29. Steele Walker, Oklahoma
Pos: OF | B/T: L/L | Height: 5’11” | Weight: 190 | Age: 21
Previously Drafted: Never
Hit: 55 Power: 50 Run: 50 Arm: 45 Field: 50 Overall: 50
As yet another corner outfield prospect, what attracts scouts to Steele Walker is his overall production with the bat. Walker’s .364/.455/.631 slash line to go along with 13 home runs this season really jumps off the page.
In 2016, Walker led the Northwoods League with a .406 batting average, which was nearly 50 points higher than the next closest hitter. Walker also had a little bit of power to go along with that, belting seven home runs and finishing fourth in the league with a .557 slugging percentage.
Walker will most likely find his home in left field as he has neither the range for center nor the arm for right, but he should be a safe pick for whichever team picks him.
28. Nander De Sedas, Montverde (FL)
Pos: SS | B/T: S/R | Height: 6’1” | Weight: 190 | Age: 18
Commitment: Florida State
Hit: 50 Power: 50 Run: 40 Arm: 60 Field: 50 Overall: 50
Nander De Sedas grew up playing baseball in Panama and had the opportunity to sign with an MLB team a couple of years ago as an international free agent when he reached the age of 16. Instead, De Sedas decided to move to the United States and enroll in Florida’s prestigious Montverde Academy. Now at 18, De Sedas is eligible to be taken in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
The biggest question for many teams is does De Sadas’ have the ability to stay at short? De Sedas is a very refined shortstop mechanically and has a big enough arm to play the position as well. However, some doubt that he will have the range to stay at short. De Sedas did run a respectable 6.67 yard-dash at the Perfect Game National Showcase last summer, but the question for De Sedas remains his ability to accelerate. If he can’t stay at short, De Sedas has the makings of an elite defensive third baseman.
De Sedas has been working to improve as a switch hitter, but it remains pretty evident that his swing is much better from the right side of the plate than the left. While De Sedas has a quick and compact stroke as a righty, his swing from the left side can be slow and loopy. De Sedas will need continued work on that if he wishes to become a switch hitter long term.
27. Mike Vasil, Boston College HS (MA)
Pos: RHP | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 210 | Age: 18
Fastball: 60 Curveball: 55 Changeup: 50 Control: 45 Overall: 50
Mike Vasil has all the makings of being this year’s Sam Carlson. As you recall, Carlson was a highly touted pitching prospect out of Burnsville, Minnesota last year, but fell to the 55th overall pick in the second-round. The same story might be true for Vasil this year.
Vasil has all the makings of a top-tier pitching prospect. He has a projectable 6’4” frame and the potential to have three or four plus pitches down the road. The problem with Vasil, however, is since he comes from the Northeast, scouts haven’t had as many opportunities to see him. Additionally, Vasil suffered an injury early in the spring making it even harder for teams to get a good feel for him.
There is no question that Vasil has the talent to be a first-round selection, but with the increased pressure on MLB teams getting their first-round pick correct, they might shy away from taking Vasil. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up going during the compensation or competitive balance rounds, or early in the second round to a team with a large bonus pool.
26. Grayson Rodriguez, Central Heights (TX)
Pos: RHP | Height: 6’5” | Weight: 230 | Age: 18
Commitment: Texas A&M
Fastball: 65 Curveball: 50 Slider: 55 Changeup: 50 Control: 50 Overall: 50
We are starting to reach that range where all the big-bodied, right-handed high school pitching prospects with a big fastball reside, but teams don’t quite know what to make of it all. I know that seems like a very specific type of player but believe me there is usually a good handful of those players in every draft and this year’s class might be loaded more than ever.
This spring, Rodriguez’s fastball velocity has been sitting in the mid to upper 90s, which is nearly a five mile per hour jump from last summer. This has caused him to shoot up many teams’ draft boards. Right now, his slider is considered to be his best secondary offering, but I believe that his sharp breaking 12-6 curveball will have more potential once he gains better control of it.
Rodriguez has a unique delivery in that he has an exaggerated pause right before he lands with his front foot. As he gets more comfortable with his delivery I could see Rodriguez occasionally speeding up this part of his delivery to mess with the timing of opposing hitters.
25. Triston Casas, American Heritage (FL)
Pos: 1B/3B | B/T: L/R | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 238 | Age: 18
Commitment: Miami (FL)
Hit: 45 Power: 55 Run: 40 Arm: 50 Field: 50 Overall: 50
It is hard to find many high school prospects who have as much raw power potential as Triston Casas has. Unlike Mike Vasil, Casas is a high school player that scouts are very familiar with. Casas has played on the Team USA U-18 National Team in each of the last two seasons and won the MVP of the U-18 World Cup in 2017.
Casas does an excellent job of using his big 6’4” 238-pound frame to generate enormous amounts of power. Even with all that size, Casas has a lot of flexibility, which allows him to generate a lot of torque as he drives his hips trough the swing.
Casas plays third now, but it is hard to imagine him being able to stick there long term. If teams see Casas becoming a first baseman it could drop his stock quite a bit. I would look for a team to take a shot at him late in the first round, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he slips due to defensive positioning concerns.
24. Jeremy Eierman, Missouri State
Pos: SS | B/T: R/R | Height: 6’1” | Weight: 195 | Age: 21
Previously Drafted: Never
Hit: 45 Power: 55 Run: 55 Arm: 65 Field: 50 Overall: 50
It’s hard to imagine that there is a more toolsy college player in this year’s draft than Jeremy Eierman. As a shortstop, Eierman has a power profile that is rarely seen out of the position. In his not quite three-year college career Eierman has belted 41 home runs, including 23 in 2017.
Eierman is also has plus speed that he uses very well on the base paths. In his career Eierman is 43 for 48 on stolen base attempts, which approaches Byron Buxton territory, who is 46 for 51 in his MLB career. Eierman also has a cannon of an arm over at short and is one of the biggest arms by an infielder in the draft class.
Where the concern for Eierman comes in is his track record of struggling with a wood bat. In two seasons playing in the Cape Cod League, Eierman had a combined .535 OPS, and last summer on the USA Collegiate National Team he had .407 OPS over the span of 18 games.
23. Trevor Larnach, Oregon State
Pos: OF | B/T: L/R | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 205 | Age: 21
Previously Drafted: 40th Round, 2015 (SD)
Hit: 55 Power: 50 Run: 40 Arm: 55 Field: 50 Overall: 50
Oregon State has had one of the most successful baseball programs over the last couple of years, and a big part of that has been on the bat of outfielder Trevor Larnach. Much like Virginia outfielder Adam Haseley did in last year’s draft, Larnach has shot up the draft boards upon seeing big improvements in his production in each of his three years in college.
Larnach’s best tool going away is his bat. He has shown the ability to hit for average and get on base in the past, but this spring Larnach has finally shown the ability to hit for power that his body has suggested he has. So far this season, Larnach has belted 17 home runs after hitting just three combined in his first two seasons at Oregon State.
In the outfield, Larnach projects as a right fielder. He isn’t the greatest athlete in the world and will most likely never best a plus defensive outfielder, but he does have a big arm that should allow him to make it as a right fielder.
22. Logan Gilbert, Stetson
Pos: RHP | Height: 6’5” | Weight: 195 | Age: 21
Previously Drafted: Never
Fastball: 55 Slider: 55 Curveball: 50 Changeup: 55 Control: 50 Overall: 50
Among the players who could be available when the Twins make their first-round selection at 20, Logan Gilbert might be one of the safer bets that they have to choose from. Gilbert features a good mix of pitches that is headlined by his fastball, which was regularly sitting in the mid-90s last summer.
Through his delivery, Gilbert does an excellent job of incorporating his lower half to gain momentum. In his leg kick he brings his foot back and drives forward with his hips, keeping his plant leg back as long as he can before driving it forward to supply extra power. His overall mechanics look relatively clean and he doesn’t have a lot of troubles repeating his delivery.
While Stetson isn’t the big-name school you look for to produce major league talent, it has actually become a bit of a hot bed for starting pitching talent of late, as both Corey Kluber and Jacob deGrom played their college ball there. Gilbert also excelled in his experience facing the best college hitters in the country in the Cape Cod League last summer. Across eight starts Gilbert had a 1.93 ERA across 37 1/3 innings, to go along with 39 strikeouts and just six walks.
21. Connor Scott, Plant HS (FL)
Pos: OF | B/T: L/L | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 180 | Age: 18
Hit: 55 Power: 40 Run: 70 Arm: 60 Field: 50 Overall: 55
Connor Scott has all the makings of becoming a five-tool player as he matures. He already possesses a quality bat and has both an elite arm and speed in the outfield. At 6’4”, Scott also has the frame to become a solid power hitter as well.
While Scott does have all these abilities, there is just something that doesn’t look quite natural with Scott. He has a bit of an unorthodox looking swing and isn’t a fluid runner. However, Scott is still a good hitter and an excellent runner. I would expect that coaches at the professional level will work with him as he progresses to get the most out of his abilities.
If all doesn’t work out, Scott does have the ability to become a pitcher at the next level as well. His upside on the mound isn’t near that of what it is in the outfield, but Scott does have a low-to-mid 90s fastball with a decent breaking pitch to boot.
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