Twins Daily 2019 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospect: 31-40
40. Chase Strumpf | UCLA | Pos: 2B | B/T: R/R | Height: 6’1” | Weight: 195 | Age: 21
Previously Drafted: Never
Hit: 55 Power: 50 Run: 50 Arm: 45 Field: 50 Overall: 50
If the Twins were to draft Chase Strumpf, they would be reuniting him with his high school teammate Royce Lewis. Strumpf was a year older than Lewis at JSerra Catholic High School and was blocking Lewis from getting reps at shortstop until he graduated in 2016. However, that will no longer be the case as Lewis has come into his own at the shortstop position, and Strumpf has already been moved out to play second base.
The best asset Strumpf brings to the table is his bat. Over his last two seasons at U0CLA, Strumpf has a .338/.462/.573 slash line with 35 doubles and 18 home runs across 105 games.
Strumpf might not have the potential to stay at shortstop that a lot of teams covet in the early rounds, but he should still be able to provide solid defense at second, with a more than strong enough bat to play the position.
39. Josh Wolf | St. Thomas HS (TX) | Pos: RHP | Height: 6’2” | Weight: 175 | Age: 18
Commitment: Texas A&M
Fastball: 60 Curveball: 55 Changeup: 50 Control: 50 Overall: 50
The next player on our list is a high school right-handed pitcher from Houston, Texas named Josh Wolf. While Wolf doesn’t come with the big 6’4” frame that most 1st round high school righties have, he still brings a lot of projectability due to a body that still has a lot of room for growth, and a fastball that has already touched the upper 90’s.
Entering this spring, it was evident that Wolf worked hard over the winter to put on some muscle. This work has paid off for him, as he saw his fastball velocity tick up a few miles per hour. Wolf also features a pretty nasty curveball that gives him a second plus pitch.
The big question for Wolf is will he be a starter or a reliver long term. There are a number of concerns like Wolf’s size, his arm slot and lack of an established third pitch, that all still need to resolved before teams will feel comfortable about his long-term future as a starter.
38. Rece Hinds | IMG Academy (FL) | Pos: 3B | B/T: R/R | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 210 | Age: 18
Hit: 45 Power: 70 Run: 45 Arm: 60 Field: 50 Overall: 50
The second of three IMG Academy players in our Top 50, Rece Hinds is another player whose raw potential, rather than his polish, is what gives him his high draft grade. While he isn’t nearly as big as Miguel Sano, Hinds features a very similar tool set where he has tremendous raw power and a strong arm at the hot corner.
The big area of concern for Hinds, much like Sano, is his swing and miss frequency. Hinds has a very quick uppercut swing, that allows him to hit mammoth home runs, but also makes him susceptible to breaking pitches.
Another concern for Hinds is his throwing accuracy in the infield. There is no question about his arm strength, but his throws are very wild and inconsistent.
While he might be able to clean up his mechanical flaws working with professional coaches, there is concern he might have to move to right-field if his accuracy doesn’t improve.
37. Nasim Nunez | Collins Hiss HS (GA) | Pos: SS | B/T: S/R | Height: 5’9” | Weight: 155 | Age: 18
Hit: 50 Power: 35 Run: 60 Arm: 55 Field: 65 Overall: 50
Nasim Nunez is nearly an identical prospect to Xavier Edwards, who we had ranked 34th in last year’s MLB Draft prospect rankings. Last year Edwards was picked 38th overall by the Padres and decided to forgo his commitment to Vanderbilt.
Watching Nunez take groudballs at short is a thing of beauty. Nunez brings a combination of elite athleticism and excellent fundamentals, that makes his defensive abilities potentially the best of any shortstop in this year’s draft.
The question from Nunez will always be with his bat. He has a smooth stroke from both sides of the plate that could help him one day be a solid average hitter. However, there is virtually no power potential in his bat. Though with his excellent glove at short, even if Nunez can be just a passable bat he should have what it takes to become an MLB starting shortstop.
36. Matt Canterino | Rice | Pos: RHP | Height: 6’2” | Weight: 208 | Age: 21
Previously Drafted: Never
Fastball: 55 Slider: 60 Curveball: 50 Changeup: 50 Control: 50 Overall: 50
Having pitched as a weekend starter all three years of his college career at Rice, along with time spent on the Team USA roster, Matt Canterino has perhaps as much experience as any top tier pitcher available in this year’s draft.
Canterino features a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid 90’s with some downward plane. He also has a sharp breaking slider, and an over the top curveball, which are both potential plus pitches. In his three combined years as a starter for Rice, he has made 45 starts, pitching 276 innings with a 3.36 ERA and a 330/90 K/BB.
Canterino’s funky delivery might be something that holds him back as he progresses through the professional ranks. He starts in a crunched over position and is very herky-jerky in his motion. With no fluidity in him motion, he doesn’t create a lot of power from his lower body and requires a lot of torque on his arm to create velocity.
35. Gunnar Henderson | Morgan Academy (AL) | Pos: SS | B/T: L/R | Height: 6’3” | Weight: 195 | Age: 17
Hit: 55 Power: 55 Run: 50 Arm: 55 Field: 50 Overall: 50
Gunner Henderson is considered to be one of the better hitting shortstop prospects in this year’s draft. Henderson has compact left-handed swing that he uses to generate power to all fields.
While Henderson handles the shortstop position well now, I don’t believe his long-term future is at that position. He does have a strong arm, and is quite consistent for someone his age, but he lacks the elite lateral quickness that is required to play shortstop at the Major League level.
I personally see him making the move over to third base as he progresses, where he can bring both a plus bat and a plus glove to the mix. If a team believes strongly in his ability to stay at short, Henderson might shoot up the rankings, as shortstops with his hitting ability are a dime a dozen.
34. Keoni Cavaco | Eastlake HS (CA) | Pos: 3B | B/T: R/R | Height: 6’0” | Weight: 185 | Age: 17
Commitment: San Diego State
Hit: 45 Power: 60 Run: 55 Arm: 55 Field: 60 Overall: 50
When you think of Keoni Cavaco, you think of tools, tools, tools and more tools. Cavaco is one of those rare prospects that has the ability to one day become a true five tool player.
Cavaco has already put his power on display in the high school prep circuit, and many scouts anticipate that his power abilities will continue to grow as he develops. The concern from Cavaco’s bat, however, is his elongated swing that makes him susceptible to the swing and miss. The team that drafts Cavaco will need to work with him on shortening his swing as he moves his way up through the minor leagues.
Even though Cavaco doesn’t bring the upside of playing shortstop that you often look for from high school infielders at this stage of the draft, Cavaco has already proved that he can be a plus defender at the hot corner.
33. Hunter Barco | Bolles HS (FL) | Pos: LHP | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 210 | Age: 18
Fastball: 55 Slider: 50 Changeup: 60 Control: 50 Overall: 50
At 6’4” and 210, Hunter Barco has a big frame that you don’t often see from high school left-handers. This has helped Barco physically dominate opposing hitters at the high school ranks for a couple of years now.
Barco features a fastball that sits in the low 90’s with a lot of arm side run. He also has one of the better changeups from a high school pitcher in this year’s class. Barco’s slider is still a work in progress, but when he has the feel for it, the pitch can flash as a potential third plus pitch for the southpaw.
While Barco has all the physical tools you would look for in a high school pitching prospect, his inconsistencies with his delivery are a cause for concern for many teams. He will need some work cleaning up his mechanics if he wants to stick as a starting pitcher.
32. Kody Hoese | Tulane | Pos: 3B | B/T: R/R | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 200 | Age: 21
Previously Drafted: 35th Round, 2018 (KC)
Hit: 55 Power: 60 Run: 45 Arm: 50 Field: 50 Overall: 50
While Kody Hoese might not be playing at a Power 5 school, it is hard to ignore the gaudy numbers the Junior from Tulane has put up this season. Among all NCAA hitters this spring, Hoese is tied for first with 23 home runs, 12th in batting average (.403), 22nd in on-base percentage (.496), 2nd in slugging percentage (.820), tied for 4th in runs (67), and tied for 21st in RBIs (60).
These numbers come at a bit of surprise, as in his two prior years at Tulane Hoese had combined for just 5 home runs, and a slash line of just .264/.334/.380. So, it remains to be seen if Hoese will be able to keep up his tremendous campaign as he moves into professional ball.
Hoese doesn’t have tremendous upside defensively at the hot corner, but he should be able to stay at the position long-term.
31. Tyler Callihan | Providence HS (FL) | Pos: 3B | B/T: L/R | Height: 5’11” | Weight: 210 | Age: 18
Commitment: South Carolina
Hit: 55 Power: 55 Run: 45 Arm: 45 Field: 50 Overall: 50
Given that he will turn 19 in June, Tyler Callihan will be one of the older high school players available in this year’s draft. Additionally, Callihan has the appearance that he has already matured physically beyond that of other high school prospects.
Callihan brings to the plate a smooth left-handed swing that gives him the rare combination of hitting for both average and power. For a team drafting Callihan, these will be the traits that they desire when picking a high school bat.
Defensively it remains to be seen where he will end up. He currently plays a lot of shortstop, but he probably won’t stick there for long. He could move to third, but he has a long and loopy throwing motion that isn’t ideal for the position. He might be best suited as a second basemen as he progresses.
Rest of the 2019 MLB Draft Top 50
Twins Daily 2019 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospect: 41-50
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