By Mason McRae
With the start of the college season just over 100 days away, it’s time to wrap up some of the high schoolers profiles. Unlike the college players, the prep kids have submitted their draft resumes. The high school season also starts soon, so change is all but ruled out, and we shouldn’t expect the same rankings in two months. BUT, with all of the massive showcases wrapped up, there aren’t any events for a huge rise on draft boards. Luckily for a select few, there’s always one or two first-rounders that nobody had on their boards in the summer. One of the bigger examples from the 2019 draft was 12th overall selection – Keoni Cavaco. So let’s take a look at the most talented teenagers in the country.
- Drew Romo (The Woodlands)
- Tyler Soderstrom (Turlock)
- Jack Bulger (Dematha)
- Jackson Miller (JW Mitchell)
- Daniel Susac (Jesuit)
This catching class is one of the deeper groups you’ll see. Last year – Jonathon French was my No. 1 (prep) Catcher in the class, and as much as he impressed me, the first of the 4 players above it could be argued are better. Drew Romo is the headliner for this impressive class – he and Soderstrom have dueled it out all summer going back-and-forth. Those two are the top tier in this ranking and Bulger, Miller and Susac all could be anywhere from 3-7 in this class with the likes of Alek Boychuk and Corey Collins just missing out but more than deserving of being mentioned.
- Jordan Walker (Decatur)
- Drew Bowser (Harvard-Westlake)
- Blaze Jordan (DeSoto)
- Coby Mayo (Stoneman Douglas)
- Yohandy Morales (Monsignor Pace)
It’s easy to ignore the CIFs in a class with so much talent, but all five of the kids above have very impressive hit tools. Walker is easily the No.1 player in the class and Bowser falls just behind. Blaze Jordan started as my No. 4 player in the class in June and has dropped to the No. 3 CIF in the class. Not ideal, but his plus power draws attention when he’s on the field. Coby Mayo, Yohandy Morales, and Ethan Long were the choices for 4-5 and obviously Long was the odd man out. Mayo is a thumper with a massive frame, while Morales is an athletic Javier Baez type player that comes with ups and downs that scare you and excite you at the same time. Michael Brown is the only 1B in the class that was even considered for the top 5, but it’s just so hard to get value from a landlocked 1B that can’t hit like the players above him.
- Ed Howard (Mount Carmel)
- Tommy Troy (Los Gatos)
- Alex Freeland (Mariner)
- Tank Espalin (Orange Lutheran)
- Masyn Winn (Kingwood)
The one position group that’s changed drastically all summer long is the MIFs. Tank Espalin started as my No. 1 MIF and has “fallen” to 4th not because of play, but because of Ed Howard showing some elite hitting skills and a glove that shines. Troy and Freeland are both oh so close to each other and you could flip-a-coin to decide 2 & 3. Masyn Winn wraps up the top 5. That was a tough choice but his loose swing with pop gave him the bump over Ty Collins, Harold Coll, Carson Tucker, and Robert Moore. Lots of talent, Robert Moore and Carson Tucker have impressive profiles with MLB Connections already. But Wynn takes the final spot.
- Dylan Crews (Lake Mary)
- Pete Crow-Armstrong (Harvard-Westlake)
- Austin Hendrick (West Allegheny)
- Robert Hassell III (Independance)
- Zac Veen (Spruce Creek)
Ah, the most talented outfield we might see in the next decade. When I say this, I mean it – there’s a legitimate argument for any of the 5 to be in any of the 5 spots. Dylan Crews & PCA were a tough decision for No. 1 but Dylan Crews stays on top after being No.1 to start the summer. Hendrick, Hassell III were the choices for No. 3 and honestly Hassell deserves it after what he did for the US dev team this summer, but Hendricks’ insanely high ceiling and flashes of 70 power make him such a hard player to put at 4. Veen gets the final spot and luckily it was an easy decision. Jace Bohrofen is close at No. 6 in the class, but Veen’s five-tool profile is too hard to not include in the top 5.
- Ryan Bruno (Heritage)
- Kyle Harrison (De La Salle)
- Lucas Gordan (Notre Dame)
- Nicholas Griffin (Monticello)
- Timmy Manning (Cardinal Gibbons)
As always, the LHP Group isn’t ‘wowing’ but Ryan Bruno has flashed every single thing you could ask from a southpaw. The final 4 are all up for debate, Harrison showed high upside with velo, Gordan commanded the heck out of his pitches, Griffin has drawn Cliff Lee comps and lastly Timmy Manning has shown a plus BB. This top 5 will change quite frequently this summer.
- Mick Abel (Jesuit)
- Alejandro Rosario (Miami Christian)
- Jared Kelley (Refugio)
- Jared Jones (La Miranda)
- Ben Hernandez (De La Salle)
Last but certainly not least, the prep righties. Mick Abel is the clearcut No. 1, Rosario is the easy No. 2. But Kelley & Jones are both 3/4, they’re so close that Kelley gets the nod because of his High-90s FB. Ben Hernandez’s Changeup is one of the better ones you’ll see from a HS pitcher, he made Dasan Brown look like a fool at the 18U WC. Cam Brown could be No. 6 depending who you ask, but I’ll stick with Hernandez.