2013 MLB draft: Ten high school players who are on the rise
This is the fourth in a series of prep players who have impressed as of late, either improving their 2013 MLB draft stock or showing the preseason hype was real. These are in no particular order:
Carlos Salazar, RHP, Kerman HS (CA)
The 6’-3” right-hander continues to overpower his peers, striking out 80 to 16 walks over 41.2 shutout innings. He has cut down his BB/9 from 6.4 to 3.5 this year as he has refined his command without losing velocity. His fastball can touch 97 mph and he adds a low-80s solid change-up. Committed to Fresno State.
Clinton Hollon, RHP, Woodford County HS (KY)
The 6’-1” flamethrower keeps getting stronger as the season goes on. He had 13 strikeouts to one walk over seven innings in his last start and now has 38 K/6 BB over 27 innings, allowing just 12 hits. His fastball is sitting low/mid-90s and his curveball is a filthy pitch. His change-up is still developing but he has very good control of his stuff and knows how to pitch. Committed to Kentucky.
Cord Sandberg, OF, Manatee HS (FL)
Over his last eight games, the 6’-3” left-hander is 17-for-29 (.586) with four doubles, two home runs, two stolen bases and has drawn four walks for a .636 OBP/.862 SLG. Over 24 games, he is hitting .432 with eight stolen bases and a .544 OBP. With his size, speed and stroke from the left side, he has a very high ceiling but could be a tough sign as he has a scholarship to play quarterback at Mississippi State.
Riley Unroe, SS, Desert Ridge HS (AZ)
With the defensive abilities to stick at shortstop, including plus speed and a strong arm, the 6’-1” switch-hitter is seeing his stock soar. His bat, however, remains his best tool. Over 29 games for one of the best programs in the country, he is hitting .565 with 14 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs and has driven in 59 runs. He has drawn 16 walks to just four strikeouts for a .642 OBP/1.200 SLG. He has also added 22 stolen bases. With his speed, advanced approach at the plate, above-average bat speed and ability to remain at shortstop, his name will be heard early in the 2013 MLB draft. Committed to USC.
Kyle Serrano, RHP, Farragut HS (TN)
Over his last four starts, the 6’-0”, 190-pound right-hander has allowed two runs on seven hits over 24.1 innings. He also has 43 strikeouts to just six walks over that span for a 15.9 K/9 ratio. He features a mid-90s fastball to go along with a plus curveball and is very polished on the mound. Committed to Tennessee.Jonah Wesely, LHP, Tracy HS (CA)
On April 18, the 6’-2” southpaw tossed a no-hitter, striking out 18 over seven innings. He had struck out 11 to no walks over five shutout innings in his previous start and is hitting his stride as the season goes on. Overall, he now has 80 K/16 BB over 44 innings, allowing 23 hits. He features a low/mid-90s fastball with late life and one of the best curveballs in the 2013 MLB draft. A high baseball IQ and great mound presence make him one of the better prep arms available. Committed to UCLA.
Stephen Wrenn, OF, Walton HS (GA)
A 6’-2” right-hander with great speed, pop in his bat and an advanced approach at the plate, Wrenn is hitting .515 over 23 games with 13 doubles, three home runs, 24 stolen bases and has drawn 22 walks to seven strikeouts. He has also been hit by a pitch seven times for a .667 OBP/.879 SLG. A fast riser who profiles as a centerfielder and is committed to Georgia.
Denton Keys, LHP, Rye HS (CO)
You know you are having a good season when you strike out 14 over seven innings and actually lower your K/9 ratio. The 6’-3”, 200 pound southpaw came into his last start with 44 K/3 BB over 16 innings (24.8 K/9). He now has 58 K/4 BB over 23 innings (22.7 K/9) and has yet to allow a run on five hits. His fastball sits in the 89-91 mph range and he has deception in his delivery. He also adds a mid-70s curve and change-up. Committed to Kansas.
Phil Bickford, RHP, Oaks Christian HS (CA)
After tossing a no-hitter on April 10, striking out 11 to two walks over seven innings, the 6’-4” right-hander was lights-out again on April 20. Over seven shutout innings, he allowed two hits and struck out 13 to one walk in front of about 20 scouts. Over his last six starts, he has a .046 ERA, 0.49 WHIP and 63 K/3 BB over 39 innings. He features a low/mid-90s fastball, and both his curveball and change-up are solid offerings. His size, stuff and ability to command his pitches could land him in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft. Committed to Cal State Fullerton.
Jesse Roth, RHP, Horace Mann HS (NJ)
Playing in the northeast can be frustrating as you are always at the mercy of weather. This year has been especially rough for pitchers like Roth, a 6’-3”, 200-pound right-hander with a power arm. He has only been able to log 18 innings so far this season but has made the most of them by striking out 30 while allowing just three hits. His fastball has been touching 92-93 mph and his size suggests more is still in the tank. A very smart pitcher who is committed to Virginia.
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