2014 MLB draft: 10 high school players on the rise
With the high school seasons getting into full swing, it’s time to look at the first edition of who is impressing in the early going. Every week until the 2014 MLB draft on June 6, I will focus on 10 prep players who are rising up draft boards due to their abilities and results on the field. Here is my initial list, in no particular order:
Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Sandalwood HS (FL)
The 6’-4”, 200 pound right-hander has been blowing away the competition this season. Over 16 innings, he has 37 strikeouts to just one walk, allowing two hits. He has a plus fastball that can touch 94 mph with late life and movement and a plus, filthy curveball that sits mid-70s. I have heard that he has cleaned up his mechanics and is looking like a top-15 pick in the 2014 MLB draft the way he has been pitching. Committed to Florida State.
Tyler Kolek, RHP, Shepherd HS (TX)
The 6’-5”, 240 pound right-hander has been as dominant as you would imagine for a kid his size who can sling it 100 mph. Through his first two starts, he has 24 K/1 BB over 11 no-hit innings. This should continue for the rest of the year as he is clearly no match for his peers. As long as he stays healthy, he could be in consideration for the first overall pick. Committed to TCU.
Nick Gordon, SS/RHP, Olympia HS (FL)
Gordon has been displaying more pop in his bat in the early going thanks to added muscle, as well as some extreme patience at the plate. Over 10 games, the left-handed hitter has gone 11-for-24 (.458) with three doubles, a triple, two home runs and six stolen bases. He has drawn nine walks to two strikeouts and has been hit by a pitch four times already. With a canon arm and smooth actions in the field, he should stick at shortstop and, if he continues to show increased power, should be a top-15 pick in the 2014 MLB draft. Committed to Florida State.
Griffin Helms, C/OF, Norcross HS (GA)
Built like a linebacker at 6’-1” and 205 pounds, the right-hander has a mature body and is powerfully built. He is also a very good athlete having been timed at 6.59 in the 60. Defensively, his strong arm (1.85-1.9 pop times) and blocking/receiving skills make him a legitimate catching prospect. Offensively, his bat speed and approach allow him to wait on his pitch and drive it to all fields. Through his first six games, he was hitting .429/.520/.762 with a double, two home runs and six stolen bases. The catching crop is weak this year and Helms could benefit from it. Committed to Kennesaw State.
Michael Chavis, 3B, Sprayberry HS (GA)
The 5’-11”, 200 pound right-hander has some of the best power in his class and has been destroying Georgia pitching all year. Over his first nine games, he is hitting .667/.758/1.208 with four doubles, three home runs and eight stolen bases, showing off his athleticism. His strong arm (93 mph) and footwork will allow him to stick at the hot corner and his bat will obviously play well. Committed to Clemson.
Michael Gettys, OF/RHP, Gainesville HS (GA)
The 6’-2”, 200 pound right-hander has been shining at the plate and the mound. Over his first five games, his has gone 8-for-14 (.571) with a double, home run and five stolen bases. On the mound, he has shown off his plus/plus arm by striking out 18 over 9.2 innings. Along with the arm, he has plus speed and is starting to show in-game power this season. He has all the tools to be an impact player at the next level and could go in the top 10 picks if he continues to rake.
Grant Holmes, RHP, Conway HS (SC)
In his first start of the season on March 7, Holmes struck out 12 to one walk over five innings. He has been reported to be hitting 97 mph with his fastball, and he adds a plus curveball to go with a change-up that projects to above-average. With three quality pitches in his arsenal, and that type of velocity, he doesn’t need much projection — the one knock on him as many believe he has maxed out physically at 6’-2” and 200 pounds. He has great mound presence and commands his stuff well. Should be a first-round pick and he seems to keep climbing draft boards. Committed to Florida.
Foster Griffin, LHP, the First Academy HS (FL)
At 6’-5” and 190 pounds, the southpaw has a lot of projection due to his size and loose frame. He has been hitting 94 mph with his fastball recently and, along with a much improved breaking ball, is generating first-round buzz. Over 15.2 innings this season, he has 26 K/7 BB and has allowed eight hits. Committed to Mississippi.
Luke Bonfield, OF, IMG Academy
One of the better prep hitters in the 2014 MLB draft, the 6’-2”, 190 pound right-hander was impressive in every event he played in over the summer, showing off excellent bat speed and power. Over 12 games this season, he is hitting .323/.500/.742 with three doubles, two triples, two home runs and 11 walks to just one strikeout, showing his advanced approach at the plate. He runs a 6.85/60 and has a strong enough arm to hold down a corner outfield position. Committed to Arkansas.
Michael Kopech, RHP, Mount Pleasant HS (TX)
The 6’-4” right-hander has been touching 96 mph with his fastball lately. When I saw him at the 2013 Under Armour All-American game at Wrigley Field over the summer, his stuff was electric. He was popping the mitt with his fastball, showing great late life, and his slider was filthy. Over 15.2 shutout innings this season, he has 30 K/4 BB and has allowed just five hits. He still has projection due to his size, loose frame and his cleaned-up mechanics. Committed to Arizona.
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