2014 MLB draft: 10 high school players on the rise — sixth edition
We are now just about 50 days away from the 2014 MLB draft, and this draft class just keeps getting deeper and deeper. It is shaping up as a legendary class for pitchers — especially at the high school level. While this is considered an off year for college bats, there is some great talent at the high school level with some exciting power bats. Here are the 10 players who have impressed as of late:
Michael Kopech, RHP, Mount Pleasant HS (TX)
On April 11, Kopech fired a perfect game, striking out 12 over five innings. The other three outs were groundballs, and I could have played all three outfield positions that day. He now has 80 K/9 BB over 38.2 innings, allowing just two earned runs on 16 hits. The 6’-4”, 200 pound right-hander has touched 98 mph this spring and adds a nasty slider with hard bite. He worked hard on his mechanics in the off-season and the results speak for themselves. I have had him as a top-40 pick since I saw him pitch at the Under Armour All-American game last summer, and he has been showing that potential ever since. Committed to Arizona.
Jacob Bukauskas, RHP, Stone Bridge HS (VA)
Yet another prep power arm who is rising fast, Bukauskas is a 6’-1”, 200 pound right-hander who has been hitting the upper 90s this spring. He adds two potential secondary offerings in a deceptive change-up with late fade and a tight slider. He has great command of all three and has been blowing away the opposition this season with 50 K/3 BB over 22.2 shutout innings, allowing just seven hits. He is generating a lot of first-round buzz due to his three-pitch mix, command and upside. Committed to North Carolina.
Michael Gettys, OF, Gainesville HS (GA)
Gettys has been smoking the ball of late. Over his last six games, he has gone 10-for-20 with four doubles, four home runs, 15 RBI and has drawn four walks. For the season, he is hitting .393/.493/.836 over 20 games with six doubles, seven home runs, 30 RBI and has stolen eight bases. He already has the plus speed, plus/plus arm and raw power, but he is showing in-game power that many wanted to see this season. He continues to be all over the place on draft boards but is considered a first-round pick, and I think he has top-10 potential. At 6’-2” and 200 pounds, he has the ability to remain in center field and has some of the best tools in the 2014 MLB draft. Committed to Georgia.
Trey Supak, RHP, La Grange HS (TX)
I wrote about Supak a couple of weeks ago and he has been dealing ever since. He had 16 strikeouts over seven shutout innings in his last start and now has 49 K/6 BB over his last 26 innings without allowing a run. He is 6’-5”, 220 pounds and has been hitting the low 90s with his fastball this spring. He adds solid secondary stuff and just keeps getting better with every outing. On the season, he now has 93 K/22 BB over 49 innings, allowing one run on 22 hits. Committed to Houston.
Michael Chavis, 3B/SS, Sprayberry HS (GA)
Chavis continues to mash and mash, showing the power and all-around hitting abilities to keep him in first-round talks. He also is a great athlete and has been timed at 6.68 in the 60. Through 20 games, he is hitting .579/.671/1.158 with six doubles, nine home runs and 13 stolen bases. At 5’-11”, some will question his size but the power is real and his height should be a non-issue. He is playing shortstop now, but with his strong arm and athleticism, he should easily transition to third base where the bat will play well. Committed to Clemson.
Scott Blewett, RHP, Baker HS (NY)
In his much anticipated debut in front of about 25 scouts, Blewett was sensational, striking out 15 to one walk over six shutout innings. The 6’-6”, 230 pound right-hander was sitting 89-92 and should reach higher velocity as the season goes on and the weather warms up. With his size and easy delivery, there is a lot more room in the tank and he has touched 95 mph. He adds a potential plus curveball with great looping action, as well as a change-up and a circle-curve (change) he has been working on. Has been a first-round name for some time and proved it with his first outing. Committed to St. Johns.
Cody Reed, LHP, Ardmore HS (AL)
On April 8, Reed struck out 19 batters over seven innings. That marked the third time this season he registered 19 strikeouts in a game and now has a silly 120 K/9 BB over 49 innings for a 22.04 K/9 ratio. I don’t care who the opposition is, that is impressive. Last week, I talked about how Phillies prospect Denton Keys racked up 115 K/9 BB over 45.2 innings for Rye HS in Colorado last season along with the similarities they share in terms of size and both being from a small school. Reed has already surpassed Keys’ ridiculousness from last season and still has more starts ahead. At 6’-4” and 200 pounds, he has been touching 95 mph and shows a good feel for his secondary stuff, but there still isn’t a whole lot of info out there about him. Whatever the case, I am having a blast following him and he can only be rising up draft boards. Committed to Vanderbilt.
Darius Day, OF, Simeon HS (IL)
Simeon Career Academy in Chicago is a factory for athletes in both basketball and baseball and Day is the latest budding star on the diamond. A speedy outfielder with a good approach at the plate and surprising power from his 5’-11”, 180 pound frame, Day is an electric player who can do it all on the field. His arm has been clocked at 94 mph from the outfield and he runs a 6.58/60. The left-hander has gone 8-for-11 over his last four games with two doubles, a triple, a home run, three walks and has stolen a whopping 11 bases. He could hear his name on day one of the 2014 MLB draft as his tools are some of the best in his class. Committed to Arizona.
Colton Shaver, C/1B, Jordan HS (UT)
At 6’-1” and 220 pounds, Shaver has massive power potential and routinely put on displays in summer events. He is more than just a masher, though, as he has a patient approach and his bat speed allows him to drive the ball to all fields. He has the size, arm (1.85 pop times) and footwork to remain behind the plate, but he is still relatively new to the position. Through 12 games, he has been hurting baseballs, hitting .595/.712/1.378 with eight doubles, seven home runs and 15 walks to three strikeouts. Committed to BYU.
Kodi Medeiros, LHP, Waiakea HS (HI)
The competition is nowhere near the level Medeiros faced over the summer when he was dominating the best in his class with a plus, mid-90s fastball and plus, wipe-out slider. Still, he has been blowing away his opponents, striking out 45 over 21.2 innings, allowing 12 hits. He issued six walks over 3.2 innings in one start but has had great command otherwise. With two plus pitches in his back pocket, he is one of the more interesting players in the 2014 MLB draft because he throws from a three-quarter slot. Still in first-round talks and his stuff is electric. Committed to Pepperdine.
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