Last month, we began to take a look at the top prospects in this year's MLB draft on June 9th. This month allowed us to get a look at some of the top high school prospects take the field, but some HS prospects stats remain unavailable due to the school not publishing players' stats just yet.
For any readers unfamiliar with how I value prospects, here is the background. The position players are valued based on their wOBA, K%, BB%, and respective Z-Scores. The pitchers are valued based on their ERA, K%, BB%, and respective Z-Scores. In the table below, next to each player is their respective scouting grade (based on a 20-80 scale). The grades are pulled from the MLB top 50 draft prospects on mlb.com. Any player not in their top 50 was given a 50 grade, just for the sake of ranking purposes. All stats are as of April 23rd.
First, let's take a look at the position players:
|Corey Ray, OF - Louisville||55||0.423||-0.53||0.321||-1.01||11.0||-0.49||11.0||-0.95|
|Buddy Reed, OF - Florida||55||0.382||-1.03||0.385||-0.11||20.2||0.92||16.2||-0.11|
|Blake Rutherford, OF - Chaminade College Prep||55||0.609||1.72||0.519||1.78||4.4||-1.51||16.1||-0.12|
|Kyle Lewis, OF - Mercer||55||0.574||1.30||0.449||0.80||13.7||-0.08||25.0||1.33|
|Bryan Reynolds, OF - Vanderbilt||55||0.459||-0.10||0.398||0.08||22.0||1.20||20.8||0.64|
|Delvin Perez, SS - Puerto Rico||55|
|Drew Mendoza, 3B - Lake Mineola HS||55|
|Mickey Moniak, OF - La Costa Canyon HS||50||0.617||1.82||0.497||1.47||6.2||-1.23||9.2||-1.25|
|Nick Senzel, 3B - Tennessee||50||0.457||-0.12||0.357||-0.50||8.4||-0.89||19.8||0.48|
|Bobby Dalbec, 3B - Arizona||50||0.346||-1.47||0.304||-1.25||29.6||2.37||21.1||0.69|
|Nick Banks, OF - Texas A&M||50||0.408||-0.72||0.366||-0.37||17.4||0.49||10.9||-0.97|
|Josh Lowe, 3B - Pope HS||50|
|William Benson, OF - The Westminster Schools||50|
|Nolan Jones, 3B - Holy Ghost Prep||50|
|Jake Fraley, OF - LSU||50||0.389||-0.95||0.374||-0.26||9.2||-0.77||13.8||-0.50|
|Ryan Boldt, OF - Nebraska||50||0.366||-1.23||0.345||-0.67||12.4||-0.28||7.5||-1.52|
|Chris Okey, C - Clemson||50||0.446||-0.26||0.420||0.39||20.0||0.89||17.1||0.04|
|Avery Tuck, OF - Steele Canyon HS||50|
|Carter Kieboom, 3B - Walton HS||50|
|Gio Brusa, OF - Pacific||50||0.434||-0.40||0.385||-0.11||19.1||0.75||12.5||-0.71|
|Joe Rizzo, 3B - Oakton High||50|
|Will Craig, 3B - Wake Forest||50||0.571||1.26||0.439||0.66||12.5||-0.26||22.9||0.99|
|Zack Collins, C - Miami||50||0.535||0.82||0.461||0.97||15.6||0.21||29.9||2.13|
|Sean Murphy, C - Wright State||50||0.420||-0.57||0.235||-2.22||15.5||0.20||19.0||0.35|
|Alex Kirilloff, OF - Plum HS||50|
|Anfernee Grier, OF - Auburn||50||0.487||0.24||0.504||1.57||19.6||0.83||14.3||-0.42|
|Matt Thaiss, C - Virginia||50||0.462||-0.06||0.369||-0.33||3.2||-1.69||17.3||0.07|
|Nick Kahle, C - Chaminade College Prep||50||0.553||1.04||0.375||-0.25||13.2||-0.16||19.1||0.37|
|Colby Woodmansee, SS - Arizona||50||0.403||-0.78||0.348||-0.63||11.0||-0.49||13.6||-0.53|
The top performers (in bold above) through the month of April are: Blake Rutherford, Mickey Moniak, Nick Banks, Chris Okey, Gio Brusa, Will Craig, and Zack Collins. Rutherford, a potential first overall pick, is off to a sizzling start to his season, finishing first or second in Z-Scores out of the above players in wOBA, BABIP, and K%.
Moniak, another high school bat, has begun his senior season in tremendous form, moving up many team's draft boards with his plus bat. Banks improved his stock in April, raising his wOBA 17 points, his BABIP 18 points, and his walk percentage by 3.6 percentage points. He is a potential mid-to-late 1st round draft pick in June. Similar to Banks, Chris Okey had a strong April as well - he raised his wOBA 53 points, BABIP 74 points, and his walk rate from 14.3 to 17.1 percent.
After a brutal March, perhaps no one had a better April than Gio Brusa. His wOBA went from .271 to .434, BABIP from .264 to .385, K% down from 23.2 to 19.1, and BB% from 4.6 to 12.5. As bad as Brusa was in March, that is how good he was in April. Just this past Friday night, Brusa hit two home runs in one game against Loyola Marymount. He was a 23rd round draft pick in 2015 by the Cardinals, but he will certainly be picked before the 23rd round this season. Will Craig and Zack Collins continue to stand out among collegiate bats as potential first round draft picks. Neither player was a top-50 preseason prospect, but they have certainly moved up many rankings thus far.
Two notable players with a rough April are Bobby Dalbec, whose season started strong, and Sean Murphy. Unfortunately for Sean Murphy, this is his second consecutive month on my struggling player list. Corey Ray and Buddy Reed, two potential top 10 picks in this year's draft, have not had the type of season to date that many expected of them, but their talent is clearly there for them to stay in my top 10 this month. Both players possess plus speed - Ray is 31 for 36 in SB attempts, and Reed is 19 for 21.
Top 10 Position Players Right Now
1. Kyle Lewis, OF - Mercer
2. Blake Rutherford, OF - Chaminade College Prep
3. Bryan Reynolds, OF - Vanderbilt
4. Corey Ray, OF- Louisville
5. Buddy Reed, OF - Florida
6. Mickey Moniak, OF - La Costa Canyon HS
7. Delvin Perez, SS - Puerto Rico
8. Zack Collins, C - Miami
9. Will Craig, 3B - Wake Forest
10. Nick Senzel, 3B - Tennessee
Now for the pitching prospects:
|Jason Groome, LHP - Barnegat HS||60|
|A.J. Puk, LHP - Florida||60||41||3.07||-0.08||38.2||0.82||13.9||0.35|
|Alec Hansen, RHP - Oklahoma||60||26||6.58||2.04||35.5||0.52||25.2||2.29|
|Riley Pint, RHP - ST.TA HS||60|
|Connor Jones, RHP - Virginia||55||69.1||2.08||-0.68||21.3||-1.04||11.5||-0.06|
|Jordan Sheffield, RHP - Vanderbilt||55||63.2||2.54||-0.40||36.9||0.68||13.2||0.23|
|Josh Lowe, RHP - Pope HS||50|
|Cal Quantrill, RHP - Stanford||50|
|Matt Krook, LHP - Oregon||50||42||4.29||0.66||28.7||-0.22||25.0||2.25|
|Kevin Gowdy, RHP - Santa Barbara HS||50||37.1||1.12||-1.27||44.1||1.47||1.4||-1.80|
|Kyle Funkhouser, RHP - Louisville||50||50.1||5.19||1.20||22.9||-0.86||16.6||0.81|
|Daulton Jefferies, RHP - California||50||42||1.29||-1.16||28.4||-0.26||3.6||-1.42|
|Zack Brown, RHP - Kentucky||50||60||5.25||1.24||17.4||-1.46||10.2||-0.29|
|Robert Tyler, RHP - Georgia||50||57||2.53||-0.41||30.3||-0.05||12.8||0.16|
|Logan Shore, RHP - Florida||50||54||2.50||-0.43||30.7||0.00||7.8||-0.70|
|Ian Anderson, RHP - Shenendehowa HS||50|
|Ian Hamilton, RHP - Washington State||50||58||4.34||0.69||22.1||-0.95||8.2||-0.63|
|Austin Bergner, RHP - Windermere Prep||50||5||5.60||1.45||14.8||-1.75||3.7||-1.40|
|Dakota Hudson, RHP - Mississippi State||50||67||2.82||-0.24||29.8||-0.10||13.2||0.23|
|Mike Shawaryn, RHP - Maryland||50||52||4.15||0.57||22.8||-0.87||12.3||0.07|
|Alex Speas, RHP - McEachern HS||50|
|Zach Jackson, RHP - Arkansas||50||39.1||4.12||0.55||31.4||0.07||19.6||1.33|
|Reggie Lawson, RHP - Victor Valley HS||50||35||1.20||-1.22||36.4||0.62||11.0||-0.15|
|Eric Lauer, LHP - Kent State||50||60.1||0.90||-1.40||31.3||0.06||10.6||-0.22|
|Jesus Luzardo, LHP - Stoneman Douglas HS||50|
|Braxton Garrett, LHP - Florence HS||50||62.1||0.56||-1.60||51.7||2.30||9.1||-0.47|
|Cody Sedlock, RHP - Illinois||50||67.1||2.94||-0.16||29.9||-0.09||8.2||-0.63|
|Ben Bowden, LHP - Vanderbilt||50||38.1||3.05||-0.10||41.5||1.18||6.5||-0.92|
|Zack Burdi, RHP - Louisville||50||15.1||2.93||-0.17||42.6||1.30||14.8||0.50|
|Zach Liningfelter, RHP - Sevier County||50|
|Bailey Clark, RHP - Duke||50||44||6.34||1.90||27.5||-0.35||15.6||0.64|
|Jon Duplantier, RHP - Rice||50||69.2||2.58||-0.38||30.2||-0.06||11.8||-0.01|
|Matt Manning, RHP - Sheldon High||50||16.1||2.57||-0.39||45.8||1.66||16.7||0.83|
|Cole Irvin, LHP- Oregon||50||66.1||4.07||0.52||21.4||-1.02||6.1||-0.99|
The top performers (in bold above) through the beginning of the season are: Jason Groome, A.J. Puk, Kevin Gowdy, Robert Tyler, Logan Shore, and Braxton Garrett. Groome began his senior year with a bang. In one start he struck out 10 of 16 batters and threw a no-hitter in the other start with 19 strikeouts. Unfortunately for Groome, he was suspended for nothing more than logistical reasons, which Baseball America covered here (A part of this suspension was vacating his stats). Recently, word broke that Groome will be cleared to pitch this week.
Overall, Puk's ERA and BB% did go up, but his K% went up 10 percentage points. Gowdy finished with a top 3 Z-Score in ERA, K%, and BB%. Robert Tyler had quite the month; he was an out away from a no-hitter on April 1st. He truly had an electric fastball that night. In the few times I've been able to see Tyler, he has impressed.
Logan Shore has stated his case as the ace of a Florida staff that includes A.J. Puk. He threw a CG two-hit shutout on Friday night against Georgia. In April, Shore posted an ERA and BB% below the mean, as well as a K% equal to the mean. He could be a mid first round pick in June.
Braxton Garrett had the top Z-Score ERA and K% of the above players and was top 10 in BB%. In 62.1 innings, a K% of 51.7 is impressive no matter what level you pitch. The 6'3" left-hander is moving up the draft boards and has the potential to be a top 10 pick in June. An impressive outing worth mentioning was the 10.2 shutout innings from Cody Sedlock this past Friday night.
Unfortunately Alec Hansen, Kyle Funkhouser, and Zack Brown continue to stay on the list of struggling pitchers. Hansen has an impressive K% of 35.5, but his BB% is 25.2. Hansen needs to harness his control in order to stay a first round pick. Bailey Clark joins the list of struggling pitchers; only one pitcher was worse by ERA. In some injury news, Daulton Jefferies did not make a start since my last article, as he has been battling a calf issue (there has been some talk about how well he will hold up with a 6'0" 180-lb frame).
As I said last month, this draft is loaded with talented and electric arms, which makes my top 10 hard to create.
Top 10 Pitching Prospects Right Now
1. Jason Groome, LHP - Barnegat HS
2. A.J. Puk, LHP - Florida
3. Riley Pint, RHP - ST.TA HS
4. Jordan Sheffield, RHP - Vanderbilt
5. Connor Jones, RHP - Virginia
6. Logan Shore, RHP - Florida
7. Braxton Garrett, LHP - Florence HS
8. Robert Tyler, RHP- Georgia
9. Kevin Gowdy, RHP - Santa Barbara HS
10. Daulton Jefferies, RHP - California
. . .
Carl Triano is a contributor at Beyond the Box Score.