2014 Perfect Game MLB Draft preview content
Top 500 Prospect Reports:
1-50 | 51-100 | 101-150
151-200 | 201-250 | 301-350
351-400 | 401-450 | 451-500
Clay Casey, of,
DeSoto Central HS
6-3/205, Southaven, Miss.
until the summer prior to his senior year, Clay Casey was a
dual-sport athlete who split his focus between football and baseball.
He showed a chiseled physique at the East Coast Pro that was hard not
to notice with high-level athleticism. Coming into his senior season
of baseball however, the Ole Miss commit worked hard to transform his
body and muscle from football shape into lean, quick-twitch muscle,
which is much more conducive for baseball. His athleticism and
strength allow him to whip the barrel of the bat through the zone
with the ball jumping at the point of contact. Casey shows the
ability to hit for both power and average and adds another dimension
once he gets on the bases, as Casey is considered an above average
runner with run times to back it up.
lhp, University of Oklahoma (RS-SO)
6-8/260, Denton, Texas
Drafted: Diamondbacks, ’11 (17)
has long intrigued scouts with his extra-large build and strong left
arm, but like many pitchers his size, Choplick has been slow and
inconsistent to develop. At his best he will show a fastball that
tops out at 94 mph and solid feel for a low-80s slider. He has had a
pair of elbow surgeries in his past that caused him to red-shirt in
2012, but has been healthy ever since and has started every week for
the Sooners this spring except the season ending series, compiling a
3-4, 4.95 record in 67 innings, including 68 strikeouts.
rhp, Beech HS
6-5/185, Hendersonville, Tenn.
Commitment: Tennessee Tech
qualifies as the most-obvious pop-up player in the Tennessee prep
ranks this spring after he saw a significant spike in his velocity
from a typical 86-88 mph as a junior to the mid- to low-90s as a
senior. But a lot depended on when he was seen as he had his share of
good days when his fastball consistently reached 93-94 mph and
augmented it with a near average breaking ball, and his bad days,
when his fastball would back off to its previous level and he
struggled to miss bats. McWilliams dropped his final outing of the
2014 season, 5-3, when he was out-dueled by Clarksville High junior
righthander Donny Everett, a projected first-rounder in 2015.
McWilliams’ long, lean frame obviously holds considerable appeal
with scouts, as does his signability as he is viewed as the most
signable player among the top prep prospects in the state.
rhp, Weatherford (Texas) JC (SO)
6-5/225, Mansfield, Texas
Drafted: Mets ’12 (22) – College Commitment: Auburn
pitched sparingly as a freshman at Texas Christian and his career
didn’t begin to take off until last summer, while pitching in the
California Collegiate League. He worked as both a starter and
reliever and went 4-0, 1.75 in 20 appearances, with 36 strikeouts in
36 innings, mainly on the strength of two dominant pitches in a 90-94
mph fastball with arm-side sink, plus a 78-79 slider with cutting
action. He built off that performance this year, after transferring
to a Texas junior college, and actually threw five different pitches
for strikes, but his fastball—both his four-seamer that was 91-93
mph every time out, and topped at 95, and two-seamer that produced
excellent movement—was his bread-and-butter pitch. He did a better
job this spring of understanding how to use his lower half, and both
added to and sustained his velocity deeper into games. In 15 starts,
he went 3-5, 2.88 with 33 walks and 99 strikeouts in 84 innings.
Whether he is used as a starter or reliever at the next level will
probably come down to the development of his change and curve. Antone
is athletic in his big, powerful frame, and his father played on
Oklahoma’s national-championship football team
in 1975, and uncle Frank was selected in the first baseball draft.
6-4/215, Palmetto, Ga.
Commitment: Georgia Tech
two players have taken identical paths to get to their prospect
status and Johnson's is no different, as he doesn't play high school
baseball in the spring since he is home-schooled. He does compete for
the Home Plate Citadels though and has been able to be seen at
multiple events by scouts. What those scouts have been able to see
from the Georgia Tech commit and 2013 PG All-American is a smooth
swing with a strong hit tool and equal amounts of power in his
righthanded swing. Johnson has begun to transition from first base to
left field and has shown signs of improvement each time he steps foot
on the field.
rhp, Shelton State (Ala.) CC (FR)
6-2/205, Trussville, Ala.
was a junior-college freshman this spring, still in the process of
learning how to pitch, but put himself prominently on the radar for
this year’s draft with a significant spike in velocity. His
fastball was a steady 90-94 mph, topping at 96, and generated good
sink when Jones stayed on top of it, though it also dipped to 88-91
his final time out. He also showed signs of developing a nasty,
slurve-like breaking ball, but didn’t throw consistent strikes with
either pitch and will need to develop much better pitchability as he
advances. He also didn’t work deep enough into his 12 starts, or
make sufficient progress with a splitter or true change as a third
pitch for scouts to know whether he profiles as a starter going
forward, but featured a quick arm with good extension out front. On
the season, Jones went 5-2, 3.96, while walking 25 and striking out
67 in 52 innings.
lhp, Florida State (JR)
6-5, 200, New Baden, Ill.
wasn’t drafted out of an Illinois high school after undergoing
Tommy John surgery as a senior but has been steadily developing at
Florida State. He pitched almost exclusively out of the Seminoles
bullpen his first two seasons, going 5-0, 3.67 in 46 appearances, and
started 2014 in the pen as well before working himself into the
starting rotation in March. Holtmann has four solid pitches in a
90-92 mph fastball, a mid-80s cutter that has really improved this
season and a curveball/changeup combination. Unfortunately, Holtmann
went down with a forearm strain in late April after posting a 5-1,
3.68 mark in 36 innings this spring. Reports are that he might be
back for the NCAA tournament, which will be crucial for his draft
rhp, Brother Rice HS
6-5/225, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
has been on the national scene since before his high school career
even began, playing for the Midland Braves at the 2011 PG BCS Finals.
The Vanderbilt commit has continued to refine and polish his
mechanics, allowing for him to repeat well and show nice command of
the strike zone. Along with exhibiting strong command to both sides
of the plate, Ruppenthal shows an easy arm action, and even though he
works 89-92 mph with his fastball, occasionally touching a 93, the
pitch projects for more in the future. To complement his fastball,
Ruppenthal shows a developing feel for both a slider and changeup.
3b, Washington State (JR)
5-11/200, Federal Way, Wash.
never made a splash in summer ball like several of his Washington
State teammates—notably outfielders Jason Monda, Ben Roberts and
Yale Rosen—but scouts say he has the most-advanced approach to
hitting on the Cougars roster. After red-shirting as a true freshman,
and being lost for the season as a sophomore after 32 games with a
knee injury, Tanielu finally played a full season for WSU as a
junior, and was hitting a team-high .332 entering the final weekend
of the regular season. That comes on the heels of an eye-opening .409
average a year earlier, before he was hurt. The stockily-built
Tanielu has the bat speed and leverage to hit for power, but has gone
deep just three times in his abbreviated Cougars career, and
questions have arisen whether he’ll ever develop enough power
productivity to remain at third base, where he is a dependable
defender with a strong, accurate arm and has the natural instincts to
make any play. But scouts admire his old-school, throwback approach
to the game and don’t seem to have any reservations about him
shifting seamlessly over to second.
Brandon Murray, rhp,
6-4/200, Hobart, Ind.
Commitment: South Carolina
is no denying the premium arm strength that Murray, a 2013 PG
All-American, possesses, having run his fastball up to 97-98 mph in
the past. The question that surrounds Murray is his ability to
command the strike zone and his overall pitchability. His frame
projects well with added strength and when he works down in the zone
he is able to produce ground balls. Murray has shown nice progression
with his off-speed from the summer to spring, showing more
consistency with both his sharp curveball and changeup throughout the
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