Unlike most professional sports, the MLB allows kids to play professional baseball straight out of high school. Some of the top players in the MLB like Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw and Manny Machado were all drafted out of high school. In the past few years, high school prospects have usually been the first picks in the MLB Draft. In the 2017 MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins selected SS Royce Lewis out of J Serra Catholic High School in California. This year, the Detroit Tigers have the #1 overall pick. Will the Tigers draft a prep prospect in the 2018 MLB Draft? Here are the top ten high school prospects in the 2018 MLB Draft.
RHP Kumar Rocker (North Oconee High School)
Kumar Rocker is a 6’5” 250 pound right-handed pitcher out of Bogart, Georgia. Unlike most high school prospects, Rocker is a very physically mature prospect great strength especially in his legs. The big righty has one of the most explosive fastballs in the draft. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and tops out at 98 mph. He shows he has good command and movement on his fastball. Rocker also throws a slider which sits in the mid-80s and shows a lot of sharpness and spin on the ball. He is still developing a changeup but it does have some nice sinking action. Rocker is a very raw pitcher that will continue to improve as he learns how to become more of a pitcher instead of a thrower. #1 ranked high school prospect in the country. Vanderbilt commit and Perfect Game All-American.
RHP Ethan Hankins (Forsyth Central High School)
Ethan Hankins is a 6’6” 200 pound right-handed pitcher out of Cumming, Georgia. The tall, lanky righty is one of the most polished high school pitchers in this draft class. Hankins throws an easy but very powerful fastball. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and tops out at 98 mph. Hankins pounds the strike zone with his fastball and has great command of it. His best secondary pitch is his curveball which has nice power and spin on the ball. Throws it for strikes and makes hitters look foolish as they usually sits for his fastball. His changeup shows a lot of promise but usually dominates with his fastball and curveball. Should be a top five pick in the draft. Vanderbilt commit and Perfect Game All-American.
SS Brice Turang (Santiago High School)
Brice Turang is a 6’1” 165 pound shortstop out of Corona, California. The prep shortstop is the #1 ranked position player in the country. He is one of the best athletes in the draft that still has a lot of room to grow. Turang is a five tool player that has really impressed scouts all summer long. While he played for the USA 18U National Team, Turang was named the Player of the Year. Turang is a lefty hitting shortstop that can really drive the ball to all fields. He is a very smart hitter that doesn’t chase any many bad pitches and isn’t afraid to draw walks. Defensively, Turang might the top defensive prospect in the draft. He is extremely smooth and has a quick release. LSU commit and Perfect Game All-American.
SS Nander De Sedas (Montverde Academy)
Nander De Sedas is a 6’1” 190 pound shortstop out of Montverde, Florida. He is a strong, athletic built with still some room to grow. De Sedas is widely known for his defensive skills and speed. At the Perfect Game National Showcase, Nander was clocked at a 6.67 60 yard dash. Defensively, Nander has all the tools to be an elite defensive shortstop at the next level. De Sedas has a top five arm in the class as he clocked at 96 mph from shortstop. Shows good range with smooth hands and quick release. At the plate, Nander is a switch hitter that can really swing it on both sides. Shows power bat speed and power from the left side. On the right side, he’s more of line drive hitter with a shorter swing. Florida State commit and Perfect Game All-American.
C Will Banfield (Brookwood High School)
Will Banfield is a 6’0” 200 pound catcher out of Lawrenceville, Georgia. He is a pretty physically built prospect but still has good athletic ability. Banfield is one of the best catching prospects in recent drafts. He is a very special catcher that is extremely talent from behind the plate. Banfield has clocked at a 1.74 pop time which is the best in this draft class. He is very active behind the plate whether it is blocking the ball or throwing a baserunner out. Banfield is a right-handed batter that swings a lot of power. He has strong hands and shows that he hits the ball harder to right centerfield. He still has some work to do at the plate but Banfield is a prospect that can become a better power hitter. Vanderbilt commit and Perfect Game All-American.
LHP Luke Bartnicki (Walton High School)
Luke Bartnicki is a 6’3” 210 pound left-handed pitcher out of Marietta, Georgia. He is the #1 ranked prep left-handed pitcher in the country. Bartnicki is a pretty physically mature pitcher with strong shoulders. Bartnicki is a power pitcher with a fastball that sits in the low-90s and tops out at 95 mph. He throws his fastball with a lot of movement and great command. His best pitch is probably his slider. Luke’s slider has really come a long way as it has great sharpness and late break. His slider tops out at 85 mph and really hit his spots with it. Can really dominate with those two pitches but needs develop a third pitch. Georgia Tech commit and Perfect Game All-American.
RHP Mason Denaburg (Merritt Island High School)
Mason Denaburg is a 6’4” 195 pound right-handed pitcher out Merritt Island, Florida. He is a one of the top two-way prospects in the draft but it seems that he’ll be a pitcher in the future. Denaburg throws his fastball with ease and a lot of sinking movement that sits in the low-mid 90s and tops out at 97 mph. He has a solid power curveball but can get away with power fastball in high school. Changeup has similar sinking movement as his fastball. He seems to have pretty good mechanics but does tend to drift off when overthrows his fastball. Great athlete. Runs a 6.84 60 yard dash. Nice power at the plate and really drives the ball well in the gaps. Florida commit and Perfect Game All-American.
LHP Slade Cecconi (Trinity Preparatory School)
Slade Cecconi is a 6’4” 195 pound right-handed pitcher out of Winter Park, Florida. Cecconi is one of the top and most projectable pitchers in the nation. He is a big pitcher that has some strength and looseness in his arm. Great arm speed and extension but pitches with ease. Fastball sits in the mid-90s and tops out at 96 mph. Does a great job of pounding the bottom half of the strike zone with some life. His slider is his best off speed pitch as it sits at 84 mph and has lots of bite to it. Still needs to work on his curveball as his mechanics aren’t there yet. He’s not consistent with his off speed pitches but still pounds the zone. Cecconi still has some work to do but he is an elite pitcher with a high ceiling. Miami commit and Perfect Game All-American.
OF Jarred Kelenic (Waukesha High School)
Jarred Kelenic is a 6’1” 200 pound outfielder out of Waukesha, Wisconsin. He is a very strong built athlete. Kelenic is probably one of the fastest prep prospects in the class. He has clocked running a 6.57 60 yard dash at the Perfect Game National Showcase. Kelenic also has great range and projects to be a centerfielder in the future. He also has a very strong arm as he was clocked at 96 mph from the outfield. At the plate, Kelenic is a lefty hitter that can flat out hit. The ball flies off the barrel of the bat. Kelenic can really dive the ball to all fields and shows a lot of power potential. Five-tool prospect that can really hurts heads and plays real hard. Louisville commit and Perfect Game All-American.
Tristan Casas (American Heritage High School)
Tristan Casas is a 6’4” 240 pound corner infielder out of Planation, Florida. As soon as he entered high school ball, Triston Casas was always one of the top ranked prospects in the country. The big left-handed infielder is one of the most patient and smartest hitters I’ve seen. Not only is he a great hitter with tons of power but he has a great eye and doesn’t chase anything outside of the strike zone. He is not afraid to take a walk even though most high school pitcher rarely give him anything good to hit. One of the most complete hitters in the country and has also improved on his defense but slimming down and adding more muscle. He can play third base but his future is at first base. Miami commit and Perfect Game All-American.