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2017 MLB Draft Preview: 2nd round high school hitters

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For previous entries of BBB's 2017 draft preview, see the 2017 Draft Storystream

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This last entry briefly profiles players who could find their way into the second round (or perhaps even higher if they cut a deal), but could also slip a little later as well based on their consensus ranking. Every year a handful of these type of players end up with late helium or get taken earlier by a team that really likes them.

2017 HS hitters 2nd round

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A bit of a common theme is outfielders who aren't expected to stick to CF, requiring more hitting production to develop into the everyday regular teams are looking for at the top of the draft, especially picking riskier high school players. That makes for something of a tough profile, as teams must have conviction in the bat which the consesnsu view doesn't have for a variety of reasons. Some quick notes:

  • Mitchell is a bat-first prospect (expected to be limited to an outfield corner) who was one of the better hitters last summer. He's since changed his approach at the plate, apparently in a negative way causing swing and miss problems. Perfect Game is the outlier here, valuing him as sandwich round talent, but the nature of the draft is that it only takes one of the 30 teams agreeing for him to go that high
  • Pearson and Cabrera have similar profiles as older outfielders from Louisiana, both of whom are considered among the better pure hitters among high school draft prospects, with decent power potential and both of whom profile as corner outfielders (Cabrera lacking the speed for CF, Pearson having the speed but lacking the arm). Both are committed to LSU.
  • House has emerged this spring, but lacks the track record from the showcase circuit that teams usually look for, especially given a future profile in a corner outfield. His best tool is good power, coupled with decent speed.
  • Jones has benefited from a banner year for North Carolina prospects, getting plenty of looks from high level scouts coming to see other prospects. He's got great speed, profiling in CF if he doesn't stick on the middle infield. He's demonstrated some ability to hit, but has been inconsistent in games looking great sometimes and not good in others. He's also one of the oldest high schooler in the draft, there's not a lot more physical projection.
  • Gonzalez (son of former Diamondback Luis) standout for his raw power (or course the pedigree), with some issues reaching it in-game though considered to have improved in that regard this spring. The drawback is a lack of expected positional/defensive value as he could end up at first base from his current third base, which means really having to hit.
  • Adam Hall is one of a rare species, the Canadian middle infielder. He'll be covered more in depth in a separate piece.
  • Hunt has really come into his own since last summer, shooting up draft boards as he matured physically. Again, catcher is a tough high school profile, but he comes from a storied California high school and has worked extensively with ex-MLB catcher Brett Mayne. Significant question remains about his ability to produce offensively.
  • Freeman is a bit of a jack of trades, with no standout tool that projects as plus in the future, but decent speed with a good arm and a line drive swing. If it works out, that could be enough to be a regular, or he could end up a quality utility infielder.