Jacksonville, FL - Before we get to the rankings, we'd like to thank the Next Level/MBA Pride staff for having us cover their national showcase. They have always been a first class organization and run first class events.
Next Level and MBA Pride continue to grow and produce quality college and professional prospects. Their National Showcase is always a can't miss event for players, coaches and scouts.
As a reminder, these rankings are from a workout setting. (BP, I/O and a bullpen). We didn't get to evaluate these players in games, but we have seen some of them play in games in the past. For the 60 yard dash times, the track was a bit slow.
There were plenty of colleges and scouts bearing down on players trying to showcase their talent to the NLB/MBA staff in Jacksonville.
For as many of NLB/MBA events PW covers, we always find new talent or talent our staff needed to see more of. This last National Showcase was no different.
Top 20 prospects from NLB/MBA National Showcase:
1. Jason Swan 2017 MIF R/R Atlantic Coast HS - Swan is a player our staff has seen get better literally from event to event over the past year. Jason is still a bit raw, but compared to when we first saw him at our 2013 Fall National Championships last October, he's come a long ways. As a freshman last year his tools and athleticism stood out, now his consistency with the bat is beginning to standout.
Swan is developing into a high level college player and potentially an elite professional prospect. We can't wait to watch Jason continue to develop over the next couple of years. Everything is there, the talent, the dedication, and the drive. Swan is one of the very few players that makes sure he says hello to our scouting staff at every event. There's no doubt in our mind that the talent and intangibles are there for Jason to play this game for a long time.
2. Elijah Gill 2017 OF/LHP L/L University Christian - We hadn't had a chance to bear down on Gill until now. What were we thinking? Gill could potentially become a legitimate two-way player at the D1 level. He doesn't have a lot of projection except that he'll get stronger and wider, which is a good thing. Elijah had one of the purest left-handed swings we've seen in a while. In BP, the ball jumped off his bat and he used the entire field, showing line drive gap power. Gill's bat stays through the hitting zone for days and he has great extension. He ran a 7.12 60 which will get faster with strength as well.
As a pitcher, we've seen Elijah before at our tournaments throw pretty well. We've had his fastball up to 83mph and the stronger he gets the more his velocity will increase. Gill's arm works well and there are no delivery concerns right now. He has a good idea how to pitch and uses all three of his pitches to keep hitters off-balance. We wouldn't be surprised to see Gill winning games next summer with his arm and his bat.
3. Alec Sanchez 2018 MIF L/R Providence HS - Sanchez is a strong-bodied player that creates a tremendous amount of batspeed from the left side. We only got to see him take BP, but it was enough to know that Alec has a chance to hit for average and power at a high level. It probably wasn't his best round of BP, but he hit several balls hard and kept his hands inside the ball pretty well. Sanchez didn't run the 60 or take I/O, which we would've like to have seen. The more we get to see of him, the more we'll be able to better evaluate his talent.
4. Andrew Williamson 2015 C/1B R/R Trinity Christian Academy - Andrew's best baseball years are ahead of him, which is why we believe some professional scouts like him. He already has a big league frame at 6'4" 215lbs and an unmatched work ethic. His work ethic and love for the game is something that we've noticed over the past couple of years.
At the plate, Williamson still has some length in his swing but it has gotten better. He still has tremendous raw power and is beginning to make some adjustments at the plate. Consistent hard contact is the only real issue with Andrew as a hitter. With his work ethic though, that can be something that continues to get better over the next several years.
As a position player, we're not sure where he fits in at the next level. More than likely at 1B. Andrew's footwork and quick release behind the plate generates POP times around 2.03 seconds, which is an improvement. His arm strength behind the plate is lacking though which is why 1B may be the best option at the next level. Either way, Williamson is a player to follow over the next several years and when the consistency comes with the bat, watch out.
5. Willie Carter 2015 1B/OF R/R Fort White HS - We've seen Willie Carter destroy baseballs as a hitter for three years now. We've seen him do it in games as well as BP. At this particular event, Carter showed plus batspeed again and hit several balls as hard as anyone. He ran a 7.03 60, and showed a solid 40-45 arm at 1B. Like Williamson, Carter loves the game and works hard. Because Carter runs a bit, and runs better underway, he may be able to play left field at the next level. Either way, Carter's bat is what will carry him at the next level.
6. Devin Hemenway 2017 LHP/OF L/L Niceville HS - Hemenway isn't a big kid right now but he showed fundamentally sound mechanics both as a hitter and pitcher. He ran a 7.0 60 and showed some quick twitch during BP. His swing path is good and he made solid consistent contact. Devin just needs to get stronger over the next several years. As a pitcher, he had a quick arm with a low effort, consistent, repeatable delivery. He was around the strike zone and down with every pitch and his fastball touched 81mph. Hemenway showed a good curveball with tight spin. We wouldn't be surprised to see a jump in velocity by next summer. With natural growth and strength, he could become a legitimate two-way player at the next level.
7. Tate Hagan 2016 OF/LHP LL Lawton Chiles HS - Hagan has a very projectable frame at 6'2' 165lbs and showed plus batspeed and power for his grad class from the left side. He showed good pull power and got through the ball really well. As a pitcher, his arm works well and he repeats, but his velocity hasn't made a jump yet. If Hagan can get on a good strength program and get stronger, we think he'll begin to draw some college interest by next summer.
8. Brandon Madero 2016 MIF R/R Freedom HS - Madero is a player somewhat under the radar that colleges need to start to pay attention to. He's not a big kid at 5'9" 155lbs, but he hits balls as hard as anyone with plus batspeed for his grad class. Brandon can probably stay at SS at the college level as he showed above average actions and some arm strength. His best tools are his speed, a 6.92 60 and his bat. Madero hit rocket after rocket during BP, his swing plane is great and he stays through the zone. Colleges take notice now!
9. Joey Bend 2015 3B/C R/R Sandalwood HS - Why Bend hasn't been signed by a college yet, we don't understand. He is a gamer with above average arm strength, batspeed and instincts for his grad class. He doesn't run real well, clocking a 7.29 60, but that's about the only thing he doesn't do well. Bend was 88mph from across the diamond at SS and from the mound. He squared up everything in BP with a lightning quick bat. We had never seen Joey catch before and the arm strength definitely translated. He showed a 1.78 POP time with his throws on a straight line and accurate. Colleges are missing out on Bend right now.
10. Jordan Kennedy 2015 RHP R/R Baker County HS - Kennedy has been on our radar for a couple of years now. He's very athletic for a pitcher and can throw three pitches for strikes. His fastball topps out at around 87-88mph. His best pitch is his curveball which has tight spin and depth. Once Kennedy gets stronger and his velocity sits in the 87-88mph range topping out at 90-91mph, he'll get some MLB draft interest coming out of college. By his sophomore year he should be a Friday/Saturday night type starter.
11. Donnie Gleneski 2016 OF/RHP R/R Bishop Kenny HS - Gleneski has started to emerge lately as a player colleges are taking an interest in. He's athletic and wiry with a projectable frame at 6'1" 170lbs. He has above average batspeed and power for his grad class on pitches middle in. We asked Donnie to make some adjustments during his BP at the showcase, keeping his front side closed better. He made some adjustments in his second round of BP, but it will take some time before he can start to drive balls the other way consistently. We think Gleneski is athletic enough to make the necessary adjustments at the plate and can't wait to see him in game situations again. He runs a bit, clocking a 7.03 60 and defends ok in the outfield. Donnie's a bit raw all together, but the tools are there.
12. Seton Bentz 2016 OF/LHP R/L Lincoln HS - Bentz lead our Fall National Championships last month in hits with 10. He had 4 stolen bases as well, helping Next Level Baseball win a championship. Bentz can definitely hit and run, clocking a 6.75 60 and squaring up balls during BP. The ball jumped off his bat and he stayed through the hitting zone with good extension. Colleges need to take a close look at Bentz.
13. Mark Mixon 2016 RHP R/R Ponte Vedra HS - We've seen Mixon quite a bit and like his arm. He throws a ton of strikes and his fastball will sit in the mid 80's. Mark's arm works well and there's little effort. When he drops down to the side, every pitch he throws has good sink and run. His breaking ball from the side is a little inconsistent, but when it's right, it's nasty. If he can strictly be a side-arm pitcher, he'll get tons of ground ball outs and could pitch for just about any college in the country.
14. Paul Cunningham 2016 RHP/3B R/R Leon HS - We still don't know if Cunningham will be a better position player or pitcher yet at the next level. As a position player, he has an above average arm and raw power for his grad class. There's still some length in his swing but once he shortens it up he'll make more consistent solid contact. As a pitcher, Paul's fastball sits around 82-84mph and his arm works well. There's some deception in his delivery as well. His secondary pitches need some work. As a pitcher and position player he has some projection and colleges need to start paying attention to Cunningham.
15. Cameron Cooper 2016 LHP/1B R/L Trinity Christian Academy - We hadn't seen Cooper before but on the mound he showed good rhythm and timing with his swing and squared up several balls during BP. Cameron needs to get his backside through better and he'll hit balls harder. On the mound his fastball touched 82mph with some life, but there was some effort with his arm action.
16. Matt Mixon 2016 RHP R/R Ponte Vedra HS - Like his brother Mark, Matt's arm works well and his fastball sits in the low to mid 80's. He's athletic for a pither and repeats his delivery well. He throws a lot of strikes, gets hitters out, and competes. Colleges should be looking at Matt as a short relief/spot starter potentially.
17. Adam Asker 2015 OF/1B L/L Lincoln HS - Asker is an all around consistent player. He's gotten stronger and stronger over the past couple of years and hits the ball hard consistently. Adam has a tendency to over swing at times but he makes enough contact to do some damage at the college level. Left field is probably where he'll end up at the college level because of his 6.9 60 speed.
18. Myles McKisic 2016 INF R/R American Heritage Delray - McKisic has been fun to watch progress over the past few years. His coordination is starting to catch up with his growth now. Defensively, his actions keep improving as well as his arm strength. Myles doesn't run that well, clocking a 7.39 60, but his speed continues to get better every summer. His bat is coming around as well and becoming more consistent. McKisic is a sleeper in the 2016 class.
19. Kody Parsons 2016 MIF R/R Providence HS - Parson showed potential big time power during BP with a quick bat and natural backspin on the ball. It was easy power. We'll have to keep an eye on Kody to see if the power translates to the games.
20. Tanner Thomas 2016 MIF L/R Flemming Island HS - Thomas has a chance to open some college coaches eyes next summer with his speed and defense. He ran one of the faster 60 times, a 6.78 on a slow track. Tanner showed above average actions at SS and has a strong, athletic body. We need to see more of Thomas at the plate to better evaluate his bat.