It’s a difficult task to comprehensively preview the third day of the MLB draft, considering over 600 players will be selected and by about the 20th round teams will begin looking for guys to fill out short-season rosters. That said, it won’t stop me from identifying some of the top players available on the final day of the draft.
Best Available High School Players
Freddy Avis (RHP) – Avis had the talent to go in the supplemental first round but has fallen because of a very firm commitment to Stanford. He is an athletic, projectable right-hander that shows a low-90s fastball and promising curveball.
Alex Young (LHP) – Young has a prototypical starter’s body, standing 6-3 and 190 pounds with good athleticism. He has an average fastball now and most scouts believe he could have a plus heater once he reaches physical maturity. It will be tough to pull him away from TCU, but a team that really likes him could make a run early on day three.
Mitchell Traver (RHP) – Traver has an extra-large frame that checks in around 6-7, 240. He remains uncoordinated and often out of whack. He has flashed velocity upwards of 94 mph but that is rare. Another TCU commit, Traver would be a huge project for an MLB team and could likely gain more from three years at college.
Rhett Wiseman (OF) – I’ve seen a lot of Wiseman over the last two years. He looks great in a uniform but there are serious questions surrounding how much his raw tools will play. He’s a good athlete and willing to work as hard as anyone, but the game doesn’t come easily to him and his bat may be the biggest problem. It is extremely likely he ends up at Vanderbilt when all is said and done.
CJ Hinojosa (SS) – Hinojosa is currently recovering from shoulder surgery in April and may go without being picked in this draft. Regardless, he’s a legitimate middle of the diamond player with offensive potential and enough feel for the game to allow him to stick at shortstop long term.
Evan Hill (LHP) – In a thin year for prospects in Michigan, Hill stands out for his large frame, athleticism and gobs of projection. He currently sits in the mid-80s but scouts can see an average fastball in his future to go along with a curveball and change-up. It is probably that he ends up at Michigan for three years.
Best Available College Players
Logan Ehlers (LHP) – Ehlers has already turned down big money from the Blue Jays in the 2010 draft, and he may be trying to command big money this time around as well. He shows a fastball that can sit 90-92 at times along with feel for a potential plus slider and solid change-up. For a team that saved money in some of the earlier rounds, Ehlers could be an early play on day three.
Jake Johansen (RHP) – A very physical right-hander, Johansen has plenty of arm strength and could be a nice find on the third day of the draft. He can dial it up to 97 mph in short bursts and could have the premium velocity and possibly the slider to go after hitters in the late innings. Despite control problems, Johansen could be a late steal.
Ronnie Richardson (OF) – If teams can get past his small stature, the 5-foot-6 Richardson has some impact ability in his game. He has enough strength to get the ball into the outfield and pick up some doubles, while also offering plus speed and enough chops to handle center field defensively.
Tyler Spencer (RHP) – Spencer could be a slightly over-slot guy on the third day of the draft, giving teams some upside in rounds where little upside may exist. He can work in the low-90s with plenty of movement and also offers a promising change-up. While still inexperienced, Spencer has good feel for his craft and shows a natural ability to impart movement on the ball.
Anthony Tzamtzis (RHP) – Tzamtzis was tagged by one scout I spoke to as a “midget right-hander” while also noting that he looks like a “scrappy second baseman.” Despite those less than glowing monikers, Tzamtzis can flash fastball velocity in the 92-94 range in short bursts while also showing an average slider. He has a pure relief profile and may not look like more than a seventh inning guy, but he’ll get a chance from someone.