Eric Lauer, LHP, Kent State (2016 Draft Class) Lauer and the Kent State Flashes entered the MAC Tournament as the heavy favorites, however a loss to Western Michigan ended their run at post season play. Lauer started for the Flashes on Wednesday, going the distance with a complete-game shutout. He showed advanced pitchability throughout the game, and the stuff to match. While Lauer doesn’t currently have a pure out-pitch, his arsenal is still adequate. His fastball sat 93, hitting 94 a few times with a deceptive look from the left side, with some cutting action on it. His curveball will be an above-average pitch, showing 1-7 break across multiple planes at 76 mph. His slider is much improved since I last saw him in April; it usually sits 85-86 topping at 87 mph. His changeup also looked improved, and he threw it with much more confidence this game, featuring horizontal arm-side fade and a touch of tumble as it fell late at times.
Lauer won't be an ace, or even a number two in all likelihood, but what he is missing in ceiling he makes up for in floor. Even as someone who hates the term “high-floor player,” Lauer looks the part to be a fast-rising mid-to-back-end starter. He is as polished as anyone in the class currently, and if any of his off-speed pitches can improve into the plus range, his ceiling becomes even higher. His endurance has never been questioned, as his last two outings have been a no hitter at Bowling Green, and this shutout. His velocity held through all nine innings on Wednesday, and he maintained his delivery well. His delivery is extremely clean, but has a quirk with his left leg that needs to be timed correctly in order to hit his spots. But out of all of his outings that I have seen, he’s only lost his timing in a few. I would look for Lauer to go anywhere in the 25-40 range, but losing out on his ability to prove himself against post season competition is unfortunate. —Grant Jones
Drew Mendoza, SS, Lake Minneola HS (2016 Draft Class)
Florida State-commit Drew Mendoza is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound shortstop with premium offensive tools and plenty of projection remaining. He is a veteran of the showcase circuit and a well-known name who will get his draft ID number called on the first day of the 2016 draft, never setting foot on campus.
At the plate Mendoza combines well above-average bat speed with feel to hit and barrel awareness. The stance is simple with his hands at his shoulder, some drift back with the hands to get it started, and an on-line stride. He’s at his best when he keeps his hands near his midline and lets them work. His power is mainly to his pull side at this point but as he fills out, the combination of strength, bat speed, and barrel awareness will lead to above-average power. Mendoza is a confident hitter and now that the wrist injury that hampered him during the fall and winter showcase circuit has fully healed, he is showing the offensive skillset that scouts have envisioned.
On defense, he shows solid-average hands and average body control from a large frame combined with an arm that would play anywhere on the diamond. As his body continues to fill out, he will be forced to move to third but the athleticism he shows at short will play up. In the end, the team that drafts Mendoza will have a potential all-star caliber third baseman with loud tools at the plate and plenty of defensive skills to play a capable third base. —James Fisher
Mikey White, SS, Oakland Athletics (High-A Stockton)
White was Oakland’s second-rounder last summer, and after a very slow start to his California League career he’s shown signs of life lately, including two balls he stung in my look last week. To say he’s quiet in his setup and load is an understatement. He borders on straight-up mute, to the point where there’s notable stiffness in his launch and a slow start-up to his bat that compromises its speed and leaves the barrel control inconsistent against velocity. His lower half is mechanical in its stride as well, with a stiff plant that robs him of the torque he needs to consistently generate power. And he has the potential to develop some: His broad shoulders frame a filled-out upper half with notable strength through his arms. The swing just isn’t geared to take advantage of it, however.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information
on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.