Bo Bichette, SS, Lakewood HS
The son of former Major Leaguer Dante Bichette and younger brother of Yankees first-round selection Dante Bichette Jr., Bo has an athletic frame and a muscular lower half. While physically fit now, he can still add muscle to his upper half. He also features 70 raw power, among the best in the draft, and can take a ball out of any ballpark. He hits from an open stance with his hands above his head and a bat wiggle, but he also tends to get antsy at the plate as he was awaiting the pitch. He has a significant hitch as he loads his hands deep behind his backside. This, coupled with a high leg kick, will cause timing issues in the future as he faces more advanced secondary offerings and better velocity. While he has plus bat speed to help make up for some mistakes, it’s tough to see him getting to anything higher than a 40 hit tool without some major adjustments.
Defensively, Bichette has above-average hands and can unleash some 60 throws from across the diamond when needed. While he has been playing shortstop, he should move over to 3B as a professional. His lack of side-to-side range, plus added weight as he fills out his frame won’t allow him to remain at the position. Bichette is an average runner at present and will only slow down as he matures and gets older. Nonetheless, he should still profile as an above-average defender at third due to his plus arm and soft hands. While there are certainly questions about his hit utility and defensive home, this is still one of the premium bats of this class.
Cole Ragans, LHP, North Florida Christian High School
Ragans showed plenty of promise and the stuff to vouch for his reputation as one of the top southpaws in the upcoming draft. The Florida State commit has a tall, lean, projectable frame, a slightly up-tempo delivery that shows little effort in its actions, and pairs it with a slightly long but deep arm action that shows above-average arm speed. Ragans employs an over the top slot that he generates from a lot of spine tilt, which could hamper his body down the road unless he adds the necessary strength.
In this outing his fastball sat 90-92, touched 93 and he held his delivery from the windup as the game went on. One possible concern is that he was 88-89 mph, as he pitched from the stretch, using a slide step and sacrificing control for quickness. The pitch still had impressive life and was able to locate on both sides of the plate. His curveball was 74-78 and featured 1/7 shape, and while it wasn’t the tightest pitch, the best ones had above-average depth and good action. As expected with most high school kids, his change is a distant third pitch but he already shows some feel for the offering at79-81, and had good arm speed on it. While I am worried about how much he will develop given his high arm slot, spine tilt, and present lean body, he could hear his name as early as the back half of day one.
Todd Peterson, RHP, Lake Mary High School
Peterson is one of the more intriguing prospects for this upcoming draft as he’s performed very well for Team USA, and has had a very accomplished prep career. A Louisiana State commit, Peterson features one of the best bodies and deliveries in the draft at 6-foot-5, 205 pounds. With a smooth, simple delivery and a clean arm action, he has loads of potential and the ceiling for Peterson can only grow. The downside of his easy delivery and arm action is that he lacks deception, and batters get a very early look at his fastball from his three-quarters slot. The fastball was 88-93, and lacks life. It was squared up often and he needs to look at adding more life on the fastball to get off of opponent’s barrels. His curveball sat 76-77 and was a 12/6 breaker. While some featured fair depth and action, it is not a power pitch and needs more consistent shape. His changeup is a distant third pitch which lacked arm-speed replication and movement at 76-77 mph. While it’s lagging at present, more repetitions should bring growth as he gains a feel for it and learns to generate a more consistent arm speed. He has a pro body, an easy delivery and a clean, smooth arm action, but the lack of deception and the present quality of his secondary offerings could mean he will be a better draft prospect in three seasons than right now.
Lake Bachar, RHP, Wisconsin-Whitewater
Originally brought to Whitewater as a K/P for the powerhouse football team, Bachar quickly found his way onto the baseball team. He has a physical frame and a body that looks like he belongs on a football field, as he is built somewhat blocky and has very little projection remaining. His delivery is smooth and up-tempo, and at maximum leg lift he tucks in his front shoulder which adds some deception, but also allows him to get extra shoulder/hip rotation.
Featuring quick arm speed and a three-quarters slot, his fastball was 90-92, touched 93, and featured some run. He also throws two distinct breaking balls, the first a slider at 82-84 T85, the pitch had late movement but was inconsistent in action, as he would get on the side of the pitch. The second, a curveball at 75-77 had good 11/5 shape and fair action, but like the slider was also inconsistent in this outing. I would chalk the inconsistency in this outing to early season struggles. His change is well behind the other two secondary offerings as the pitch lacked arm speed and was thrown softly at 77-78 mph. Bachar is an intriguing prospect, albeit one who might benefit from a move to the bullpen, enabling his stuff to play up.