Hans Crouse, RHP, Dana Hills High School (CA)
Long and lean, loose, athletic, narrow frame with moderate projection; muscle development will be wiry rather than bulk, room to wear another 15-20 pounds without compromising physicality; raw delivery, measured takeaway, consistent early rhythm, spine tilt, unbalanced at fulcrum; slingshot arm action, early wrap, high elbow in the back, scapular stress, elite arm speed to three-quarters slot; hips stay closed off, moderate stride, significant inversion at strike, cross-fire, can struggle to stay on line and on time; effort through drive, moderate head whack, cuts off finish; slow unpacking out of the stretch, 1.33-1.51, runners had no trouble timing him.
Fastball 92-93 (t94) early, backed up to 89-91 (t92) by 5th and final inning; riding pitch with life, plays up with deception and late pick-up from closed delivery, generated nine swinging strikes in four-plus innings; raw ingredients of a plus pitch, may play half a grade behind with fringe-average command; leaned heavily on a nasty hard curve, 75-78 with depth and finish, 11-5 shape, quality bite and downer action, mature feel to add and subtract, dropped it into the zone for called strikes all night, confidence to execute into the zone in 3-ball counts, shape and depth to play as a chaser, plus potential; flashed a change at 80-81 with drop, mild cutting action, project pitch, athleticism and arm action to develop utility as a third pitch.
Garrett Mitchell, CF, Orange Lutheran High School (CA)
Plus athlete, outstanding physicality, broad shoulders, present strength with projection; efficiency of motion, advanced body control; good reads, aggressive tracker, raw early-reaction footwork; impact closing speed, efficient runner, explosive start-up, plus first gear, acceleration, 3.9 sawed-off from left side; strong reads and situational awareness, run can play with plus-plus utility at present, physical projection suggests it can hold at plus or better through physical peak; plus arm strength, throws have carry, present mechanics can get long, projection to tighten up allows tool to project plus.
Tall, narrow stance, some pre-pitch stiffness; abrupt, long hand load, hands trigger low; rigid lower-half load on back leg, syncs stride and trigger consistently; short stroke, plus bat speed, leverage with plane to generate elevation, strength to produce present carry, projection to plus raw; up-the-middle approach, quick to elevated velo, swing path to clean out inside pitches, above-average contact potential; struggled with left-left pick-up, potential for some platoon issues; aggressive in-zone, hunts early fastballs, stayed in zone right-on-left, physical tools to project above-average hit tool; gap power with carry to left-center, ability to elevate pull-side, projection to 50-plus game utility.
Brendon Little, LHP, State College of Florida-Manatee (JUCO)
Seen in 2 outings; a 5 2/3 IP start on 2/3; and a 5 IP start on 2/8. Listed 6-foot-2, 215 lbs; athletic frame and body; little room for physical projection at this point but could fill out a little in lower half. Pitches from a full wind from the third base side of the rubber; easy delivery with a clean compact arm action; above-average arm speed; three-quarters slot. Some effort at finish but isn't detrimental to his repeatability. Fastball 92-94, T96; has life when up in the zone but isn't consistent; should become average with more reps; throws plenty of strikes and is able to locate inside to both sides. Curve 77-79; power breaker; 1/7 shape; can locate for strikes as well as finish for punch outs; consistent shape with sharp bite and depth; potential plus offering. Change 83-85; has feel for offering with arm speed; lacks movement; can keep down in zone; not a pitch he can throw for strikes currently; should get to average with further development and repetitions. Potential middle of the rotation starter.
Brendan McKay, LHP, University of Louisville
Seen in a 6 IP start on 2/17. Large frame with a muscular body; projection remaining; but not a lot; grades should improve across the board with a focus on pitching full-time. Pitches from a full wind from the extreme third base side of the rubber; compact arm action with above-average arm speed; high three-quarters slot; lacks deception; generates good downhill plane with higher slot; repeats delivery well. Fastball 91-93 T94; jumps on hitters; was able to generate swings and misses in the zone this outing. Curve 81-83 T84; 12/6 shape; hard, downer action that he can drop for strikes; was able to finish with it early; struggled with putting it away vs. LHH; feel came and went; still shows plus potential due to action, bite, and consistency of shape. Change 82-85; effective enough; is able to turn it over for strikes; lacks consistent movement; could be an above-average offering in time. 1.30-1.40 in stretch. A very polished pitcher; is able to throw strikes with three offerings, with two pitches projected to plus. See as a middle of the rotation starter.
Brendan McKay, 1B, University of Louisville
Seen in 3 games from 2-17/2-19; DH Fri.; 1B Sat and Sun. Lacks remaining physical projection. Hits from an even stance with a small lift for timing; easy, simple swing that doesn't have many moving parts; above-average bat speed; is able to control the barrel in the zone. Primarily pull-side approach but can hit to all fields; with power being on the pull side. Quick hands allow him to make contact with pitches even when he is fooled. Good plate discipline; maybe too passive at times but has an approach and sticks to it. Approach is to attack the ball on the inner half and adjust on what they throw on the outer half. Plus raw power; can take it out from RF to CF; should play to full in game power at peak given loft, as well as hitting approach. Not a runner; 4.45 H-1B, won't be expected to run. Plus arm strength given what he can do on the mound; accuracy just average; should improve with a devotion to the position full-time. Soft hands, makes scoops and can turn double plays quickly. Very talented two-way player; plus hit and power potential profile.
Logan Taylor, CF, University of Louisville
Seen in 3 games from 2-17/2-19; all in CF. Hits from an even stance; steps in the bucket to open; hands close to chest; flat, line-drive swing plane; average bat speed; uses the whole field but lacks driving ability. Disciplined hitter; tough to strikeout; fouls off quality pitches; smaller zone helps as well; good plate discipline; will bunt. Well-below-average power; can put a charge on a ball pull-side but lacks over the fence power. 70 runner; 4.13 H-1B; 4.05 on a bunt; could stand to improve jumps and utilize speed better on the bases. Average arm strength; can play all over; and is accurate to cutoff men or to bag. Somewhat rough in the field; uses speed more than efficient route-running; should improve because of speed and work ethic. Leadoff hitter for club; scrappy player who will have to depend on contact ability and speed to carve out a role. See as a defensive replacement/pinch-runner/fifth OF.
Nate Pearson, RHP, College of Central Florida (JUCO)
Seen in a 6 IP start on 2/8. Intimidating presence on mound. Pitches from a half-wind; slightly hunched over; long arm action with a full arm circle; above-average arm speed; high-three-quarters slot. Fastball 94-96 T97; some arm-side run at lower half of zone; should get to average with more consistency, is able to locate to both sides but command wasn't fine enough in outing. Curve 78-80; shows depth, 10/4 shape; struggled with feel early on and got slurvy; had better feel later in game; flashed average with bite and action. Struggled to locate for strikes early, still elicited swing/miss out of zone. Change 81-86; inconsistent in arm speed; clear third offering; movement similar to fastball but struggles in locating in the zone; got hit in zone. 1.45-1.50 in stretch; has body and frame to eat innings in a rotation spot; still young and athletic to make strides for that future. No. 3/4 starter; or a late-inning bullpen fallback option.
Evan Marquardt, RHP, Ball State University
Seen in a 3 1/3 IP start on 2/19. Pitches from a full-wind; long arm action with a slight hitch at elbow cock; above-average arm speed; high-three-quarters slot; too far out on front side at times. Noisy finish in delivery. Fastball 92-93 T94; natural life; lacks command of offering; lost control at times as well, struggled with this through game; went to breaking balls more often. Curve 74-77; true 12/6 shape; good shape, late action; drops into zone, could locate for strikes, shows average potential. SL 82-83 T84; more a slurve; harder action but lacked in consistent shape and depth; quality tilt, better breaking ball, shows above-average potential. Change 82-86; clear fourth offering; struggled with feel; don't see as part of arsenal going forward. Team redshirt his freshman year; has struggled with throwing strikes in time at school. Quality tools and arsenal; gut feel candidate; pro-body with velocity and feel for spin; kind of player you take a chance on throwing strikes with help from player development.
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Man, I like McKay. Do you think he could handle an outfield spot? I know that his lower body is maybe a bit thick already, but he seems like he has that elite baseball makeup to manage his conditioning. I kind of like him on the positional side for now, but I also saw one of his worst starts of last season.
It's definitely early, but I think he will be drafted as a pitcher. What he offers on the mound outweighs what he does at the plate.