Three weeks ago we began our 2018 amateur draft coverage with our preview article. That was followed by a look at two of the top names in this draft class during our first weekend of coverage and two more names last Saturday. We continue this week with two more players of interest. After going with two college players last week, I decided to highlight two prep players today.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have the tenth overall pick in the 2018 draft, which is now 86 days away. That’s their highest pick since taking Austin Meadows with the ninth overall pick in 2013. Every Saturday leading up to the draft, we will have an article looking at the players who are possibilities for that tenth overall pick. We will also have separate articles as we get closer to the draft whenever some of the top draft sources have updated rankings or post mock drafts.
We start this week’s article with third baseman Nolan Gorman out of O’Connor HS in Arizona. He is a left-handed hitter, listed at 6’1″, 210 pounds. Gorman turns 18 years old in May and he has a commitment to Arizona, but his draft spot should make that an easy decision to go pro. His calling card is power, which is already impressive at a young age and should continue to develop as he gets older and continues to fill out. Gorman is also projected by many to remain at third base, where he should be a solid average defender. Combined with the plus power potential that would make him a valuable player.
MLB Pipeline notes that some scouts have given Gorman a 70 rating for his power, which is basically as high as you will see out of a draft pick, especially one in high school. Pipeline also noted that he has some swing-and-miss to his game, but he has performed well against top competition. With his type of power, which is considered game-ready (as opposed to raw which is prevalent among HS players), you’ll take a few extra strikeouts. He’s still rated as a 50 hitter, which is where most of the top hitters rank, so we aren’t talking about a major issue.
Gorman’s main weakness is below average speed, which again isn’t an issue for a power-hitting third baseman. If he has to move off of the position, then the speed might hurt if he’s an outfielder. If he moved to first base, then it puts more pressure on the bat, but right now that seems like a worst case scenario because most scouting reports like the defense enough to believe he sticks at third base.
Here’s a video of him hitting home runs in games last year, where he looks very much like a pull hitter.
If you want to watch a longer video, which has some at-bats, a home run derby and defense at the very end, then this is for you.
and if you just want to see defense, then this video is from earlier this week
Second up on our draft coverage is shortstop Nander De Sedas out of Montverde Academy in Florida. He’s a switch-hitting shortstop, who turns 19 years old in July. He is 6’1″, 190 pounds and has a commitment to Florida State, though just like Gorman, that won’t keep him from signing if his draft stock doesn’t slip this spring.
De Sedas is quite different from Gorman. He’s an above average fielder at shortstop, who has a strong arm. He’s also considered to be a better hitter due to his approach at the plate and ability to make contact. De Sedas has power potential from both sides of the plate, though it’s considered to be raw power at this time.
The one area where he is quite similar to Gorman, is the one that might hurt his draft stock the most. De Sedas is a below average runner. He’s going to fill out naturally a little more, so despite having great hands and a plus arm, the lack of speed doesn’t give him great range and he might outgrow the shortstop position. What that means is that you might be getting a plus defensive third baseman instead of an everyday shortstop. Considering that he a switch-hitter with some power and the ability to get on base, that is still a very valuable player.
Here is a video from Baseball Factory from over the summer
Here’s some more defense from the Perfect Game showcase during the summer, where he threw 96 MPH.
** Keith Law has an article for ESPN Insiders discussing whether or not Auburn right-handed pitcher Casey Mize can make a move to the top of the draft charts. Mize will be covered soon here because most people don’t have him quite that high yet.
** Baseball America has an article worth checking out on Missouri State shortstop Jeremy Eierman, plus notes on a few other lower ranked prospects who could be options for later Pirate picks. Eierman will be profiled here sometime soon, possibly next week with Mize, but you can read up on both of them sooner. BA also posted their list of the top five college second basemen.