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Draft  | Prospect Scouting Reports  | 6/3/2016

2016 MLB Draft Reports: 451-500

David Rawnsley      Andrew Krause      Jheremy Brown      Matt Czechanski     
Photo: UCLA Athletics

2016 Perfect Game MLB Draft Preview Index

Top 500 Prospects (list/Insider): 1-100 | 101-200 | 201-300 | 301-400 | 401-500

Draft Reports (Premium):
1-50 | 51-100 | 101-150151-200 | 201-250 | 251-300 | 301-350 | 351-400 | 401-450

451. Joe Butler, ss, Minooka HS
R-R, 6-3/195, Channahon, Ill.
College Commitment: Illinois State

Butler is a high level athlete who can play all over the baseball field, including pitch in the upper-80s, and is also a high-level basketball player who could play at the collegiate level. One scout has compared him the Cubs' Ben Zobrist for his type of versatile athleticism and his hard-nosed approach to the game. He is close to a plus runner on the bases and has shown some raw power at the plate from the right side. Butler hasn't circulated much outside of Illinois so national scouts have had to catch up on him late, but he might have some helium as the draft approaches.

452. Michael Hickman, c, Chipola College (FR)
L-R, 6-2/205, Katy, Texas
Previously Drafted: White Sox ’15 (36)

Hickman was drafted late last year and the power-hitting catcher has shined this spring at junior college powerhouse Chipola (Fla.). Hickman has big strength in his frame and the ball can jump off of his barrel, especially to his pull side. There’s still some holes in his swing, but he can punish mistakes and has shown the ability to use the entire field more consistently this spring. Questions remain about his long-term defensive home, because although he does own a strong arm, evaluators are not sold on his receiving and some of the finer aspects of catching. Regardless, there’s plenty of upside with the bat and tools to work with on both sides of the ball.

453. Rylan Thomas, 3b/rhp, Windermere Prep
R-R, 6-0/225, Winter Garden, Fla.
College Commitment: UCF

Thomas doesn't pass the eye test for scouts with his thick build but undeniably passes some of the tools tests, as his raw righthanded power and his throwing arm are both easy plus tools. Thomas is a high energy player who takes a huge swing at the plate and has a fast-paced, max effort delivery on the mound but is such a good natural athlete that he hasn't had swing-and-miss issues at the plate or problems throwing strikes on the mound, where his fastball will routinely touch 92-93 mph. He may end up at UCF, where he should be an immediate two-way standout.

454. Luke Persico, 1b/of, UCLA (JR)
R-R, 6-3/190, Newhall, Calif.
Previously Drafted: Rockies ’13 (37)

Persico was one of a number of big-time recruits to make it to UCLA in the past few years. Since joining the Bruins, Persico has steadily improved and received more playing time, but he’s yet to show the big power that some had projected from him. He’s also moved around the diamond a bit, seeing time at the infield corners and in the outfield throughout his tenure as a Bruin. There’s some length to his swing with corresponding swing and miss tendencies, but Persico is able to track pitches well and stay balanced, and he’s made some more adjustments and tweaks this spring that have led to more consistent contact. He’s a solid athlete, and there is a chance that he could stick at third base (where he’s playing this season) but a corner outfield may be the most likely destination in pro ball. The lack of in-game power limits Persico’s ceiling some, but there are still tools to work with and strength that can be tapped into.

455. Kirby Snead, lhp, Florida (JR)
L-L, 6-0/195, Alachua, Fla.
Previously Drafted: Never Drafted

Snead has been the go-to lefty out of the bullpen for Kevin O’Sullivan this year, and he’s been an underappreciated key for the Gators’ success in 2016. He’s been as steady as they come for his entire collegiate career, and while he doesn’t own overpowering stuff Snead profiles very well as a lefty specialist in professional ball. The junior throws from a deceptive lower arm slot, is able to locate his upper-80s fastball well and mixes in a quality 77-80 mph sweeping slider that is particularly difficult for lefties to barrel up. There’s not much more Snead can prove at the college level, and while he will have to rely on command at the next level, he’s been pretty consistent in hitting his spots this season.

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