Draft | Prospect Scouting Reports | 5/26/2014

Draft Reports: Prospects 251-300

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2014 Perfect Game MLB Draft preview content

Top 500 Prospect Reports:

1-50 | 51-100 | 101-150
151-200 | 201-250 | 301-350
351-400 | 401-450 | 451-500

251. Clay Casey,
of, DeSoto Central HS
R-R, 6-3/205, Southaven, Miss.
College Commitment: Mississippi

Up until the summer prior to his senior year, Clay Casey was a dual-sport athlete who split his focus between football and baseball. He showed a chiseled physique at the East Coast Pro that was hard not to notice with high-level athleticism. Coming into his senior season of baseball however, the Ole Miss commit worked hard to transform his body and muscle from football shape into lean, quick-twitch muscle, which is much more conducive for baseball. His athleticism and strength allow him to whip the barrel of the bat through the zone with the ball jumping at the point of contact. Casey shows the ability to hit for both power and average and adds another dimension once he gets on the bases, as Casey is considered an above average runner with run times to back it up.

252. Adam Choplick
, lhp, University of Oklahoma (RS-SO)
L-L, 6-8/260, Denton, Texas
Previously Drafted: Diamondbacks, ’11 (17)

Choplick has long intrigued scouts with his extra-large build and strong left arm, but like many pitchers his size, Choplick has been slow and inconsistent to develop. At his best he will show a fastball that tops out at 94 mph and solid feel for a low-80s slider. He has had a pair of elbow surgeries in his past that caused him to red-shirt in 2012, but has been healthy ever since and has started every week for the Sooners this spring except the season ending series, compiling a 3-4, 4.95 record in 67 innings, including 68 strikeouts.

253. Sam McWilliams
, rhp, Beech HS
R-R, 6-5/185, Hendersonville, Tenn.
College Commitment: Tennessee Tech

McWilliams qualifies as the most-obvious pop-up player in the Tennessee prep ranks this spring after he saw a significant spike in his velocity from a typical 86-88 mph as a junior to the mid- to low-90s as a senior. But a lot depended on when he was seen as he had his share of good days when his fastball consistently reached 93-94 mph and augmented it with a near average breaking ball, and his bad days, when his fastball would back off to its previous level and he struggled to miss bats. McWilliams dropped his final outing of the 2014 season, 5-3, when he was out-dueled by Clarksville High junior righthander Donny Everett, a projected first-rounder in 2015. McWilliams’ long, lean frame obviously holds considerable appeal with scouts, as does his signability as he is viewed as the most signable player among the top prep prospects in the state.

254. Tejay Antone
, rhp, Weatherford (Texas) JC (SO)
R-R, 6-5/225, Mansfield, Texas
Previously Drafted: Mets ’12 (22) – College Commitment: Auburn

Antone pitched sparingly as a freshman at Texas Christian and his career didn’t begin to take off until last summer, while pitching in the California Collegiate League. He worked as both a starter and reliever and went 4-0, 1.75 in 20 appearances, with 36 strikeouts in 36 innings, mainly on the strength of two dominant pitches in a 90-94 mph fastball with arm-side sink, plus a 78-79 slider with cutting action. He built off that performance this year, after transferring to a Texas junior college, and actually threw five different pitches for strikes, but his fastball—both his four-seamer that was 91-93 mph every time out, and topped at 95, and two-seamer that produced excellent movement—was his bread-and-butter pitch. He did a better job this spring of understanding how to use his lower half, and both added to and sustained his velocity deeper into games. In 15 starts, he went 3-5, 2.88 with 33 walks and 99 strikeouts in 84 innings. Whether he is used as a starter or reliever at the next level will probably come down to the development of his change and curve. Antone is athletic in his big, powerful frame, and his father played on Oklahoma’s national-championship football team in 1975, and uncle Frank was selected in the first baseball draft.

255. Kel Johnson,
of, Home-schooled
R-R, 6-4/215, Palmetto, Ga.
College Commitment: Georgia Tech

No two players have taken identical paths to get to their prospect status and Johnson's is no different, as he doesn't play high school baseball in the spring since he is home-schooled. He does compete for the Home Plate Citadels though and has been able to be seen at multiple events by scouts. What those scouts have been able to see from the Georgia Tech commit and 2013 PG All-American is a smooth swing with a strong hit tool and equal amounts of power in his righthanded swing. Johnson has begun to transition from first base to left field and has shown signs of improvement each time he steps foot on the field.

256. Grayson Jones
, rhp, Shelton State (Ala.) CC (FR)
R-R, 6-2/205, Trussville, Ala.
Previously Drafted: Never

Jones was a junior-college freshman this spring, still in the process of learning how to pitch, but put himself prominently on the radar for this year’s draft with a significant spike in velocity. His fastball was a steady 90-94 mph, topping at 96, and generated good sink when Jones stayed on top of it, though it also dipped to 88-91 his final time out. He also showed signs of developing a nasty, slurve-like breaking ball, but didn’t throw consistent strikes with either pitch and will need to develop much better pitchability as he advances. He also didn’t work deep enough into his 12 starts, or make sufficient progress with a splitter or true change as a third pitch for scouts to know whether he profiles as a starter going forward, but featured a quick arm with good extension out front. On the season, Jones went 5-2, 3.96, while walking 25 and striking out 67 in 52 innings.

257. Bryant Holtmann
, lhp, Florida State (JR)
R-L, 6-5, 200, New Baden, Ill.
Previously Drafted: Never

Holtmann wasn’t drafted out of an Illinois high school after undergoing Tommy John surgery as a senior but has been steadily developing at Florida State. He pitched almost exclusively out of the Seminoles bullpen his first two seasons, going 5-0, 3.67 in 46 appearances, and started 2014 in the pen as well before working himself into the starting rotation in March. Holtmann has four solid pitches in a 90-92 mph fastball, a mid-80s cutter that has really improved this season and a curveball/changeup combination. Unfortunately, Holtmann went down with a forearm strain in late April after posting a 5-1, 3.68 mark in 36 innings this spring. Reports are that he might be back for the NCAA tournament, which will be crucial for his draft status.

258. Matt Ruppenthal,
rhp, Brother Rice HS
R-R, 6-5/225, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
College Commitment: Vanderbilt

Ruppenthal has been on the national scene since before his high school career even began, playing for the Midland Braves at the 2011 PG BCS Finals. The Vanderbilt commit has continued to refine and polish his mechanics, allowing for him to repeat well and show nice command of the strike zone. Along with exhibiting strong command to both sides of the plate, Ruppenthal shows an easy arm action, and even though he works 89-92 mph with his fastball, occasionally touching a 93, the pitch projects for more in the future. To complement his fastball, Ruppenthal shows a developing feel for both a slider and changeup.

259. Nick Tanielu
, 3b, Washington State (JR)
R-R, 5-11/200, Federal Way, Wash.
Previously Drafted: Never

Tanielu never made a splash in summer ball like several of his Washington State teammates—notably outfielders Jason Monda, Ben Roberts and Yale Rosen—but scouts say he has the most-advanced approach to hitting on the Cougars roster. After red-shirting as a true freshman, and being lost for the season as a sophomore after 32 games with a knee injury, Tanielu finally played a full season for WSU as a junior, and was hitting a team-high .332 entering the final weekend of the regular season. That comes on the heels of an eye-opening .409 average a year earlier, before he was hurt. The stockily-built Tanielu has the bat speed and leverage to hit for power, but has gone deep just three times in his abbreviated Cougars career, and questions have arisen whether he’ll ever develop enough power productivity to remain at third base, where he is a dependable defender with a strong, accurate arm and has the natural instincts to make any play. But scouts admire his old-school, throwback approach to the game and don’t seem to have any reservations about him shifting seamlessly over to second.

260. Brandon Murray,
rhp, Hobart HS
R-R, 6-4/200, Hobart, Ind.
College Commitment: South Carolina

There is no denying the premium arm strength that Murray, a 2013 PG All-American, possesses, having run his fastball up to 97-98 mph in the past. The question that surrounds Murray is his ability to command the strike zone and his overall pitchability. His frame projects well with added strength and when he works down in the zone he is able to produce ground balls. Murray has shown nice progression with his off-speed from the summer to spring, showing more consistency with both his sharp curveball and changeup throughout the zone.

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