The big names are off the board. The stars have been selected. Two days of draft picks, speculation and dreams coming true have already transpired.
And yes, we are still only one-fourth of the way through this draft. And yes, there are still some very intriguing prospects available for selection.
But which ones are the cream of the crop? Which talents are still floating out there, waiting to be selected?
Let's take a look at the top 10 prospects remaining on the board.
1. J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, Stone Bridge (Virginia)
It's possible J.B. Bukauskas won't be drafted at all after asking teams not to draft him, as he'll be attending North Carolina. It's possible he'll get drafted but almost assured he won't sign if he is, but he's nonetheless an incredibly talented player, so he gets mentioned here.
(It should be noted that several of these players on this list are likely to go to college rather than signing with a team after dropping in the draft.)
Had Bukauskas not asked to be drafted he probably would have gone on the first day of the draft, and if he was a bit bigger than his 5'11" frame, he might have projected to a first-round selection. With a fastball that can touch 100 and a developing slider that has the potential to be nasty, Bukauskas is an enticing prospect.
It's possible a team will nibble and use a selection on him, hoping he gets the urge to turn pro, but don't expect to see him anywhere but Chapel Hill next year.
2. Bryce Montes de Oca, RHP, Lawrence High (Kansas)
It's likely Bryce Montes de Oca would have gone higher if he didn't have a Tommy John surgery in his past, alongside a letter of intent to Missouri. Still, 6'7", 255-pound pitchers with a mid-90s fastball and two other developing pitches don't grow on trees.
There's no questioning the potential or his nasty fastball. But it's unlikely he'd sign with a club after dropping out of the first two days of the draft, especially given talent that would have had him otherwise go in the first two rounds. If he does sign, he'd be one heck of a steal at this point.
3. Jeren Kendall, OF, Holmen High (Wisconsin)
His bat still has a long way to go, but Jeren Kendall has the speed and arm to be an impact player in center field. His upside is probably as a top-of-the-lineup guy given his speed on the basepaths, but if nothing else, his ability to field his position will make him very intriguing.
4. Keith Weisenberg, RHP, Osceola High (Florida)
You really need only to listen to what opposing coaches had to say about Keith Weisenberg, via Rodney Page of TampaBay.com, to understand how highly he's regarded.
This is what St. Petersburg High coach Travis Phelps, a former major leaguer, had to say:
"I think teams are looking at Keith and seeing a kid who can throw 100 mph."
He added, "As it is this season, he touched 92-94 without really using his legs. He’s got huge upside. The thing is: Will he be willing to change? When you go pro, you become an employee. You will change or you won’t pitch."
And here are the comments of another former big leaguer, Northeast High coach Rob Stanifer:
"The first thing you notice is his size. You look at that big frame and arm strength, and it’s no wonder scouts are looking at him. He’s got that big fastball and a good changeup. And he’s only going to get better. He fixes a few holes, and his velocity will only get better."
It remains to be seen if Weisenberg will sign if he's selected, especially after dropping to Day 3. His commitment to Stanford probably contributed to his fall. But if a team takes a chance on picking him later in the draft and he goes pro, he'll be one heck of a steal.
5. Mac Marshall, LHP, Parkview High (Georgia)
Mac Marshall is probably going to college (are you sensing a theme here?), and his Twitter profile should give you plenty of reason why that conclusion seems sound:
A hurler with three pretty solid pitches, Marshall is certainly an enticing prospect. Unfortunately for MLB teams, he and all of his exclamation points appear destined for Baton Rouge.
6. Keaton McKinney, RHP, Ankeny Centennial High (Iowa)
Keaton McKinney is a baseball player. Capable of playing both at first base and pitcher, he has upside at either position. But his real potential is at pitcher behind a plus changeup and a solid fastball. Should he forgo his commitment to Arkansas, he'll be another steal in the middle of the draft.
7. J.J. Schwarz, C, Palm Beach Gardens High (Florida)
Like shortstops, many high school catchers are eventually moved to a new position. J.J. Schwarz doesn't appear to be one of those players.
No, he isn't Yadier Molina behind the dish. But he combines a solid arm and feel for the position defensively with a solid approach at the plate. He's a nice mid-round value for a team.
8. Jordan Brink, RHP, Fresno State
The intriguing aspect of Jordan Brink's career is that he'll be drafted as a pitcher despite spending just one season as a full-time hurler in college. His curveball is nasty, and he mixes in a solid fastball as well. He's obviously raw, adjusting to life on the mound full time, but it's exciting to think of how much he might improve as a pitcher simply with more time and emphasis placed on learning the craft.
9. Tate Blackman, 2B, Lake Brantley High (Florida)
As mentioned above, many high school shortstops translate to other positions at the next level. Tate Blakeman is one of them, as he'll either move to second or third base at the next level. The fact that he appears capable of playing either—and his history at shortstop—certainly makes him versatile.
Add in a line-drive stroke, and Blackman is an excellent value on Day 3.
10. Dean Deetz, RHP, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M
Dean Deetz is a bit raw and is another pitcher coming off a Tommy John surgery, so his drop down the board isn't surprising. But boy, has he flashed serious potential as he continues to recover with that surgery, working in four pitches and a plus fastball and slider.
Plus, he has his own Kenny Powers thing going on. Does that have anything to do with his talent? No. Is it awesome?
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