We’re down to our final ten reports, and we’ll start with rounds 31 through 35:
31st round: RHP Ben Hecht, St. Anthony H.S. (IL). A projectable 6-foot-3 righty, Hecht currently sits in the 85-88 range with his fastball despite occasionally brushing 92, so teams would definitely like to see him add strength as he continues to develop. There’s plenty of good news: the fastball has some life to it, the arm action is nice and short with high hand separation, and he shows the makings of a three-pitch mix. The change is solid for a prep pitcher, and he shows a feel for a curve that needs tighter rotation and more velocity. He’s also an outstanding athlete, playing shortstop for his high school team. There’s a chance he can develop into a starting pitcher. His commitment is to Illinois State as a two-way player, but if the Mets find a few dollars left over he could sign.
32nd round: C Juan Escarra, Mater Academy (FL). Escarra is a solidly built 6-foot-3, 205-pound player who was drafted as a catcher because it was painfully obvious he wasn’t going to cut it at short or third. Well, he had a chance to cut it at third, but the bat profiles a lot better as a catcher. At the plate he has a wide base, but his bat speed isn’t great, and he doesn’t get a big weight transfer. Quite frankly, I think he’s really going to struggle against both fastballs and breaking stuff at the next level, but there’s enough natural strength to give him some raw power. In the field, he looked like he’d be overmatched as an infielder. He has a thick lower body and lacks speed, so his range would probably suffer at short. He has a quick enough first step to make it at third, but his actions are a little stiff, and I can’t imagine he’d be good there, just adequate. He has more hope behind the plate, with a strong arm, but it will take time for him to learn the skills required of a catcher. He’s committed to Florida International.
33rd round: RHP Ryan Chapman, Santa Ana College. Chapman is a mature 6 feet, 3 inches and 215 pounds who spent most of his high school career as a catcher, but it was always clear that he has far more potential on the mound. He’s purely a reliever for his JuCo, and he’ll usually only hover around 90, but he shows a decent breaking ball and, like most converted catchers, has a short arm action. Another benefit is that there isn’t a whole lot of mileage on his arm, but that also means he needs quite a lot of polish; command has especially been an issue for him. I have no idea if he has a commitment to a four-year program, and that should impact his signability.
34th round: RHP Cameron Griffin, Columbus State. Like Chapman, Griffin is another recent convert to pitching, having only begun pitching for Columbus State this year. Despite pitching in high school, Griffin had solely served as a third baseman in college until 2013, when he made his triumphant return to the mound as a reliever. He stands 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, so there may be a teeny bit of projection left, but I wouldn’t expect it. Otherwise, there isn’t a lot I can offer, other than to say he has a live arm and probably is a project with little in the way of offspeed stuff. And as a college senior, he has less time to work on that stuff than most. He’s already signed with the team.
35th round: RHP Ty Williams, Seminole State Junior College. Williams is a righty without a lot of height or projection, but he has a chance anyway thanks to a fastball that can touch 94 and a fair breaking ball. The fastball typically sits in the high-80s with good armside run, but he can get a little more velocity out of it when he needs it. The breaking ball has tight rotation and good velocity but not a lot of break to it. The mechanics are a mixed bag; he separates his hands high and pronates early, which I like, but the arm action has a lot of length to it in the back, and it messes with his tempo. There’s a potential reliever in here, and he's recently signed with the organization.