Born: Buford, Georgia
Age: 21 (12/15/96)
Height/Weight: 6’3”/225 lbs.
School: Georgia Tech
Joey Bart comes from a family of athletes. His father, Thomas, played baseball at the University of Miami and Penn State. His older brother, Michael, was a defensive end at the university of North Carolina and was signed by the Arizona Cardinals and the New England Patriots after going undrafted out of college, though he was released by both organizations. Because of his physical presence and loud bat, Joey was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 27th round of the 2015 MLB Draft, but he decided to honor his commitment to Georgia Tech instead. Bart held his own as a freshman, hitting .299/.351/.382 in 43 games but not exactly impressing because of the lack of power. That changed in a hurry, as the catcher hit .296/.370/.575 with 13 home runs in 44 games as a sophomore in 2017. His dominance has carried over into the 2018 season, setting career highs in virtually every offensive category, putting him in the same conversation as Jason Varitek and Matt Wieters as the best catcher to attend the school.
At the plate, Bart’s loudest tool is his raw power. His bat speed, pure physical strength and lofty swing path give him power not just to his pull side, but to all fields. His swing does not cause him to completely sell out for home runs, but there is some concern that he swings and misses too much and will be a below average hitter. He has been improving in this area in 2018 and has loose enough wrists and good enough barrel control that such concerns may be nothing. He has a good track record with wood bats, too, having hit .309/.389/.433 with two home runs while playing in the Cape Cod League in 2016.
Defensively, Bart has all the tools needed to be an above-average backstop. His arm is above-average-to-plus. He transfers the ball cleanly and quickly and is accurate with his throws. He moves well behind the plate for someone so big and has the athleticism to block balls to either side. He draws praises from the pitchers that work with him and knows how to handle a pitching staff. When Bart is locked in and focused, Bart looks the part of a plus defensive catcher, though he sometimes falls into lulls where he is going through the motions and not putting his full effort into his defensive duties.
Born: Lincoln, Nebraska
Age: 21 (08/03/1996)
Height/Weight: 6’5”/240 lbs.
School: Wichita State
A graduate of Omaha Roncalli Catholic High School in Omaha, Nebraska, Alec Bohm lettered in baseball all four years he attended class there but was not drafted. He attended Wichita State University and became an offensive force for the Shockers since day one. In 51 games as a freshman, he hit .303/.346/.489 with 6 home runs. In 58 games as a sophomore, he hit .305/.385/.519 with 11 home runs. Through the 2018 season, he has eclipsed his previous highs in nearly every offensive category.
Bohm is a big guy, standing 6’5” and weighing 240 pounds, and his big frame brings big time strength to the batter’s box. The ball is very loud off of his bat when he gets his arms fully extended. His quick bat and good path to the ball gives him power to all fields. Bohm isn’t a one-dimensional slugger, either, as his ability to hit for average is extremely refined. His eye is very refined, and as a result, he does not strike out much and draws a large amount of walks.
Defensively, it is a very different story. He is primarily a third baseman, but most scouts and evaluators doubt that he will be able to stay there. While he does show decent lateral agility and footwork at the bag, his arm is a bit of a liability and he lacks quick twitch reaction and range. First base is his most likely destination in the future, but he certainly has the bat to carry that profile.
Born: Coral Springs, Florida
Age: 21 (12/15/96)
Height/Weight: 6’1”/185 lbs.
School: University of Florida
Jonathan India was a solid prospect in high school, playing at the America Heritage School. As a senior, he hit .405 and got on base at a .474 clip, stealing 25 bases in 27 attempts. He was recognized nationally as one of the top high school infielders in the country and was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 26th round of the 2015 MLB Draft, the 781st player selected overall. India honored his commitment to the University of Florida instead. He was fairly pedestrian in his first two years, hitting .303/.367/.440 in 67 games as a freshman and .274/.354/.429 in 59 games as a sophomore, but really has broken out this year. The third baseman has nearly tripled his single-season home run career high, is hitting for the highest average of his collegiate career, and is showing vastly improved plate discipline, with virtually a 1:1 strikeout to walk ratio.
He projects to be an above-average hitter with below-average-to-average power. His loose wrists give him excellent bat control to put wood on ball, but most evaluators do not see his bat speed fast enough or his raw strength enough to put up above-average power numbers. His improved batters eye has allowed him to be more selective at the plate and wait for better pitches to drive this season, boosting his power numbers, but it is unlikely that the power spike continues as a professional in advanced leagues. He is more likely to be a hitter that sprays extra-base hits around the field as a professional, rather than a slugger.
India has been splitting his time between shortstop and third base this season, but his future lies at the hot corner, or maybe even second base. He is light on his feet with good quick twitch reactions and instincts. He has soft hands and his arm is average-to-above-average. His athleticism will let him play short in a pinch, but his defense plays up better off the position.
Born: Waukesha, Wisconsin
Age: 18 (07/16/99)
Height/Weight: 6’1”/200 lbs.
School: Waukesha West High School (Waukesha, Wisconsin)
Jarred Kelenic turns 19 in July, making him one of the oldest prep players available, and the cold Wisconsin spring has limited his playing time, but when you’re a player as good as he is, nobody cares about those things. He was viewed as a near-certain first round pick months ago and stock has only improved since then. He is considered by most scouts and evaluators to be one of the best, if not the best, pure hitters in the 2018 draft class and is very likely to be the first Wisconsinite to be selected in the top 10 of the MLB Draft.
The 6’1”, 200-pound Kelenic is well proportioned and athletic, looking the part of a ballplayer. He swings hard and displays outstanding bat speed, regularly hitting balls with exit velocities in the mid-90s. He gets plenty of extension and when he is able to fully whip the barrel head through the zone, the ball explodes off of his bat with plenty of spin and carry, making him an absolute power threat.
In the outfield, Kelenic is a defensive force in center. He has plenty of range, gets good reads, and takes good routes. His arm is strong and accurate, with a quick release. Many scouts and evaluators have expressed doubts that he will be able to remain in center field, believing that he will fill in and slow down, but even if he does, there is a chance he will be able to remain there thanks to his excellent routes. If he is forced into a corner, his bat and arm will profile well there.
Kelenic has a commitment to Louisville.
Born: Elk Grove, California
Age: 21 (03/15/97)
Height/Weight: 5’8”/165 lbs.
School: Oregon State
It should come as no surprise that Nick Madrigal lists Jose Altuve as his favorite baseball player. In the past, a player like Madrigal would have been overlooked and passed over because of his size, but because of players like Altuve, Marcus Stroman, Mookie Betts, and others turning convention on its head, the 5’8” infielder is positioned to be one of the first names called during the 2018 draft. After a successful senior season at Elk Grove High School, Madrigal was selected by the Cleveland Indians with their 17th round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. He elected to not sign with them and instead honored his commitment to Oregon State University. After hitting .450/.512/.532 in his last year in high school, Madrigal did not miss a beat and hit .333/.380/.456 in his first year at Oregon. He was even better as a sophomore, hitting .380/.449/.532 last season. A broken wrist at the beginning of the season slowed him down and caused him to miss a chunk of the season, but Madrigal returned in April swinging a hot bat and has showed scouts that there is nothing to worry about.
The middle infielder has above-average bat speed and a level stroke that he uses to spray hits all over the field. His swing is a bit vicious and gives him a bit of pop, but Madrigal possesses below-average over-the-fence power. Overall, Madrigal generally has an aggressive approach at the plate, attacking early and looking to drive the ball early in the count. He is disciplined enough to know what he can and cannot work with. He doesn’t walk a lot because of that approach, but he does not swing and miss often either. He has plus speed, which plays up even further because of his excellent instincts and aggressiveness on the base paths.
Defensively, Madrigal’s actions are smooth and his footwork is clean. His arm is only average, but he makes up for that with quick transfers and above-average throwing accuracy, both when set and on the run. He is better suited at second because of this, but can play shortstop in a pinch.
Born: Mandeville, Louisiana
Age: 20 (8/19/97)
Height/Weight: 5’11”/180 lbs.
School: South Alabama
Undrafted out of high school, Mandeville, Louisiana native Travis Swaggery had very little buzz or hype surrounding him. Three years later, he has become a first round talent thanks to his performance at South Alabama and because of an impressive summer playing with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team last summer. With the Jaguars, he hit .303/.431/.422 as a freshman and a monster .361/.487/.567 as a sophomore. That summer, he hit .328/.449/.406 with Team USA. This year, the junior has gotten off to another good start, and has set career highs in numerous offensive categories.
Swaggerty’s swing is loose and fluid, and with his bat speed and great extension, he gets raw plus power and has manifested average-to-above-average in-game power. Some scouts and evaluators worry that his power may not translate as a professional because he did not manage to go deep once in over 60 at-bats using a wood bat while playing with Team USA. He has a bit of swing and miss for a player with a leadoff profile, partially because he can get overly aggressive and partially because he has been fed a steady diet of junk since last season, but he still gets on-base at an above-average rate and has excellent plate discipline.
Thanks to his above-average speed, Swaggerty is an above-average fielder. He profiles safely in center field thanks to his range and above-average-to-plus arm. He gets good reads off the bat, takes good routes, and is able to track down and snag balls that other center fielders might not be able to.