Updated @BaseballAmerica Top 500 Draft Rankings

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Updated draft rankings from Baseball America

13. Taylor Trammell
Trammell made a name for himself on the showcase circuit with his blazing speed. He is a plus-plus runner in game action, with the ability to reach first base in less than 4.1 seconds after the ball comes off his bat. Trammell also shows upside with the bat; he has above-average bat speed and a sound understanding of the strike zone. Trammell made steady progress throughout the summer and fall, and has shown intriguing power this spring, with some rating it as an average tool. One of the biggest weaknesses in his game was his arm strength, and he worked hard in the offseason to improve it. What was once graded as a well below-average tool now earns 45 grades from some scouts, giving him enough arm strength for center field. Trammell is an exceptional athlete and the needle is pointing up on him. He is committed to Georgia Tech, but his strong spring performance could make him a day one pick.

122. Connor Justus
Known more for his smooth actions at shortstop, Justus produced excellent offensive results for Georgia Tech this season. His swing starts with a high hand set, then he drops his hands down and back to load up. He shows the ability to pull the inside pitch over the fence, or stay back and hammer the outside pitch to the gap in right-center field. Justus has shown more selectivity at the plate this season, and as a result he’s accumulated more walks than strikeouts. His carrying tool will be his defense at shortstop, where he shows above-average body control and the ability to range to either his left or his right. He has an average arm.

123. Kel Johnson
Johnson has long been known among the amateur scouting community for his right-handed power bat, but there were major concerns on his bat coming out of high school. He struggled on the showcase circuit and played meager competition in the spring, playing in a league for home school students. Johnson was the No. 268 prospect in the 2014 BA 500, and now he’s back in the rankings as a draft-eligible sophomore. He hit the ground running at Georgia Tech, batting near .300 and swatting 10 home runs as a freshman. His production improved this spring too, leading to less concern over the utility of his power. Johnson still has a swing built for both power and swing-and-miss, but some scouts believe there’s enough thunder in his bat to produce 25-30 home runs, even if his ability to hit for average plays as a below-average tool. Johnson has played the outfield and been a DH for the Yellow Jackets, and will have to prove himself as an outfielder at every step up the ladder. He lacks ideal foot speed and range for the position and does not have plus arm strength.

341. Brandon Gold

359. Matt Gonzalez

462. Matthew Gorst

5 Responses

I don’t know what they’re talking about with Justus. Scout-speak gobbledegook.

  • This prediction was pretty accurate for Gold, but way off for Gonzalez and kind of off for Gorst. Don’t know about Kel; he may have signaled his uninterest for this year.

  • Predicting draft positioning for seniors can be tricky as teams play leverage vs. pool spending. I’ll be interested to see how close to $306,600 Gonzo’s bonus turns out to be.

    • The Braves created some flexibility with some of their earlier selections by drafting college seniors with each of their final five selections. Because these seniors do not have the leverage to stay in school, the sum of their combined signing bonuses will likely be less than $100,000.

      http://m.braves.mlb.com/news/article/183526256/braves-happy-with-ian-anderson-draft-picks

    • I hope Gonzo does well with a bonus. Since I believe he wasn’t drafted at all last year, he is clearly the somewhat rare player who drastically improved enough as a senior.

      Interesting that Sam Clay was drafted much higher than Gorst. I know Sam had a great year in 2014, but so did Matthew this year. Do sophomores have even more leverage? I suppose they do.