Which Draft prospects have best tools?

June 5th, 2017

Befitting a player who attends the same high school that produced , Hunter Greene offers some of the best power potential in this year's Draft. He also has the strongest arm among all the position players available. And yet Greene will get picked as a pitcher, possibly No. 1 overall by the Twins and almost certainly in the top three selections, because he also lights up radar guns more than anyone else when he takes the mound.
Greene is far from the only prospect who excels in multiple categories when we break down the best tools in the 2017 Draft. College stars J.B. Bukauskas and Jeren Kendall and high school standouts Jo Adell, Shane Baz and MacKenzie Gore received recognition for their diverse talents as well.
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Best hitter: Keston Hiura, OF/2B, UC Irvine
He has all of the ingredients to hit for average, including a compact right-handed swing, plenty of bat speed and tremendous feel for the barrel. Hiura led the U.S. collegiate national team in slugging (.553) last summer and tops NCAA Division I in hitting (.442) and on-base percentage (.567).
Also in the running: Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville; Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia; Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia
Best power: Jake Burger, 3B, Missouri State
He packs a lot of strength in his 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame, owns a quick right-handed stroke and possesses the patience to wait for pitches he can drive. That combination added up to 21 homers (second in NCAA D-I) as a sophomore a year ago and a potential Missouri Valley Conference Triple Crown (he led in all three categories at .341-22-63 entering the regional playoffs) in 2017.

Also in the running: Brent Rooker, 1B, Mississippi State; Jo Adell, OF, Ballard HS (Louisville, Ky.); Greene, RHP/SS (Notre Dame HS, Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
Fastest runner: Quentin Holmes, OF, Monsignor McClancy HS (East Elmhurst, N.Y.)
He ran the quickest 60-yard dash on the showcase circuit last summer, clocking in at 6.15 seconds at the Perfect Game National Showcase. Holmes knows how to use his speed to beat out infield hits, steal bases and cover a lot of ground in center field.

Also in the running: Kevin Merrell, SS, South Florida; Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt; Royce Lewis, SS/OF, JSerra Catholic HS (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
Strongest arm: Hunter Greene, RHP/SS (Notre Dame HS, Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
No one throws a better fastball off the mound or across the infield in this year's crop than Greene, whose power and arm would make him a mid-first-round pick as an infielder if he didn't offer more upside on the mound. If a team chose to develop him as a position player, his quickness likely would dictate a move to third base, but he wouldn't have any trouble profiling there.
Also in the running: Adell, OF, Ballard HS (Louisville, Ky.); Donovan Casey, OF, Boston College; Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS (Lexington, N.C.)
Best defender: Nick Allen, SS, Parker HS (San Diego)
Though he's just 5-foot-8, Allen belongs in the first round because he's the most valuable defender available -- his actions, range, arm and instincts make him a no-doubt shortstop -- and stings the ball with surprising authority. We graded him as a 65 shortstop on the 20-80 scouting scale and Kentucky first baseman Evan White as a 70, but positional value and scarcity gives Allen the nod.

Also in the running: White, 1B, Kentucky; Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt; MJ Melendez, C, Westminster Christian HS (Palmetto Bay, Fla.)
Best fastball: Hunter Greene, RHP/SS (Notre Dame HS, Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
While he may not be the best high school right-hander ever, Greene might have the quickest arm and generate top-of-the-charts velocity easier than any of them. This spring, he didn't throw a single pitch under 95 mph, sat in the upper 90s and topped out at 102.

Also in the running: Nate Pearson, RHP, Central Florida JC; Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina; Baz, RHP, Concordia Lutheran HS (Tomball, Texas)
Best curveball: Blayne Enlow, RHP, St. Amant (La.) HS
Enlow, who didn't allow an earned run in 13 innings for Team USA's gold medal-winning Pan American Championships team last October, has a 12-to-6 hammer in the low 80s. It's a good year for curveballs in the Pelican State, as Louisiana State's Alex Lange has the best bender in the college ranks.

Also in the running: D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta (Ga.) HS; Lange, RHP, Louisiana State; Gore, LHP, Whiteville (N.C.) HS
Best slider: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina
When it's on, Bukauskas' slider may be the most unhittable pitch in the Draft, peaking in the upper 80s with nasty bite. Hitters can't even try to sit on it because they also have to contend with his mid-90s fastball.

Also in the running: Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida; Baz, RHP, Concordia Lutheran HS (Tomball, Texas); Seth Romero, LHP, Houston (dismissed)
Best changeup: Charlie Barnes, LHP, Clemson
Though his fastball tops out at 91 mph, Barnes thrives nonetheless with his plus changeup. He fools hitters with his deceptive arm speed and the pitch seems to fall off the table when it arrives at the plate.

Also in the running: Brigham Hill, RHP, Texas A&M; Sam Carlson, RHP, Burnsville (Minn.) HS; Alex Scherff, RHP, Colleyville (Texas) Heritage HS
Best control: David Peterson, LHP, Oregon
Peterson's ability to locate four pitches where he wants has him climbing into the middle of the first round. He struck out 17 without a walk against Mississippi State in March and fanned 20 with just one free pass against Arizona State in April. Peterson ranked second in D-I in strikeouts (140 in 100 1/3 innings) and third in K/BB ratio (9.3) entering the NCAA regionals.

Also in the running: Luke Heimlich, LHP, Oregon State; Griffin Canning, RHP, UCLA; Gore, LHP, Whiteville (N.C.) HS