With the 2018 Draft fast approaching (June 4-6 on MLB Network and MLB.com), we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class.:: 2018 Draft coverage ::Name: Matthew LiberatorePosition: LHPSchool: Mountain Ridge (Ariz.) HSRank on Draft Top 200: 4DOB: 11/06/1999Bats: LThrows: LHeight: 6'5"Weight: 200 lbs.College commitment: ArizonaTools
With the 2018 Draft fast approaching (June 4-6 on MLB Network and MLB.com), we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class.
:: 2018 Draft coverage ::
Name: Matthew Liberatore
School: Mountain Ridge (Ariz.) HS
Rank on Draft Top 200: 4
Weight: 200 lbs.
College commitment: Arizona
(Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale)
Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55
Top 20 Draft Prospects profiles
Innings pitched: 60.1
Opponent's batting average: .134
Scouting report: Liberatore won't light up the radar gun, but that hasn't stopped him from impressing scouts and dominating hitters. Not only has Liberatore been lights out during the high school season, but he also threw 12 shutout innings for the 18U U.S. National Team and threw well -- striking out 10 of the final 17 batters he faced -- at the NHSI.
The lefty sits in the low-to-mid 90s -- although he's touched 96-97 mph this season -- and maintains his velocity well. He also throws a curveball and has added a slider to his arsenal this season.
MLB comp:Jonathan Lester
Fun fact: Liberatore's favorite ballpark food is ice cream and he tries to model himself after Max Scherzer and Albertin Chapman while on the mound.
He said it: "I think they're going to get a player and person that puts everything they have into it and is going to give the team the best opportunity to win, whether that's throwing a complete game or pitching two innings in relief."
They said it: "He's been great. It started when he was 12, he'd always throw the games to get to the championship, but he really developed, took that big jump sophomore year and he's been good ever since." -- childhood friend and fellow Draft prospect Nolan Gorman on Liberatore
William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.