With the 2017 Draft fast approaching (June 12-14 on MLB Network and MLB.com), we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class.Name: Sam CarlsonPosition: RHPSchool: Burnsville HS, Minn.Rank on Draft Top 200: 15DOB: 12/03/1998Bats: R Throws: RHeight: 6'4" Weight: 195 lbs.College commitment: Florida:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::Tools
(Future grades on 20-80 scouting
With the 2017 Draft fast approaching (June 12-14 on MLB Network and MLB.com), we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class.
Name: Sam Carlson
School: Burnsville HS, Minn.
Rank on Draft Top 200: 15
Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6'4" Weight: 195 lbs.
College commitment: Florida
:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::
(Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale)
Top 20 Draft Prospects profiles
In 52 years of Drafts, no Minnesota high school pitcher has gone in the first round and only four have gone in the second, most recently Mitch Brown to the Indians in 2012. As an athletic right-hander whose stuff continues to get better, Carlson could become the state's first prep first-round arm. Scouts already loved his build and his feel for pitching before his velocity improved significantly this spring, when he was Minnesota's Gatorade's State Player of the Year.
Carlson spent most of last summer pitching at 88-92 mph with his fastball, and he hinted at the projection remaining in his 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame by working in the low 90s and touching 95 at October's WWBA World Championships in Jupiter, Fla. He came out firing this year at 93-97 mph, and his heater already plays better than its velocity because it has sinking and running life and he commands it well.
Carlson also fills the strike zone with his slider, which also looks better than ever, and his changeup, which features fade and sink. Unlike most high school pitchers, he trusts his changeup and uses it liberally. Though his future definitely is on the mound, the Florida recruit is also an interesting prospect as a right fielder with bat speed, power potential and arm strength.
MLB comp: Mat Latos
Fun fact: Carlson has a younger brother, Max, who is a sophomore pitcher/outfielder with Burnsville and considered a future Draft prospect himself.
He said it: "Whoever takes me [in the Draft] takes me. My future is on the mound and that's what I focus on. I'm trying to have fun with the bat this year. I was fortunate to put two out the other day and I love hitting." -- USA TODAY
They said it: "You can't tell between his fastball and his changeup, because his changeup has so much movement on it. His curveball or slider is the one he's worked on the most during the offseason because everyone is calling it a below-average pitch."
-- Mick Scholls, Burnsville High School baseball coach, to USA TODAY.
Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.