Players to watch at the MLB Draft Combine

June 21st, 2023

The first two years of the MLB Draft Combine produced a number of notable performances, and this year's event is already doing the same, with hitters mostly stealing the show during the Day 1 of on-field action Tuesday at Chase Field in Phoenix.

At the inaugural event in Cary, N.C., in 2021, Gardner-Webb right-hander Mason Miller hinted at what would be a rapid ascent to the big leagues by throwing seven of the eight fastest pitches registered, topping out at 99 mph. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) third baseman Tommy White hit the ball harder than any high school player and all but two collegians, a prelude to slamming 49 homers in his first two college seasons at North Carolina State and Louisiana State.

Last year in San Diego, Crowder (Mo.) JC right-hander Jacob Misiorowski dazzled by delivering the eight hardest fastballs, two of the three hottest sliders and impressive spin rates as well -- and now he may have the most impressive stuff in the Minors. Coming back from Tommy John surgery, Alabama left-hander Connor Prielipp parlayed a strong mound session into a $1,825,000 bonus from the Twins in the second round.

This year's Combine includes batting practice, infield/outfield and bullpen sessions. After a successful Day 1, the second day of the combine is being broadcast live on MLB Network right now.

Detailed scouting reports for the players mentioned below can be found on our Top 200 Draft Prospects list (rankings in parentheses). Here are 10 players who could make a name for themselves on the field:

Kemp Alderman, OF, Mississippi (No. 62): The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder has as much raw power as anyone in college baseball, blasting balls 450-plus feet and at 115-plus mph several times while blasting 19 homers this spring. He didn't disappoint on Day 1 of the Combine, registering the hardest-hit and longest blast of the proceedings, a 443-foot shot with an exit velocity of 111 mph.

Homer Bush Jr., OF, Grand Canyon (No. 94): His father played parts of seven seasons in the big leagues, and the son offers difference-making speed and some intriguing power potential that shows up more in batting practice than in games. On Tuesday, of his 10 batted balls measured by Statcast, nine of them were hard hit (95+ mph).

Grant Gray, OF, Norco (Calif.) HS (No. 129): A three-star wide receiver committed to UCLA, Gray is a quality athlete who's moving up Draft boards and could take off if he focuses on baseball.

George Klassen, RHP, Minnesota (No. 181): The strike zone often eludes him, but he has the quickest arm in the Draft and will light up radar guns with a fastball that averaged 98 mph and hit 102 this spring. The 6-foot-2 right-hander topped out at 97 in his bullpen session on Tuesday.

Hunter Owen, LHP, Vanderbilt (No. 64): He looked like the best college left-hander available until he pitched just four times in the last two months of the college season, and teams want to see how he looks on the mound on Wednesday.

Tai Peete, SS, Trinity Christian HS, Sharpsburg, Ga. (No. 53): He offers electric bat speed and also has been clocked up to 95 mph on the mound, though he hasn't pitched this year after injuring his elbow last August.

Duce Robinson, OF, Pinnacle HS, Phoenix (NR): The top tight end recruit in country, he's a 6-foot-6, 225-pounder with stunning athleticism. Robinson never played baseball for Pinnacle but did wow with his power at the Area Code Games last summer, and he's open to combining football at Southern California with professional baseball.

Sammy Stafura, SS, Panas HS, Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. (No. 86): From the suburbs of New York City, he gives off some Anthony Volpe vibes, and the Combine could help him continue to make a push into the first round. The 18-year-old exuded calm during Tuesday's workout, working the ball around the field with a clean right-handed stroke and exhibiting the best infield actions of anyone who took grounders.

George Wolkow, OF, Downers Grove (Ill.) North HS (No. 68): Reclassified from the 2024 Draft, he's a massive physical specimen (6-foot-7, 239 pounds) and reminds scouts of Spencer Jones -- a 2022 Combine standout before the Yankees drafted him in the first round.

Nazzan Zanetello, SS, Christian Brothers HS, St. Louis (No. 52): A potential five-tool player, Zanetello has a track record of performing well on the showcase circuit and with Team USA.