While the college schedule is only half completed, the top prep prospects are looking to finish their season strong, as a few of them don't have much time left on the field to impress scouts, including Montverde Academy (Fla.) shortstop Francisco Lindor. Lindor finished another strong week with a double and a homer Friday.
Lindor's performance isn't in question as his season winds down and clubs begin to move names around on their draft boards in May. The question will be centered on his upside. He's listed at 5-foot-11 and about 170 pounds, which immediately suggests he's limited at the plate. But the 17-year-old switch hitter packs a pretty good wallop and brings good hand-eye coordination and quick hands into the batter's box.
There are no immediate questions about Lindor's future position, which is why he's a top-20 talent with a chance to be taken in the top 10. There is some buzz, however, implying that Lindor could land among the top six or eight picks, but when such a concept was broached to one scouting director, he raved about Lindor for 30 seconds before suggesting that this might be a tough year for such a player to crack the top five.
"He's dynamite, there's no doubt, and I can't speak for anyone else and we don't select that high anyway, but, yeah, our concern with kids like that is that the bat doesn't play beyond the position on the field."
If Lindor handles the pro game defensively as is fully expected, the pressure is then turned toward his bat to warrant a bonus that could reach beyond $3 million. Lindor is making it a difficult decision, however, as he's clearly the top shortstop prospect in the class and has impressed scouts since his first at-bat of the season.
Lindor is joined by Bishop O'Dowd (Calif.) right-hander Joe Ross, who is the top prep pitcher in the state of California this spring. Ross, who is sitting in the low-90s with his fastball and has the results and mechanics to back up the stuff, fanned nine more over seven innings last week, and has walked just 11 batters all season. Ross could be the third-ranked prep pitcher on the next Future Fifty. Stay tuned on that front.
"Ross is impressive start to start," said an area scout. "He's not big or tall but he's strong and the arm action is very loose. I don't think I see a future ace, but I do see a kid with the potential be a frontline guy since he throws strikes with two pitches and shows a mature feel for what he's doing out there."
Owasso High School start right-hander Dylan Bundy continues to put the full-court press on not only the other prep arms in the class but the college aces, too, as he cruises along with stuff that one scout called "easy nasty. It's easy for him, and it's all nasty."
Bundy tossed a one-hitter Saturday, punching out 17 batters in a 5-0 shutout win. The 6-foot-2 Texas Longhorns commit has compiled 95 strikeouts in just 42 frames.
Oregon State catcher Andrew Susac is out indefinitely after breaking the hamate bone in his left hand on a swing last Sunday versus Arizona. He'll almost certainly have surgery, typically the next step with such an injury, which will likely keep him out for the remainder of the regular season.
Florida closer Nick Maronde made two appearances over the weekend, combining for 2 2/3 frames and recording seven strikeouts. He did allow a run but still may be the best relief arm in the class, showing plus control and above-average command of his offspeed stuff.