Nick Gordon: Best SS Of 2014 Crop?
ESPN’s draft expert Chris Crawford says that although catcher Alex Jackson is still likely the best prep position player in the draft, he’s getting serious competition from shortstop Nick Gordon. The 6’1, 170 pound Gordon, who is the son of former reliever Tom Gordon, has had a great senior season for Olympia H.S (Fla). He’s hitting .507 on the season and has recently shown some pop– hitting three homers in his last seven contests. Gordon can also top 90 MPH from the mound, which means he has plenty of arm for shortstop to go along with range that Crawford called “well above-average”. One NL West scout that spoke with Crawford also showered the young shortstop with praise:
“To me, it’s not even close [that Gordon is the best shortstop in this year's draft],” the scout said. “And that includes both the college and high school side. The swing isn’t perfect, but he’s got quality bat speed and his bat-to-ball skills are well above-average. Add in the defensive ability, and you get a guy who has a chance to be a top-10 shortstop, maybe even better if everything goes right in his development.”
Gettys A Big Risk
Crawford also recently touched on another prep bat who despite posting impressive numbers to go along with flashy tools, seems to have scouts split on what type of player he’ll ultimately become. I’m talking about Michael Gettys out of Gainesville Georgia. The 6’2 205 pound outfielder has backed up the hype, but scouts question his swing and wonder if he’s too risky to merit a top-10 pick.
“There’s just so much risk [in Gettys] if you take him in the top 10,” an NL Central scout said. “There’s a certain amount of risk with any kid you take, but in this case it’s magnified quite a bit just because that swing needs so much work. I’ve heard the Mike Trout and the Byron Buxton comparisons and I kind of just laugh, because I like Gettys, but that’s just not a fair comparison. I see a kid who can give you 15 to 20 homers and play a quality center field, but if you expect much more than that, you are likely going to be very disappointed.”
While scouts surely had their eyes on right-hander Jake Bukauskas, they didn’t think they’d have to worry about where to slot him until 2015. The Virginia native is just a high school junior, but due to a recent rule change was able to declare himself eligible for this years draft because he’s already 17. The fireballing Bukauskas, who regularly touches 98 mph with his fastball, has caused quite a stir, with scouts now frantically trying to get a look at him before June. ESPN’s Keith Law recently saw Bukauskas pitch, and had some really interesting things to report:
On Tuesday night, Bukauskas pitched at home at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Va., near Leesburg, and threw a quick seven-inning shutout, with the entire game taking just 80 minutes.His fastball was plus all game, 93-97, touching 98 once, still hitting 95 in his last inning…
His slider is highly inconsistent, ranging from 40 to 60 on the 20-80 scale, mostly 81-84 mph, some very sloppy and catching too much of the plate, some sharp and starting middle-away to right-handers but breaking hard into the left-hand batter’s box.
Time will tell how high this kid will rise, and some it of will be how many teams can get eyes on him before the draft comes. According to Law, he may have already risen into the first round.
(Photo credit: Bill Kamenjar)