Sam Carlson | RHP
Carlson, 18, hails from the noted baseball talent hotbed of Minnesota. He attends Burnsville High School in the Minneapolis suburbs, and he’s committed to Florida.
At 6-foot-4 and 195 lbs., Carlson has the ideal pitcher’s frame, and he also throws three pitches. That’s rare for a high schooler, especially one from Minnesota. Last summer in showcases Carlson sat mostly in the low-90s, but he’s come out this spring firing 93-95 mph and touching 97 mph regularly. His fastball is even better than the velocity indicates because the pitch has natural running action back in on righties. Carlson’s second best offering is a hard slider, and he also throws a quality changeup. He uses all three pitches regularly and locates well. It’s a pretty advanced repertoire for a kid from a cold weather state. Carlson is a really good athlete — his future lies on the mound, though it’s worth noting he’s a good enough hitter that he’ll also play some outfield for the Gators, should he not sign for some reason — and he repeats his delivery well, though there’s some thought he’d benefit from lengthening his stride a bit.
Carlson is one of the rare prospects who gets all the scouting publications to agree on his place in the draft class. Baseball America ranked him as the 14th best prospect available while both MLB.com and Keith Law (subs. req’d) ranked him 15th. Hard to get much closer than that. The Yankees hold the 16th pick. As with most cold weather state kids, one of the biggest issues for Carlson is a general lack of exposure. He was a regular on the summer showcase circuit last year, though scouts don’t have much time to see him this spring because his high school season started only a few weeks ago.