Nick Schnell | OF
The 18-year-old Schnell attends Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, where he plays both baseball and basketball. He’s committed to Louisville and will be the first player ever drafted out of his high school.
Few players in the draft class have improved their stock as much as Schnell over the last few months. He was great on the showcase circuit last summer and he’s impressed in limited time this spring — the high school season starts late in Indianapolis — with his ability and willingness to spray the ball to all fields from the left side of the plate. Schnell’s power is mostly into the gaps rather than over the fence right now, though there is room to fill out his 6-foot-2 and 180 lb. frame, so he projects to add pop as he matures. Add in good speed and a sound approach, and Schnell’s offensive potential is rather exciting. In the field, he has range and good instincts, which makes him a quality defensive center fielder. Even if he has to move a corner down the road, his arm is plenty strong enough for right field.
The latest rankings have Schnell outside the first round, though he’s climbing draft boards, and right now he’s projected to go in the back half of the first round. Baseball America ranks him as the 34th best prospect in the draft class while MLB.com ranks him 47th. Keith Law (subs. req’d) does not have Schnell among his top 50 draft prospects. The Yankees hold the 23rd overall pick. They’ve been connected to bats more than anything this spring, and Schnell fits their usual profile as a toolsy left-handed hitter at an up-the-middle position.