With the 32nd pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Tampa Rays selected high school outfielder Nick Schnell out of Roncalli High School. In recent mock drafts, Schnell was projected to go 30th by Keith Law of ESPN and 28th by Baseball America.
Schnell had as much helium as anyone leading up to the draft with talk over the weekend leading up to the draft that the White Sox were considering an underslot deal with Schnell with the 4th overall pick. A player doesn’t get considered for such a thing if he isn’t loaded with potential and Schnell has plenty of that even if he is similar to Kelenic in that scouts had to deal with the weather issues in scouting him that comes with playing prep baseball up north.
Schnell has a very strong all-around game that has a lot of people excited about him. He has an advanced approach for his age and bats from the left side. He doesn’t have tape measure power, but a lot of scouts and pundits feel as though he will bulk up a bit and add more power to his game. He is currently a plus runner which helps his case to stay in center field, but if he loses a half a grade or even a full grade there, he has the arm to play right field and if his bat comes through as expected it will play anywhere on the field.
The concerns with Schnell, as with all prep players in particular those from up north, is that there is risk with spending a high pick on a guy with limited information. He has the track record of performance on the showcase circuit, but how he maintains his athleticism as he ages and what position he is ultimately destined for are open questions, although with Schnell there is a lot of optimism that his upside is worth the risk.