Back

NPI Draft Headliners (2023)


Nathan Rode & Shooter Hunt
National Scouting

Since the MLB Draft moved to July, there has been significant crossover in the coverage of classes. So even though the selection of current seniors is still a month away, the summer circuit has begun and it’s time to start getting to know the 2023 group from a draft perspective. We can’t say it enough, the Class of 2023 looks special and that was clearly evident at the 2022 National Program Invitational.

NO INTRODUCTION NEEDED

If you don’t know OF Max Clark (Franklin HS, IN), quite frankly, you don’t follow amateur baseball. His five-tool ability and athleticism has been on display for a couple years now and he’s not done getting better. A Vanderbilt recruit, Clark has shown excellent strength gains every year, but not at the expense of his quick-twitch athleticism and speed. At the NPI ProCase before the tournament, he took batting practice and effortlessly launched balls out of the yard with a smooth left-handed stroke. Even though he can leave the yard in any at-bat, he takes a professional approach at the plate, taking what’s given and focusing on using the whole field. He doesn’t see much on the inner half and already shows the ability to drive the ball to the opposite field, lending to his potential to hit for power and average. Also pointing to a future of hit collecting is his game-changing speed. As soon as the ball is on the ground, infielders are in a race that moves at a breakneck pace. On three different occasions at the NPI, Clark got down the line in 3.8-3.9 seconds--and those were on full swings, not jailbreaks. One was a routine groundball to short. Another was a fielder’s choice, followed by an infield chopper. His ability to reach base on balls in play that more often than not result in an out gives him a better chance to hit for a high average and avoid or limit slumps. His speed also allows him to cover a ton of real estate in center field and while the arm strength matters the least, it’s another plus for him, as he has been up to 97 mph on the mound. When it comes to high school prospects, right-handed hitting corner guys can be a tough sell to teams. They’re already a little further down the defensive spectrum than their up-the-middle peers and there is more value put on the bat, the hardest tool to project. So forgive my skepticism when I see such a profile near the top of a ranking. Before last week, I hadn’t seen 3B Aidan Miller (JW Mitchell HS, FL). I’ve seen video, heard plenty from my co-workers and fully trust what they’ve relayed to me, but I know what history tells us too. Now, Miller, who is currently ranked No. 3 in the class, may shift up and down over the course of the next year.

PLUS MUCH MORE BELOW>>>

Premium Content Area

This article is only available to PBRPlus Subscribers. If you wish to continue reading this article:

CLICK HERE to login
OR
CLICK HERE to purchase a PBRPlus Subscription