WCL Top Prospect Lists Released

August 31, 2015
by Pat Hickey, Baseball America

1. Cadyn Grenier, ss, Bend (Fr., Oregon State)

A three-time first team All-State selection at Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, Grenier was considered a top-five round talent this past June. The Cardinals were interested in taking him with the 23rd overall pick, but couldn’t match his asking price and ended up taking a flier on him in the 21st round. Grenier went into the WCL playoffs batting .329/.387/.497 in 184 plate appearances and added 11 steals. WCL managers noted he’s a plus runner with outstanding instincts and footwork defensively. Listed at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, power is his weakest present tool. He lived more gap-to-gap this summer but hit well to all fields and has an advanced approach at the plate. Grenier has a lengthy amateur track record and an opportunity to be taken early in the 2018 draft.

2. Joe DeMers, rhp, Walla Walla (Fr., Washington)

The highest-ranked undrafted prospect in the BA 500, DeMers is another player whose baseball résumé is impressive before he’s thrown a single pitch in college. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound righthander is a three-time gold medalist with USA Baseball national teams and was a two-way star as the Gatorade Player of the Year in California at College Park High. Pitching for the Walla Walla Sweets this summer, DeMers went 1-1, 2.07 with 10 walks and 27 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings—mostly out of the bullpen. Managers saw his fastball range between 92-95 mph, and some graded both his slider and changeup as plus. DeMers lacks projection but has good present command for his age of three above-average pitches. He is also a top two rounds candidate in three years.

3. Kyle Molnar, rhp, Walla Walla (Fr., UCLA)

Another Los Angeles-area product, Molnar strung together the most dominant outing of the summer for the pitching-rich Sweets. On July 27, the Aliso Viejo native tossed a no-hitter against Kitsap, allowing three walks and striking out eight. Listed at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, Molnar went 1-1, 3.75 with 19 strikeouts to 12 walks in 24 innings of work. His fastball works at 88-94 mph and he mixes in an above-average to plus splitter, developing slider and changeup. Despite this summer’s walk rate, which was not an issue at the prep level, Molnar showed quality command—especially with his fastball.

4. Keston Hiura, of, Wenatchee (So., UC Irvine)

Hiura continued to rake following a stellar freshman season with the Anteaters. The Valencia, Calif., native was named the Big West field player of the year and earned first-team all-conference honors after he led the league with 52 RBIs. This summer for Wenatchee, Hiura batted .356/.439/.623 with 33 extra base hits and 42 RBIs. He was also 13-for-19 in steals. The 5-foot-11, 185 pound outfielder was rated by league managers as an outstanding, gap-to-gap hitter with plus power potential who uses all fields and stays back on off-speed pitches. Hiura also has a plus arm with tremendous instincts and above-average speed.

5. Easton Lucas, lhp, Walla Walla (Fr., Pepperdine)

Lucas tossed three no-hitters his final year at Simi Valley Grace Brethren despite never taking a single class at the private Christian school northwest of Los Angeles. One of seven brothers and sisters, Lucas was home-schooled and enrolled in an independent study program that allowed him to pitch at Grace Brethren. He parlayed that into a score of 29 on the ACT and a scholarship nearby at Pepperdine. This summer, the 6-foot-3 lefthander traveled north to the state of Washington and showcased a fastball-changeup combination that, along with his lanky 170-pound build, projects well at the professional level. Lucas worked in the 87-93 mph range and paired it with an above-average to plus offspeed and developing breaking ball. He went 1-1, 2.43 with 15 walks and 44 punch outs in 48 innings of work for Walla Walla.

6. A.J. Graffanino, ss, Cowlitz (Fr., Washington)

The son of 13-year major league infielder Tony Graffanino, A.J. was considered a top 10-round talent this past June but fell to the Indians in the 26th round. The switch-hitting Huskies signee batted .300 for the Cowlitz Black Bears this summer, albeit a light .300 with just two extra-base hits and six walks in 96 plate appearances. However, the Peoria, Ariz., native received rave reviews for his defense at a premium position. Bloodlines had little to do with it. Graffanino made great strides over his prep career and displayed very good range, athleticism and solid-average arm strength with Cowlitz. His 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame suggests room to gain strength and add bat speed. Graffanino is more advanced from the left side of the plate than the right and has solid-average speed.

7. Ryan Walker, rhp, Corvallis (So., Washington State)

This 6-foot-1 side-arming righty does not have the amateur pedigree as some of the players ranked higher on this list, but he performed well as a true freshman for Washington State. Walker, an in-state native of Arlington, Wash., went 1-1, 2.73 with 50 strikeouts in 56 innings of work, mostly out of the bullpen. He followed that up with a solid summer with the Corvallis Knights, going 4-2, 3.89 in 34 2/3 innings. Walker has a live arm that sits between 88-94 mph with room to add strength to his frame. His slider ranges 79-84 with good bite, though it can become sweepy at times. He also mixes in a changeup with good separation from his fastball, but it’s still developing and he lacks command of the pitch. Walker creates nice deception with his low-angle delivery, but will need to continue to develop his changeup if he wants to make it as a starter.

8. Nick Madrigal, ss, Corvallis (Fr., Oregon State)

Drafted by the Indians in the 17th round in June, this incoming Beavers middle infielder packed his bags for Corvallis early this summer and wreaked havoc on the base paths. Undersized at 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, Madrigal followed up an All-American season at Elk Grove (Calif.) High with a WCL record 40 stolen bases and batted .303/.342/.376 in 178 at-bats. While his arm strength and bat are light, he has very good hands up the middle with quarterback-like instincts defensively.

9. Justin Calomeni, rhp, Bellingham (Jr., Cal Poly)

Calomeni came in as a freshman at Cal Poly and started 15 games, bouncing between the Saturday and Sunday roles. He went 8-2, 3.68 on a Mustangs team that won 47 games and hosted a regional. But his performance dipped as a sophomore, as he spent half the spring in the bullpen. Calomeni’s stock may be back on the rise heading into his draft year following a strong summer with Bellingham. He went 4-1, 2.17 with 29 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound righthander has three quality pitches in an 89-94 mph fastball with good downhill tilt, a power slider that ranges between 80-83 and a changeup that has some nice sinking action. His command of his secondary pitches need improvement, however.

10. Willie MacIver, c, Walla Walla (Fr., Washington)

MacIver struggled at the plate in his first taste against college pitching, but has the tools to succeed and is a solid defender behind the plate. He batted just .215 with four doubles in 105 plate appearances with Walla Walla but showed plus power potential from the right side in batting practice. A sturdy 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, MacIver also has plus arm—a 1.90 pop time to second—and received high marks for his work ethic and leadership ability. He will also need to continue to improve his receiving skills.

Perfect Game Crosschecker Top 30 WCL Prospect List

RK Player POS Hometown ST 2016 School YR Class Last Drafted
1 Cadyn Grenier SS Henderson NV Oregon State# FR 2018 Cardinals ’15 (21)
2 Kyle Molnar RHP Aliso Viejo CA UCLA# FR 2018 Cardinals ’15 (25)
3 Joe DeMers RHP Pleasant Hill CA Washington# FR 2018 Never drafted
4 Keston Hiura OF Valencia CA UCI SO 2017 Never drafted
5 Nick Madrigal SS Elk Grove CA Oregon State# FR 2018 Indians ’15 (17)
6 A.J. Graffanino SS Peoria AZ Washington# FR 2018 Indians ’15 (26)
7 Justin Calomeni RHP San Jose CA Cal Poly SR 2016 Never drafted
8 Curtis Taylor RHP Port Coquitlam BC British Columbia JR 2016 Never drafted
9 Brian Gadsby RHP La Crescenta CA UCLA# FR 2018 Never drafted
10 Kevin Collard OF Vista CA San Diego# FR 2018 Never drafted
11 Ryan Walker RHP Arlington WA Washington State SO 2017 Never drafted
12 Danny Mayer OF Downers Grove IL Pacific JR 2016 Never drafted
13 Alex McKenna OF Mission Hills CA Cal Poly# FR 2018 Twins ’15 (38)
14 Alex Webb RHP Surrey BC British Columbia SR 2016 Padres ’15 (36)
15 Justin Flores 1B Fresno CA Cal State Monterey Bay SR 2016 Never drafted
16 Easton Lucas LHP Simi Valley CA Pepperdine# FR 2018 Never drafted
17 Tyler Davis INF Orinda CA Northwest Nazarene SR 2016 Never drafted
18 Hunter Villanueva INF Bakersfield CA Fresno Pacific JR 2016 Never drafted
19 Rio Gomez LHP Phoenix AZ Arizona JR 2016 Never drafted
20 Darrion Simons LHP Boise ID Yakima Valley SO 2016 Never drafted
21 West Tunnell INF Anthem AZ Baylor SR 2016 Never drafted
22 Andrew Kemmerer RHP Issaquah WA Central Arkansas SR 2016 Never drafted
23 Adam Cline RHP Redmond WA Columbia SR 2016 Never drafted
24 Chris Castellanos LHP Long Beach CA Stanford SO 2016 Never drafted
25 Dominic Topoozian RHP Clovis CA Fresno State SR 2016 Never drafted
26 Gunner Pollman C West Linn OR Sacramento State JR 2016 Never drafted
27 Michael Koval RHP Alta Loma CA Cal Poly Pomona JR 2016 Never drafted
28 Patrick McGuff RHP Hamilton OH Morehead State SR 2016 Never drafted
29 Clay Fisher SS La Quinta CA UC Santa Barbara SO 2017 Never drafted
30 Slater Lee RHP Carlsbad CA Cal Poly JR 2016 Never drafted