Starting Thursday, the first two rounds of the 2014 MLB draft will take place, where Waiakea High School left-handed pitcher Kodi Medeiros is expected to be selected in round number one.
Kodi might be bringing a 50th state battery mate. Recent Punahou graduate, Kainoa “KJ” Harrison, is projected as a 2nd to 4th round pick that some scouts say could slide into the end of the first round.
Harrison is the son of former University of Hawai’i standout Kenny Harrison, a former first team All-American, who hit .389 with 8 home runs and 60 RBI as a senior catcher for the Rainbows in 1993.
The newest line of Harrison talent, an Oregon State signee, is also making waves behind the dish. KJ’s been praised by scouts for having a plus-arm, above average receiving skills, and potential Major League power at the plate. KJ’s life-long dream appears to become reality in a matter of days.
KHON2 along with a handful of anonymous MLB scouts and Baseball Scouting directors compiled an MLB Top 10 list for Hawaii prospects heading into this week’s draft.
Hawaii’s Top 10 MLB Draft Prospects
1. Kodi Medeiros – LHP – Waiakea High School (Projected: 1st Round)
Former Major Leaguer and current MLB analyst Eric Byrnes called Kodi’s slider “the best left handed slider I have ever seen.”
Very good fastball and changeup, and has “now stuff”, Sidearm delivery causes some to think he’s a reliever.
2. Kainoa “KJ” Harrison – C – Punahou School (Projected 2nd-4th Round)
“Great” Defense with Major League arm, “Solid” swing from right side of the plate. Son of former UH Standout and Minor Leaguer Kenny Harrison.
3. Jordan Yamamoto – RHP – Saint Louis School (Projected 4th-8th Round)
Has 4 Major League “average or better” pitches, including a Fastball of 92-93 MPH.
4. Scott Squier – LHP – University of Hawaii (Projected 4th-9th Round)
Tall and narrow frame, little touch of overall development, comes across in the Chris Sale mold. Fastball 89- 92 (93) mph works with natural tail in the arm slot, shows some sink in the offering. Slider with more horizontal tilt than vertical and shows the bite that can induce swing/miss offering, grade at above average with some room to grow. (Courtesy: Dan Olsen: Big League Futures)
5. Matt Cooper – RHP – University of Hawaii (Projected 4th-10th Round)
High arm slot with high leg raise delivery, Fastball sits 88-92, Best pitch is 12/6 curve with big break. Relaxed and showed great command of all pitches. Put together one of the best single seasons in UH history, posting a 1.60 ERA with 106 Strikeouts in just 106.2 innings.
6. Christian Donahue – 2B/SS – ‘Iolani School
“C-Boy” was invited to the team USA trials last summer. He is a smooth, compact middle infield prospect that can run well. Christian is a switch hitter who could add power as he fills out his frame. Christian is committed to Oregon State
7. Makoa Rosario – C – Kamehameha-Hawaii
According to a scout, Rosario hit the furthest home run ever at Wong Stadium in Hilo. Rosario has signed with Central Arizona Community College.
8. Jodd Carter – OF – Hilo
The University of Hawai’i signee has a strong build. Carter displays good range in the outfield, and tracks the ball well, especially in center field. His swing is short and compact, without a lot of movement.
9. Devan Stubblefield – OF – Saint Louis
Also a Rainbow Warrior signee, Stubblefield is an incredible, yet raw athlete. The Crusader is also slated to play wide receiver at UH, after putting up over 800 yards and 12 touchdowns last season on the gridiron. His swing has come a long way from being mechanical and clunky in 2013. He possesses a very high ceiling as a prospect, especially if he were to focus on baseball.
10. Marc Flores – 1B/OF – University of Hawaii
The former Rainbow Warrior is a big, strong first base prospect in the mold of ex-Rainbow Kris Sanchez. While playing in a pitchers league and home stadium, Flores was able to provide a stagnant Hawai’i lineup with 18 extra base hits, including 5 home runs. Flores has a tendency to let his swing become long when he’s slumping, but will hit for power when he isn’t trying to.