Baseball America released the third iteration of it’s 2017 MLB Mock Draft yesterday. This time around BA has the Mets taking 1B Nick Pratto out of Huntington Beach High School in California.
Pratto has been on the scouting radar since 2011 when he was a key member of Huntington Beach’s Little League World Series Championship team. He’s continued to impress ever since on the showcase circuit and in the spring, first at national power Mater Dei High School and then Huntington Beach High School, as well as winning gold for the team USA U18 team in 2015.
A left-handed batter listed at 6’1” and 193 lbs. Pratto is on the smaller side for a major league caliber first baseman but has impressive power to the gaps that could develop into a major home run threat as he matures. Considered one of the bet pure hitters coming out of high school, Pratto is patient at the plate and has a big league ability to hit both fastballs and breaking stuff. Pratto isn’t a hit-first player however. Soft hands and a strong arm (he throws around 90 MPH when throwing off the mound for his high school team) make him an above average fielder as well as a threat at the plate.
Pratto has struggled at times this spring on some of the biggest stages. He had a rough outing at the plate in April’s Boras Classic, an annual tournament in southern California that draws the best prospects in the state and always seems to be filled with future pros. His consistent success over the past 5 years at multiple levels as well as his athleticism has most scouts convinced that a few bad trips to the plate this spring are nothing to worry about. Pratto has signed on to play at USC next year and is projected to go as early as No. 10 by some experts, including ESPN’s Keith Law.
If he does fall to No. 20 hopefully the kid from Cali will be wearing Mets blue and orange instead of Trojan cardinal and gold.