MLB Draft Rounds 16-20: Mix of High Schoolers And Experienced College Bats

By Dilip Sridhar

June 14, 2017 2 Comments

With their 16th round selection on Wednesday, the Mets selected Raphael Gladu out of Lousiana Tech University. He is from Quebec.

The Mets used their 17th round selection on AJ Labas out of Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville. He is ranked 226 on Baseball America.

Their 18th pick was Carl Stajduhar out of New Mexico. He is ranked 356 on Baseball America. He played third but will likely move to first base. He has plus power and hit .350/.454/.650 this past year and has hit 35 homers the last two years.

Their 19th selection was C.J. Van Eyk out of Steinbrenner HS in Florida. He was a Top 100 prospect earlier in the spring before falling due to injuries. He is committed to Florida State University.

Their 20th pick was Yadiel Flores, a RHP out of Puerto Rico.

Raphael Gladu 

LA Tech Sports (From 2016)

Named second team all-Louisiana … Named to the Conference USA all-Tournament team … Named to the Conference USA Commissioners Honor Roll … Played in 56 games, making 45 starts … Registered team-highs with a .339 batting average and .429 on-base percentage … Totaled 12 doubles, two triples and two home runs, as well as 29 RBI and 81 total bases … Drew 23 walks, with a team-low 17 strikeouts in 174 at-bats … Had a season-high five hits in a conference tournament win over Charlotte … In the first two days of the conference tournament combined to go 9-of-11 at the plate with four RBI … For the Conference USA Tournament as a whole, went 14-for-23 at the plate … Had multiple hits in three consecutive games on two different occasions during the season … Had doubles in three straight games during the first month of the season … Had 14 multi-hit games … Had three games where he registered four or more hits.

He has hit .378/.439/.578 this year with 8 HRs.

AJ Labas

Baseball America (#226)

Labas has been scouted often in his amateur career, playing on the same high school team as 2016 draft picks J.C. Flowers (Florida State) and Todd Lott (Louisiana Lafayette) as well as current teammate Austin Martin. Labas could end up being the best of the group. He has a durable 6-foot-3, 220-pound pitcher’s body and a strong three-pitch mix. His fastball works mostly at 88-91 mph and touches 92 and 93 on occasion. His best offspeed pitch is his changeup; it’s a low 80s weapon that disappears late, and Labas isn’t afraid to double up on it as he locates it down and to both sides of the plate. He shows flashes with a slurvy upper 70s curveball, a potential near-average offering to play off his average fastball and above-average changeup. Labas’s delivery isn’t always in sync; he has a tendency to swing his hips open early and he loses deception as a result. He is, however, a quality athlete and could develop more strength and consistency as he matures and improves his conditioning. Labas is committed to North Florida.

Carl Stajduhar 

Baseball America (#356)

New Mexico annually produces huge offensive numbers under coach Ray Birmingham, and Stajduhar has done his fair share over his three seasons, including 44 homers (17 in 2017). A Colorado prep product, Stajduhar plays third base for the Lobos but has below-average athleticism that should shift him to first as a pro. He has a long arm stroke but average arm strength. He has gotten in better shape, losing weight prior to this season, and is an excellent competitor who can hit a fastball and has present strength to hit for plus power. It’s not just to his pull side either; the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder can drive the ball to the right-center field gap. Stajduhar’s bat will have to carry him in pro ball.

C.J. Van Eyk

Baseball America (109)

Firmly in the Top 100 earlier in the season, Van Eyk has fallen a bit because of injury concerns after he left a start this spring due to a forearm injury. The medical situation obviously clouds his draft stock, but he began throwing again and the specifics of his health will factor heavily into where he is drafted. Before his injury, Van Eyk was one of the more polished prep pitchers in the class, throwing strikes with a fastball that gets into the mid 90s as well as a sharp curveball that scouts grade as an above-average or plus pitch. His stuff and current pitchability give Van Eyk a fairly high ceiling, and he was one of the top prep pitchers in a Florida state that is loaded at the demographic. He struck out 55 batters in 38 innings this season, issuing just nine walks.

Yadiel Flores 

Perfect Game

Yadiel Flores is a 2017 RHP with a 6-2 159 lb. frame from Yabucoa, PR who attends Puerto Rico BB Academy. Tall and very slender build, very projectable physically. Stays tall over the rubber well, accelerates hard to the plate before release, gets all he can out of his body, full arm action and his arm is on time coming through to release, tends to land a bit open on his front side. Steady mid 80’s fastball, topped out at 86 mph, maintained his velocity from the stretch well, has nice running and sinking life on his fastball when down in the zone. Slider flashes tight spin and bite at lower velocities, tends to overthrow his slider at times and throw through the break, got right handed hitters reaching well when he had his slider feel. Did not observe a change up. Interesting young pitcher with two solid pitches and a strong chance to keep improving with additional strength. Has gained 6 mph over the last year. Good student.