With the No. 32 pick in the draft, the Rays selected outfielder Nick Schnell from Roncalli High School in Indiana.
We wrote about Schnell prior to the draft:
Like (Mets first-round pick Jarred) Kelenic, Schnell is committed to Louisville, so head coach Dan McDonnell will probably need to make new plans for his 2019 outfield.
That’s because Schnell has improved his stock significantly over the past year. In BA’s January draft ranking, he was the No. 111 player, and that may not have completely captured his rise up draft boards.
He broke out on the showcase circuit last summer and has continued hitting this spring. He has a good feel for contact to all fields with some raw power, but ESPN’s Keith Law expressed some mechanical concerns about his swing ($).
Schnell is a decent athlete who will at the very least start his professional career in center field. However, there are doubts that he can remain there long-term.
If the Rays are looking for a decent bat with upside at pick Nos. 31 or 32, Schnell could be the player they’re looking for.
He was ranked No. 34 by Baseball America, 45 by Keith Law at ESPN, 32 by FanGraphs, and 38 by MLB.com.
Few prep players have hit more than Schnell since last fall, as a likely corner outfielder who’s a better runner underway with an above-average arm
He was the top prospect from Indiana, according to BA.
In his ongoing chat at FanGraphs, Kiley McDaniel said:
McClanahan is not the guy we’d take there but there’s ceiling. Schnell is risky but a solid pick at that point.
Nick Schnell had one of the loudest springs of any hitter in the country. He's got a chance to stick in center, but his bat should profile in a corner as well. Tampa Bay was all over him this spring.— Carlos Collazo (@CarlosACollazo) June 5, 2018
32. Rays. Nick Schnell, OF. Love this Rays draft. Schnell was most productive HS hitter in the class this spring.— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 5, 2018
Rays' No. 32 pick, Nick Schnell, was Gatorade Player of the Year for state of Indiana. Racked up 36 RBIs, 50 runs scored in 30 games. OBP of .674!— Greg Auman (@gregauman) June 5, 2018