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2018 MLB draft: Tampa Bay Rays select OF Nick Schnell with the No. 32 pick

Nick Schnell, a high school outfielder, is the Rays’ first position player in the 2018 draft.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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

Baseball America said:

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.