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2017 MLB Draft: D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta, Georgia

Georgia prep southpaw D.L. Hall aims for early spot in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft

A few days ago we discussed North Carolina high school lefty MacKenzie Gore, who has emerged as the top prep southpaw in the 2017 MLB Draft according to most observers. Gore’s nearest competition for that title is D.L. Hall, a left-hander from high school in Valdosta, Georgia. Hall was rated as the top prep lefty four months ago and while Gore has moved ahead on most charts, Hall is still an elite talent. Here’s a quick look.

THE BASICS

D.L. Hall has been on the radar for some time, being a veteran of numerous showcases including the June 2016 National Showcase, the August 2016 East Coast Pro Showcase, the fall 2016 WWBA, and frequent Perfect Game events as well as normal spring high school competition. Scouts have had a good look at him, in other words, and they like what they see. So do college coaches, with Hall committing to Florida State University.

Hall’s height/weight data varies from source to source: he’s listed variously at 6-0, 190; 6-1, 180; 6-2, 170, or 6-2, 175. There’s no question about his birthday, of course: September 19, 1998.

STRENGTHS

We’ll start with two plus pitches. His fastball is 90-94 MPH with peaks at 95-96. There’s still some projectable athleticism in his body and a bit more velocity is possible down the line, but even at the current level he has enough. Multiple observers report that his fastball can be straight, but it plays up due to the contrast with his excellent curveball, rated by many observers as the best high school breaking ball in the draft.

Hall added a change-up last summer and while it needs more work, it should be at least an average pitch in time. When he’s going well Hall throws all three pitches for quality strikes and can get hitters out with both power and finesse. He is very competitive and makeup is considered another plus.

WEAKNESSES

Like most high school pitchers Hall can be inconsistent and has phases where the results don’t match the stuff, mainly due to problems with fastball command. This has happened just often enough to move him behind the more-polished MacKenzie Gore on most draft charts. It is also possible that there’s simply some prospect fatigue with Hall since scouts are so familiar with him.

Injuries are always a risk factor with young moundsmen but Hall is athletic and usually repeats his delivery well. I don’t think his injury risk is any higher than normal for his age.

PROJECTION

Barring a last-month injury or skill collapse, Hall is still a certain first rounder, likely in the teens unless he cuts a below-slot deal with a team in the top ten. Long-term he projects as a number three starter with a chance to be a number two if all his skills maximize.

Video from Skillshow

Baseball America video