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2018 MLB Draft: Jonathan Ornelas, SS, Glendale, Arizona

Intriguing middle infielder

When talking about the 2018 MLB draft in the prep ranks in Arizona, Matthew Liberatore and Nolan Gorman are the two obvious names that will come up, but there is a third to know. When I first saw Jonathan Ornelas play he was a super skinny freshman playing up the middle with a big leg kick and serious flashiness. Fast forward to his senior year with Kellis High School and all is still true, but he has added some real pop to his bat.

Ornelas is still skinny, listed at 6’ and just 165 lbs. but he does not get cheated at the plate. He has a bit of a long bat and his weight can shift out front too much, but he has more power than you would expect from a guy his size. His body has the ability to add strength as he matures and may become a future 20+ HR guy. The leg kick and weight shift means there is definitely swing and miss in the bat, but he barrels up the ball pretty well

In the field, he has good hands and smooth hips that let him make all the plays at short, but he does not possess the ideal range you want from a shortstop. His arm strength can keep him on the left side of the infield without question, but some scouts feel his future is at third rather than short.

Ornelas is committed to play baseball at the University of Tennessee, which is not exactly a baseball powerhouse so there is a real possibility he can be signed even if not drafted until the fourth or fifth round. If I were in a draft room I would make a case for him to go in the late second or early third rounds. He will be a slow mover through the minors as his timing at the plate gets ironed out, but he has the upside of a future starter in the big leagues, but a likely future upside of a very good bench bat that can play three infield spots .