EDITOR’S NOTE: The following rankings and evaluations by FSS PLUS are based on subjective analysis and industry sources, and do not influence, are not influenced by, or are affiliated with the opinions and reports of Future Stars Series scouting and development staff.
The 2025 MLB Draft has a lot of sudden stars in college baseball represented at the top. Headlined by South Carolina slugger Ethan Petry, it appears as though it’ll be another strong year for college bats with plenty of college arms showing big league stuff this year as true freshmen. Of course, the arms generally develop a bit later and surge during their sophomore campaigns. Notably missing from this list will be high school seniors who are draft-eligible as 19 year olds. They’ll once again be eligible in 2025 should they go unselected. Names that could potentially fit in that bucket include Aidan Miller, Blake Mitchell, Travis Sykora, Walker Martin, Trent Caraway, Matthew Dallas, Jeffrey “Mac” Heuer, Chance Mako, Francesco Capocci and Aidan Smith, among others. But of course, let’s first figure out if any of those names make it to campus.
1. Ethan Petry, 1B/3B — South Carolina
Petry was a hot prospect in high school, and teams did throw money his way to go to pro ball, but ultimately he felt he could increase his value by going to school. That has certainly been the case as he was without question the most impressive freshman in the country in 2023. Petry possesses massive raw power and he’s already tapping into most of it in games. He couples that with a reasonably polished hit tool, though he is a pull-happy hitter who works to lift the ball. The bat is the calling card here, and the exit velocities and swing decisions suggest a mature slugger going forward. Petry will need to prove his value on defense as scouts are split whether he’ll stick at 3B or be forced over to 1B. If he can keep his athleticism and project even an average defender moving forward, he’s got a shot to go very high.
2. Chase Shores, RHP — LSU
Despite his size, Shores has extreme athleticism on the mound with fluidity, rhythm and a feel for pitching. Considering his strike-throwing ability and ability to repeat, Shores projects to start, especially as he continues to get stronger. Shores is already up to 100 mph with steep angle and he attacks the zone. He offers a short curveball that has taken definitive strides in the last calendar year, and now features a changeup he can spot to LHH with arm speed and some separation. Shores is a high-watch and is opening eyes. He was limited toward the end of the 2023 season with some arm fatigue, something that’ll need to be monitored the next few years.
3. Devin Taylor, OF — Indiana
Taylor is a prototype spark plug with a beautifully violent left-handed swing and premium bat speed. He’s got significant raw power, especially to the pull-side, though he’s shown the ability to get into the baseball and sizzle one over the fence to the backside too. He’s an average runner and could stick in left field going forward. There’s still some projection in the body too with long limbs and sloping shoulders, though he is a barrel-chested, powder-keg built frame. Taylor has solid bat to ball skills and brings an approach well beyond his years to the plate.
4. Ike Irish, C — Auburn
A highly-recruited prepster out of Michigan in 2022, Irish was one of the premier high school catching prospects available in that draft. It’s a tough demographic to get drafted though. Since arriving to Auburn, he’s shown off double-plus raw power and a willingness to pull the ball with authority, hitting high-level SEC pitching consistently and catching a staff of good arms. Irish has an above average arm and is a physical specimin behind the plate, giving up the body to block balls in the dirt and keep runners at bay. If he hits enough to let all his tool scream, and to this point the hit tool as proven awfully advanced, he’s got a shot to go early in 2025.
5. Cam Cannarella, SS — Clemson
Cannarella instantly became one of Clemson’s best hitters after stepping on campus in the fall of 2022. He possesses elite bat-to-ball skills and enough raw power to force pitchers to be careful when pitching to him. Cannarella has fantastic arm strength on the dirt and figures to stick on the left side long-term. He’s also played a good bit of centerfield for the Tigers. He projects an above average bat and an above average glove. His left-handed swing is revered by scouts.
6. Jack O’Connor, RHP — Virginia
O’Connor has a steep, downhill attack to the plate from a short-arm release. The fastball has been up to 96, really impressing holding 94-95 over multiple innings, settling in 91-93 as he gets into later innings. He has a really deceptive breaking ball that tunnels off the fastball with solid depth in the mid-80s. He also works in a changeup. O’Connor has shown some of the best command of any freshman in the country and his strikeout totals should jump as he develops more feel for his breaking ball. It’s deceptive stuff.
7. Cade Fisher, LHP — Florida
Fisher has some of the best command in the 2025 class and it’s coming out of a low, deceptive three-quarter arm slot. While the fastball is just brushing the low 90s right now, Fisher’s believers see a guy that could eventually sit 92-94 at the next level from a low launch with carry. Fisher features a slider and a changeup, both of which are still a work in progress, though he does command both pitches reasonably well. The slider particularly tunnels well off the heat and has been an effective put-away pitch. Fisher has a lot of starter traits and a great projectable body.
8. Kyle McCoy, LHP — Maryland
McCoy is a prototype long-bodied southpaw with immense projection. The stuff isn’t overpowering yet, but McCoy will rush it up to 94 and sit 90-92 with impressive command and deception. His heater possesses plenty of arm-side run and sink. A low-80s slider is his current put-away weapon, playing beautifully off his cross-body delivery. McCoy’s low-80s changeup has been his go-to offering against tough right-handed bats. There’s huge upside here and time and added strength will really write his narrative. This is what they look like, as they say.
9. Jackson Chirello, OF — Kennesaw State
It’s hard to get much more projectable than a guy like Jackson Chirello. He’s a long, lanky, high-waisted athlete with a whippy left-handed swing built for damage. Chirello has played some time at third base, though some evaluators believe his frame and long strides will eventually fit best in the outfield. He possesses a strong arm that will play anywhere on the field. His 6-foot-5-inch frame will likely add upwards of 20 pounds of muscle before he becomes draft-eligible. There’s serious power potential here.
10. Cade Kurland, SS — Florida
Kurland pulled his name out of the 2022 draft and elected to enroll at the University of Florida early. He immediately became an impact hitter for the Gators, hitting and slugging his way into the middle of their lineup as a teenager. He shown considerable bat speed and power to all fields. Kurland is a barrel-chested middle infielder and is likely destined for second base as he matures, possibly third base if he outgrows the position. The bat and athlete are the calling card here. To this point, he’s been a high-level performer in one of the toughest conferences in the country.
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