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. Jace Laviolette, OF — Texas A&M
One of the more physical players in this class, Laviolette shows over the fence power to all fields and a powerful left-handed swing. The 6-foot-5-inch Aggie hit 21 homers as a true freshman and stole 18 bases along the way.
Laviolette personified the lefty-loop zone. The bat path is a joy to watch, and conducive to utilizing his double-plus raw power. LaViolette has fluid motions at the plate and violent hips that clear, making way to significant thump. Already very strong, LaViolette figures to be one of the slugging mainstays in the class. In terms of his approach, LaViolette posted well-above average chase rates as a teenager, and although his contact rates leave a bit to be desired, he has a ton of time to polish up those skills.
Defensively, he’s destined for a corner where his solid average speed projection and average throwing arm should stick long-term.
2. 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 one of 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, and he can fall victim to chasing fastballs above the letters. The bat is the calling card here, and the exit velocities and bat-to-ball metrics suggest a mature slugger going forward.
Petry will need to prove his value on defense as scouts are split whether he’ll stick at third base or be forced over to first base. He’s played a bit in the outfield too, and has looked reliable in left field. If he can keep his athleticism and project even an average defender moving forward, he’s got a shot to go very high.
3. Chase Shores, RHP — LSU
Despite his 6-foot-8-inch, 220-pound frame, 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. Unfortunately, Shores underwent Tommy John surgery in April of 2023, and will miss the 2024 season. He’ll have the entire 2025 campaign to prove he’s the Top 10 pick he looked to be as a teenager as a freshman.
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. 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. His bat-to-ball skills are absolutely fantastic, though he can get a little over-anxious and chase at the plate. Irish ranks among the best in college baseball in making contact with pitches that are in the strike zone.
Irish has an above average arm and is a physical specimen 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 tools scream, and to this point the hit tool as proven awfully advanced, he’s got a shot to go early in 2025.
5. Devin Taylor, OF — Indiana
Taylor is a prototype spark plug with a beautifully violent left-handed swing and premium bat speed. He’s shown a grand willingness to take his walks and let his athleticism play on the base paths. Taylor has 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. Given his size, home runs probably won’t be his carrying tool, but it’s certainly in his bag of tricks.
Taylor is a solid 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 can do a little bit of everything and really kick-starts the Hoosiers on both sides of the ball.
6. 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 a selective, keen eye at the plate. He takes his walks and is a menace on the base paths. Throw in just enough raw power to force pitchers to be careful with him and you have a dangerous profile.
One of his greatest tools might be his fiery persona and bulldog mentality on the dirt. Everyone knows when Cannarella is in the lineup.
Cannarella has fantastic arm strength and figures to stick on the left side long-term. He’s also played a good bit of centerfield for the Tigers. He projects a above average bat and an above average glove. His left-handed swing is revered by scouts.
7. 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 and a real starting pitcher profile.
8. 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.
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. As a freshman he showed massive exit velocity potential, and found the barrel more than most of his peers.
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. Nolan Schubart, OF — Oklahoma State
Schubart is one of the most powerful bats in this loaded class full of home run potential. At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, he’s got a long frame with plenty of projection remaining and an abundance of strength. Schubart generates excellent bat speed and has a nice and easy left-handed stroke with good loft to it. He ranked among college baseball’s elite in both max exit velocity and 90th-percentile exit velocities in 2023.
The overall hit tool does have some bat-to-ball concerns, though Schubart has done a nice job of staying inside the strike zone and waiting for his pitch. If the hit tool ticks up like some envision it will, he’s got first round upside and will be one of the more physical impact bats available.
Defensively, Schubart could end up in a corner or at first base. He’s a fringy runner with an average arm.
- MLB: Top 100 Prospects led by Holliday, Caminero, Chourio, pair of Rangers - February 21, 2024
- What we learned from the first weekend in college baseball - February 19, 2024
- Arizona Diamondbacks Top 30 Prospects - February 19, 2024