Draft Profile: Tyler Stephenson

Draft Profile: Tyler Stephenson

*** With the 2015 First-Year Player Draft fast approaching, we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class. ***

Name: Tyler Stephenson
Position: C
School: Kennesaw Mountain HS (Ga.)
Rank on Draft Top 200: 18
DOB: 08/16/1996
Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6'4" Weight: 210 lbs.
College commitment: Georgia Tech

Tools
Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale
30: Well below average
40: Below average
50: Average
60: Above average
70-80: Well above average

Hit: 45
Power: 55
Run: 40
Arm: 60
Field: 55
Overall: 55

Scouting report
Scouts have bemoaned the lack of catching in this Draft, so Stephenson's emergence this spring qualifies as a pleasant surprise. Some evaluators liked him more as a pitcher last summer -- he has a 90-mph fastball and a hard slider -- but now he's the consensus best backstop available and a dark-horse candidate to go No. 1 overall to the Diamondbacks. Clearly a better defender than Betts, Stephenson is quite advanced for a high schooler. His strong hands and arm translate into quality receiving and throwing skills, and he has surprising agility for a 6-foot-4, 210-pounder. Stephenson's combination of strength, bat speed and loft in his right-handed swing translate into huge raw power. There are some concerns about his ability to make contact against pro-level pitching, however, because his swing can get long. His frame and skills remind scouts of Matt Wieters, and Stephenson will follow his path to Georgia Tech if he doesn't turn pro.

MLB comp: Matt Wieters

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.