With the June Draft less than a month away, it's time to start talking about who are sleepers in this draft. These are players who may not be picked in the first or second rounds, but could end up being stars nonetheless.
Joliet Catholic Academy (Joliet, IL) catcher Nick Dalesandro could be one of these players.
Dalesandro is committed to Purdue and is expected to be selected in the Top 10 rounds of this draft, with a possibility of him going in the Top 5.
The St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels, and Pittsburgh Pirates are among the teams who have scouted Dalesandro, according to a source close to the situation.
Dalesandro is one of the best dual-threats in the nation, both pitching and catching. Other clubs have scouted Dalesandro as a pitcher, though catching appears to be his best position.
Defensively, Dalesandro may be one of the best catchers in the country. He has pop times of 1.80, which is considered to be extremely low. His defense is highly touted by PrepBaseballReport.com:
Defensively...rocket for arm, impresses with easy carry to second base, extremely accurate, threw out runner from knees at third base with right-handed hitter in box (third strike and third out on the pitch)...Elite-level catch and throw prospect...Elite national prospect.
The evaluator at Prep Baseball Report compared Dalesandro's defense to that of Padres' catcher Austin Hedges.
What makes Dalesandro a possibility to be a real steal in this draft is his bat, which was a main question coming into the season. On March 20, when the evaluator at Prep Baseball Report scouted Dalesandro, he hit seven batting practice balls for homers, while showing improved plate discipline and better timing. Dalesandro's bat may be the most underrated part of his game and could make him a top prospect quickly.
Dalesandro has also pitched and some evaluators believe that is where he will end up. He ranges from 90-91 mph on the hill and has hit 92 in the past. He has good breaking pitches and could project to be a Major League pitcher in the future.
The combination of all these aspects of Dalesandro's game make him a draft prospect to keep an eye on as he continues to rise up the draft boards.