With the 20th overall pick, the Blue Jays could select… Nolan Schanuel
5 months ago
The Blue Jays have a type.
While many of the first basemen in the organization have power, they also have a tendency to hit for a high average. Think about Peyton Williams at the University of Iowa, or Spencer Horwitz his entire professional career, or even Alan Roden, who has moved to the outfield.
Today’s prospect, Nolan Schanuel, is a blend of all three of those guys, and that may be why he will end up going 20th overall to the Jays.
Nolan Schanuel’s bio:
Nolan Schanuel is a 6’4”, 220 lbs first baseman who spent his collegiate career with Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. He also spent his high school years at Park Vista Community High School, a little bit north of Boca Raton.
Like all college players, Schanuel went undrafted in the 2020 draft and was ranked as Baseball America’s 252nd best draft prospect in 2020.
Three years later, and the 21-year-old first baseman ranks as MLB Pipeline’s 26th best draft prospect, and Baseball America’s 29th best draft prospect. Moreover, in Baseball America’s latest mock draft, the publication has him going to the Blue Jays.
Since 2018, the Blue Jays have drafted three players from Florida Atlantic. Right-handed pitcher Matt Harris in the 33rd round of the 2018 draft, Eric Rivera in the 14th round of the 2019 draft, and Blake Sanderson in the 31st round of the same draft.
Nolan Schanuel’s statistics:
Schanuel was the real deal immediately for Florida Atlantic, as he slashed .343/.444/.576 with 11 homers in 244 plate appearances. Moreover, he had a higher BB% (11.5%) than K% (8.6%), which is a pretty common trend for the Floridian.
He had a great sophomore season, slashing .369/.477/.658 with 16 homers in 277 plate appearances. His BB% increased to 14.1%, while his K% improved to 7.9%.
Schanuel’s junior year was even better, slashing an absurd .447/.615/.868 with 19 homers in 289 plate appearances. He had an utterly insane 24.6 BB% and a 4.8 K%. It’s just hard to fathom how good those numbers are, even if it was in Conference USA and not the SEC.
For his entire collegiate career, he had a .386/.516/.698 slash line with 46 homers in 810 plate appearances, with a 17 BB% and a 7 K%. His entire summer league numbers were more normal, as he slashed .254/.411/.373 with four homers in 327 plate appearances. Still, he had a higher BB% (17.7%) than K% (13.2%)
His batting average ranked second behind West Virginia’s J.J. Wetherholt. His slugging percentage of .615 was the best, and it wasn’t even close, beating Dylan Crews’ .567. His slugging percentage of .868 ranked second, only behind Brigham Young University’s Austin Deming.
Anyway that you slice it, these numbers are similar to what I’d put up on MLB the Show on rookie. Just insane. The only way he could’ve raised his stock more is if he played at a bigger school in a better conference like the SEC or the ACC. Still, Schanuel is insane.
Nolan Schanuel’s tools:
Stats are one thing, but what makes Schanuel so good? Well for starters, he has an advanced eye at the plate, which is pretty damn obvious with 196 walks to 100 strikeouts in college plus summer league.
Not just that, but he does a fantastic job of making contact, basically never swinging and missing in the zone, and only missing 3% of all fastballs in his collegiate career.
With that being said, he’s definitely a hit first type of prospect, but still has some power in his bat as evident by his home run totals. He’s similar to Spencer Horwitz in that regard, who’s more well known for his ability to hit for average and draw a walk.
Although he’s a natural first baseman, Schanuel did get some reps in the outfield this season and in the 2022 Cape Cod League. Furthermore, some scouts believe he is athletic enough to play in the outfield, which would instantly make him that much more valuable.
He’s not a great runner, grading anywhere between below average to average. Speaking of grades…
Nolan Schanuel’s grades:
Like always, let’s look at his Baseball America and MLB Pipeline grades.
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Will the Blue Jays draft Nolan Schanuel?:
While Schanuel played in a weaker conference, those numbers are insane. As I write this section, I’m still trying to wrap my head around reaching base 61.5% of the time.
I definitely think Schanuel could be available, but drafting him would be the opposite of drafting for need. The Blue Jays have one of the best first baseman in the league in Vladimir Guerrero Jr., but they also have Spencer Horwitz, Rainer Nuñez, and Damiano Palmegiani in the upper minors.
Not just that, but when looking at Schanuel’s numbers, I immediately remembered back to Peyton Williams’ numbers from his last season at the University of Iowa. Granted, Schanuel has a better hit tool, while Williams has a lot more raw power.
It once again comes down to if Schanuel is the best player available when the Jays step up to the podium. One thing that could help him is if they see him being able to play the outfield, as that’d boost evaluations of him quite a bit.
Either way, he’ll be a fun player to track even if he doesn’t get drafted by the Blue Jays.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.
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