Prospect Talk

Prospect Spotlight: Lonnie White Jr, Ben Kudrna, Daylen Lile

Lonnie White Jr, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (64th overall 2021 FYPD)

A three-sport star in high school, the Pirates lured White to sign with them rather than play wide receiver in college. He’s very athletic and toolsy, but also raw, many feeling he’ll benefit from focusing on baseball only going forward. At 6’3” and 212 lbs, Lonnie is the ideal physical size to play baseball and has an impressive power and speed package already. It’s his hit tool that will need the most work, needing reps and experience to spin to improve plate discipline and further unlock his ability. The hit tool does show promise and while it’s difficult to unlock another level, he has the bat speed and swing plane to be an effective hitter. The raw power is well ahead of the game power as he has the strength to muscle balls out but again would benefit from more reps and exposure to professional spin and velocity. The journey to the majors can be a long one for a high school prospect, but in Lonnie’s case, the need for reps might make the journey even longer. However, the ability is there to be a plus major league regular and 5 category rotisserie contributor is there, so he’s an intriguing prospect for dynasty supplemental drafts.

The scouting grades are what White could do at max potential, but there is considerable projection in this profile and risk especially as he graduates to the higher levels of the minors.

Scouting Grades:

Hit Tool Raw Power Game Power Speed Field Future Value
45 60 50 60 55 50


Ben Kudrna, RHP, Kansas City Royals (43rd overall 2021 FYPD)

The Royals opened their draft signing first-rounder Frank Mozzicato to an under-slot deal, then went and spent the saving on Kudrna with an $3 million dollar deal against a $1.73 million dollar slot value pick. Ben has the ideal size for a pitcher at 6’3” and 195 lbs and offers a clean and repeatable delivery releasing the ball from a 3/4s arm slot. His fastball sits low to mid 90’s and offers a changeup with fade and feel that can miss bats or surprise in the zone. He also has a low 80’s slider that is a work in progress, though reports suggest he can increase velocity to both the fastball and slider when needed. Mozzicato and Kudrna were both assigned to the Arizona Fall League this winter, and some live looks suggested Kudrna was as impressive as the Royals first-round pick and could have more raw ability. After all, spreading signing bonuses out is a common strategy for teams looking to build depth, and Kansas City seems to have done that successfully this past draft season.

While there is risk in all high school pitching prospects, Kudrna offers the tools to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter at the top level.

Scouting Grades:

Fastball Slider Changeup Control Overall
55 45 55 50 50


Daylen Lile, OF, Washington Nationals (47th overall 2021 FYPD)

Not blessed with elite power or blazing speed, Daylen Lile does offer a compact swing that he uses to consistently power line drives to all fields. He possesses one of the better hit tools among high school prospects taken in this past year’s draft and also has a solid plate approach and knowledge of the strike zone. The bat speed is at least above average and a strong hit tool mixed with a quick bat often leads to at least average power. That’s still a projection at this point, we should see gap to gap doubles power but if all goes well that could be backed up with double-digit home run power as well. On the bases, Lile is a capable runner more than fast but he should steal bases if allowed.

While Lile could develop into a player who offers enough of everything to be useful in fantasy leagues, there’s also a risk he becomes a 4th OFer at the highest level.

Hit Tool Raw Power Game Power Speed Field Future Value
55 50 45 50 40 45


The Author

Ken Balderston

Ken Balderston

20+ years of fantasy baseball experience & currently only playing in dynasty leagues. Christian, proud father of 3, husband to the strongest woman in the world, accountant, golfer, cook.

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