Hagen Danner 2017 MLB Draft Profile

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SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, PA - AUGUST 28: Pitcher Shoto Totsuka #13 of the Japan team from Hamamatsu City, Japan pitches to Hagen Danner #24 of the West team from Huntington Beach, California during the first inning of the Little League World Series championship game on August 28, 2011 in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The West team defeated the team from Japan 2-1. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Hagen Danner 2017 MLB Draft Profile

Overview

Hagen Danner, and 18-year-old righty out of Huntington Beach, California, is one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft. Danner has actually been garnering national attention, from the pros and from colleges for some time. When he was just 12, Danner starred for Huntington Beach’s Oceanview Little League squad, and hit a home run to help his team capture the Little League World Series title against Japan. He squared off with Japan again as a member of Team USA in the 2015 U-18 World Baseball Cup.

These days, Danner finds himself as a top MLB draft prospect. He’s a true two-way talent; he could find major league success on the mound, or behind the plate. Danner was named a 2017 Rawlings-Perfect Game First-Team All-American, and a California All-Region First-Team member. He’s been committed to UCLA since he was a high school freshman and is excited for college, but could go pro if drafted high enough.

Strengths

On the mound, Danner is already a mature pitcher. His fastball sits in the low- to mid-90s with good life. His curveball is well-developed and features 12-6 action, and his changeup is improving. Behind the plate, he’s a power-hitting catcher who can also hit for average. Such players are rare, and a MLB team may decide he offense as catcher is more valuable than his considerable pitching abilities. Either way, Danner looks to have a bright future ahead of him.

Weaknesses

Danner is still young, and young arms are hard to predict. While there is every reason to believe he’ll succeed as a professional, baseball offers few guarantees for high school pitchers. Danner is also a very good student and, while that may be beneficial to a major league team in the long run, he’ll likely be very hard to sign if drafted out of high school. While he wants to play in the majors one day, he also wants the college experience. He’ll be hard to pry away from UCLA.

MLB Comparison

J.T. Realmuto as a catcher, and Aaron Nola as a pitcher.

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