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2023 MLB Draft Profile: Nolan Schanuel

Nolan Schanuel
(Florida Atlantic Athletics)

2023 MLB Draft Profile: Nolan Schanuel

The Angels used their first-round pick to select 1B Nolan Schanuel out of FAU. Many people including myself weren’t expecting Schanel to go this high. Will he be another failed prospect for the Angels, or can he maybe become the first baseman of the future? Let’s look at his MLB Draft profile and find out.

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 50 | Run: 45 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

Now just because this may have been a slight reach, especially considering the position he plays. I do not think Nolan Schanuel is a bad prospect at all–he, in fact, may be one of the better pure hitters in this entire draft class.

His first two years at Florida Atlantic were simply dominant. A slash line of .357/.462/.619 over that time proves that and signifies his ability to drive the ball. From the left side of the plate, Nolan Schanuel has about as smooth of a swing as you could want from a college swing.

He allows himself to get his hands through the zone quickly and make hard contact on pitchers many other hitters could only hope to foul off. Schanuel not only has the quick swing, but a smart and patient approach to go with it.

He walked well more than he struck out and showed the ability to find and drive his pitch. He also doesn’t seem to be as pull-happy as many other first basemen in this class, in large part due to his approach, which isn’t focused solely on the long ball.

That doesn’t mean the power isn’t completely there though. In fact, we’ve seen it improve with Schanuel over the past two years, going from 11 to 16 home runs in just two years. Overall, he’s the complete package as a hitter and could easily find success at the higher levels.

My only concern is the struggles he has shown of late in the Cape Cod league. Although not too big a deal, a guy with his apparent hit tool struggling at that level isn’t something you love to see.

Defensively, there isn’t really too much for me to go into. He has shown an ability to play in the corner outfield but I don’t see him moving from first, where he should be an average defender. But that’s not why you drafted him. It’s that elite hit tool he can potentially develop.

I see some Freddie Freeman in Nolan Schanuel. Hell, if he can be half as good as him, I’m sure the Angels will take it. A smart hitter who focuses on hard contact to all parts of the field. If that doesn’t sound like Freeman, then I don’t know what does.

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