Very few players who come into Calvert Hall College High School have the talent to start on the varsity team as freshmen. Troy Stokes was an exception.
Stokes, the Brewers' fourth-round selection in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, was impressive enough to earn a starting spot right off the bat, said Calvert Hall coach Lou Eckerl.
"Even when he came here as a ninth-grader, we could see the potential and the ability that was there for him," Eckerl said. "It's very unusual for a freshman to come in and start for us. He was at that level. He came in and started for us and has become a contributor for all four years."
Stokes, a Baltimore native, was the center fielder and leadoff hitter for the Cardinals. MLB.com's scouting report on Stokes, the No. 116 overall pick, notes that his biggest strength is his speed, but that he has potential for all five of his tools to be average or better.
Eckerl echoed that report, calling Stokes a "very complete player" but noting that his speed is the most remarkable aspect off the game.
"We liked him at leadoff because if he got on, he was going to steal second and third, maybe even steal home for us," Eckerl said.
The high school coach described Stokes as a hard-working player who has a ton of upside. In addition to his speed, he has an above average arm and hits for some power.
But even with all his talent, Stokes has remained humble throughout his high school years.
"He's a pretty quiet guy," Eckerl said. "He's not real flamboyant or flashy. He's down-to-earth, approachable.
"Each year he continued to get bigger, stronger and better, and he went about it in the proper way. We wanted him to work on his steals, so he ran indoor track. He's not afraid to get in the weight room. He's always doing something with baseball."
Scouts say that the 5-foot-8 Stokes has a "very advanced approach" at the plate.
"He's a smaller kid but a really athletic defensive center fielder," MLB.com analyst Callis said. "The bat's still coming along, but he's still improving. If everything fits together, you might have a center fielder and a leadoff hitter here."
Stokes is committed to the University of Maryland. Eckerl said he was unsure whether Stokes was leaning toward signing with the Brewers or attending college.
The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon CT.
Caitlin Swieca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less