20-80 Word Scouting Reports, MLB Draft 2017 Part 3

Round three of scouting reports on players for the upcoming 2017 MLB Draft. Again, observations are a mix of my own and various scouting services:

Kyle Wright – RHP
6’4, 220
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 21.8
Junior at Vanderbilt
Last drafted: Never

To borrow a WWE reference, if you could build a pitcher from the ground up, he would look like Kyle Wright. Tall, well-proportioned, quick/long arm, clean delivery (though with a bit of recoil at the end). FB sits in the low-mid 90s, has two above average to plus breaking pitches that are very differentiated, a slider and curve. Probably can develop a changeup. Command has been bugaboo. Below average early in year, but has improved and so have his results.

Austin Beck – OF
6’1, 190
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.6
North Davidson HS, NC
Commitment: North Carolina

Obligatory (and completely unfair) Mike Trout comp. I saw a Wil Myers comp that might be closer. It’s true has just about the highest ceiling of a position player in the draft, but most areas of his game still need to be refined, which makes his floor relatively low as well. Awesome bat speed with thud, but busy swing and trouble with breaking recognition. Plus speed, and really good arm but needs work on outfield routes. Possibly a tough sign.

Keston Hiura – OF/2B
6’0, 185
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 20.10
Junior at UC Irvine
Last drafted: Never

One of, and possibly the, best college bats in the class. Hit tool ranges from 55-70, depending on who you talk to. Power has similar, if a bit lower, range. Lets ball travel deep and has electric bat speed with good loft. Leg raise and decent load on swing means he’ll need to continue to progress on pitch recognition. Defensively limited to LF and 2B, with 2B only a maybe due to persistently injured throwing arm.

Shane Baz – RHP
6’3, 190
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 17.11
Concordia Lutheran HS, TX
Commitment: TCU

Another two-way prospect in a draft full of them. He’ll be drafted as a pitcher. Atypical Texas HS pitcher a bit in that he’ll be drafted for across the board stuff, not merely superior arm. Which is not to say he can’t throw hard, he can. Good arm strength and arm speed, with long extension to power 92-95+ mph FB that has life. Even more impressive, throws 4 distinct offspeed pitches: slider, cutter, curve, and change. All can be quality.

David Peterson – LHP
6’6, 240
B/T: L/L
Draft age: 21.9
Junior at Oregon
Last drafted: 2014, 28th (Boston)

Unlike many bigger pitchers, Peterson exhibits repeatable mechanics and usually strong command of a heavy 89-92 mph fastball. He also throws a slider and curve, and while neither of them are plus pitches, both are effective when spotted effectively. Has a good changeup he hasn’t used much. Does a great job driving pitches in on right handed batters. Excellent at sequencing.

Nick Allen – SS
5’9, 165
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.8
Francis W. Parker HS, CA
Commitment: Southern California

Yes, Allen is 5’9 with spikes on. Getting past that, there’s not much to not like about him. Glove at shortstop is double plus and he has above average arm strength to match. At the plate, he has more pop than you’d think, though it is of line drive quality and he probably won’t be a big home run threat in pro ball. Speed is somewhere between plus and double plus. Popular comp is Jose Altuve.

Tanner Burns – RHP
6’0, 205
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 18.5
Decatur HS, AL
Commitment: Auburn

Shorter, but not slight by any means. Similar physical profile to Brewers’ prospect Taylor Williams, though not similar mechanics. Repeats high 3/4 delivery with good arm strength and arm speed. Fastball sits 92-94, can touch 97. Very good curve that is throw quite firmly. Feel for changeup. Command should come.

Quentin Holmes – OF
6’2, 180
B/T: R/R
Draft age: 17.11
Monsignor McClancy Memorial HS, NY
Commitment: Mississippi State

Probably fastest player in draft, with an 80 marker on his speed. This speed also allows him to project as a plus to double plus center fielder, though the arm is just adequate. Has a lot of work to do in the batter’s box. He won’t need to hit a lot to provide value, and he probably never hits for much power either way, but he has to hit some. Whether he’s able to do that or not is TBD.

MJ Melendez – C
6’1, 175
B/T: L/R
Draft age: 18.6
Westminster Christian HS, FL
Commitment: Florida International

Has the tools to be a Gold Glove-caliber catcher. Great arm strength, and a quick twitch athlete who moves enviably well behind the dish. Also regarded as mature and a good on the field coach for his pitchers. Plus raw power and good bat speed but swing needs workl. High school catchers have a low success rate for panning out, so buyer beware.

Cal Mitchell – OF/1B
6’1, 190
B/T: L/L
Draft age: 18.3
Rancho Bernardo HS, CA
Commitment: San Diego

One of the best looking swings in the draft. When he’s right, can drive the ball to all fields. Not outstanding power potential, but if he maintains a high enough average, should be playable in LF/1B. He’s limited to those two positions due to below average arm strength and speed.

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