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May 7, 2013

Scouting the Draft

Corner Infielders to Know

by Nick J. Faleris


The corner-infield position at the major-league level generally places a high level of import on offensive production. That means draft prospects that project to a corner are often viewed first as bats, with a secondary consideration given to their projected level of defensive contributions. This year’s draft class includes a wide variety of corner-infield bats, including some loud tools and some equally loud question marks.

Cream of the Crop

Kris Bryant | OF/CIF | University of San Diego
Height/Weight: 6-foot-5/218 pounds
B/T: R/R
Draft Day Age: 21 years, 5 months
Scouting Video

It seems as though it is getting more and more difficult to find true plus-plus power at the prospect ranks, so any time a player provides the potential for true elite power at the scholastic levels, he is bound to get a lot of attention. San Diego’s Kris Bryant is just such a talent, wowing evaluators this spring with his eye-popping home-run total (23 through this past weekend) en route to working his way into early-first round, and likely top-ten overall, consideration. Over the duration of his time with the Toreros, Bryant has moved from a close-legged setup to an extremely wide base, which has helped him to steady his head and simplify the delivery of the barrel to ball. Additionally, Bryant has learned to improve his pole-to-pole power by meeting the ball more consistently at high-leverage points in its path, which has also helped him to cut down the empty swings. His swing can still get long and grooved, but teams will gladly live with some swing-and-miss if it comes legit 35-plus power potential.

Bryant has rotated between third base, right field, and first base, with right field seeming to be the most logical entry point for him as a professional. He moves well enough to cover line to gap and possesses the arm strength to hold down the nine spot. Additionally, Bryant is a capable defender at first base, but his ultimate defensive position is going to be a secondary concern for any drafting team. In a class with a deeper reserve of college bats, or at a time where power was less of a premium, Bryant might project closer to the mid-first round. But given the composition of the draft class, and the thirst for thunder currently defining the prospect landscape, it would be a surprise if he lasted past the first ten picks this June.

Dominic Smith | 1B/OF | Serra HS (Los Angeles, CA)
Height/Weight: 6-foot-1/200 pounds
B/T: L/L
Draft Day Age: 17 years, 11 months
Scouting Video

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Bew... (05/07)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Scouting the Draft: Ca... (05/01)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Scouting the Draft: Mi... (05/14)
Next Article >>
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (05/07)

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