Player: Matt McPhearson
Drafted by: Arizona Diamondbacks (No. 120 overall)
DOB: 4/18/1995 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 5'10"/170 lbs
School: Riverdale Baptist HS (Columbia, Md.)
College Commitment: Miami
McPhearson is one of the most exciting raw talents on the position-player side of the coin in the 2013 MLB draft. He is a project, without question, but he also has the tools to be a plus-plus defender in center field with solid offensive capabilities.
After showing off his speed at the Perfect Game National Showcase last year, McPhearson has been fighting to keep his name high on the list of draft boards. There is no doubt about his ability to run, but he is still learning to handle a bat to the best of his abilities.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is average, with the current score first and projected score second.
Good bat speed; straight-up, open stance before loading; some uppercut in swing likely to lead to swing-and-miss issues; will dip his back shoulder a little bit, leading to some lazy pop-ups; if he can tone down the need to hit the ball in the air, he could turn into a solid hitter with average and some OBP skills.
Despite uppercut swing, doesn't have muscle to consistently drive the ball out with authority; could be a big doubles and triples hitter because of speed; home run pop likely won't be better than fringy; could tinker with swing to keep bat head in zone, generate more line-drive contact and take advantage of skills.
Plate Discipline: 40/50
Decent ability to read pitchers already; will continue to improve, though true test will come against quality velocity and off-speed stuff; always going to have high strikeout total with present swing; could draw enough walks to keep on-base percentage at respectable rates, though never going to be elite.
Blazing speed on the bases and in center field; should be big-time base stealer with experience; has the potential to swipe bags off of pitcher or beat out good throws from catcher; given frame and projection, should maintain present speed throughout peak years.
Very good center fielder; range is plus already with the potential to improve; uses speed to make plays now, but will be able to adapt in time to read the bat off the ball and position himself to save his legs; legitimate Gold Glove potential with the leather.
Decent arm strength and accuracy for center field; doesn't have much velocity on throws and will put too much air under it, but makes the throws he has to and should improve in time; calling card is glove and range, but won't embarrass himself with throwing arm.
MLB Player Comparison: Ben Revere
Projection: Leadoff hitter with speed, fringy power and plus defense in center field on first-division team.
MLB ETA: 2017
Chances of Signing: 60%
McPhearson has been sliding a bit this spring due to serious questions about his hit tool. He is committed to the University of Miami and could be inclined to go to school in order to move into the first-day mix three years from now.
But considering that McPhearson's stock is still pretty high, not to mention the fact that he will still be able to get a nice signing bonus, the odds are still fairly good that he will forgo college to get into professional baseball right away.