Player: Josh Hart
Drafted by: Baltimore Orioles (No. 37 Overall)
DOB: 10/2/1994 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6'1"/185 lbs
School: Parkview HS (Lilburn, Ga.)
College Commitment: Georgia Tech
Polished high school players are a rarity in the draft. Josh Hart certainly fits that mold with a very pretty swing from the left side of the plate, bat speed and running speed. His ceiling isn't great, which is why he has the profile of a second-day selection, but he will be a solid-average player for a long time.
Coming from Parkview High School and committed to Georgia Tech, Hart has a prototypical profile for a leadoff hitter. Given his age and still-developing skills, there will be no rush to get him to the big leagues. He is the kind of player every franchise wants and has so much trouble finding.
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, natural feel for hitting; plus bat speed and control through the zone; short, compact stroke that makes a lot of solid contact; starts with open stance and very little stride, so power will likely be gap-to-gap; shows ability to hit ball the other way; projects to hit for average.
Small frame and line-drive swing not geared for much home run power; bat speed will lead to some home runs but won't be more than fringe-average pop; extra-base hits are likely to come from legs and ability to spray ball all over.
Plate Discipline: 45/55
Very good eye at the plate for someone this young; feels the strike zone well and will improve when he gets experience against advanced pitching; bat control is huge asset, as it allows him to not chase poor pitches; due to limited power, will have to be a big on-base threat to reach his ceiling.
Near-elite level speed; likely to keep up the pace well into his career thanks to athleticism and already-filled-out frame; solid baserunner already but will have to learn how to steal bases off the pitcher; could steal 30-plus bags per season at peak.
Still a little raw in center field; has to read the ball off the bat but has sharp instincts and will have plus range thanks to speed; glove work is solid, though he won't be an elite defensive player; above-average center fielder at peak.
Fringe-average arm strength that won't improve; can sail throws from the outfield more often than you like; accurate and able to hit the cutoff man; it will play in center field, even if it is in the bottom half of the league.
MLB Player Comparison: Denard Span
Projection: Top-of-the-order hitter with plus defense in center field.
MLB ETA: 2018
Chance of Signing: 75 percent
Hart brings a solid all-around skill set to the table already and could move quickly thanks to some polish to his game. His commitment to Georgia Tech shouldn't deter teams from keeping him out of professional baseball.
In a draft with a lot of uncertainty, Hart is a player who, while risky, comes with a certain level of probability. It would be an upset if he didn't get his career started right now.
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