Player: Riley Unroe
Drafted by: Tampa Bay Rays (No. 60 Overall)
DOB: 11/3/1995 (Age: 17)
Height/Weight: 6’0”/180 lbs
School: Desert Ridge High School (Ariz.)
Previously Drafted: N/A
Yet another top player from one of the most storied baseball programs in the country, Riley Unroe figures to go pretty high in this year's draft. Combining great speed, above-average defensive ability and switch-hitting, he should be a valued commodity, assuming he forgoes his commitment to USC.
Unroe has spent the past two summers playing for Team USA and has flashed incredible tools. While there are concerns about his bat, there aren't any about the total package he offers on defense, or his baserunning skills.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Quick, compact swing from the left side; longer, more powerful swing from the right side; shows great bat speed from both sides; little bit of bat wiggle from the left side; sound hitting mechanics, more so from the left side; not much present power, but has shown the strength to muscle balls deep; experience playing for Team USA got him some good exposure to premium velocity; fared decently against it; struggles with good breaking stuff, as do most high school hitters; potential to be .260-.275 hitter from both sides.
Has shown great raw power; yet to truly tap into it; needs to make more consistent contact if power is to fully develop; ceiling of 20-25 homers annually; more likely to hit 10-15 per season, although considering his other tools, that should be considered a bonus.
Above-average speed; complemented by just the right touch of aggressiveness; incredible quickness; explodes out of the box and off the base; timed at 6.4-6.6 in the 60-yard dash; speed plays well in the outfield too, allows him to get to just about anything hit his way; great baserunning instincts.
Incredible athleticism; could be an above-average defender at either shortstop or in center field; either way he'll man a spot up the middle; makes sense to give him a chance to prove himself at shortstop; great arm strength; very soft hands; good fundamentals; good footwork; above-average speed and great quickness play better in center field.
Has spent time on the mound at Desert Ridge; above-average arm strength that would be a better asset at shortstop; accurate throw; incredibly quick release.
MLB Player Comparison: Cliff Pennington
Projection: Bottom-of-the-lineup, defensive-minded shortstop; defensive WAR > offensive WAR.
MLB ETA: 2019
Chances of Signing: 65%
While Unroe would no doubt benefit from going to college, teams are always going to pay extra for above-average present defensive ability, great speed and switch-hitting. Unroe has all three tools, which mean's he'll cost extra-extra, but he could very well be worth the investment.