Player: Chad Pinder
Drafted by: Oakland Athletics (No. 71 Overall)
DOB: 3/29/1992 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6'2"/192 lbs
School: Virginia Tech
Previously Drafted: Never drafted (eligible for 2010 draft)
Chad Pinder is a prospect who has made himself into not only a legitimate draft candidate, but someone who will likely be taken early in the second round. He doesn't have one great tool—if he did, he would be in the first-round mix.
Instead, Pinder succeeds by being solid in almost every area. His offensive game is the one area of concern, not that he won't hit, but that his power doesn't profile well for third base. But he can hit for average and has a good glove.
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.
Very solid hit tool already and will be able to translate it into success against professional pitching; quick wrists and hands through the zone; controls the bat well and squares up good pitches on both sides of the plate; sprays the ball all over the field, unafraid to go the other way; should hit in the .280 range.
Quiet mechanics don't lead to much power projection; very little load and leg kick make him too reliant on upper body to drive the ball; ability to make contact could help him hit 12 to 15 homers per season, but will be primarily a doubles hitter.
Plate Discipline: 50/50
Smooth swing through the zone and excellent feel for hitting; could struggle against velocity early while he tailors his swing to professional pitching; recognizes pitches well and doesn't often chase out of the zone; should post solid OBP in career.
Below-average running speed; has some baserunning acumen, so could be more than just station to station; knows how to steal bases and could average a handful per season; limited range means it's unlikely he could move to second base.
Solid-average present defender; very good lateral movement to both sides and quick reaction times; soft hands give him ability to make even difficult plays seem routine; not likely to win a Gold Glove, but will be in the upper half of the league in defense.
Shows plus arm strength at third base; accuracy is above-average and could push him into plus defensive spectrum at peak; capable of making throws from the line and charging in on balls hit softly.
MLB Player Comparison: Placido Polanco
Projection: Solid-average everyday third baseman who hits for average and plays above-average defense.
MLB ETA: 2016
Chances of Signing: 80%
Even though this might be a little too optimistic a percentage, I really think that Pinder is the type of player a team will go above and beyond to get into its system. He is not an elite prospect by any stretch, but he has solid skill across the board, a natural feel for hitting, a good glove and polish to move quickly.
In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if Pinder goes a little higher than some of the experts are thinking because he has a good bat in a draft that is very light on hitting, especially from the college ranks.