Player: Conrad Gregor
Drafted by: Houston Astros (No. 107 overall)
DOB: 2/27/1992 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6'3"/215 lbs
Previously Drafted: 2010: 40th round by Chicago White Sox
Conrad Gregor is one of those college prospects you find every year—Fresno State's Aaron Judge is the most notable in this class—where the raw tools never seem to match the performance. He is going to be taken much higher than the 40th round, where he went three years ago.
Sometimes players are going to dazzle before games and leave you wanting more when the action counts. That is not to say that Gregor is without skills, as he is a good hitter with plate discipline, but you need to show more than that if you are a first-base-only prospect.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, where 50 is average, with the current score first and projected score second.
Solid swing mechanics; decent bat speed but has an unusual stance where his front foot is almost pointed backwards before he kicks toward the plate, slowing him down; he can drive the ball with a good bat path and control; can get beat against good velocity, especially on the inner half.
Gregor's swing path and frame would seem to lead to more power, but he has never hit more than three homers in a season at Vanderbilt; lack of elite bat speed and footwork hurts home run pop; still believe he can show some pop in the big leagues but won't be more than fringe-average.
Plate Discipline: 45/55
Confident approach at the plate; good feel for the strike zone; pitch-recognition skills are still developing; can be fooled by breaking balls down in the zone; should draw his share of walks and get on base at a solid rate.
Surprising speed given large frame; not a burner down the line but will show average run times; smarts and instincts help speed play up; could steal 10 bases per year.
Athleticism at first base; very good defender at position that doesn't require it; good lateral movement and quick-twitch reactions; not likely to be elite, Gold Glove-type at the position but will be in upper tier of first basemen.
Fringy arm strength limits him to first base, though he could move to left field and be acceptable out there; has to be quick on turn to double play throwing from the right side due to limited throwing arm.
MLB Player Comparison: Daric Barton
Projection: Solid defensive first baseman who can hit for average and get on base with limited power potential.
MLB ETA: 2015
Chances of Signing: 65%
Despite his relatively high level of probability, Gregor could be a candidate to return to Vanderbilt for his senior season in 2013. He is not likely to be taken on the first two days, limiting his signing-bonus potential.
By returning to school, Gregor can prove once and for all that he will hit for power in games and become a second-day selection in 2014. With that said, considering how advanced he is as a hitter, teams might be willing to go a bit above their usual comfort zone to land him.