Player: Torii Hunter Jr.
Drafted by: Detroit Tigers (No. 1,056 overall)
DOB: 6/7/1995 (Age: 17)
Height/Weight: 6'1"/175 lbs
School: Prosper (Texas) HS
College Commitment: Notre Dame
It is strange to think that Torii Hunter has a son eligible for the draft, but that is just another way to make you feel a little bit older. The younger Hunter is one of the best raw athletes in this draft, with a football scholarship to the University of Notre Dame.
Hunter Jr. also plans to play baseball in college, which will help him get drafted when his name comes up again in three years. He will hear his name called at some point in this year's draft, but it won't be soon enough to get him out of college, as he broke his leg back in January, and scouts haven't seen him play since last year.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Raw is the word you will often hear associated with Hunter; his refinement and ability at the plate need a ton of work, but he is such a great athlete, with some bat speed and plenty of projection, that you can see an average big league hitter.
Slight frame but has plenty of power in his arms and gets good drive through his legs; needs to add muscle to catch up to velocity; could easily have average big league power with some grooming.
Plate Discipline: 30/50
Some instincts and feel for the zone but lacks awareness to lay off pitches out of the strike zone; off-speed stuff is problematic for him; shows the skill to hit a fastball; could post decent walk totals and work counts in time thanks to plate coverage.
True plus-plus runner; elite wide receiver speed and projects to stay at the position in college; might lose a step or two in the future when his frame fills out, but athleticism will keep it at least plus, if not a little better.
Love his upside in center field; plus-plus speed makes it easy for him to cover plenty of ground and make up for inconsistent routes; has enough arm strength to play right field, if needed; shows enough tools to project as plus defender.
Good arm strength; could play in right field but would be much better in center field; doesn't need to put a lot of air under the ball; will need the cutoff man on throws to home plate but can hit the glove everywhere else.
MLB Player Comparison: Drew Stubbs
Projection: Above-average defensive center fielder with solid offensive skills.
MLB ETA: 2019
Chances of Signing: 0%
As much fun as it would be to think about having another Torii Hunter in baseball, it is not going to happen right now, if ever. First, his broken leg has made it impossible for him to give scouts anything to look at this year, making him a Day 3 selection.
Second, and more importantly, Hunter has always been a football player first and foremost. If it doesn't work out for him at Notre Dame, he has baseball to fall back on. That will make him more raw than most players with three years of college experience, but his natural athletic ability will win over a lot of people.