Player: Stone Garrett
Drafted by: Miami Marlins
DOB: 11/22/1995 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6'2", 195 lbs
School: George Ranch HS (Sugar Land, Texas)
College Commitment: Rice
If your first name is Stone, there's a certain image that comes along with it that you must live up to. Fortunately, Stone Garrett more than meets the expectation as one of the most imposing physical specimens in this draft, filling out every ounce of his 6'2", 195-pound frame and looking like a future linebacker instead of a center fielder.
Garrett is one of the best pure athletes in this class, albeit an unrefined baseball player. However, he is working to change that. His father, Greg Garrett, told Mike Persinger of USABaseball.com last year that Stone "reads books about the mental aspects of the game and how to get better."
That's the kind of thing you want to hear about a young player, especially one who has a long development path ahead of him. But the draft is about finding raw tools and upside, making Garrett one of the most valuable assets in this class.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Garrett's got high potential with the bat thanks to good bat speed and direct path to the ball; very short and quick to the ball, while showing the ability to find the barrel a lot; hit tool looks better in batting practice than games at times, but there's loud contact to suggest the ability to drive the ball in time.
Powerful frame and bat speed project for easy above-average power, potentially better if the hit tool takes off; some concern about his ability to hit the ball over the fence during games due to heavy use of upper body, as he starts with a wide base with little stride and hip rotation.
Plate Discipline: 35/50
At times Garrett can get too passive-aggressive, letting opponents beat him with hittable pitches; ability to wait on the ball is a bonus, but when a pitcher is just trying to throw a get-me-over offering, it's okay to swing early in the count; knows how to read the ball out of the hand but will chase breaking balls down in the zone too often.
As you would expect from a premium athlete, Garrett has nearly top-of-the-chart speed; should maintain that for a long time as his muscular physique is nearly done filling out.
Garrett's speed and ability to cover ground make him a natural center fielder; arm isn't great but will be more than enough for the position; routes and reads are solid right now, though there are some lapses typical of a teenager. He will develop into a plus defender.
Arm strength isn't a problem for Garrett, but accuracy tends to be an issue; has a long windup before release, and the ball tends to sail on him, missing the cutoff man; shorter release will improve his accuracy, possibly adding a half-grade to his overall defensive value.
MLB Player Comparison: Desmond Jennings
One reason scouts loved Desmond Jennings coming through Tampa Bay's system was his all-around game. He didn't have one elite tool but did so many things well that it seemed far-fetched for him to have an unsuccessful MLB career.
Garrett fits into that same mold. He's got a long development path ahead of him, but there's the potential to have five average-or-better tools. If he wasn't such a project, there would be a lot more buzz around him in this draft.
Projection: Above-average center fielder for first-division team
MLB ETA: 2018
Chances of Signing: 70%
If Garrett were a pitcher, where Rice coaches are known to ride their arms hard and fast, it would be in his best interest to sign a professional contract the second he gets drafted. Position players are a different animal.
The Owls have done a good job developing bats. Washington's Anthony Rendon is the standout name, so the young Texan has a serious decision to make. His raw talent suggests a top-50 player, but the lack of refinement could drop him low enough that no team makes an offer worth taking.