2011 MLB Draft Prospects: George Springer Sliding Despite Elite Athleticism
2011 MLB Draft Prospect George Springer Has Questionable Swing Mechanics Dropping Him
Connecticut outfielder George Springer is arguably the best athlete in the entire 2011 MLB Draft.
He's a legit five-tool athlete, with the speed and instincts to possibly play center field in the majors and an above-average arm that would also make him an imposing right-fielder. He also has tremendous raw power at the plate, can swing his hips on a dime (new phrase?), and regularly works deep into counts.
So why does ESPN's Keith Law have him going No. 18 to the Oakland Athletics in tonight's draft?
The answer is simple: his swing mechanics.
When projecting prospects to the next level, pro scouts rarely will dismiss mechanics. In fact, mechanics are one of the biggest things scouts look at.
In Springer's case, having bad swing mechanics could be a recipe for disaster at the plate, regardless of his power and bat speed. You have bad swing mechanics, MLB pitchers find the holes in your swing rather quickly. He's always had a little dip in his swing, but that dip has become more pronounced this last season.
As Law notes, if a major league hitting coach can clean up his mechanics, he very well could be a middle-of-the-order hitter in the pros, with the defense to complete the package.
Sure, thankfully Springer's weakness can be taught up, but hitting mechanics sometimes take years to clean up, if ever. It's a legitimate concern and Law's No. 18 slot could even be too high if Springer can't flatten his swing out.
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