Player: Jacob Gatewood
DOB: 09/25/1995 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6’5”, 190 pounds
School: Clovis High School (Calif.)
College Commitment: Southern California
Jacob Gatewood has a summer for the ages last year, as highly talented prep shortstop showcased his robust power to a national audience on multiple occasions.
You may remember him from last year's All-Star weekend, when Gatewood blasted 13 home runs to win the junior portion of the All-Star Game Home Run Derby, including multiple tape-measure shots into the second deck at Citi Field. Gatewood captured a second derby title a month later, this time as part of the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field.
However, for player with as much natural power as Gatewood, his performance this spring for Clovis High School was a huge disappointment, as he batted .389 with nine doubles, five home runs and 28 RBI.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
The 6’5” right-handed batter has eliminated some of the excess movement from his swing over the last year, but it’s still overly complicated and depends almost entirely on perfect timing; mechanics are geared toward pulling the ball for power rather than making consistent hard contact; attempt to use the opposite field more often this spring has hurt his power numbers.
Gatewood possesses arguably the best raw power in this year’s class; swing is designed for power and power it produces; capable of hitting tape-measure bombs, though mostly to his pull side; shows a tendency for trying to lift the ball rather than utilizing his bat speed and strong lower half.
Speed is slightly above-average at the present; likely to lose a step or two as he grows into his lanky 6'5" frame.
Above-average arm strength is suitable for either shortstop or third long term; doesn't consistently put himself in position to deliver accurate throws.
Gatewood's defense at shortstop grades as a tick below average, as he struggles to control his body and shows only average fluidity in his action; lacks first-step quickness and instincts ideal for the position; large frame limits his range and ability to attack the ball; tends to wait back on too many balls and has to rely on pure arm strength.
MLB Player Comparison: Troy Tulowitzki
Gatewood receives comparisons to Troy Tulowitzki for his tall, athletic frame and plus-plus raw power, but he also lacks Tulo's defensive chops and therefore is unlikely to spend his entire career at shortstop.
Projection: All-Star ceiling; floor of above-average everyday shortstop/third baseman
Major Leagues ETA: Late 2017
Chances of Signing: 85 percent
There's a good chance that a team will take an early-round flier on Gatewood, even if only for his combination of athleticism and power, and offer him a large enough signing bonus to forego his commitment to Florida St.