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Draft | Prospect Scouting Reports | 5/6/2016

2016 MLB Draft Pack: May 6

David Rawnsley         Jheremy Brown        
Photo: Perfect Game

Once a week leading up to the 2016 MLB Draft Perfect Game will provide detailed scouting reports, and video (when available) on 10 of the top draft-eligible prospects. The first report each week will be available for free, the rest can be viewed with a PG Insider subscription. To learn more about Perfect Game's subscription packages and to sign up today please visit this link.

Previous MLB Draft Packs:

March 18Josh Lowe, Matt Manning, A.J. Puk, Nick Senzel, Mike Shawaryn, Alex Speas, Bryan Reynolds, Blake Rutherford, Taylor Trammell, Robert Tyler.
March 25: Braxton Garrett, Dakota Hudson, Connor Jones, Reggie Lawson, Kyle Lewis, Drew Mendoza, Mickey Moniak, Corey Ray, Buddy Reed, Forrest Whitley
April 1: Bryson Brigman, Zack Collins, Carlos Cortes, Jason Groome, Daulton Jefferies, Chris Okey, Delvin Perez, Nicholas Quintana, Cole Ragans, Logan Shore

April 8: Will Benson, Austin Bergner, Zack Burdi, Luis Curbelo, Zac Gallen, Anfernee Grier, Zach Jackson, Nolan Jones, Riley Pint, Matt Thaiss
April 15: Nick Banks, Ryan Boldt, Ben Bowden, Kevin Gowdy, Cooper Johnson, Charles King, Eric Lauer, Joe Rizzo, Walker Robbins, Jordan Sheffield
April 22: Ian Anderson, Bo Bichette, Justin Dunn, Lucas Erceg, David Hamilton, Alec Hansen, Cole Irvin, Alexis Torres, Ryan Zeferjahn, T.J. Zeuch
April 29: Peter Alonso, Bailey Clark, Zach Hess, Anthony Kay, Carter Kieboom, Matt Krook, Ben Rortvedt, Cody Sedlock, Cole Stobbe, Avery Tuck

Prospects covered this week: C.J. Chatham, Jon Duplantier, Kyle Funkhouser, Nick Hanson, Thomas Hatch, Thomas Jones, Gavin Lux, Braeden Ogle, Heath Quinn, Joey Wentz

C.J. Chatham – SS

Height/Weight: 6-4/185
Bats/Throws: R/R
Birthdate: Dec. 12, 1994
College: Florida Atlantic
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Projected Draft Round: 1S-2

The first of two prospects from Conference USA to be detailed in this week’s edition of the draft pack, Florida Atlantic’s C.J. Chatham has benefitted greatly from a solid spring season and has ascended the ranks to challenge for the top collegiate shortstop in the country. Opening the year as one of about 5-7 shortstops noted for the draft, Chatham has continued to excel for the Owls while others who were ranked ahead of him have faltered some, paving the way for the Florida Atlantic product.

At first glance Chatham’s 6-foot-4 frame may suggest an imminent move to either either his right or left at the next level, and though he shows plenty of arm for third base, he has the instincts and lateral range to stay put at shortstop. As a pitching staff Florida Atlantic doesn’t necessarily put up big strikeout numbers as a collective unit, though they do collect outs at an alarming rate, several of which have come via ground balls which in turn has given scouts ample opportunities to see his prowess up the middle. Up to 89 mph on the mound during his prep days, with reports of low-90s coming his senior year, arm strength is an obvious tool for Chatham and one that allows him to finish the play from deep in the 5-6 hole.

Chatham is far from a one-dimensional player however and while his ability to stick up the middle has unequivocally impacted his draft standing, he’s equally as impressive in the righthanded batter’s box. Having added nearly 20 pounds of strength since arriving in Boca Raton during the fall of 2013, Chatham still has additional room to fill out, though it’s likely he’ll never bulk up and fully fill out his long 6-foot-4 frame.

Along with the added physicality, perhaps the single biggest area of improvement by Chatham in his three years on campus has been his overall approach in the box. A bit of a free swinger as a freshman with a near 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, Chatham still managed to finish with a .300 average while showing some strength both to the gaps and over the fence with 11 doubles and four home runs. The following year the discrepancy in strikeouts to walks wasn’t as drastic as Chatham was able to cut it down to roughly 3-to-1 ratio before truly excelling this spring.

With a near 1-to-1 ratio this spring it’s of little surprise that his overall stat line has subsequently improved in nearly every statistic as he’s slashing a career best .391/.461/.603 over the first 42 games of the spring. Chatham possesses plenty of strength in his hands and wrists and his ability to understand the situation and see how opposing pitchers are attempting to work him in an at-bat is clear with his takes as well as his comfort working all fields. The hand eye coordination is noteworthy and a major factor in Chatham’s production, as is his durability.

Over his three years at Florida Atlantic Chatham has suited up and started 155 games for the Owls, missing just one game to this point. And it’s that type of durability that will suit him well with the rigors of minor league baseball and the day-to-day grind. (JB)

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