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Draft | Prospect Scouting Reports | 4/7/2017

2017 MLB Draft Pack: April 7

David Rawnsley         Jheremy Brown        
Photo: Perfect Game

Once a week leading up to the 2017 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 17: Nick Allen, Cole Brannen, Michael Gigliotti, Hunter Greene, D.L. Hall, Keston Hiura, Blaine Knight, Corbin Martin, Brendan McKay, Joe Perez.
March 24: Jake Eder, MacKenzie Gore, Colton Hock, Zach Kirtley, Alex Lange, Royce Lewis, Calvin Mitchell, Glenn Otto, Evan Skoug, Cole Turney.
March 31: Shane Baz, J.B. Bukauskas, Hans Crouse, M.J. Melendez, Brian Miller, Seth Romero, Kevin Smith, Alejandro Toral, Logan Warmoth, Drew Waters.


Prospects covered this week: Austin Beck, Jake Burger, Hagen Danner, Jeremiah Estrada, K.J. Harrison, Luke Heimlich, Garrett Mitchell, Peter Solomon, Coner Uselton, Evan White.





Austin Beck – OF

Height/Weight: 6-1/190
Bats/Throws: R/R
Birthdate: Nov. 21, 1998
High School: North Davidson
Hometown: Arcadia, N.C.
Travel Team: Dirtbags
Commitment: North Carolina
Projected Draft Round: 1

The popular comparison in the scouting community for North Carolina's fast-rising outfielder Austin Beck has been Mike Trout, which this scout has heard three different times in the last few weeks. It seemed a bit presumptuous to compare an 18-year old who has a short a resume as Beck to the game's best player, to be honest, but after seeing Beck play in person in late March this scout began to understand where those scouts were coming from.

In a way, Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell, who ironically is pretty much the polar opposite as an athlete to Beck, is a constructive comparison for Beck. Bell missed the summer after his junior year after suffering a leg injury in the state playoffs late in the spring and was an unknown commodity for scouts until he starred at the WWBA World Championship in the fall of 2010. He later went on to sign with the Pirates for a $5 million signing bonus after a dominant senior high school season.

Beck also hurt his leg in a high school playoff game prior to last summer and underwent ACL surgery, knocking him out for all of the summer and fall and giving scouts no chance to get their initial looks at him on the summer circuit. His last major event was the 2015 WWBA World Championship early in his junior year, where most scouts were undoubtedly focusing on seniors.

Beck had participated in three Perfect Game showcases, along with numerous other tournaments for the Dirtbags, so he had a relatively long PG resume that included a 6.52 60-yard dash time, a 92 mph outfield throwing arm and plenty of raw bat speed, all posted before he started his junior season. The following report was filed on him following the 2015 PG Junior National.

Medium frame with broad shoulders, good present strength and athleticism. Prototypical center field build and profile, moves very well, ran a 6.64 60-yard dash. Good outfield actions, gets behind ball and works through with advanced footwork and quick transfer and release. Good arm strength with easy carry on throws. Righthanded hitter, high hands set with deeper load, can get out onto front foot early at times. Very good bat speed, gets through zone quickly and shows strength, carry off of the barrel. Very loose hands, quick wrists, shows ability to use the entire field and drive balls into the gaps.

Fast forwarding to this spring and the Mike Trout comparisons. A number of scouts have told me that they've got Beck in 4.1 seconds from home to first this spring, an impressive time for a righthanded hitter, and especially one who is a bit slow out of the box due to the extension and aggressiveness in his swing. His arm grades out as an easy plus from a very quick and compact release. His actions in center field are easy and athletic to go with the plus/plus raw tools.

Even with those elite level physical tools, the most impressive thing about Beck when I saw him was his bat and offensive profile. His hitting approach is outstanding, with a balanced set up and directional stride at the plate, ideal hand position with a calm and relaxed load and as good of lower half torque and whip as this scout has seen in a long time. The raw bat speed is extreme, absolute highest level. From watching video and observing batting practice and game swings, Beck hits to all fields due to his balance and ability to wait on the ball and very consistently squares the ball up.

The big question for scouts, and perhaps the only question given his huge tools, is how will Beck adjust to the high level pitching that he has seen so little of compared to his peers due to his injury. Kentucky's Jordan Adell has the same type of highest level tool set and raw bat speed as Beck but was thoroughly vetted on the summer circuit against the best pitchers in the country, as were other premium outfield athletes such as Garrett Mitchell, Drew Waters and Cole Brannen. And that's not going to happen for Beck before June 12.
(DR)


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