50 in 50: Josh Bell

Draft : : Top Prospects
Allan Simpson        
Published: Friday, April 29, 2011

Josh Bell
OF / Dallas, Texas (Jesuit)


Bats-Throws:              B-R
Height/Weight:           6-3/205
Hometown:                 Dallas, Texas
College commitment: Texas
Birthdate:                   Aug. 14, 1992

SCOUTING PROFILE: Some players rise to the occasion better than others and scouts have to believe that Bell is one of those young prospects who shines the brightest when under the closest scrutiny. After missing all of last summer because of a cracked left knee cap, suffered in a May high-school playoff game, all eyes were on Bell at Perfect Game’s World Wood Bat Association World Championships last October in Jupiter, Fla.. He didn’t disappoint at baseball’s most heavily-attended scouting event, slamming three home runs in pool play and squaring up top prospect Jose Fernandez (Tampa, Fla.) in the playoffs. Coming off a .412-11-36 junior season at Jesuit High, Bell could have been expected to suffer this spring both from being pitched around extensively and the pressure of being constantly watched by scouts from around the country. But he has responded with a truly remarkable spring, hitting .573-12-47 through games of April 28 for his 27-5 Jesuit High team. The switch-hitting Bell is among those rarest of talents in that he has legitimate home run power from both sides of the plate, although he has marginally better bat speed from the left side. Bell has a very aggressive swing with a big loading action and excellent extension through the ball, and yet manages to stay balanced throughout. Many young power hitters create their pop while sacrificing shortness to the ball, but Bell’s exceptionally-quick hands enables him to get the barrel to the ball even against the hardest fastballs. Bell’s peripheral tools are playable to the degree that scouts usually say, “it doesn’t matter, his bat plays anywhere,” when asked about his eventual position. A 6.9-7.0-second runner, Bell’s speed rates just below average on the standard major-league scale, but he gets very good jumps in the outfield and also has sound base-running instincts. His raw arm strength grades out in that same fringy-average category, making left field a more-probable home that right field as he continues to grow and mature physically. Finding a suitable big-league comparison for Bell is difficult because there just hasn’t been many 6-foot-3, switch-hitting athletic outfielders with 70/80-type power potential on the 20-80grading scale. Going back a few years, the best comparison might be Chili Davis, who hit 350 career home runs in a big-league career from 1981-99, yet only topped out at 30 long balls, a figure scouts anticipate Bell should eventually surpass, perhaps on a yearly basis.

Projected Draft Position: First half of the first round..

--ALLAN SIMPSON

Perfect Game Events Attended

    2008 WWBA 2011 Grads or 15u National Championship
    2008 South Underclass Showcase
    2009 Junior National Showcase
    2009 WWBA 2010 Grads or 17u National Championship
    2009 PG Showcase at AFLAC All American Game
    2009 WWBA Underclass World Championship
    2010 WWBA 2011 Grads or 17u National Championship
    2010 WWBA South Qualifier
    2010 WWBA World Championship


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