Draft Prospect Watch: Two High School Infielders with High Upside Bats

Every Sunday, we are going to take a look at two top draft prospects in this upcoming June amateur draft. The Pittsburgh Pirates make their first selection with the 18th overall pick. They also have the 37th overall pick. Our players featured each week will be those who are ranked on prospect lists in the general area of the 18th pick, while also showing some players who could be available when the Pirates make their second pick. The first day of the draft is June 3rd. You can check out our draft preview here.

Here are links to the previous Draft Prospect Watch articles:

Matthew Allan and Zack Thompson

 Brett Baty and Will Holland

Daniel Espino and Jack Leiter

Will Wilson and Brandon Shewmake

Alek Manoah and George Kirby

Corbin Carroll and Maurice Hampton

Today we go to high school infielders again. We start with Rece Hinds, an 18-year-old third baseman at the IMG Academy in Bradenton. He’s 6’4″, 210 pounds and has a commitment to LSU. Hinds ranks a little lower than the 18th pick, but with nearly two full months until the draft, he can continue to improve his draft stock.

The first line in the scouting report for Hinds on MLB Pipeline should make him intriguing to everyone. They write “There might not be anyone in the 2019 Draft class with more raw power than Hinds”. As you can tell from the videos below, he is a big kid already, and he will continue to fill out as he gets older. The problem according to scouts is that he might not make enough contact to take full advantage of that raw power. Basically, he might not be able to shed the raw part going forward.

A team that picks Hinds early is banking on that potential upside. He’s a third baseman now and has the arm for the position, but his size and below average speed limit his effectiveness at the hot corner. If he has to move to a less important defensive spot, then that really puts the pressure on the bat.

Hinds is a typical high risk/high reward prep draft pick. His power has been known for years and he’s just going to keep getting stronger. He can power a ball out without putting a good swing on the pitch, or getting a good pitch to it. The question is will he be able to do that enough to make him worth a first round pick.

Here are some videos, starting with this one from Prospects Live, which contains plenty of game action

This one from Prospect Pipeline contains some infield work and plenty of swings in the batting cage

Here’s a second from Prospects Live from just three weeks ago. It has a lot of game action

Our second player is prep 3B/2B Tyler Callihan, who has seen his draft stock tick up. MLB Pipeline had him ranked 33rd in the preseason, while Baseball America just listed him at 26th in this draft class. The 18-year-old Callihan stands 5’11”, 210 pounds and has a commitment to South Carolina. He is a left-handed hitter.

Callihan is an interesting comparison to Hinds because they received the same exact grades for their running, arm and defense. That means that the same questions arise about being able to stick at a key defensive position, while also putting more pressure on the bat to succeed. The similarities stop there. While Hinds is a big time right-handed power bat with some swing-and-miss to his game, Callihan is considered to be an above average lefty hitter, who has average power. He’s going to be a double-digit home run hitter, and he’s also going to hit for average and pile up extra-base hits.

If you were choosing between the two players, Callihan is the safer pick because of his advanced approach at the plate and the ability to consistently make hard contact. Obviously a high school bat isn’t a safe pick overall, but you’re looking for the potential upside, then there is a lot to like with Callihan.

Here are some videos, starting with cage work and fielding from Prospect Pipeline

2080 Baseball has live game action from a few games

Here’s some hitting and fielding from Perfect Game Baseball




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