Except for the last mock draft, which had the Pittsburgh Pirates going for a high school bat, they have been connected to a college bat over and over in mock drafts this spring. Our last Draft Prospect Watch article looked at Kevin Parada, a college catcher (that link has links to our first nine articles of this series). For this article subject, I decided to just pick the highest ranked player by MLB Pipeline who hasn’t been here before and feature him. Using that method, we landed on LSU 3B/OF/DH Jacob Berry, who they rank seventh overall. There’s a possibility he could be an option for the Pirates with the fourth overall pick, especially if they really are focusing on a college bat when the draft begins a month from now.
Berry definitely fits the bat mold. In 53 games this year, he hit .370/.464/.630, with nine doubles, 15 homers, 27 walks (11 HBP as well) and 22 strikeouts in 248 plate appearances. As a freshman last year at Arizona, he hit .352/.439/.676 with 17 homers. His carrying tool is his bat and his future position right now is undecided. With the DH now being an option in the National League, his position isn’t as big as a concern as before. Pipeline grades him as being a below average runner and fielder, with an average arm. His real value is all in the bat, which should play up wherever he is used.
Pipeline grades him as a 60 hitter, with 65 power, and he has lived up to those numbers both last year and this year in college. He is a switch-hitter, who has a strong approach from both sides of the plate. He makes plenty of hard contact from both sides, with the ability to punish both fastballs and off-speed pitches. Berry, who stands 6’0″, 212 pounds, is a draft-eligible sophomore, who turned 21 years old last month.
Baseball America rates Berry five points (1/2 grade) lower on the scouting scale in three categories, including 60 power, 45 arm and 35 fielding. However, they talk him up well by saying scouts don’t think it will take him long to work his way to the majors. Berry gets nice marks for his plate patience. The lower power grade probably comes from him not putting the ball over the fence as often from the right side, but BA is still giving him 60/60 grades for hitting/power, so that shouldn’t be a concern.
Here are some videos. This one from Prospects Worldwide has plenty of game action from this year and different angles
This video is fun if you like homers, replay of homers and catch phrases for a homer