Wednesday, June 8, 2016

2016 Draft: Other Prospects I Like

Time for a quick spin through some of the other draft prospects that I like and hope might be available to the Reds. This year, the hitters have caught my eye more than the pitchers, which works out well because the Reds need hitting in a big way.

The Reds currently have 3 picks in the top 50, including 2nd overall, 35th overall, and 43rd overall. It's a big draft year for the Reds, who really need to hit a home run in this draft to shallow out the trough period of their rebuilding cycle.

Drew Mendoza, ss/3b

Mendoza has a sweet lefthanded swing and has the look of a pure hitter. He played shortstop for Lake Minneola High School in Florida, but he stands 6-4 and will probably need to move off the position. Still, he has very good arm strength that will play very well at third base.

He currently has gap-to-gap power, but his frame will support more power as he continues to fill out physically. As of now, he has a long, lean athleticism. He has a very good feel for the strike zone and the ability to consistently get the barrel on the ball.

Here's a look at Mendoza in action, courtesy of The Prospect Pipeline on YouTube:

Mendoza has a smooth, fluid swing, with each movement flowing naturally into the next. It's easy to dream on that swing. He does a nice job of syncing his lower body with his upper body. He drives the back elbow into his back hip and allows the rotation of the hips to power the swing.

Mendoza is reportedly looking for a signing bonus of $3M+, which could make him an intriguing option for the Reds with their supplemental round picks.

Lucas Erceg, 3b

Erceg spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at the University of California, Berkeley, but due to academic issues transferred to Menlo College. During his sophomore season, he posted a very solid slash line of .303/.357/.502 with a 28/12 K/BB ratio and 11 home runs over 231 ABs. He had good success at Menlo College, but against a lower level of competition.

At the plate, Erceg has a loose, powerful swing. When loading his hands, he has quite a bit of movement as a timing mechanism. He generates very good power, but his hit tool contains a bit more risk than the others mentioned here. At times, it looks like he has a bit of push to his swing, rather than letting the rotation of the hips pull the swing through the zone.

Here's a slo-mo look at Erceg in action, courtesy of The Prospect Pipeline:

Erceg has good arm strength and profiles well at the hot corner. The switch to Menlo College might obscure an intriguing hitter and cause him to slip down the draft board. Still, he's an intriguing player with a good power potential.

Joey Wentz, lhp

Wentz is 6-5 and 210 lbs. He features a 90-95 mph fastball with arm side run, a solid curveball, and a solid change-up. He has clean mechanics, a nice arm action, and good athleticism. He's still a bit raw, but he has very good upside.

Here's a look at Wentz in action, courtesy of ProspectJunkie's Channel on YouTube:

Wentz has plus stuff and good command, which could lead to a top of the rotation type pitcher. Still, he's not without his risk, as he experienced a dead arm period and doesn't have a lengthy track record of performance or durability as a pitcher.

Josh Lowe, 3b

Josh Lowe is a baseball rat. He's a two way prospect with very good athleticism, including very good arm strength and very good speed.

Lowe stands 6-4 and tips the scales at 190 lbs. He has a smooth, powerful lefthanded swing. He loads his hands a bit deep, slightly increasing the length of his swing, but it certainly hasn't proven to be a problem. He's another hitter who has a bit of a waggle and a bat tip in the loading of his hands. His long levers generate solid power and it could be plus power when he fills out physically.

Lowe's combination of athleticism and baseball skills makes him a very intriguing prospect, one who won't last long on the draft board. Would he be an overdraft at 1.2? Maybe, but he's unlikely to be there when the Reds' supplemental round picks arrive.


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