Sunday, June 3, 2018

Draft 2018: Alec Bohm, 3b

Courtesy: Unknown

Alec Bohm, 3b
Wichita State
Height/Weight: 6-5, 240 lbs
B/T: R/R
Class: Junior

Alec Bohm (pronounced: Bow-hm) is a third baseman for the Wichita State Shockers and a likely top 10 pick in the 2018. In fact, he's a likely top 5 pick. Bohm's collegiate career hasn't been one of breakouts and rapid rises up the draft, rather his has been a tale of steady progression and improvement.

Bohm has a very large physical frame, but is a good athlete for his size and he moves well. However, he has had to work hard to improve his third base defense, which is solid but lacks range and quickness. He does offer a strong arm, but his main value-drivers will always lie in the hit tool and power production. Above all else, Bohm is a hitter and an impressive one at that.

Here is how Bohm performed over his three seasons at Wichita State:

2016: .303/.346/.489/.835; 4.7% BB%; 13.1% K%; 13/1/6 doubles/triples/homers
2017: .305/.385/.519/.904; 10.9% BB%; 11.7% K%; 13/2/11 doubles/triples/homers
2018: .339/.436/.625/1.061; 14.7% BB%; 10.5% K%; 14/1/16 doubles/triples/homers

Despite being a tall hitter (6-5) and the special challenges that can bring (larger strikezone to protect, longer levers to control during the swing, etc), Bohm has consistently maintained strong strikeout rates. In fact, as a junior, he walked more than he whiffed, which is an impressive feat for such a tall hitter. Bohm has a real feel to hit and generates easy power.

Bohm hits for average, uses a disciplined approach to draw a goodly number of walks, limits his strikeouts, and hits for tremendous power. He's a well-rounded hitter with less than expected performance-risk for a hitter his size.

Bohm has also had success with wood bats in the summer Cape Cod League, where he hit .351 (2nd overall) with 10 doubles (third overall) and 5 home runs (10th overall) for the Falmouth Commodores. His strong production with wood bats undoubtedly gives the MLB scouting directors an added layer of comfort with his level of performance-risk, as he's clearly not just a metal bat creation.

Here's a look at him in action, courtesy of Fangraphs on YouTube:

It's a well-balanced swing that generates a substantial amount of force, which he can frequently impart to the baseball due to his solid contact rate. He does a very nice job of loading into the back hip, as he sets his back hip angled toward the pitcher, resulting in the momentum immediately springing forward after he shifts the weight back. It launches the body forward, generating significant force. He also does a nice job of dropping his back elbow down into the slot, effectively syncing the rotation of the top half with the rotation of the bottom half, which allows him to generate easy power.

Overall, it's a beautiful swing for a right-handed hitter; fluid, powerful, and balanced. When coupled with his strong walk/strikeout rates and his longer levers, it's easy to imagine him being an impact hitter at the big league level. With respect to his larger physical stature, he seems to have figured out how to maximize the positives (longer levers; easier power generation), while minimize the negatives (larger strikezone to cover; longer levers to manage), which is fairly impressive in and of itself.

As for the defense, you can see that he's light on his feet, shows good agility, and a strong arm. He's also comfortable throwing from multiple arm slots. As he continues to fill out physically, he might need to shift over to first base, but for now he certainly has the physical tools needed to adequately handle the hot corner.

Bohm has a strong present performance level, but it feels like there's remaining projection to his game. It feels like he still has room to improve, which makes him an intriguing mix of projected floor and projected ceiling. He should definitely be in the mix for the Reds at pick 5, though there's a good chance he'll already have had his named called by then.

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