Today, we take a look at a couple of intriguing high school bats that are not first round projections. The shortstop and three outfielders all have at least one plus tool that makes them stand out, but plenty of flaws. In a draft with a plethora of high school talent, the Phillies will need to take some gambles and these are some interesting ones to take a chance on.
Quentin Holmes, OF, McClancy Memorial HS (NY)
6’1″, 180 lb
Commitment: Mississippi State
Rankings (as of 6/5): MLB.com #33, Baseball America #51
Plus-plus runner, running out of right-handed box in the 4.1-4.2 second range; 6.15 60 yard dash. Has the athleticism to stick in centerfield. Wide stance, short leg kick, opens front side early, lags the bat behind to hit the other way effectively. Good hand speed, barrels up the ball well, shows very good plate discipline
Bat speed looks average; mainly a pull hitter at this point. Power is below average, only has pull power. Average arm strength, not the most instinctual outfielder.
Holmes will be a legitimate threat on the base paths in the majors. He has progressed as a hitter and improved his plate discipline. He has the potential to be an above average hitter. His speed will get him a number of infield hits. He is going to have to figure out how to go the other way more, which should be an easy adjustment based on his swing mechanics. His power may never be more than 8-10 home runs, but his potential power is usable where his speed could turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples. Athleticism can cover the gaps so he can stay in centerfield, but he is not a Gold Glove caliber outfielder. Holmes’ potential ceiling is a .290 lead-off hitter who can steal 40 bases a year. His floor is a fourth outfielder who can provide speed off the bench.
Chris Seise, SS, West Orange HS (FL)
6’3″, 175 lb
Commitment: Central Florida
Rankings: MLB.com #38, Baseball America #47
Power has begun to show up with the added weight, projects for at least average power. Makes hard contact to all fields. Ran a 6.45 60 yard dash, has the ability to be a plus runner. Soft hands, plus arm strength, quick feet to play shortstop.
Free swinger, chases balls out of the zone. Swing gets long, lower half is not really in sync with his upper half; could explain the inconsistencies in his hit and power tool. Does not always use his speed well on the base paths.
Seise is still pretty lean for someone his size, and has a lot of room to add more power to his game to be a 20 HR hitter. Getting his in-game mechanics to match his batting practice swing would be a good start for him, but he still needs to get his upper half moving as he gets into his leg kick. Seise will be able to stay at shortstop long-term because of his arm strength and athleticism. If he can hit enough, Seise could be an All-Star one day at the position.
Garrett Mitchell, OF, Orange Lutheran (CA)
6’2″, 205 lb
Rankings: MLB.com #54, Baseball America #63, ESPN #28
Above average bat speed, makes hard contact, plus raw power. Plus plus runner; runs 3.9 home to first from left-handed box. Strong defensive instincts in centerfield; average arm strength plays well for position.
Type 1 diabetic, wears insulin pump at all times. Load is a bit deep, barred lead arm, swing can get long. Back shoulder drops at times. Mainly a pull hitter, not much contact to the opposite field. Power does not consistently show up in games.
Mitchell has the potential to be a five tool centerfielder. He has shortened his stance and added a leg kick from previous years to be more in sync with his upper half, but those upper half mechanics still need to stay consistent and his load needs to be quicker. The amount of swing and miss in his game suggests he will not be an elite hitter. Mitchell’s ceiling is that of a bottom of the order speed threat with 10-15 home run power who can play a plus centerfield.
Conner Uselton, OF, Southmoore HS (OK)
6’3″, 185 lb
Commitment: Oklahoma State
Rankings: MLB.com #46, Baseball America #90
Plus bat speed, fluid action on his swing mechanics. Plus raw power, mainly pull at this point. Plus athleticism, plays an average centerfield; plus arm strength.
Has an arm bar swing, can get out of sync by lengthening his load. Plenty of swing and miss, pitches down are a giant weakness. Timing.
Uselton’s big tool will be his power at the next level between his bat and arm. He has more room to fill out to have true plus power. The problem with him becoming a consistent 20-25 home run hitter is that his hit tool may not be good enough to be a regular. Could be a big threat off the bench or in the starting lineup vs LHP. If the hit tool becomes average, he can be a regular for five years. While he played centerfield well enough, his future lies in rightfield where his plus arm profiles better.