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The Bard’s Take: 2017 MLB Draft - Austin Beck

Looking at one of the top prep players available in this year’s draft.

Name: Austin Beck

Age: 18 (November 21, 1998)

Height: 6’ 1”

Weight: 190 lbs.

Position: CF (R/R)

Affiliation: North Davidson HS (NC) committed to UNC

Austin Beck is this season’s biggest draft stock riser. Most of that is due to having missed last summer’s competitive play due to a torn ACL. This year, Beck has returned healthy and appears 100% recovered, including still possessing plus speed. As a true five tool player, he has made up for losing out on being scouting time by showing how well he performs while healthy. Only two weeks ago, it was a sure thing that Beck would be available to the Diamondbacks at number seven. Now though, there are numerous scenarios where the prep star could be off the board.

Grades: (Present/Future)

Hit: 50/60 | Power: 55/70 | Run: 60/60 | Field: 55/65 | Overall: 55

The Scouting Report:

Having torn the ACL and meniscus in his left knee last May, Austin Beck was not afforded the opportunity to compete against the likes of Royce Lewis or Jordon Adell. This has made it more difficult to evaluate Beck as a prospect. What is known is this: Beck possesses easy raw power and plus-plus bat speed. He has plus speed, though his home to first times suffer from his being both right-handed and a power hitter. There is some concern that Beck is too noisy in the box and that he will need to simplify the number of moving parts if he is going to be an effective hitter at the highest level. Beck’s excellent bat control and speed make this less of a red flag and more of a developmental checkpoint than anything else. There has also been some concern that Beck has not fared as well in wood-bat competition. As mentioned earlier though, Beck also missed almost a full season of playing time and is coming late to the party. His feel for hitting and his raw power should not be hindered too much by the wooden bats, and there are still those that think the wooden bat woes were overstated to begin with. Defensively, Beck has a strong enough arm to play right field combined with the speed and defensive instincts to play center field. The consensus belief is that Beck has more than enough defensive acumen to be an above average defensive center fielder. In Beck’s favour is that his bat plays well enough for him to fit into the corner outfield with a center fielder’s range.

In a draft class with few hitting prospects, Beck represents one of the best hitters available.

The Take:

Despite his rise through the prospect rankings, Beck is still not one of the seven-best draft prospects. Despite his all-star potential, it is difficult to see him being the best possible selection the Diamondbacks could make with the seventh pick. With needle-moving pitchers and at least two position players who are better, Austin Beck would be selecting below slot. However, many drafts expect Beck to be a top-10 pick and he is still a prep player. This means that selecting below slot in this case is unlikely to save the team any money.

While this would not be a poor selection for the Diamondbacks by any means, there are seven others with better upside and no further risk.

Chances Austin Beck falls to Arizona at number seven

Chances Austin Beck signs with Arizona if he is selected, good. However, as a prep player largely expected to go in the top 12, there is no real cash savings to be realized.