Heading into high school spring competition, not much was known about North Carolina prep outfielder Austin Beck. Now, he ranks as the best all-around player in the 2017 draft class.
Austin Beck 2017 MLB Draft Profile
Austin Beck is a 6’1″ 190 lbs center fielder from North Davidson High School in Arcadia, North Carolina. He is committed to play for North Carolina next spring, and he would play there had his draft stock not surged this spring. However, since he’s now projected as a top-15 pick, Beck should be playing rookie ball in less than a month.
The reason for his draft stock being low was a leg injury, forcing him to have ACL surgery last spring. This resulted in Beck missing all of summer and fall, limiting his ability to showcase his talent to scouts. Beck has always been a player to keep an eye on from scouts, but after his outstanding production in 2017, Beck is on every team’s mind as a future star.
Beck is a true five-tool player — one of only a handful in the draft class. Every aspect of his swing is graded high by scouts, from his hand position to his raw ability to produce torque in his lower half to his phenomenal hitting approach. He consistently squares the ball and his balanced directional stride allows him to wait on the pitch and drive it to all fields. His quick, short swing and elite bat speed produces good leverage, enabling him produce his elite power from the right side.
Beck has a prototypical center fielder build. He’s a quality fielder and has an elite throwing arm. His speed, despite the leg injury, still grades as a plus tool, both in the field and on the basepaths. In all, Beck grades as above average in all of his tools, which would explain why some scouts compare him to where Mike Trout was when he was a prep star out of Millville, New Jersey.
The only concerns facing Beck revert back to his leg injury last spring. By missing all of summer and fall baseball for 2016, scouts were not able to see him showcase his abilities as much as other high school players. Also add that he hasn’t faced the best competition playing in North Carolina compared to California, Georgia and states that other top high school prospects reside.
With that said, those are minor weaknesses compared to his strengths. Beck is a special talent unlike any other high school hitting prospect in this draft class. As of now, he’s a bonafide top-15 draft pick. If his stock keeps surging, he could possibly go top five. Whatever team drafts him, they’re getting a 25-25 caliber player and a destined star.
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