The MLB draft is a glimpse at a possible future. It might not come to fruition, but it offers hope. Players and families see a lifetime of work acknowledged and celebrated and know that for at least that brief moment, the dream is alive. One player hoping to live the dream in 2019 is Rece Hinds.
Rece Hinds 2019 MLB Draft Profile
Unlike many of his fellow dreamers, Rece Hinds has options. He is a high school senior, committed to LSU, which means that leverage is on his side. If he doesn’t like where he’s drafted, or possibly even the team that drafts him, he can simply decide to go to college and hope to try again in three years.
Wherever Hinds is drafted, it will be because a team believes it can tap into his raw power. From the high school circuit to IMG Academy, Hinds has shown enormous power. He even made an appearance at the high school Home Run Derby during the 2018 All-Star festivities. Scouts have already slapped a 60 grade on Hinds’ raw power at only 18 years of age. At 6’4″ and 210 pounds, it is likely that with proper conditioning he could see that grade increase.
Hinds also has a decent arm. He currently plays third base, and certainly has the size and power potential to fit the offensive profile of the position. With a 50 grade arm, he also probably has enough arm to play the position professionally.
The book on Hinds is that he possesses the most raw power of any high school bat. That’s why he may see his name called in the first two rounds. If he does not, it is no knock on the power, it is just that the rest of his game needs a lot of work.
At 18, Hinds is already a below-average runner. That alone limits his defensive options moving forward. Scouts have also graded his fielding at merely average, and there are concerns about his footwork.
However, defense alone is not going to hold a team back from drafting such a powerful bat. If Hinds falls in the draft, it will be because teams doubt his ability to hit. If he can’t hit, the power is useless. MLB.com’s draft profile of Hinds gives him a 45-grade hit-tool and notes that he may have trouble with pitch recognition. Fangraphs agrees. In fact, while the analysts at MLB.com still think Hinds is a first or second round pick, Fangraphs suggests that his stock may have fallen below that threshold. If that is the case, it would be surprising to see Hinds forego his commitment to LSU.
When thinking of overpowered sluggers with questionable contact skills and defense, there are plenty to choose from. However, in terms of upside, Hinds’ swing is similar to that of Khris Davis. There is that loop as he starts the swing and the definite uppercut, but potentially quick enough hands to offset the inevitable swing and miss. Davis is shorter and seems a bit quicker to the ball, but the swings are similar, and Davis has his own defensive issues. On the lower end of the offensive spectrum, Russell Branyan was a high-powered bat with a lot of swing-and-miss as well as defensive question marks. Rece Hinds has enough upside to dream on, and if a team can capture that power, he could be special.
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