Third baseman/shortstop Drew Bowser is one of the top high school infielders available in the 2020 MLB Draft. Bowser, who is listed at 6′3″ 205-pounds, attended Harvard-Westlake High School, where he was teammates with projected first-round pick Pete Crow-Armstrong. Along with Crow-Armstrong, Bowser has a chance to one day join Harvard-Westlake alumni Jack Flaherty, Max Fried, and Lucas Giolito in the big leagues.
Bowser comes into the draft after improving his stock over the summer with an impressive showing at the Perfect Game All-American Classic. In that event, he won the home run derby and took home the MVP honors at the PG All-American Game. The 18-year-old is currently listed as the 64th-best prospect on MLB.com’s 2020 Prospect Rankings and will likely be a third or fourth round pick.
At the plate, Bowser bats from the right side and does a good job of using his strength and big frame to hit for power and to drive the ball into gaps. Scouts don’t consider his bat speed to be otherworldly, but he has worked hard to make his swing more compact. At the 2019 Perfect Game National Showcase, he demonstrated his improved bat speed with a max barrel speed of 83.951 mph. That barrel speed ranked him in the 99.66 percentile and was much higher than the class average of 66.75 mph. In that same event, he posted an exit velocity of 100 mph — exceeding the class average of 83 mph. On MLB.com’s scouting report, his hit tool received a grade of 50/80, and his power received a grade of 55/80.
Obviously, he still has a lot of work to do at the plate. But as he continues to fill out and gets into professional training, he has the potential to be a middle of the order bat and hit 25-30 home runs on an annual basis.
In the field, Bowser has excellent arm strength and has good range for his size. Although he played shortstop throughout high school, he is expected to move to third base at the professional level. Scouts believe that he’ll be an above-average defender once he makes the move to the hot corner.
One weakness in Bowser’s game is his lack of speed. Although he isn’t a liability on the base paths, he’s a below-average runner that won’t add much baserunning value. As a result, his speed received a scouting grade of 40/80 on MLB.com. This lack of speed is a significant reason as to why scouts think he’s best suited to play third base.
Another concern for teams is Bowser’s commitment to Stanford University. He’s been committed to Stanford since 2017 and has family ties to the school, so there’s questions about his signability. At this point, it seems that it will take an enticing contract to pry him away from attending Stanford this fall.
One comparison for Bowser is Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. Comparing a high school prospect to a player of Arenado’s caliber is a tall order. However, when looking back at Arenado’s high school scouting report, there are a lot of similarities between him and Bowser. Just like Bowser, Arenado was considered to have exceptional power, a strong arm, good range for his size, and a lack of speed. Arenado also played shortstop in high school before making the move to third base.
Whether Bowser signs a professional contract or fulfills his commitment to Stanford, he’ll be a player to keep an eye on over the next few years.
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