Monday, June 6, 2011

Rays 1st Round Pick - 31st Overall: Mikie Mahtook

Mahtook was another who fell, he was rated higher by most places.

-Bats/Throws: R/R
-Height/Weight: 6-1/200
-Birthdate: 11/30/89
-School: Louisiana State University

Mahtook burst onto the scene as a freshman, earning a starting spot midway through the 2009 season and helping to spark Louisiana State to the College World Series championship. He was good enough in center field to push premium athletes Leon Landry and Jared Mitchell to the outfield corners, yet at 6-foot-1, 192 pounds, some scouts are still skeptical whether he can play the middle garden in the big leagues. He played right field as a sophomore and moved back to center as a junior. He has an average arm, but if he gets any bigger and loses his slightly above-average speed, he may have to go to left. Mahtook's swing isn't technically proficient, but he's strong, repeats his stroke and has a feel for the barrel. He made consistent hard contact all season, and his OPS (1.205) was higher than it was last season. Scouts expect clubs that value performance to keep Mahtook from sliding beyond the supplemental round.
LSU's center fielder is having a very good offensive season in a down year for college hitters, as others have struggled with the move to the new bats.
Mahtook, as they say, wears the uniform well, with a an excellent baseball body. He's got very good bat speed and with good mechanics and looks like he should be an above-average hitter at the next level. He hits to all fields, with his power -- which should be Major League average -- coming mostly to the pull side. He'll overswing at times, though that may be more due to his aggressive style than his lack of approach at the plate.
Mahtook is an average runner, better under way, but he's a very good baserunner overall. Defensively, he's got the ability to play anywhere in the outfield. His arm is fringy average, but it's fairly accurate, and his all-out play and good instincts allow his average range to play up.
If he can stay in center, his offensive potential at that premium position looks that more enticing. Regardless of his defensive home, Mahtook is likely to be gone before the first round is over.
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