MLB Draft: 2016 Top High School Catchers and First Baseman
Joey Wentz may be a better pitcher than he is hitter, and although I didn’t include him with the pitchers, he is a top eight pitching prospect. Wentz is a 6’5” and 210 pound left handed hitter (and pitcher) from Shawnee Mission East High School in Kansas. The 18 year old, who is committed to Virginia, sits in the low to mid-90s, with room to grow. However, last summer he had a dead arm, and although he is back to throwing, the risk may be too much, especially with the way he hits.
The Pirates, under current general manager Neal Huntington, drafted Stetson Allie in the second round of the 2010 draft as a pitcher, but due to his complete lack of control had to move him off and he became a first base prospect. Wentz has better control than Allie, and if he did not, being left handed would give him more of a chance to figure it out. Wentz has the stuff to become the best high school pitcher drafted, but with the increase in Tommy John surgery, I think a team, if they have great minor league pitching depth, would be wise to draft him as a hitter.
As a hitter Wentz stands tall in the box, and slightly open. He features a high leg kick, which he goes knee to knee with no toe tap. Wentz starts his hands towards his head before dropping them down and swinging, the typical left handed swing. Be it with a metal bat, MLB pipeline reports Wentz hit an impressive 543 foot home run in Cincinnati last year. Even with a metal bat, that is crazy pop that any team should want. He should develop, if chosen as a hitter, the pop needed to be an everyday first baseman, and a good enough average to stay as well. Most teams will probably look at Wentz as a pitcher, but I see a Lucas Duda type player in him. He will likely go before the Pirates pick at 22.
Next: An offensive minded catcher from Wisconsin