Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Six Potential Later Round Picks
By Noah Wright
Evan Sleight is an outfielder at Rutgers who, like other prospects talked about here today, had appeared in the Cape Cod League. Sleight has made some noticeable improvements to his game this year and has the raw tools to be an intriguing pick. He's not completely risk-free, but there's enough to interest teams.
Sleight batted .315/.432/.575 through 252 plate appearances. The left-handed hitter blasted off a dozen times while collecting 14 doubles. All in all, his isolated slugging percentage clocked in at .260. Even better were his walk and strikeout rates. Sleight drew ball four in 12.7% of his plate appearances while striking out just 13.5% of the time. It was by far his best season during his time at Rutgers.
Sleight has been praised for his raw power, delivering plus exit velocity numbers. He also puts up good barrel rate numbers, consistently driving the gaps. Though there is some concern about Sleight's hit tool. Sleight may have posted a solid K% this year, but he struck out in 20% of his plate appearances in 2022 and 23% of the time in the Cape Cod League. He's definitely made improvements, going more to a toe-tap than a leg kick. However, it is something to keep in mind. That's not the only thing that makes Sleight a risk. He's also displayed below-average speed and may end up as a designated hitter in the long run.
I like the mechanical improvements that Sleight has made over the last few years, and it could certainly help him in the long run. Raw power isn't a problem, and he should be able to spray hard-hit liners over the field. Teams are buying into the bat by drafting Sleight.