Prep Baseball Report

Then & Now: Max Wagner, Clemson

David Seifert
Director of College Scouting

THEN MARCH 12, 2017: Five-foot-10, 155-pound two-way player, stronger build for his age. 7.14 runner in the 60. Right-handed hitter, open stance, tall setup, longer stride with leg lift, on time. Strong, athletically built, right-handed hitting infielder. Aggressive approach at the plate, swings with intent and present strength and bat speed. Showed barrel control, hard contact to the middle of the field, line drive guy with confidence in the box. 95 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm showed carry, short loose ¾ slot. Exchange is clean, long at times, plays tall showed above average hands. On the mound arm works more over the top, quick arm. Fastball controlled the zone, 78-80 mph, touched 82 mph. Curveball played at 67-68 mph, 12/6 action. Changeup comes out of slightly lower slot, 69-71 mph, thrown with arm speed and showed feel. Looks to be a high-level right-handed bat in the 2020 class.

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THEN NORTHWOODS LEAGUE AUGUST 5, 2020: Although he missed some time with an ankle sprain, the 2020 high school graduate showed little trouble adjusting to the college game. Ranked as the No. 94 prep prospect for the 2020 draft, Wagner went undrafted and will head to Clemson. The 6-foot, 195-pounder is an aggressive infielder who plays hard, has an above average run tool and showed an average arm during my look. He finished the summer with a .211 batting average in 15 games, but there’s a good feel to hit with quick hands and pop in his right-handed bat. At times, the speed of the college game affected his decisions on defense, but that’s likely to improve with more experience, especially for a prospect whose senior season of high school baseball was canceled due to covid this past spring.

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 Following a 2021 season in which he was used often as a late inning defensive replacement, Wagner hit .214/.305/.345 with five doubles, two home runs and nine RBI in 35 games. This spring he has blown up into one of the top hitters in the country, showing the ability to hit for a very high average (.393), and also for big time power – 23 home runs, 14 doubles for a .899 SLG and an elite .509 ISO. Built similar to current MLer Matt Chapman (Cal State Fullerton) at 6-foot, 215 pounds, Wagner sets up with an open stance, strides to slightly open, maintains his balance and tracks the ball well. He shows a patient approach with strong plate discipline. His strikeout rate is 17.9% with an equal number of walks as strikeouts (39) on the season to go along with eight HBP in 218 plate appearances. Defensively, Wagner shows the necessary traits to remain at the hot corner at the next level. He moves well, shows sure hands and better than average arm strength with good carry across the diamond. He has made 11 errors in 124 chances this season for a .911 FLD%. As a draft-eligible sophomore he projects to be drafted in the top three rounds this July.

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