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CLASS OF 2019

OF

Jacob
Melton

Oregon State
South Medford (HS) • OR
6-3 • 210LBS • L/L

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2019 National

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2019 State

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2022 DRAFT Astros ROUND 2
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7/10/22

2022 MLB Draft: Strong yet lean at 6-foot-3, 208-pounds Melton has good strength and is also extremely agile. His raw tools will rate with top prospects in this year's draft as he grades out as a better than plus runner and projects as an above average defender with near plus arm strength. At the plate his raw power is also better than average presently, with at least another half grade of improvement in the future. He showed the ability to tap into his raw power with 22 doubles, 17 home runs and a .310 ISO this season. How this power plays forward is largely dependent on his hit ability tool which varies from scout to scout. Some see the stiffness in his swing, an arm bar creating some length and too many misses on pitches in the zone. Others see him competing in the box, adjusting really well with two strikes, natural hand/eye coordination and a consistent barreling of the baseball. It's Kyle Tucker type funk that produced a .360/.424/.670 line this spring. On the defensive side of the game Melton gets a good jump, floats with his footspeed and is likely to remain in center at the pro level. He has less ceiling than fellow West Coast outfielders Brock Jones and Dylan Beavers, and is likely to be selected between picks 30 and 40.

3/27/22

Lean and sinewy at 6-foot-3, 208-pounds with athletic proportions throughout, looks like he could do just about any athletic endeavor and figure it out. He's got strength, but is also extremely agile, like a gymnast. Body type, along with athleticism and some similar tools/game-type attributes bring to mind Cody Bellinger. Presently hitting a robust .398, 9 HR, 37 RBI (6 2B, 2 3B), contrasted by a 19:3 SO:BB ratio, give a statistical look at his reward/risk potential and then watching the player, the eyes suggest the same thing. At the plate both his approach and mechanics are works in progress. One at-bat he was taking and walked back to the dugout without a swing, taking five fastballs for a backward K. The next at-bat he was aggressive early and punched a single through the middle. Stayed aggressive in his third AB and hooked a deep liner one hopping the RF fence, catching the ball off the end of the bat. Both the fourth and fifth ABs he popped out to the left side. Each at-bat he tended to have a different approach, plan, etc. Some swings were big and aggressive, some swings short and focused on contact. To say there was not really a rhyme or reason, at least to the eye of a scout seeing him for the first and ONLY time, was how he looked. Yet, there was the potential and liveliness in each swing to make you pay attention. Hitting in the two-hole and having his numbers, for one of the nation's top teams, clearly speaks to his raw talent.

As for the mechanics, the hands start high, bat a bit flat, he drops his hands down significantly for his first move and then takes them back to a deep load before attacking. That's three movements to get the swing off and that is or has to be a concern for those interested or willing to put draft equity into him. Then again, in some of the ABs or even within an AB, he started a little lower, took the hands more back directly vs down and back, kept the front shoulder on the ball better and used innate and natural hand eye coordination to put the ball in play and then get to his best tool, raw speed. Knowing that he was a player with a fastball that got to 90+ in high school and also was/is an outstanding bowler, speaks to his natural hand-eye talents. There likely isn't a gym or golf course he couldn't walk up to into and look like he's a prospect at those sports. That also shows on the defensive side of the game, where he can at times glide to the ball, but his fluidity and feel for tracking the ball, along with his confidence to get there, both in front of him and behind him, showed up. He does get a good jump, he did take the right routes most of the time, but he can struggle with that part, evidenced by the only mistake he made which was getting to a deep ball at the CF wall when he beat the ball to a spot but misread the carry and jumped when maybe he didn't need to or jumped just a hair too early and had a ball go off his glove. Clearly, he felt he could have/should have caught it, and he was right. It was the only blemish and it was mostly about the slight winds at Cal-Berkeley in CF and just not making a play, which happens. Otherwise on all other plays he was beating the ball to the spot, was able to get behind a few deep shots and when needed, made accurate throws to bags and cut-offs. He can float with his footspeed, meaning, he runs easy and there very well could be an extra gear he can get to.

His raw tools will rate with top prospects for the draft, certainly with the ones that give a glimpse of the ceiling...and also the floor...aka risk. For the sake of the 20-80 scale, he grades out; Run 60/65. Field 55, future 60. Throw 55/60. Raw power 55, future 60. Game power, 50 at best because of the one tool that will be the big thing...the hit tool, which given the mechanics and inconsistent approach, grades out as a 40. It will be higher for scouts who really want him, they might go 50, most will settle on a hedgy 45. That future hit grade will affect the power production. He's talented and raw and exciting and I'd guess even for his coaches, exhilarating and sometimes exasperating. That he is a college player vs a prep player, that also comes into play relative to how a scout could feel about the 'rawness' of his game/approach. Then again, he is performing in one of the nation's top college conferences and one of the top teams, with a near .400 batting average and what will end up being near 20 HR. So if he's 'raw' on one day or in an at-bat looks lost and the next he looks like a can't miss talent, well, there you have it, that's Melton, that's the draft. Some will completely pass on him, and some will want to put quite a few chips in on him. (Clemmens)

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