Chase DeLauter
Chase DeLauter

CLASS OF 2019

OF
LHP

Chase
DeLauter

James Madison
Hedgesville (HS) • WV
6-1 • 200LBS • L/L

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2019 National

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2019 State

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2/21/22

vs Florida State: Heading into Opening Weekend, a prevalent thought among the scouting industry was that it might not be the best time to get a true look at our No. 11 overall prospect Chase DeLauter. He was set to battle two of the top left-handed pitchers in the country in Florida State's Parker Messick and Bryce Hubbart, as well as a third top southpaw in Top 100 2023 prospect Ross Dunn. Left-on-left against this trio is no easy task, especially right out of the chute. Nevertheless, after not getting an in-person look at DeLauter in the Cape last summer, this was the series that I chose to further evaluate one of the industry's top bats for the 2022 MLB Draft.

DeLauter's reputation as a five-tool talent has been well-documented. He runs plus, throws plus and despite a misread and resulting banana route on a Reese Albert fly ball to deep center field that resulted in a double, the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder is usually a strong defender and there's a strong chance he remains in center field at the professional level.

DeLauter had one of the most impactful bats on the Cape, tying for the league lead with nine home runs, pacing the circuit in slugging (.589) and ISO (.281), while finishing 11th average (.298). Most importantly, his power production came with a low K-rate (12%) and good BB-rate (14%). In short, DeLauter hit for big power while maintaining quality contact rates and getting on base at a top-of-the-order clip. He exited the summer and fall seasons on the shortlist of college bats with the inside track for first round selection this July, but opened the 2022 season on a tough note.

Batting in the two-hole against Florida State, a spot in the order where many of the top 2022 hitting prospects (Berry-LSU, Lee–Cal Poly, Cross- VA Tech, Parada- GA Tech, Wallace- Arkansas, Beavers- Cal) have also started the season, DeLauter predictably struggled against the lefty arsenals. His swing touted as "controlled aggression with little in the way of leaked energy from load to impact" was not to be found in this series. DeLauter swung and missed repeatedly, finishing 3-for-14 with eight strikeouts on the weekend. On the bright side he did bounce back with a 2-for-5 performance on Sunday after an 0-for-5, three strikeout Saturday. His three hits in the series included a pop fly double off the end of the bat to the opposite field that landed just inside the left field foul line, a hard line drive to right field on a low, center-cut slider and another line drive single to right during his last at-bat of the series. Swing mechanics-wise, DeLauter did a good job of allowing his lower half to work, and kept his hands back well to create the whip when he released his upper body. However, his swing had some excess length, was in/out of the hitting zone rather quickly and he repeatedly expanded his zone. It is also a swing made to hammer the inner half. The 'Noles pitching staff exposed these holes, while staying away from his honey spot all weekend long. They fired a mix of offerings down and away, as well as elevated heaters inside and off the plate. It's much too early to panic, but there is some cause for concern, especially for a third-year college hitter with only 205 career plate appearances entering this season (JMU's season was limited to just 28 games in 2021 due to covid cancellations). Outside of a two game midweek series in March against Tennessee and a single midweek game vs Maryland in April, the FSU series will likely be the top competition JMU faces this season.

7/25/21

DeLauter had one of the most impactful bats on the entire Cape, tying teammate Tyler Locklear with a league-leading nine home runs, pacing the circuit in slugging (.589) and ISO (.281), and finishing 11th in OBP (.397) and average (.298). Most importantly, DeLauter’s massive power production came with a low K-rate (12%) and good BB-rate (14%). In short, DeLauter hit for massive power while maintaining quality contact rates and getting on base at a top-of-the-order clip. The swing is textbook “controlled aggression”, with an almost non-existent load and quick barrel-to-ball delivery through an explosive core and strong front side – all with a steady head from soup to nuts. There’s not much in the way of leaked energy from load to impact, allowing DeLauter to put every bit of force into his contact point. His listed 6-foot- 4, 250-pound frame belies his center field chops, with the JMU product showing clean reads and routes will covering ample ground to the gaps and showing an ability to finish at the margins of his range. His grades out as an easy plus, making him a candidate to stick in center long term or shift over to right where he could be an above-average Major League defender. While there are names with more national notoriety, DeLauter can put his summer performance side-by-side with any collegiate bat in the draft class. He exits the summer on the shortlist of college bats with the inside track for first round selection next July.

DeLauter is a 6-foot-1, 170-pound LHP/OF from Hedgesville HS.

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