Author Topic: Follow the Prospects: Drew Ward, 3b  (Read 12376 times)

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Offline RD

  • Posts: 1440
Re: Follow the Prospects: Drew Ward, 3b
« Topic Start: June 10, 2013, 12:59:27 AM »
FWIW, my take on the situation is that the age thing is totally overblown. People are saying scouts may not have taken a close enough look at him because they didnt expect him to come out til 2014 is a crock. The talk of him declaring early was going around in February, before the season started. It was confirmed in March, early in the season. He was already well known and well followed, so scouts would definitely flock and get more in depth scouting reports if they did indeed take it for granted he still had another year in high school.

Also, saying it's difficult to gauge because of his age and competition I think is overrated. The kid's been playing all over the travel circuit for years, playing with kids his age and even older, despite what his grade classification may have been. And he has fared well - extremely well- everywhere he's been.  I understand his HS did not play against quality talent, but when he shows up to the showcase events and still drops bombs and impresses, you know his talent is legit.

Its pretty obvious the kid matured early physically, and that he has been groomed to be a big leaguer for quite some time. To a certain extent, that may limit his upside a tad bit. Think of the Sean Burroughs effect. Kid was so advanced and taught so well, that he didn't have a whole lot to learn with new coaches and a pro workout regiment.

Being that he is closer to 19 than he is 18 already, and that he has been training his body and game for years, I don't think he has a ton of physical growth left either. Certainly, there is time for more growth physically. I dont mean to imply he's done growing yet. But, I dont think he's going to end up being 240lbs by the time he reaches his peak. He's listed anywhere from 200-215, so I think he'll get into the 225 range at his peak. And I think that's great for him, because he should be able to stay at third base in that range. He is a solid athlete, with the hands, arm, and mentality for the position. Unless he can't move anymore, he should be able to stick. So those extra 20lbs will definitely help him stick defensively IMO.

Even if he does shift to first, his bat should be special. I really like that he has such an advanced approach at the plate. Think back to Michael Burgess ... he was hyped early, and he even admitted he was impatient as a senior and couldn't resist the urge to lay off pitches because he was constantly pitched around. He developed some bad habits that he couldn't ditch once he got to the professional level. Ward managed to maintain his plate discipline despite rarely seeing pitches. I think that bodes well for his ability to carry over his eye to the next level. He has also been noted for years for his ability to drive pitches the other way. He doesn't try to pull everything, which is an easy thing to do when facing inferior competition and trying to drop bombs every pitch.

There are some questions about his leg kick causing some timing issues at the plate, but I think that can be attributed to the up and down talent he faces. If you're seeing 80 for a few months, then jump up to 95 for a weekend, there will be some hitches in your timing and routine. It's something that will need to be ironed out early for him to reach his potential, but it's also something that you can reasonably expect him to develop consistency with now that he'll be facing legit talent on a daily basis.

I think the kid has the ability to be a star. His age, approach at the plate, and size could allow him to be a relatively fast riser for a HS bat.

He's the guy Im most excited about in this draft class, so let's hope he signs. He comes from a family of Sooners, so his commitment to Oklahoma cannot be ignored. It's going to take an overslot deal to get him aboard, and I think it's likely we do. But its not a given IMO. He could head to JuCo for a year or off to OU if we don't meet his demands. Here's to hoping we do, and he may be the player that pushes Zimmerman to first base in a couple years.