With the 2017 Draft fast approaching (Monday to Wednesday on MLB Network and MLB.com), we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class.Name: Austin BeckPosition: CFSchool: North Davidson HS, Lexington, N.C.Rank on Draft Top 200: 9DOB: 11/21/1998Bats: R Throws: RHeight: 5' 11" Weight: 175 poundsCollege commitment:
With the 2017 Draft fast approaching (Monday to Wednesday on MLB Network and MLB.com), we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class.
Name: Austin Beck
School: North Davidson HS, Lexington, N.C.
Rank on Draft Top 200: 9
Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 5' 11" Weight: 175 pounds
College commitment: North Carolina
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Beck missed the entire showcase circuit last summer and fall after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee in May 2016. He returned to the diamond this spring with a vengeance, displaying some of the most impressive all-around tools available in this year's Draft. In the process, Beck has transformed into a potential Top 10 overall selection.
The 18-year-old possesses great bat speed from the right side of the plate and projects as a solid defender as well, but his instincts with the glove have drawn mixed reviews. There is a strong possibility Beck will end up in right field instead of center. Some scouts grade his speed and arm strength equally, seeing both attributes as good but not stellar.
While Beck doesn't have a history of solving quality pitching with a wood bat, he has the potential to hit 25 homers and steal 25 bases should he tap into his full power potential. There is some concern about the extra movement in Beck's swing, but he has the makings of a star if he can put it all together.
MLB comp: Aaron Rowand
Fun fact: Beck's biggest hobby outside of baseball is fishing. After baseball practice, he'll lift weights and then fish.
He said it: "UNC has always been in the back of my mind. I have been committed there since I was a freshman, but with that being said, it has always been my dream to play in the big leagues. So for me, to get a chance to go and compete for a spot on a big league roster is astonishing."
They said it: "He's the whole package as far as his skill set. He's a center fielder, but he has a right fielder's arm. He has speed, and he hits for average and power. Plus he's got a tremendous work ethic and will to win. There aren't many players out there who can do all that he does." -- North Davison High School coach Matthew Griffin, Winston-Salem Journal
Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @OMacklinMLB.