By The Baseball Beginnings Guy
December 14, 2009
Christian Yelich is a left-handed high school bat who is all projection. Have a look at our exclusive Baseball Beginnings video, and then we’ll discuss this player.
Yelich is tall (about 6-4 and growing), lean (wait until the muscle comes in) and lanky (which means the muscle will have somewhere to go). Yelich is going to be a corner guy whose bat will take him to the next level. He’s taller than he was a year ago at Westlake High School, where his area scouts universally love him, and he’s no secret.
Yelich’s power projection is why people want to draft him. As of now, I’d put his power grade at 30/65. He’s got good hands and creates a good sound off the bat, but he needs to develop consistency. His power is mostly to right field at this stage. He has good enough hands and can be a gap-to-gap hitter, but he doesn’t have the complementary tools to not hit for significant power and stick. He’s a below average runner and fielder at this time, and his athletic actions are kind of jumpy, but this is also because the kid is growing. He’s not going to be a burner and he’s going to have to turn himself into a better defender as he matures. A fair comparison for Yelich is Andrew Lambo, another left-handed hitter whose power is his best tool. Lambo played his high school baseball just a few miles away from Yelich. Like Lambo, Yelich will need to prove that he understands that his hands can help him and also hurt him if he does not use them consistently as a young professional.
Yelich will be a guy who will be a game-by-game study as the draft nears. He’s committed to play college baseball at Miami, which will make him tougher to sign. Scouts will look for improved athletic coordination, because those who want him already believe he will hit for power, and they will want to see that the guy has enough raw ability to play a position every day. To me, there’s no question Yelich has some power projection. We’ll see him again in the spring and provide an update on his development.