This is the last in our MLB Draft Profile series. This players is perhaps the best pure hitter we’ve profiled. And while he may not have a true position, Austin Wells can flat-out hit.
- RHP Bobby Miller, Louisville [May 15]
- OF Daniel Cabrera, LSU [May 18]
- RHP Jared Kelley, Refugio HS (Texas) [May 21]
- RHP Slade Cecconi, Miami(FL) [May 25]
- SS Ed Howard, Mount Carmel HS (Ill.) [May 28]
- SS Jordan Westburg, Mississippi State [May 29]
- RHP Clayton Beeter, Texas Tech [June 1]
- C/3B/OF Tyler Soderstrom, Turlock HS (Calif.) [June 2]
- RHP Bryce Jarvis, Duke [June 4]
- RHP Chris McMahon, Miami (FL) [June 7]
- C Dillon Dingler, Ohio State [June 8]
6’2, 220 pounds
Position: Catcher/First Base/Left Field
DOB: July 12, 1999
Year: Redshirt Sophomore
Slot recommended bonus (No. 29): $2,424,600
Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and videos.
We all know the Dodgers love their catching prospects, either on the international market or in the draft. However, Wells doesn’t fit the Dodgers’ MO, defensively. But with robot umpires on the horizon, his framing deficiencies could be rendered moot. That’s not to say Wells has no positives as a catcher. His arm is solid enough, even if his throwing can be inconsistent. He worked over the winter to improve behind the plate, but the pandemic cost him a chance to show scouts what he had accomplished. He’s agile and willing to put the work in to improve. And if he’s a candidate for first base or left field and is athletic enough to handle both spots, there’s at least a glimmer of hope for him to stick behind the plate.
But the draw for Wells is his bat. He carries a premium stick. He does a great job controlling his bat and the strike zone. He ended his collegiate career (assuming he signs, obviously) with more walks (63) than strikeouts (57). All this sounds like the type of hitting prospect the Dodgers covet. It sounds a lot like Michael Busch, their 2019 supplemental 1st-round selection, so there is precedent for a versatile (some would probably say, “positionless”) for the Dodgers to zero in on a guy like this.
Videos courtesy of Prospects Live and 2080 Baseball.
As a redshirt sophomore, Wells is younger than most juniors, giving not only more leverage, but also making him more attractive to teams that covet youth. It’ll take at least a slot deal to get him to forego his final two years at Arizona. If he can even be a 45-defender behind the plate, his bat would make him a potential All-Star. If he has to move to first base or left field, that would put more pressure on his bat, but he has quite a bit of upside as a hitter.