2020 MLB Draft Profile: C/1B/LF Austin Wells, Arizona

Austin Wells

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.

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Previous Entries

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Vitals
6’2, 220 pounds
Position: Catcher/First Base/Left Field
Bats: Left
Throw: Right
DOB: July 12, 1999

Location
Tucson, Ariz.
Year: Redshirt Sophomore

Rankings
The Athletic: 44
Baseball America: 21
CBS MLB: 26
ESPN: 36
FanGraphs: 40
MLB Pipeline: 27
Perfect Game: 34

Slot recommended bonus (No. 29): $2,424,600

Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and videos.

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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.

Video

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.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.