I just can’t seem to get away from college bats in these MLB Draft Profiles. Next up is the most unknown college bat you’ll probably see in this series in Illinois State University outfielder Ryan Cermak.
6’1, 205 pounds
DOB: June 2, 2001
Slot recommended bonus (No. 29): $1,950,900
Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and videos.
Yet another college bat, Cermak’s profile is incredibly intriguing and, in all honesty, he might be a bit underrated by draft experts. Either that or I’ve fallen in love with the profile so hard that I’m blind to the deficiencies in his game. We shall see!
Cermak is one of the more athletic players available in the class, and he has the production to match. He hit .340/.444/.696 in 229 plate appearances for the Redbirds. The level of competition in the Missouri Valley Conference won’t be mistaken for the SEC, but the fact he dominated so much is a positive sign. He produces plus-bat speed that helps him generate lots of power and high exit velocities. He has some natural loft to his swing and projects to hit for plus-power at the next level. The knock on him, aside from some swing-and-miss, is that he’s almost strictly a pull hitter. That isn’t as bad a thing as it was a couple decades ago, but going the other way every once in a while wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for him. The Dodgers are among the best when it comes to developing hitters (Jeren Kendall and Kody Hoese notwithstanding), so the player developmental team could have a field day with Cermak.
Cermak can play any outfield position and even dabbled a bit at third base in college. But his athleticism would be wasted there. He has a chance to be a legitimate center fielder with a plus-arm. On the bases, he could be a 20-stolen base guy. His defensive profile isn’t dissimilar to Gilbert, whom I profiled yesterday.
The draft-eligible sophomore (thanks to COVID) isn’t projected by many to go this high in the draft. While I’m not sure he does, the Dodgers don’t have another 2nd-round pick, so if they want him, they’ll probably have to “overdraft” him at 40. If they do, he should be a relatively easy sign. There’s a bit of prime AJ Pollock in him, but hopefully he has a healthier career than AJ.