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School: Virginia; Class: Junior
Position: 1B/OF; B/T: L/R
Height: 6-3; Weight: 210 pounds
Previously Drafted: Los Angeles Angels, 30th round, 2011
Background: Perhaps the single most underrated bat in the entire draft, Papi acquitted himself nicely during his freshman season at Virginia, hitting .283/.395/.387 in part time action. But the corner outfielder/first baseman had a coming out party of sorts last year, hitting an ungodly .381/.517/.619 with 15 doubles, three triples, and seven homeruns while displaying one of the best eyes at the plate (45-to-25 ball-to-strikeout ratio).
According to CollegeSplits.com, Papi’s park and schedule adjusted wOBA was an incredible .519, the fourth best mark in all of college baseball, trailing last year’s top bat Kris Bryant by 19 points.
This season, however, Papi’s numbers have declined a bit (.289/.446/.493) thanks to a nearly 100-point drop in BABIP.
Projection: Quite frankly, Papi’s a Nick Swisher clone – or at least pretty darn close to it. Not only do both players play the same positions, but consider the following comparison over their final two collegiate seasons:
And while Swisher bests Papi in power and slightly in plate discipline, it’s worth noting that Papi has played against stiffer competition while using the new “deader” aluminum bats, the ones that act more like wooden bats.
Elite, elite eye at the player. Solid-average power, something along the lines of maybe 20 homeruns in a season. Position versatility. Better than average bat.
Ceiling: 4.5- to 5.0-win player
Floor: 2.0- to 2.5-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate to Above-Average
Draft Projection: First Round
Photo Courtesy of virginiasportstv.com.