School: University of North Carolina; Class: Junior
Position: SS; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-0; Weight: 190
Previously Drafted: N/A
Background: After a lackluster freshman season in which he batted a paltry .246/.315/.282 with just five extra-base hits – four doubles and one homerun – the defensive-minded shortstop had a huge coming out party in 2016. In 53 games for the Tar Heels that year, Warmoth, a 6-foot, 190-pound prospect out of Orlando, Florida, batted a robust .337/.402/.481 with 14 doubles, a pair of triples, and four homeruns – all being career bests.
He also continued to hit when he moved into the Cape Cod League during the summer as well, slugging a respectable .270/.330/.450 with six doubles and four homeruns in 27 games with the Brewster Whitecaps.
But he raised offensive bar even higher in 2017.
Through his first 55 games with the Heels this season, Warmoth is slugging .336/.410/.562 while – once again – setting highs in nearly every offensive category: doubles (18), triples (four), homeruns (nine), stolen bases (18), and walks (26).
For his career, Warmoth is sporting a solid .309/.379/.450 triple-slash line – no small feat considering how poorly he performed as a 19-year-old in 2015.
Projection: Collegiate shortstops getting drafted based solely – or at least greatly – on their defensive ability is nothing new. Most recently, the A’s grabbed former University of Florida defensive wizard Richie Martin with the 20th overall pick in the 2015 draft. So it’s not surprising to see Warmoth’s name being floated about as a potential first rounder.
So let’s dig in…
Consider the following career comparison:
Warmoth is easily the superior offensive player. He’s driving the ball with better consistency, willing to take the occasional walk, and can run a bit. This year’s collegiate class is incredibly light on bats, particularly of the middle infield variety, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Warmoth go as early as the 15th or so selection.
At his peak, Warmoth looks like a .270/.320/.380-type hitter. But he might have a little Brandon Crawford in him as well.
Ceiling: 2.0- to 2.5-win player
Floor: 1.0-win player
Risk: Low to Moderate
Grade: First Round