2012 MLB Draft Scouting Reports: Carlos Correa, Gavin Cecchini, Courtney HawkinsPosted by in MLB Draft | Scouting Reports
Carlos Correa – SS
What to Love: When Jeff and I visited the practice field preceding the Perfect Game All-American Game last summer, there was one player that we agreed was the most impressive prospect of the bunch. His name: Carlos Correa. It’s not often you see a shortstop with a refined line drive approach, strong defensive skills and enough power potential to raise an eyebrow, yet that’s exactly what Correa represents. This native of Puerto Rico may be the most impressive high school position prospect this side of Byron Buxton. Though just about every tool in his game is impressive, it’s Correa’s bat that makes him special. Correa takes a very direct route to the ball, using his quick hands to stroke liners all over the field. He’s not an uber power prospect by any means, but Correa’s power with wood is already materializing and there’s plenty more to dream on for the future. Correa’s actions in the infield are excellent and are only outdone by his arm-strength, allowing him to have tremendous defensive upside no matter what position he ends up at.
What to Loath: There’s not much to list here, but I’ll do my best. First, as a potential up-the-middle player, Correa isn’t very fast and will not be the traditional base stealing threat that is commonly associated with shortstops. Of course, due to that lack of speed and a body that is expected to only grow larger, there is a reasonable chance that Correa would need to move to third base, where he’d project as a plus-plus defender. Correa’s body is more firm than strong, so he will have to continue to work hard in order to maintain his physique. Further, Correa’s present power is more of the warning track variety at this point, so his future home run output is almost purely projection at this point.
How He Fits: San Diego has had their fair share of disasters when it comes to drafting high-upside offensive talent in the first round. However, in terms of actual hitting ability at least, Correa blows away the likes of Matt Bush and Donovan Tate. Correa could be the Padres’ best-case scenario selection with their first pick. There’s always room for a player that could end up being the best position player selected in the draft.
Padres’ Best Shot: 1st Pick (7th overall)
Video courtesy of Baseball America.
Video courtesy of Baseball Instinct.
Gavin Cecchini – SS
What to Love: Next is a player with a pedigree that is likely unmatched in this year’s draft. Cecchini’s brother, Garin, is a highly touted prospect in the Red Sox system and – not to be outdone – both of Gavin’s parents coach his high school team in Louisiana. Though these bloodlines are a positive note on the scouting report, it’s Gavin’s abilities that will have him standing out in war rooms across baseball come draft day. The younger Cecchini first and foremost is an athlete. His 6’1″ 180 lb frame is thin, strong and, combined with his impressive fielding skills, will allow him to stick at shortstop as he matures. Gavin’s arm, speed and hit tools all grade between solid to above-average, which all play up due to his impressive baseball instincts and intelligence, making him as good a bet to make it to the Majors as any prep position player in the draft. Some can see a Yunel Escobar-like upside with Cecchini, though I don’t like the bat nearly as much. Still, as low as replacement-level value is for shortstops, Cecchini could become a very strong option at the position.
What to Loath: While all of Gavin’s tools are good, none of them are spectacular. His strongest skill is his defense, which is exactly what you want to see from a high school shortstop. However, with nothing more than projected 50-55’s on the rest of his scouting report, it may be hard to justify selecting him with a pick in the top-third of the first round. Gavin’s worst tools may very well lie in his bat; both his power and hitting ability are almost entirely based in the abstract at this point. Though any team would want a fundamentally sound and proficient defender at short, the Padres would likely want more of an offensive force from that position if all things are equal.
How He Fits: With Jace Peterson excelling at Fort Wayne, San Diego would rather not spend their first pick on a shortstop with limited upside. However, most industry insiders believe that Gavin is a mid-first round pick, thus it may be wishful thinking for the Padres to target him with their second pick (33rd overall). If San Diego does select him, it will be with one of their first two picks, though I find both scenarios unlikely.
Padres’ Best Shot: 1st Pick (7th overall)
Courtney Hawkins – OF
What to Love: Hawkins is a top-notch prep outfield prospect out of Texas with an impressive combination of great speed, tremendous arm-strength and prodigious power potential. At this point, only his hit tool projects less than plus, giving him the potential to become an impact player both on offense and defense at the next level. Hawkins’ strongest tool is his power, something that will come as no surprise when looking at his swing. His stroke is a combination of effort, strength and a heaping pile of leverage, which should result in power that can play anywhere and plenty of strikeouts to boot. Hawkins has also made a name for himself on the mound, where he has reportedly hit the low 90’s with his fastball, leaving him with a backup plan if he is unable to make enough contact as a professional batsman. At 6’2 210 lbs, Hawkins is a physical specimen who’s presence will be an intimidating factor both in the batter’s box and the outfield.
What to Loath: The only aspect of this Texan’s game that may outweigh his tools would be his rawness. Though his instincts have been heralded, Hawkins’ skills need some refinement. As with any young power hitter, there is a lot of swing-and-miss in this outfielder’s stroke, which is due to a combination of his aggressive approach and below-average pitch recognition. Hawkins is a center fielder now, but most people in the industry believe that his skillset is more suitable for right field at the professional level. Though his body is fantastic at present, there could be concern regarding a lack of physical projection going forward.
How He Fits: Hawkins has a collection of tools that could immediately rival just about anyone’s in the Padres’ system. His offensive upside is tremendous and likely rests towards the top of San Diego’s board at this point. Due to the depth of the 2012 class and lack of a real consensus at this point in draft prognostication, it would not be unreasonable for Hawkins to fall into the supplemental first round. A best-case scenario for San Diego would be to take two high upside bats with their earliest picks, Hawkins being the latter.
Padres’ Best Shot: 2nd Pick (33rd overall)
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