2012 MLB Draft Scouting Reports: Nick Williams, Stryker Trahan, Ty ButtreyPosted by in MLB Draft | Player Update | Scouting Reports
Nick Williams – OF
What to Love: Nick Williams is yet another strong and dynamic outfielder out of the state of Texas. Equipped with some top-notch tools, including plus-plus speed and impressive arm-strength, Williams has everything he needs to become a defensive force in centerfield, where many project him to remain during his professional career. Included in Williams’ toolbox is some intriguing hitting ability, especially to the opposite field, and considerable power potential. Though he won’t ever hit 40 home runs, doubt digit bombs should be well within reach for Williams in the future. Williams’ speed also makes him a threat on the base paths, giving the Texan future 15-15 potential down the road if things break right. For what it’s worth, Williams also plays the game with a great attitude and always seems to have a smile on his face on the field, evoking makeup comparisons to a young Ken Griffey, Jr.
What to Loath: While he has the physical tools that rival just about anyone’s in the draft, Williams is also one of the rawest. Williams definitely has some power, but it is a tool that is still developing and may never materialize given his struggles to make contact consistently. Williams also has a tough time identifying and adjusting to breaking pitches, leading most to believe that strikeouts will always be a large part of his game. That poor pitch recognition may also limit Williams’ ability to draw walks, which could result in some ugly OBP numbers if he can’t adjust at the next level. Though his tools are conducive to strong defensive play in the outfield, scouts have been relatively underwhelmed with Williams’ instincts in center. Williams has committed to the University of Texas and, given his roots in the Lone Star State as well as his overall rawness, could end up being a nearly impossible sign out of high school.
How He Fits: Williams is the exact type of player that many projected would suffer under the revised draft policies implemented by the new MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement. Though he is a highly touted athlete, Williams’ unrefined skill set will likely have him slipping down draft boards as Monday approaches. With his aforementioned commitment to Texas, offering Williams enough money to forgo becoming a Longhorn will be a difficult challenge for teams to overcome. It is these high-risk players who deserve a chance to lock up some financial security, yet it seems unlikely that Williams will get an equitable signing bonus at his projected second/third round selection slot. If Williams slips to San Diego’s second round pick, he would represent an interesting offensive gamble as the 68th selection in the draft.
Padres’ Best Shot: 6th Pick (68th overall)
Stryker Trahan – C
What to Love: Stryker Trahan, besides having one of the best names in this year’s draft, is one of the premier catchers available this summer. In terms of backstops, Trahan could easily be considered one of the most dynamic athletes at the position. Trahan runs extremely well for someone who squats behind home plate, reportedly recording 60-yard dash times in the mid-6’s. This Mississippi commit has also registered pop times in the low 1.8’s, a very impressive figure for a prep catcher. This combination of speed and athleticism has allowed Trahan to prove his defensive abilities at the infield and outfield corners, giving him a laundry list of backup plans if his defensive skills do not prove to be up to snuff at the next level. At 6’1 215 lbs, Trahan’s physicality should allow him to stick behind the plate. Trahan’s frame is also one of the sources of his impressive power, which projects to be above-average going forward.
What to Loath: Trahan’s poor play this Spring has lowered his stock, so his future club will be relying on a bit of faith in his tools when selecting the young slugger. Trahan’s greatest flaw may be his ability to make consistent contact, which could limit his projectability in terms of hitting for average in the professional ranks. Though his pop times have been clocked at impressive clips, Trahan has only hit 85 MPH from the mound, calling into question his overall arm-strength. There is also no guarantee that Trahan will stick behind the plate, which would greatly reduce his overall value.
How He Fits: With Nick Hundley, Yasmani Grandal and now Austin Hedges in the mix, it may seem that the last thing the Padres’ organization needs is another athletic catcher. However, as any scouting director will tell you, an MLB team should never draft on need, especially with their early round picks. Further, as the Cincinnati Reds will attest, quality catching prospects make incredibly valuable trade chips. Trahan’s spring left many scouts wanting more, so selecting him 7th overall would be a bit of a stretch for the Padres. However, if he falls into the supplemental round, this Louisiana product would represent considerable value at the 33rd pick.
Padres’ Best Shot: 2nd Pick (33rd overall)
Ty Buttrey – RHP
What to Love: Buttrey is almost the perfect embodiment of a projectable right-handed high school pitcher, complete with 6’6 210 lb frame and an arsenal that oozes with upside. Buttrey has already been able to hit 95 MPH consistently in stints as a starter, a number that should only grow larger as he adds weight as a professional. Buttrey also has flashed a very intriguing knuckle-curve in the mid-to-high-70’s and has thrown a show-me changeup that will need to be further developed at the next level. Buttrey’s delivery includes a nice long stride that contributes greatly to his current velocity. He also has an easy over-the-top delivery, allowing him to get a good downward plane on his pitches due to his size on the mound. Though he does come with some risk, if Buttrey can add some weight and take advantage of the quality coaching provided in the professional ranks, this right-hander could become one of the better surprises in this year’s Rule 4 draft.
What to Loath: Buttrey is not the most athletic pitcher in this draft, which has left some scouts wondering how well he’ll be able to effectively repeat his delivery and command his pitches. This right-hander has also reportedly dealt with some inconsistent velocity readings this spring, throwing as hard as 95 MPH on some days while dipping down to 90 MPH on others. Some have attributed this to the relief work Buttrey has put in on days he isn’t starting, but I imagine teams won’t be able to ignore that information before calling out his name out on draft day. His pitching motion also isn’t perfect, showing some minor pronation and recoil at the end of his delivery. As will be the case with a majority of the top prep talent in this year’s draft class, Buttrey’s commitment to Arkansas is expected to be leveraged as a negotiating tool and could end up being too expensive to buy him out of. Buttrey – who will be one of the oldest high school players in this draft year’s draft – could end up being a potentially risky selection, according to Rany Jazayerli.
How He Fits: There are lots of things working against Buttrey in this draft, but none of those details have made him anything less than a supplemental first round pick. There is still plenty to dream on with this right-hander and many of his warts can be seen as correctable or negligible in many evaluators’ eyes. He’ll never be an ace, but Buttrey’s still intriguing upside could tempt San Diego to select the young hurler with one of their supplemental first round picks on Monday.
Padres’ Best Shot: 3rd Pick (42nd overall)
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