2018 Farmhand Crop: Blaze Alexander

Bottom Line

Prep bat that was an 11th round pick of the D’backs, but signed above slot. Fell to the 11th due to questions about signability. South Carolina commit. His excellent defense and arm strength will likely get him a shot at the MLB level. His hit and power tools don’t look like they are going to be MLB caliber at this juncture, but he’s young and athletic and still might figure out that part of the game. Speed is intriguing and probably better than what he’s been scouted at. Don’t get hung up by his draft round, he’s better than an 11th round player.

Upside: .250/.310/.400, 12 HR/15 SB, defense-first everyday SS, fantasy depth player

Downside: .220/.280/.350, 5 HR/10 SB, MLB level defensive replacement, no fantasy value

ETA: 2022

Scouting

Athleticism

Listed at 6’0″, 160 lbs. I’d guess he’s both taller and heavier, maybe 6’1″, 180 lbs. Great athletic frame, could be some projection left on him to add some more muscle and power. Looks wiry and strong as it is, with relatively broad shoulders for his frame.

Hit (20/45)

Right handed hitter. “Advanced and patient approach” according to Baseball America, they also think that he has the bat speed to catch up to velocity. Slightly open stance. Slight leg kick. Has simplified his plate approach to quiet his hands, no longer starting with bat resting on the shoulder. He’s also simplified his lower half and is doing a better job keeping his weight back. Looks like he’s relying on his athleticism a lot at this point in his career.

Power (20/45)

Lower half twists ahead of the upper half, probably sapping some power from his swing. Will need to work on weight transfer to hit for more pop. Has the athletic frame and strength to do so. More of a line drive plane than an uppercut swing.

Speed (45/40)

45/40 grade by Fangraph’s Longenhagen. I haven’t seen any clips of him running in game conditions, so I can’t really dispute it, but it feels low to me, given his athleticism and results thus far.

Defense (60/70)

“Best arm in the draft” according to Fangraphs Longenhagen. Here it is in action:

Stats

Level

Spent his first 27 games in AZ with the D’backs AZL affiliate before being pushed up to Rookie-level Pioneer League. Aggressive placement for a high schooler.

Hit

17.4% K-rate, 14.5% BB-rate. Was hitting .362 in the AZL before his promotion, but the BABIP was a ridiculous .438, so take it easy. Still, the solid K-rate combined with the excellent BB-rate so far in professional ball is a really encouraging profile. He’s a pull-side hitter (61.1%). I like his batted ball profile so far: 43.5% GB, 21.7% LD, 34.8% FB. That’s a batted ball profile that can hit for power and average.

Power

He posted a .213 ISO with 2 HR and 10 2B in 27 games in the AZL. HR/FB rate of 8.3% was a little unlucky if that swings the other direction he might add a couple more HRs this season still. He’s still only 19, so he gets some time to figure out this part of his game.

Speed

7 SB in 10 attempts so far, for a 70% success rate. Speed score of 7.8 in the AZL rates as excellent. He’s hit 3 3Bs this year as well. I think the 45 speed grade might be low, so watch his speed stats closely as he moves up levels so that we aren’t missing anything.

All stats current as of August 8th.

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