Nick Pratto 2017 MLB Draft Profile
It’s been beaten to death the fact that California seems to be the primary source of premium athletic talent, and Nick Pratto adds to the lengthy list. Hailing from Huntington Beach High School, he’ll be the 27th player picked up by an MLB franchise from that school. According to MLB.com, the pitcher/first baseman is considered to be a possible first-rounder as well, and one of the best players available.
Initial reports had the lefty as a decent pitcher with a polished high school bat. At 6’2″ and 200 pounds, he’s a good-sized kid for 18 years old. Because of his hitting and defensive play, teams consider him as a position player, rather than a pitcher at this point.
If your definition of a “five-tool player” is a prospect showing average or above average abilities in all five categories, Pratto is your man. Athletic, determined, and praised for his plus hitting and fielding, he profiles as more than just a first baseman at the big-league level. He’s also already been on the big stage, when he competed in the Little League World Series in 2011.
The first thing mentioned about Pratto is his advanced hitting. He is widely regarded as the most advanced bat within the high school ranks. Projected as a plus hitter with average power, he’s especially coveted for his plus defense paired with an above average arm.
Pratto doesn’t fall in with the one dimensional first baseman-type. He’ll be a Gold Gove contender if he pans out, with defensive numbers that’ll satisfy any General Manager in building a contender.
Pratto has a good bat and is a great defender, but at 6’2″ and 200 pounds at 18 years of age, it’s unlikely Pratto will grow much more. And his power has been judged in harsh manner because of it. He’s considered undersized for a big league first baseman.
He may not grow into “first base size” such as 6’5″ Freddie Freeman, or 6’4″ Mark Trumbo. But this is just overly-picky scouting at this point, as Joey Votto sits at 6’2″, 220, and Eric Thames is 6″ and 210. It’s a worry that only makes sense in the scope of hitting for power. The likes of Thames and Prince Fielder have proven that home run power is possible without “first base size.”
@PatrickMollette yep it’s plus right now and he’s been hitting for more power this spring too. Plus now in that area as well.
— Carlos Collazo (@CarlosACollazo) May 19, 2017
Of course, Thames and Fielder are still sized players without considering height, and Votto is a potential Hall of Fame talent if he keeps up. It’s hard to imagine Pratto failing to put on 15+ pounds and another inch during the minor-league grind though.
As mentioned earlier, Pratto looks quite a bit like a slightly smaller Eric Hosmer. Pratto is already a proven winner, much like Hosmer. He has the ability to play first base better than most in the league every year, and might even swipe double-digit bags in his early days as well.