Patrick Bailey, out of North Carolina State University, is considered by many to be the best catcher in the 2020 MLB Draft. There seems to be no doubt that Bailey will be a first round pick. When his name is called, he’ll become the 31st player to be selected from NC State in the past six years.
Patrick Bailey 2020 MLB Draft Profile
Bailey, who is listed at 6′ 2″ 207 lbs, comes into the draft with quite the résumé. The talented switch-hitter was drafted out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in 2017 but chose to play college ball instead. In his freshman season, he compiled a .321 batting average, hit 13 home runs (an NC State record for home runs by a freshman), and led all ACC freshmen in total bases and slugging percentage. As a result, he was named ACC Freshman of the Year and selected to the All-ACC Second Team. Bailey continued this success into his sophomore season, getting named to the All-ACC First Team and ABCA’s Atlantic All-Region Team, as well being one of 14 semifinalists for the Buster Posey Award. Although his junior season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bailey finished second in RBI, fourth in homers, and third in walks among the ACC.
The biggest strength that Bailey possesses is his stellar defense. Scouts see Bailey as a “defensive-first catcher, who possesses athleticism, above-average arm strength and solid receiving skills.” His athleticism, arm strength, and receiving skills make him one of the best catch-and-throw backstops in the country. Bailey is also reliable behind the dish, as he started in 126 of his team’s 138 games.
At the plate, Bailey features excellent plate vision. During his time in Raleigh, he drew 86 walks and only struck out 93 times in 477 plate appearances. This keen eye helped contribute to his .302 career batting average at NC State. Bailey has also proven he can barrel up pitches, regardless of what side he’s hitting from. He has showcased this power on multiple occasions — including this season when he hit three grand slams in 11 days.
Patrick Bailey has hit 3 grand slams in less than two weeks ? pic.twitter.com/mmBwpVBut2 g h j
— KBO Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) March 5, 2020
It’s hard to find many flaws in Bailey’s game. However, one area that could concern some teams would be his occasional inconsistencies at the plate. But with a little work in the minors, this should be fixable.
If you’re trying to be nit-picky, you could point out Bailey’s speed, or lack thereof. His speed received a grade of 40 on MLB.com, but considering his position, this shouldn’t be an issue.
A good comparison for Bailey is Chicago White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal. Bailey slightly edges Grandal in his ability to control the running game, but both players are sturdy backstops. At the plate, Bailey emphasizes more of a contact-first approach. However, both players have similar swings and have the capability of producing a moonshot when they square up a pitch.
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