Gage Workman 2020 MLB Draft Profile

Gage Workman
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Gage Workman 2020 MLB Draft Profile

Gage Workman is a 6’4”, 200-pound junior at Arizona State University. The switch-hitting third baseman is ranked 73rd on MLB.com’s Prospect Rankings. The Milwaukee Brewers drafted him in 2017 out of Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona, but he did not sign. Instead, he attended Arizona State, where his father, Widd Workman, pitched in the 1990s.

Strengths

Workman’s biggest strength is his power. In his 124 NCAA games, 51 of his 137 hits went for extra bases. He has slashed .250/.316/.471 in his Arizona State career, giving him an .867 OPS. This is even more impressive when considering the level of competition ASU has, being an elite program in the ultra-competitive Pac-12 Conference.

Workman also runs well, especially for a tall guy. He has shown wisdom in the stolen base department, swiping 15 bags while only being caught five times. His speed also worked to his advantage in his freshman year at ASU, when he smashed seven triples – the fifth-most in the NCAA. (Author’s Note: Link is a sortable table.) In addition, soft hands make Workman a solid defender, according to his video profile on mlb.com. One can also see his arm strength at the beginning of the Prospect Pipeline video below, especially at the 25-second mark.

Weaknesses

The only real concern is his strikeouts. As a freshman in 2018, he struck out 49 times in 195 plate appearances (25%). That increased slightly in his sophomore year, when he struck out 68 times in 254 plate appearances (26.8%). This season – keep in mind, it was only 17 games – he struck out 21 times in 76 plate appearances (27.6%).

MLB Comparison

There are not all that many switch-hitting third basemen. The regulars from 2019 included Eduardo Escobar, Yoan Moncada, and Jose Ramirez. Going back to 1990, the list includes Alberto Callaspo, Ken Caminiti, Chase Headley, Dave Hollins, Chipper Jones, Bill Mueller, Terry Pendleton, and Pablo Sandoval. There also aren’t many third basemen who are 6’4” or taller. The list of active third basemen who are that tall include Kris Bryant and Miguel Sano, and going back to 1990 adds Jones, Mike Lowell, Troy Glaus (who is 6’5”), and Scott Rolen. Active major leaguers with a similar OPS and strikeout rate include a pair of Los Angeles Dodgers, Max Muncy and Chris Taylor. Neither player is as tall as Workman, however – Taylor is 6’1”, while Muncy is 6’0”.

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Outlook

Gage Workman is ranked 73rd on the prospect board. This puts him in the top half of the third round, but he could easily go in the second round, according to Prospects Live. His power, speed, and soft hands on defense make him appealing to professional scouts. His plate discipline can be developed as he works his way through the minors. With a shortened draft, teams might be inclined to look more at “sure things” than gambles. Workman is a college junior who has been a regular starter during his whole collegiate career. Coming from an elite program like Arizona State will also help his draft stock. Whichever team drafts him will be grateful that they did.

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