The harder a player works to get drafted the more likely they are to succeed in the minors. It is difficult to find somebody in this draft who worked harder than Alabama’s outfielder Tyler Gentry. The 81st-best prospect according to MLB.com went to JUCO at Walters State in Tennessee reaching the 2018 World Series before finally getting noticed.
Tyler Gentry’s experience at all levels of collegiate baseball is unmatched in the 2020 Draft Class. In 73 games played at the University of Alabama, Gentry hit .335 with 17 homers, 18 doubles, 63 RBIs, and nine stolen bases. In less than half of a full MLB season with the Crimson Tide, it is safe to say those would be All-Star caliber numbers in the big leagues. Scouts support the five-tool player grading his hitting and power solid (50) with his fielding, arm, and speed even stronger (55).
The rating of 50 for Gentry’s power actually seems a bit low considering the 13 bombs he dropped in 2019. For a 6’2″ and 210-pound outfielder, he has plenty of room to fill out an already powerful swing. It is fascinating that the lowest grades on his scouting profile could get him drafted in the second round.
It is difficult to find flaws in his balanced hitting approach between power and average. Not only does he have an aggressive swing and approach, but he also proved the ability to stay disciplined. At every level, he’s excelled in the BA department hitting .379 in JUCO with 18 homers and 72 RBIs. Gentry has never finished a season of collegiate baseball with an average lower than .310.
To start off, when looking at his statistics you’ll be hard-pressed to find a weakness in Gentry’s profile. His aggressive approach at the plate is a positive but scouts fear it could lead to slumps down the road. Teams might fear potential strikeout problems but so far at the collegiate level, he has avoided this issue.
Tyler Gentry did a better job of controlling the strike zone during the brief 2020 season, however, he will need to continue to improve upon this. As a 21-year-old he has plenty of time to fill out his frame and polish his approach at the plate.
Fundamentally, Gentry is very sound across the board as a right-hander from both sides of the ball. His swing is just as smooth as his throwing motion from the outfield with zero hitch in either release. As a JUCO player who has gone largely overlooked throughout his career, Gentry is very similar to Austin Hays of the Baltimore Orioles.
Hays got drafted in the third round of the 2016 draft out of a smaller college, Jacksonville University. It was his 2016 season that got him drafted after hitting .350 with 16 homers, 16 doubles, 42 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases. Sounds awfully similar to Gentry’s college career once he got to Alabama huh? At 6’1″ and 195 pounds both players have similar builds with true five-tool potential.
Tyler Gentry is a draft prospect who could very easily exceed his expectations as the 81st-best player on MLB.com’s rankings. This is a player who deserves a look as early as the second round if it is the right fit. There is plenty of room to grow as an all-around player but Gentry will be entering the league with all of the necessary tools.
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