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Top MLB Draft Prospect Has Six Homers in Seven At-Bats

The MLB Draft isn’t until All-Star week in July. But it’s never too early to see what the top draft prospects are up to leading up to the big event. Charlie Condon and Travis Bazzana are names who have dominated at the college baseball level. There’s now a new name to keep with with Condon and Bazzana as the potential top choice in the draft. Nick Kurtz of Wake Forest is ranked No. 2 on MLB Pipeline’s preseason Top 100 Draft Prospects List. Kurtz had himself a power surge that intensified.

Nick Kurtz Is on a Red-Hot Stretch

When Kurtz returned after missing six games with a shoulder injury. He hit a low point in the first game against North Carolina two weeks ago when his average dipped to .217 after going 0-for-5. Afterward, Kurtz got it together by reminding scouts why he should go first in the draft. Since his performance against UNC on March 30, the first baseman is 16-for-18 with 10 home runs and 21 RBI over the last seven games, raising his average to .318. His red-hot stretch continued against Virginia Tech as Kurtz homered seven times in three games- including three times on Sunday.

He added two more home runs on Tuesday against Coastal Carolina and at one point in that stretch had homered six times in seven-at bats. Kurtz has 13 home runs in 26 games this season. The last player to accomplish the feat for Wake Forest is Brock Wilken, a Milwaukee Brewers prospect who did against Alabama last season.

Kurtz Draft Profile

Scouting grades: Hit: 60| Power: 65| Run: 40| Arm: 50| Field: 60| Overall: 60

Kurtz ranked sixth on The Athletic’s Keith Law’s most recent ranking of the top 30 MLB draft prospects. Law says:

“Kurtz walks a ton, 63 times in 56 games last year and 14 times in 11 games so far this spring, with some power, although 29 of his career 41 homers have come at Wake’s homer-friendly ballpark. The horror here is that he’s limited to first base, so he has to either show more power or prove that the on-ase skills aren’t just a function of waiting out mediocre college pitching.”

Surprisingly, Wake Forest originally recruited Kurtz as a left-handed pitcher. But throughout his college career, he’s emerged as a superior prospect as a hitter. Kurtz hit a robust .344/.498/.695 line with 39 home runs in his first two college seasons. If he happens to go first overall, he’d join Spencer Torkelson as the only college first basemen to go No. in 60 drafts.

Kurtz’s Quality of Play

His signature tool is well-above-average power in all fields. He’s seen as a product of outstanding bat speed, strength and a left-handed stroke that’s smooth. Kurtz is a complete hitter with no weakness who can crush left-handers and right-handers and all types of pitches. He also plays a quality first base who has average arm strength. With his offensive upside and as good as scouts believe he is, Kurtz could be another Jim Thome with defensive value.

Main Photo: © Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports


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