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1.31 Tampa Bay Rays - Justin O'Conner, C, Cowan HS (IN)

The Rays selected Justin O'Conner. Here's his profile:

 

Justin O’Conner   Position: C/SS   School: Cowan HS   State: IN   Height: 6’1’’   Weight: 190

Bats: R   Throws: R   Birth Date: 3/31/92   Seiler Rating: 1B1   Commitment: Arkansas

Justin O’Conner is a promising catcher and shortstop from Cowan High School in Muncie, Indiana. O’Conner is one of those rare cold-weather position players who really grab the attention of scouts due to a few standout tools. Despite not starting his season until late in the spring, all he’s done is confirm to scouts that he has first round talent, even if the lack of refinement leaves something to be desired. A new catcher, he’s been a shortstop for most of his prep career, only switching over the offseason. That switch prompted plenty of attention, as he’s gone from middle infielder that might need to play third base to middle infielder that has catching potential. His tools all scream first round potential and first-division starting catcher, so it’s only a matter of working through the kinks and refining the big-time tools. At the plate, he flashes plenty of promise, and even though he’s an average hitter, he has above-average to plus raw power that really plays with wood bats, as he showed on the showcase circuit last summer. He’s an average runner, too, which only boosts his stock as an athletic catcher. Behind the plate, his best tool is a plus-plus arm, and while he’s a few years behind in receiving, he’s shown good aptitude and a willingness to learn this spring. He’s pitched in the past, and even though his fallback to catching is likely third base, he could also become a late-inning reliever, pumping in 95 mph fastballs and a plus curveball. However, he’s likely to go in the first round to a team that wants a signable catcher with big upside.