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2016 MLB Draft: Will Craig, 3B, Wake Forest University

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The old saying: if you can hit, they will find a spot for you. Wake Forest University slugger Will Craig can certainly hit, and his spot could very well be in the first round.

Drafted in the 37th round by the Kansas City Royals in 2013, the product of Johnson City, Tennessee high school did not sign and honored his commitment to Wake Forest. He took a regular job as a freshman in 2014, hitting a solid .280/.357/.439, then exploded as a sophomore with a .382/.496/.702 mashing of the ACC with 20 doubles, 13 homers, and an outstanding 41/24 BB/K in 191 at-bats. He was named ACC Player of the Year. He didn't hit as well in the Cape Cod League at .242/.366/.318, hitting just one homer and fanning 35 times but drawing 23 walks.

His 2016 season has been superlative: .417/.551/.826 with 13 homers, 34 walks, and just 23 strikeouts in 132 at-bats. His playing time was cut by a strained oblique but his reputation with scouts has done nothing but improve. He's also a pretty good pitcher, collecting six saves with a 2.33 ERA and a fastball in the low-90s, but it is the bat that teams want.

Craig is a big guy at 6-3, 235, a right-handed hitter and thrower, born November 16, 1994. The weight is mostly strength and muscle; scouts worry that he'll have to work to keep his body toned as he gets older, but right now it isn't really an issue. He does not run well and is not a steal threat, but his arm is quite strong, certainly strong enough for third base. He isn't a butcher at third but isn't a gold glove, either, and teams worry that first base (or DH) will be his eventual position as he loses mobility with age. His arm would work in right field, but flycatching doesn't seem to be an option due to his lack of speed.

The bat is obviously the main attraction. The only glitch in his hitting record is the lack of power on the Cape, but despite that there does not seem to be any real concern about his hitting long-term, experts viewing his combination of strike zone judgment and 55-60 power as projecting well at higher levels. We'll likely see his batting average decline but his OBP and SLG should be impressive.

Draft stock depends on how you assess his defense. Craig is a definite first-round talent if you think he can stay at third for awhile but perhaps more of a compensation round choice if you think he's a DH. Given the difficulty in finding reliable right-handed power nowadays, even a team that has questions about the glove could still pop Craig early.

Video from Jheremy Brown

Check out this Diamond Kinetics hitting analysis and comparison to Cubs slugger Kris Bryant.