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2017 MLB Draft Profile: Brady McConnell, SS, Merritt Island, Florida

Florida prep Brady McConnell has first round potential but inconsistency and a strong college option cloud his draft status

Continuing our long march through player profiles for Monday’s 2017 MLB Draft, here’s another intriguing high school shortstop: Brady McConnell.

THE BASICS

Brady McConnell attends high school in Merritt Island, Florida. Active in showcase events since 2012, he is committed to the University of Florida for college. He turned 19 years old on May 24th and will be a draft-eligible sophomore in 2019 should he go to school.

Listed at 6-3, 185, McConnell is a right-handed hitter and thrower born 5/24/1998.

STRENGTHS

Speed is McConnell’s best tool: he’s a 65-70 runner and should be able to steal plenty of bases at the highest levels. He also has a strong throwing arm and fits well at shortstop, showing the hands, range, and instincts to play the position in the major leagues.

When he’s locked in offensively McConnell demonstrates bat speed, solid-average power potential, and a relatively refined all-field hitting approach. If he reaches his ceiling he could be a multi-category offensive contributor who adds an above-average glove at shortstop. That’s a player.

WEAKNESSES

McConnell’s field performance is erratic. He has a history of wearing down physically and does not always hit with the authority expected given his natural talents. His power potential shows up more in batting practice than in games and his swing mechanics sometimes work against him. He’s already 19 and his commitment to the University of Florida is considered strong, meaning he won’t come cheap.

OVERALL PROJECTION

McConnell’s advocates see him as a late first round pick and worth buying away from college, while the doubters think he is more of a third rounder with a rich price tag. There’s no question he has the physical ability to be an excellent player and a team confident that they can refine his tools (and can sign him) could bite early. If his price tag is too high, look for him again in 2019.