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2018 MLB Draft: Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State University

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Bohm is one of the best bats available this year.

Continuing with our coverage of the 2018 MLB Draft, we turn our attention today to one of the best bats available: Wichita State University third baseman Alec Bohm. Let’s take a look.

Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Bohm was raised in nearby Omaha and was well-known to Midwest area scouts in high school. He was also considered rather raw and with a strong commitment to Wichita State he wasn’t drafted when eligible in 2015.

The Shockers inserted Bohm in the lineup as a freshman and he responded with a solid .303/.346/.489 slash line in 2016, albeit with an unattractive 9/25 BB/K ratio in 178 at-bats. The strikeout rate was good but his impatient approach resulted in very few walks. He followed up with an impressive summer in the Coastal Plains League, hitting .330/.407/.502 in 203 at-bats. He showed he could translate his power to the wooden bat while demonstrating improved plate discipline as the summer progressed.

His 2017 sophomore year was similar on the surface to his freshman season with a .305/.385/.519 slash line, but the enhanced selectivity he showed in the CPL carried forward with a 29/31 BB/K in 233 at-bats. He then demolished the elite Cape Cod League with a .351/.399/.513 thumping and put himself into the early-round picture for ‘18.

Bohm has dominated so far in 2018, hitting .355/.474/.664 with eight homers, 24 walks, and only 10 strikeouts in 107 at-bats. His in-game power production continues to improve and he’s shown an exceptional eye this spring.

Listed at 6-5, 220, Bohm is a right-handed hitter and thrower born August 3, 1996. Power is clearly his best tool, although exact ratings vary from source to source and I’ve heard anything from 55 to 70 on the 20-80 scale. I’d lean towards the higher end of that.

The thing that stands out most to me, having watched him develop over the last couple of years, is the very significant improvement in his approach. He was very aggressive as a freshman and while he was still productive, I felt his swing mechanics could get choppy and longish. He didn’t strike out that much but his strength didn’t always translate into game power.

That’s clearly changed over the last 18 months; he gets to his power very frequently now but at the same time he is more selective, his swing is more consistent, and his pure hitting skills have improved substantially. His track record with wood is excellent and at this point he projects to hit for power, hit for average, and get on base at a reasonable clip.

There’s every reason to be confident in Bohn’s bat. What about his glove?

Despite his size he’s a good athlete and while not a burner on the basepaths he’s far from immobile. His arm seems solid enough to me; scouting grades range from 50 to 60 depending on the source but there is enough zip for third base when his fundamentals are sound. His error rate is still too high; he has a .903 fielding percentage this year, but there’s enough athleticism that there’s a fair chance he can stick at third base in my opinion. It isn’t certain, but it is plausible.

Bohm was viewed by consensus as a late first round pick three months ago but he has impressed a lot of people this spring. High-impact college bats with proven wooden bat records attached to a solid tool set and a chance to play third base are always in short supply. Bohm should go in the top half of the first round with current buzz he may go in the top five.

Also check Kiley McDaniel’s take on Bohm at Fangraphs and Burke Granger’s at 2080.

Some nice Fangraphs video: