With all the NCAA Tournament action taking place around the country, it is easy to forget that the MLB Draft is on Monday night. Kentucky will lose a handful of guys to the draft, including outfielder Tristan Pompey. The athletic outfielder from Toronto has been atop draft boards for the last two years. Pompey’s stock dropped over the course of 2018, but he will still hear his name called in the first four rounds this week.
This is the second profile in the KSR MLB draft Profile Series. Click the baseball tag on KSR for more reports on draft-eligible players.
- Pompey is crazy athletic. The junior outfielder is a potential five-tool prospect with three tools that stand out and make you say “wow.” The tools that stand out for Pompey are his ability to hit for average, ability to hit for power, and his speed. Pompey has tremendous bat speed, he barrels up a lot of balls, and he launches balls very well. The Toronto-native had 71 extra-base hits (24 home runs) in his collegiate career.
- There are few players in this year’s class that make adjustments as quickly as Pompey does at the plate. Pompey does a great job of working out any kinks in his swing by combing through video or working with his hitting coach. The hours of work off the field helped Pompey to bounce back easier when he is struggling. Pompey is a very smart hitter because he can make adjustments quickly and fix any mechanical issues faster than the average hitter.
- Pompey developed as a weapon on the basepaths at UK as a sophomore and junior. After stealing two bases as a freshman, Pompey swiped 21 bags in his final two years.
- One thing that will bump Pompey’s stock up in a big way is that he is a switch hitter. Pompey hit well from both sides of the plate in his junior season.
- Pompey struggled using wood bats last year in the Cape Cod League. In 87 at-bats in the Cape, Pompey hit .230 with 24 strikeouts and only five extra-base hits. There is always an adjustment period for college guys when they get to the minors and have to use wood bats. Maybe it will be good for Pompey that he got an ugly adjustment period out of the way last year.
- Some scouts have pointed out Pompey’s makeup as a deterrent for drafting him early. The chatter I have heard about Pompey is that his attitude in the field and at the plate when he is struggling is forcing some scouts to look over him.
Pompey’s draft stock has been difficult to gauge for the last month. He is crazy talented at the plate, but questions about his makeup might drop him down draft boards. Pompey will land somewhere in the second or third round on Monday. Fangraphs has the UK outfielder falling out of the top 80 picks tomorrow night. Whoever selects Pompey will be getting an athletic outfielder with the tools to turn into a top-tier prospect.