Austin Beck saw his high school career at North Davidson High School come to an end yesterday. The outfielder went out with a bang in the playoffs, going 4-4 with three home runs in a playoff loss for Roberson. He entered the game hitting .588/.710/1.176 on the year. He ended the season with 12 home runs, 28 walks and 11 strikeouts.

After missing out on summer ball last year after tearing his ACL and meniscus, Austin Beck has skyrocketed up draft boards this spring after showing he’s healthy. The outfielder is ranked 9th on both the Baseball America Top 200 and the MLB Pipeline Top 100 lists right now. It’s hard to put too much stock into high school stats because the level of competition is so uneven, but with top prospects in the draft, you want to see them dominate and Beck has certainly done that against his fellow North Carolina high school opponents.

Austin Beck Scouting Report

Hitting | His raw hit tool is an above-average one, but there are some concerns that he may not be able to get the most out of it. Scouts have noted that his approach can be a little bit aggressive at times and he’s had a struggle or two against good breaking balls at times this spring.

Power | This is where Austin Beck shines. When you combine his plus-plus bat speed and his strength you can see plus raw power in action with the potential for 25+ home runs in the future.

Speed | Despite coming off of a serious knee injury, Beck has shown plus speed this spring, which is even more impressive at a listed 6′ 1″ and 200 lbs.

Fielding | With plus speed he’s capable of remaining in center field if he’s able to improve his defensive reads/routes in the future.

Arm | He’s got an above-average arm that would play fine in right field if he eventually had to move off of center field.

Overall Thoughts

There have been some physical, and some tools comparisons made between Austin Beck and Mike Trout. On that basis, you can see the comparison between the two guys. The skills comparison, however, isn’t a fair one at least in terms of thinking someone is going to turn into Mike Trout. He’s arguably the best player that’s ever played to the point in his career at which he’s at.

With that said, Austin Beck has the kinds of tools that you could compare. He’s a plus runner at a size you just don’t see plus runners at. He’s got 25+ home run power as a possible center fielder. The entire package of tools is that of a true 5-tool player. All of his tools are 55 or better on the raw scale. There’s superstar potential with Austin Beck. He could be a 25+ home run, 25+ steal, quality hitting center fielder if everything goes right for him.

There is some concern with that, though. The knee injury cost him a chance to show what he could do with wooden bats last summer against top end pitching on the travel and national showcase circuit. That’s left some scouts uneasy, at least when thinking he could be a top five caliber pick. While Austin Beck won’t be the top player on my draft board, the superstar potential in this draft is limited and he’s got it. At #2 he would be a pick that I would support in a “shoot for the moon” scenario instead of taking lesser upside but perhaps a tad safer option.

For other 2017 Draft Scouting Report profiles, click here.

22 Responses

  1. Kap

    Intriguing but I highly doubt the reds pass on Wright, Greene, or McKay. Good read though

  2. The Duke

    The uncertainty about Beck with wood bats and against top competition on the showcase circuit will pus him out of the top 5 I think, but the tools are definitely intriguing. I think Mike Cameron might be a better comp than Mike Trout, because can we really compare anyone to what Mike Trout is now? Outside of Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays, not really. Too bad the draft pools aren’t as unbalanced as in years past, then we could have dreamed on cutting a deal at #2 and floating Beck down to 32, but no way that happens now. Beck is safely a 6-10 pick I think, with a chance he sneaks into the top 5. I can’t see the Reds going away from one of Greene, Wright, or McKay though.

    • Doug Gray

      Well, no one is comparing him to MIke Trout skill wise. Tools? The physicality? Yeah, that’s a comparison you can make.

      To compare someone skills wise to Mike Trout is a bit much, as you noted. He’s just on a different level than possibly anyone, ever.

  3. I-71_Exile

    Doug, thanks for the write-up on Beck. How would you compare him to Jordan Adell? I seem to recall that you felt his hit tool was a notch higher, but otherwise similar? At this point, I’d be happy with any choice from the Greene/Wright/Adell/Beck pool. Adell is still my fave.

    • Doug Gray

      We’ll find out when I write about Adell. Until I actually sit down and do that, it’s tough to make a truly fair comparison because I’ve put in the research on Beck that I haven’t on Adell just yet.

      • I-71_Exile

        Thanks again. I look forward to your analysis.

      • Pat

        Huge projections, but that’s the gamble in baseball way more than NFL,NBA. With that in mind, in the future do the Reds need another pitcher or a 5 tool guy? Which has more risk with a #2 selection?

      • Doug Gray

        They need more talent. Doesn’t matter where it’s coming from. By the time any pick from the 2017 draft gets to the Majors, we have no idea what the team will need.

  4. Kindell

    When you watch his videos the one thing that jumps out at you is the bat speed. It’s also nice to see him in that above video drive a pitch the other way. I noticed in some other videos he really gets caught up looking to pull the first fast ball he sees.

    There is so much to work with there in terms of pure talent. I personally am onboard with the high upside Prep position guys. We all know the risk in the draft and you can site so many busts no matter which way you go.

    The closer it gets and the more I research I really hope they just take Greene if he is there. If not, I hope they take whoever is higher on the board out of Beck and Adell.

    I like Kyle Wright, I just am not as high on him as everyone else is. My opinion may change in the next few weeks after watching him a couple more times. Right now, I would just consider Wright the safest pick in the draft and I would be ok with it if they went that route.

  5. McLuvin

    Beck may end up being more like Baltimore CF Adam Jones in production. That very well could be worth the #2 pick overall.
    With the assumption that the Twins take Greene at #1, the top 2 pitchers are Wright and Gore. The top 2 hitters are Beck and Adell. All 4 are very intriguing selections at #2.
    Wright could be in the Majors in 2-3 years while it would take about 5 years development on each of the high school prospects.
    How soon do the Reds want their #2 pick in Cincinnati?

    • Kindell

      I personally hope the Reds do not think about how soon they will be in Cincinnati at all when they are picking this high. I am sure some teams consider that, I just hope the Reds are not with where their team is and where they are picking.

      I think if Wright keeps up his production he will be the #1 overall pick. They have some talented younger hitters, but they need to hit on some pitching.

      • The Duke

        I agree we need to hit on some pitching, but we still need to aim for someone that might become an ace. We have lots of guys who can possibly fill that 2-4 role. We need a true #1 that you feel great with them pitching game one of a playoff series against another teams ace.

    • I-71_Exile

      Boy, getting Luis Robert would be a dream come true. My pessimistic side side says it’s a fever dream. He is going to cost a fortune.

    • asinghoff

      An outfield of Beck-Trammell-Robert, all currently 19 and under, would be quite a future to look forward to.

  6. MK

    Talked to Aaron Fossas on Monday, and got to talking about ACC, since he went to Wake Forest. He mentioned that McKay is the real deal at the plate and on the mound.

    • Doug Gray

      There’s no doubt he’s the real deal. The question is more about, is he the #2 caliber pick, or just a guy who is more of a mid-1st round kind of guy.

  7. The Rage

    Lewis is more talented. Better swing and far better competition in high school. Beck’s as a hitter is dead average.

    • Arnold Ziffle

      Wow, amazingly uninformed. Beck an average hitter? That must be why over half of his 30 BB’s were intentional.
      You need a new moniker, The Clueless.

  8. Pat

    Doug: What’s the process like for the Reds? Do they grade out players on a scale and simply go with very best at #2 or do they determine pitching vs in the field? Is there a metric that compares the two? Like you said they need talent. College vs HS? College has such a better sample size. So many variables it seems like a calculated crap shoot that you hope the percentages weigh out in your favor in the long run.

    • Doug Gray

      Honestly, I don’t know how they go about it in exact detail. I’m sure they weigh things like a guys OFP versus current skills, then the likelihood of reaching that OFP (overall future performance on a scouting report).

  9. Jonathan

    Hey Doug – do you think there is a chance Dick Williams would do a podcast with you about the draft? Or the scouting director. I can’t think of his name right now…