Amateur Draft Profile: Reggie Golden, OF, Wetumpka HS (Alabama)

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Summary

There's a lot to like here with Golden. He's got a lot of power, has good speed and a pretty solid outfield arm. A 5-foot-10, 210 pound outfielder from Alabama, he reminds me a bit of Telvin Nash. They're both big guys who move well for their size. Nash is taller than Golden, but they both are very athletic and have a ton of power potential. Golden projects as a having above average power and speed tools, but it's his raw power that makes him special.

Look at his swing in those videos below the jump. There's a lot to like in it. He's not overly complicated, with very little pre-pitch movement. He also does a good job shifting his weight from his back leg through his front as he turns his hips. That means he's generating a good amount of his power with his lower body and not just muscling up with his arms. He's got a natural uppercut to his swing that should continue to play well power-wise. It also means he might struggle hitting for average at the next level. In the third video, you can see him have to adjust his motion out over the plate on one ball, leaving him a bit off-balance. That could quickly become the scouting book on him: breaking pitches on the outside of the plate.

Floor

The biggest question he'll have to answer in the minors is if he can hit for average. If he can't, he's Jason Lane, a big, strong right fielder who manages a .210 batting average when he does make the show. His speed and arm strength could give him some viability as a fourth or fifth outfielder. His power could mean he ends up being used like Daryl Ward was back in 2000 and 2001, as a powerful pinch hitter. So, that's his floor. He's got a good skill set that makes him an okay bet to make the majors, but he's got a big potential to never even sniff Triple-A.

Ceiling

If he can hit somewhere around .280 with good plate discipline, Golden can be a star. He's got the tools to be the Astros first 30-30 guy since Jeff Bagwell and can play a good right field. A more realistic ceiling is probably something like Brian Jordan (.270-.280, 20-25 home runs a year, 15-20 steals).

Will the Astros pick him?  If so, where?

The questions about his "hit tool" seem to be suppressing Golden's value. That won't stop the Astros from taking him wherever they please, but it's worth noting that he should be available in the second round and possibly the third. He's from that southeast region where the Astros have a trusted regional scout in Lincoln Martin, who knows how to evaluate prep bats well. So, it's certainly possible they're in on him heavily, but we don't know it. Actually, with his athleticism and power, you can make a more compelling case for Golden over Josh Sale (not that I would). Golden definitely fits the Astros tendencies in what they like from a player, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear his name called in the supplemental round. I think he's a better fit in the second or third round, though.

Where is he projected to go right now?

Keith Law does not have him in the first round.

Andy Seiler does not have him in the first round.

Deep Leagues does not have him in the first round.

Jonathan Mayo does not have him in the first round.

Perfect Game USA does not have him in the first round.

Baseball America does not have him in the first round.

Frankie Piliere does not have him in the first round.

Kevin Goldstein does not have him in the first round.

John Sickels does not have him in the first round.

Bibliography (Scouting Reports and video)

Below the jump.

Video

Reggie Golden OF - Wetumpka High School (Wetumpka, AL) (via SOCALGOLDSCOUTING)

Baseball Factory Under Armour All America: Reggie Golden | OF | Wetumpka, AL (via baseballfactoryTV)

Reggie Golden (OF) - Wetumpka HS, AL (via farmsystem)

Lincoln Hamilton's take, as he ranks him at No. 63:

One of the best power/speed combos in the draft, 65 power, 65 run, questionable hit tool, upside

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