Amateur Draft Profile: Josh Bell, OF, Dallas Jesuit HS, Texas

Summary

Josh Bell is a 6-foot-3 Center Fielder from the Dallas Jesuit High School who is likely to be selected in the middle to late first round of the 2011 MLB draft. Josh Bell could be a near to impossible draft day sign and has sent the Scouting Bureau a letter informing them that he does not plan to sign on draft day and want to sign with the University of Texas. Then again, he is advised by Scott Boras and this could be nothing more than a Boras negotiating tactic.   

Josh Bell is fairly advanced high school hitter that has strong plate discipline and possess plus raw power. At first glance he reminds you of Atlanta Braves OF Jayson Heyward due to his size and approach at the plate. He currently plays CF, but at age 18 he's already listed at 6-foot-3 and 206 pounds so as he fills out he should move to a corner outfield spot.

Ceiling

Josh Bell is probably one of the most advanced hitters coming out of high school this year and is fairly advanced from both sides of the plate. He has a strong plate presence, possesses raw power, and should project more as he continues to fill out. Bell best tool is his bat and raw power and could develop into a plus offensive player that hits for big power at the next level.

Floor

Josh Bell's lack of speed, average arm, and size could move him to a corner outfield position in the future. He has average arm strength and throws accurately, but could simply develop into an above average offensive player that has below average defensive range.

Will the Astros pick him? If so, then where?

The Houston Astros are likely to pass on him in the first round due to the late news that he's unlikely to sign and will fulfill his commitment to the University of Texas. The Astros could take him in the later rounds much like they did with Jacoby Jones last year and hope to change his mind with a over slot 1st round signing bonus.

Where is he projected to go right now?

ESPN:  21st to the Toronto Blue Jays

Baseball America: 19th to the Boston Red Sox

Bibliography (Scouting Reports and video)

 

 

 

 

What Scout's say about him...

Baseball America:

Bell has the most usable power among high school players in the 2011 draft and he provides it from both sides of the plate. He has been switch-hitting since he was 5 years old, and he's equally effective from both sides of the plate. Armed with quick hands, strength and an advanced approach, the 6-foot-3, 206-pounder projects as a plus hitter for both average and power. A cracked left kneecap prevented him from proving himself on the showcase circuit last summer, but he recovered to star at the World Wood Bat Championship in October. Bell's other tools aren't as dynamic as his bat, and he'll have to move from center field once he turns pro, but he profiles nicely as a corner outfielder. He's an average runner who may have enough arm strength to play right field. Bell is a good student whose mother is a college professor and who will be advised by the Boras Corp., so it may cost a team dearly to pry him away from a Texas scholarship. His offensive upside still will draw plenty of suitors in the middle of the first round.

ESPN:

Bell is one of the better pure high school bats in this draft, and he has to be to go high because he's a future left fielder whose value is almost entirely tied up in his offense. As a hitter, he has explosive hands that allow him to let the ball travel deep on him before he commits to swing. He loads his body more than his hands, leaving them high and deep as he begins his stride, but right before swinging he'll shift his hands into a more typical position and then unleashes the bat with excellent hip rotation and plenty of loft. His swings are consistent on both sides of the plate, although he's got much more experience hitting left-handed. He plays center in school but doesn't have the speed or arm for it; he's a fringy runner, likely to be below-average as he fills out his 6'3?, 205-pound frame, and has a below-average (but accurate) arm. He's got a good eye, quick hands, and a strong, simple swing, which will play at any position, and given the paucity of good prep bats this year should be looking at a mid-first round pick if teams believe he's signable.

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