MLB Draft 2011 Prospect Profile: Mikie Mahtook, OF, Louisiana State

Summary

Mikie Mahtook is strong. He hits the ball far and he plays well in the outfield. In a normal draft, he'd easily be a Top 10 draft pick and possibly a Top 5 guy, but this is just a loaded draft. There are questions about him, and while most scouts are on board with his power put on display despite these new BBCOR bats, there are some notable detractors.

Mahtook also gets points in the character department and will play the game the right way. In that respect, he reminds me a little of Hunter Pence. Certainly, the Astros could buy a little respect in the bayou by drafting this LSU player.

Speaking of that, it'll be interesting to see how Mahtook's stock rises or falls up to and after the draft, since his team will not be playing the NCAA tournament. Usually, that's where some guys will get a lot of publicity, which then leads to bigger signing bonuses before the August 15 deadline. Mahtook won't have that luxury, but I wonder if that'll help him in the long-run, as he gets a leg up on everyone still playing.

Floor

If he can't play center field, he'll have to move to right or left. He's got the arm to play in right, so left field is an absolute worst-case scenario. He's a pretty safe college bat, but he's showed the power this season to make some think he can keep growing in the power department. In that, he feels a little like Lance Berkman to me. He won't have Puma's raw power right away, but they're both older, versatile outfielders who played for storied programs and fell a bit in the draft. But, I'm getting off-topic. With his defense and drive, his floor is probably as a Eric Byrnes-type left fielder.

Ceiling

Well, the Berkman comparison is out there, but that's asking a bit much. With his ability to play center and to hit for power, he's obviously got the comparisons to any number of famous center fielders. Let's go the safe route and say his ceiling is somewhere around B.J. Upton and Raul Mondesi.

Will the Astros pick him?  If so, where?

He makes a lot of sense for Houston at No. 11. They need an impact bat and he could provide that, filling a need that Houston desperately has for power hitters. The problem is he plays two positions that Houston already has filled in center and right field. That means the Astros probably won't look for an advanced college bat like Mahtook, especially since they have so much outfield depth in the minor leagues. It's still not a bad idea from a PR standpoint, I say.

Where is he projected to go right now?

Keith Law had him at No. 15 to the Brewers.

Deep Leagues had him at No. 15 to the Brewers.

Jonathan Mayo had him at No. 14 to the Marlins.

Perfect Game USA had him at No. 14 to the Marlins.

Baseball America had him at No. 13 to the Mets.

John Sickels had him at No. 15 to the Brewers.

Bibliography (Scouting Reports and video)

Below the jump



Baseball America

He has an average arm, but if he gets any bigger and loses his slightly above-average speed, he may have to go to left. Mahtook's swing isn't technically proficient, but he's strong, repeats his stroke and has a feel for the barrel.

Baseball Beginnings

Big body, a lot of hoopla. Has some raw power and an aggressive swing, probably a decent draft, didn’t see enough power production potential to make him stand out in long haul. We’ll see what happens, others have seen him more than I have.

Keith Law

In a year when new BBCOR bats have power numbers down all over the country he's ratcheted up his own power output, establishing himself as a five-tool player with some star potential. He's a plus runner with an above-average arm whose reads in center have improved since he first got to LSU; I think he stays at the position but he has the arm and bat to play in right.

John Sickels

Pre-season scouting reports wondered if his power would work with the new bat, but I don’t think that’s a question. Still being talked about as a pick in the 25-30 range, as he was pre-season, but if he remains this hot he could go in the middle of the round, if not sooner.

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