I've always had an affinity for college catchers- especially those with above-average power. Last year, one of my favorite sleeper prospects in the draft was Tom Murphy from Buffalo, who has raked for the SAL's Asheville Tourists this season since being a third round selection of the Rockies. Renfroe reminded me a lot of Murphy coming into the year from an offensive perspective, and naturally I liked him a lot. He was one of my top choices for potential Astros selections at 2.1, but since then he has transformed as a prospect and played himself out of that range.
Through his first two years at Mississippi State, Renfroe was seen as a raw hitter with plus athleticism behind the plate and some speed. He was a project behind the plate but had the potential to turn into a solid defender with some time. As a junior, he erupted offensively and will be an outfielder as a professional to get his bat to the majors as hastily as possible. He sports above average raw power that grades out as a 60 on the 20-80 scale, and he generates great bat speed. His hands are very active, and I'm of the opinion that he can hit for some average as he grows as a hitter.
Renfroe's swing is fairly quick to the ball but still generates a lot of leverage. He may be a college righty corner outfielder, but he still gets me excited. He has more tools than you'd expect from a player of his profile, and has even stolen nine bases this year for the Bulldogs. He has the range and plus arm for right field, and his power will play well there. Though not impervious to the strikeout, Renfroe doesn't project to have much trouble with contact and his great walk rate in college should translate to the pro game. He has the potential to rise quickly through a minor league system and become an above-average regular as early as 2015.
If nothing else, Renfroe can provide right-handed power off of the bench, and he has some defensive versatility due to his above average speed.
Since he's above average with both his speed and power, Renfroe has a fairly intriguing ceiling to go with his high floor. His power could max out as high as 30 HR in his peak years if he hits enough, and I think that he can.
Projected Draft Round
First. He will go off the board somewhere in the top 25, and could sneak into the top half of the first round.
Will He Sign?
Gone - Hunter Renfroe HR Montage (via Alan Dobbins)
MLB Draft Prospect: Hunter Renfroe (via ESPN)