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2016 MLB Draft: Astros Reach for Dawson

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A reach that may not end up being a reach at all because of skills and raw tools.

ryan Dunsmore

Calling the Astros selection of Ronnie Dawson a reach may not be fair, especially for the wide range of opinions associated with amateur prospecting. With that said, MLB.com had him as the 121st best prospect in this draft and he was picked at 61. That's a reach.

There are always ranging opinions with prospects and this is one of those that the Astros could be on the front end of. Dawson was the best player on a Ohio St. team that won't the B1G tournament.  He has a lot of raw tools. He can run. He's strong and powerful. He's a quick twitch athlete. He has bat speed. He controls the strike zone. What's not to like? And why ranked so low?

Well, for starters, he struggled in the Cape Cod League. Teams weigh a lot on those performances. How well do you hit with a wood bat helps them project you. He did hit home runs at a better pace than his sophomore year in the Cape after his sophomore year, so the power does translate. His HR rate improved by about 33% his junior year.

His struggles were more with contact and consistently driving the ball. A lot of that has to do with swing. He looks a little stiff sometimes and can let his hands leak a little far out away from him leading to some issues with timing of the swing and control of the head of the bat.

If the Astros can harness the swing and improve his decisions in the field and bases, the raw tools will play well. Add in that he has baseball skills at the plate, there's a lot to like. Our Anthony Boyer told me that if he had his accurate birthday to factor into his "Very Luhnow" list, he would have been the 20th hitter on the list.