Weight: 240 lbs.
60 yd.: 7.08 (2015, recorded by Perfect Game)
Primary position: 1B (projected RF in pros)
A rising Junior at Wichita State, Greyson Jenista was rated as the #1 prep prospect in Kansas in 2015 by Perfect Game, playing primarily first base for De Soto HS, with whom he won a state title during his junior season. Not a highly touted draft prospect at that point, he stayed in-state to join the Wichita State Shockers for college ball, and hit the ground running. As a freshman, he hit .326 with 14 extra base hits playing primarily first base, and posted similar numbers as a sophomore, making 58 starts.
While his NCAA performance has been plenty impressive, Jenista really put himself on the map as a high level draft prospect with his performance on the Cape in 2017. He led the Cotuit Kettleers with nine long balls in 164 at-bats, and hit .310 with a strong 25/18 K/BB ratio hitting with wood. CCBL coaches raved about his makeup: Paul Suellentrop with Kansas.com gathered quotes on the Shockers star in an August article, with managers noting his grit and enthusiasm for the game, and recalling a situation in which he ran a routine ground ball out hard, forcing an error and eventually reaching third on the play. Makeup can be crucial to success, and in Jenista’s case, it’s paired with serious tools.
Jenista isn’t an explosive athlete- he’s more “baseball athletic,” as players like Nolan Arenado are. While not straight-line fast, he shows instincts that allow his speed to play up in the field and on the basepaths. He doesn’t have much projection left in his frame, but has great present power that should translate into games more readily as he refines his hitting skills. At the plate he employs a medium-sized leg kick and a very smooth, level cut that he uses to barrel balls. Given his arm strength, I predict he’ll have little trouble moving to right field full time in pro ball, which will improve his value overall.
Heading into 2018, there’s very little that Jenista needs to improve on to solidify himself as a first-round pick. Given his combination of offensive tools, makeup, size, strength and performance in NCAA and CCBL play, he’ll be an easy sell to front offices that focus on scouting and analytics alike. He projects as a regular in right field who will be a difference maker with left-handed power and hustle plays.
Jenista reminds me a lot of a young Jay Bruce. Like Bruce, he will have some swing and miss to his game because of his power-oriented cut, but he will walk at a solid clip, provide some surprisingly good base running for his size, and produce with left-handed power.
Projected Draft Round
At the moment, Jenista projects as a late first rounder, but could push his way into the mid-teens with a strong campaign. He may not have the explosive athleticism to push into top ten discussion, but nothing would shock me (no pun intended), as he’s a polished bat who brings a ton to the table without playing a premium defensive position and I would not bet against his success.
Does he fit with Houston?
I think the Astros would be thrilled to see a player like this fall to them at the end of the first round, and he very much fits their M.O. He is one of my early favorites for their selection at this point, but I’ve been so impressed with him that I’ve really begun to doubt he will be on the board.