Weight: 219 lbs.
DOB: January 8, 1998 (21.5 on draft day)
A Missouri native from Poplar Bluff, a small city of under 20,000, Misner was a prep star for in his hometown on both sides of the ball, hitting .422 with eight home runs and striking out 48 in 32 innings as a senior. He was ranked as the third-best prospect in Missouri and second-team All-America by Perfect Game, and was selected by the Royals in the 33rd round of the 2016 draft. He opted against signing and honored a strong commitment to his hometown Tigers.
Misner played a big role for Mizzou as a freshman, appearing in 58 games and accumulating 236 plate appearances. His performance was strong, particularly for a teenage freshman in a major conference, as he slashed .282/.360/.446 with 7 home runs, 17 steals in 23 attempts, 12 doubles, a triple and 23 walks against 55 strikeouts. He looked to be in the midst of a full-fledged breakout in 2018 as a sophomore, and had put together a staggering .360/.497/.576 slash with more walks (32) than strikeouts (26), but had his season cut short by an injury and only ended up recording 157 plate appearances. He had shown a combination of contact ability, power and surprising speed (13 more steals in 19 attempts) and despite its abbreviated nature, his sophomore campaign was a boon to his draft stock, and Misner entered the 2019 season seen as a potential first-round selection.
In the early going for the Tigers, Misner has been carrying the squad with his bat. Through the team’s first seven games, the junior outfielder is hitting .440/.588/.760 with a pair of homers, 5 steals, and 9 walks against 5 strikeouts. Early reviews have been raves, and Misner has been discussed as a potential top half of the first round candidate despite his corner profile. He employs a power-oriented left handed swing with a very simple setup and a quick trigger, and keeps the barrel in the zone for a long time. He has easy plus power from the left side and is capable of tape-measure shots.
This is a bat with true heart-of-the-order potential, and, despite Misner’s massive frame (which has a modicum of projection remaining), he brings surprising suddenness and speed to the field. The 6’4” Misner is at worst a 50 runner, perhaps a 55 right now, and has stolen 35 bases in 47 attempts in his college career, including a perfect 5-for-5 this season, adding a a bit of extra value to his profile. He plays both first base and outfield and shows skills at both spots, but should profile as a corner outfielder at the next level, more likely in left. His bat projects to profile at first base just fine should that end up being his long-term home, however.
Projected Draft Round
The 2019 draft class is absolutely stacked with bats, particularly on the college side, meaning a player like Misner has to do a lot to stand out. Even in terms of corner bats, the Mizzou star has competition from players like Michael Toglia, Andrew Vaughn, Michael Bush and Matt Wallner. Despite the heavy competition, Misner has answered the call early on and forced his way into top-half of the first round discussion, and should go somewhere in the first barring injuries or a performance backslide.
Does he fit with Houston?
The Astros have drafted many corner college bats under Jeff Luhnow, including Seth Beer, J.D. Davis, A.J. Reed and Conrad Gregor, so Misner is a natural fit from that perspective. They might need a bit of luck to have a chance at him, but will likely be interested if they do.