Draft Preview: Jesuit Prep’s Josh Bell (Video) | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Draft Preview: Jesuit Prep’s Josh Bell (Video)

This Saturday I was able to see Josh Bell’s Jesuit Prep take on Richardson High at Jesuit, which is an absolutely immaculate baseball facility with a full turf playing surface, covered hitting tunnels, and a press box.  Clearly the tuition to attend the school must be through the roof.  I’m glad to see they are allocating funds appropriately.

While Texas 5A baseball is regarded as some of the finest high school ball in the country, aside from Bell, there was not a whole lot of interesting baseball being played, but I kind of figured that was going to be the case considering Jesuit was 23-5 and Richardson was 8-12 going into the game.  Nevertheless, Bell barreled up on three pitches, flying out to center in his first AB, grounding out sharply to short in his next, and lining through the right side for a single before drawing a bases-juiced BB.  He received no action defensively, but played center and was clearly the best athlete on the field today.  Bell is a product of the Dallas Patriots club system, so he has been raised in an environment capable of training a talent of this caliber.

As has been the story on Bell for the last year or so, his bat is what will carry him into the first 20 picks and will ultimately be what takes him to the Bigs.  He will eventually move off of center as a professional and is nowhere near having the arm to play right.  He is a good enough runner for the outfield, though, and has the feet and instincts to develop into an average glove in left.  His footwork on the basepaths needs work, but that tends to be a very teachable component of the game.  I was only able to see Bell hit from the left side, so unfortunately I can only evaluate his abilities from one side, but from his on-deck work it appears that he handles the bat relatively similarly from the right as he does from the left with similar loading and stance characteristics.

Bell is one of the top 3 or 4 prep hitters in the country, and his hit tool grading is through the roof for a prep hitter.  His hands track well to a good hitting position, he approaches from above the ball even as pitches elevate above the waist, and he has the bat speed to stay inside quality inside fastballs, although he did not see any of those today.  His judgment of the zone is excellent for someone his age, and he lands softly enough and possesses the requisite forearm strength to check swings relatively late.  His power is a bit behind his hit tool now, but his frame projects and his mechanics elevate to the extent that 20-30 Big League bombs are possible with a .280-.300 average and a .350+ OBP.

I would be surprised if a hitter like this from Texas 5A drops out of the first 20 picks and astounded if he falls outside of the first round.  This draft has a uniquely deep crop of players, but Bell is clearly the top prep outfielder in the class with the hit and power tools to make him a star.

2 Comments

  1. Rick B. says:

    Dee, any MLB comps come to mind?

  2. Estefan says:

    sorry it took so long to get back to this, but i honestly was having a really hard time finding a guy who compared across the board. i really don’t think a guy like that exists. here’s what i can do for you, though. imagine a switch-hitting, slow, and soft-armed jason heyward. jay hey’s eye, hit tool, and power upside as well as the mechanics are really similar to what bell does from the left side. he is basically a mirror image from the right with maybe a tad less lift, so that comparison probably works from the right side too.

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