With the no. 40 pick that the Kansas City Royals received as a “competitive balance” pick (round A) by virtue of being a small-market club, the Royals took power-hitting catcher Chase Vallot.
The 6-1, 205lbs. Vallot is 17-years-old and is the second youngest player in this draft class. As a senior at St. Thomas More High (LA), he batted .545 with 15 doubles and 13 home runs in 99 at bats. He ranked no. 49 in MLB.com’s list of 200 top draft prospects. Chase Vallot was also named Gatorade Louisiana Player of the Year and helped his high school team win the 4A state championship.
Vallot has committed to Mississippi State University, but is not likely to forgo a no. 40 slot payday.
You can see Vallot in action by clicking the embeded video below:
Keith Law’s analysis on the video touts Vallot’s quick swing and good leverage as the source of his power. Royals scouting director Lonnie Goldberg told KCRoyals.com’s Dick Kaegel:
Real big power,” said scouting director Lonnie Goldberg. “We had him here at our pre-Draft workout and he hit the furthest drive we’ve seen hit here in our pre-Drafts — and we’ve had some big names here.
Chase Vallot showed off his power by winning the home run derby in the Perfect Game National, a prospect showcase, last June.
In the field, Vallot is seen by scouts as a mobile catcher with a plus arm. They believe he will be able to stay behind the plate as a professional. However, scouts also believe he is athletic enough to play as a corner outfielder, if he can’t handle duties behind the plate.
Chase Vallot has the potential to become the kind of slugger the Royals desperately need in the big club. Let’s just hope he does a better job of realizing his power potential than such other power-hitting prospects as Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas.