Draft Performers: Pillars Of StabilityProspects
While Draft Risers typically receive well-deserved attention for their strong performance which allows them to jump up Draft Boards, our Draft Performers: Pillars of Stability represent a different dynamic. These prospects put themselves on the map early and continued to shine at a steady level throughout the past year or better.
For this list, we’re going beyond the slam dunk first-rounders that we’ve evaluated and highlighted throughout the year (Spencer Torkelson, Austin Martin, Asa Lacy, Emerson Hancock, Nick Gonzales, Reid Detmers, Garrett Crochet, Garrett Mitchell, Patrick Bailey, Heston Kjerstad, Tanner Burns). This list includes prospects valued more in the supplemental first, second and third rounds, though a couple do have a chance to go inside the top 30 picks.
Nick Loftin, SS, Baylor
Current Rank: 22 Rank on 2/13/20: 28 12/20/19: 28
A plus athlete and blue collar ballplayer, Loftin is an aggressive, instinctive defender who reads the ball well off the bat. He has a quick first step in all directions with sure hands. Shows above average arm strength with a quick release and plus accuracy. Not flashy defensively, he’s very reliable and makes all the plays. An above-average runner underway, Loftin runs in the 4.2-4.3 range down the line. At the plate the right-handed hitter shows a quiet setup with a good load and sound swing mechanics. He sees the ball well, especially breaking balls, and rarely chases anything out of the zone. His barrel-to-ball skills are outstanding. During BP he uses all fields, hits through the baseball with a gap-to-gap approach, showing average bat speed and average raw power. His average batted ball exit velo in 2020 was 88.7 mph with a high of 106.8. He’s been a consistent hitter for three years at Baylor, and his .883 OPS in the shortened 2020 season was the best of his career to date. For an in-depth look at Loftin, please see our recent Tale of the Tape: Alika Williams vs Nick Loftin.
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