As we continue our coverage of the 2017 MLB Draft, we take a look at Baseball America’s 12th ranked prospect, Virginia outfielder, Adam Haseley. Haseley’s ranking on the prospect rankings ranges from as high as 9 (Hero Sports) and as low as 15 (FanGraphs), with an average ranking of 12.
Haseley is currently in the running for the Golden Spikes Award, the award given to the best player in college baseball each season. It was announced on Wednesday that Haseley and fellow Cavalier Pavin Smith were both semi-finalists for the prestigious award that includes Kris Bryant on its list of previous winners. Haseley was also named as one of five finalists for the John Olerud Two-Way Player Award on Wednesday, he was also named a finalist for the award during the 2016 season.
Haseley’s availability at number 11 is hard to predict at this point because he ranges anywhere from 9th to 15th on most prospect rankings, and many teams inside of the top 15 picks have been tied to the Florida native.
Baseball America gave Adam Haseley the following grades on the 20/80 scale:
Hit: 55 / Power: 45 / Run: 55 / Throw: 50 / Fielding: 55 / Overall: 55
Haseley is currently leading the ACC in batting average at .399, coupled with a .496/.676/1.172 slash line. If you remember, last year the White Sox took another hitter leading the ACC in hitting with the 10th overall selection, that would of course be catcher Zack Collins who is now a top-100 prospect on the professional side.
Haseley has played his way into the upper third of the first round this season after many projected him to be a second or third round selection before he began his junior season at Virginia, and doubled his career home runs this season. Haseley hit seven home runs in 2015 and 2016, and already has 14 in 2017 for the Cavaliers. Haseley has 54 RBI to this point and also leads the ACC in runs, touching the plate 66 times thus far.
His .496 OBP has been fueled by his 37 game streak of reaching base safely, and reaching base safely in 54 of his 55 games played this season. Haseley ranks third in the ACC with 85 hits, and sixth in the ACC in walks with 41.
Most of Haseley’s contact and power is to center/right-center field, making him a push hitter thanks in large part to his quick inside-out swing and patience at the plate. Virginia is famous for producing players who are patient and exhibit the ability to wait on their pitch that they want to drive the opposite way. While Haseley has spent time pitching during his tenure at UVA, and seen success while doing so, he profiles as an outfielder at the professional level thanks to his excellent bat and plate vision.
Haseley is seen as a low-risk prospect with a medium ceiling but a high floor, meaning that he is projectable as an everyday major-league player who’s projected to rise through the minor-league system fairly quickly.
The biggest knock that I have seen on Haseley thus far is the theory that his current power numbers (14 HR) won’t translate well to the wood bat game after he is drafted this month. His power tool was in fact his lowest grade on his 20/80 evaluations across the boards as well.
Even if his home run totals dip back down to the 5-10 range that he showed us during his first two seasons at Virginia, if his plate vision and his ability to drive the ball up the middle and to the opposite field translates, any team that selects him will be just fine with that.
Haseley is playing center field for UVA but can play all three outfield positions, with what is considered to be an average to above average arm depending on who you’re talking to.
While Haseley has good foot speed, and uses it well defensively in the outfield, he doesn’t look like a player who will be a significant stolen base threat at the major-league level.
Even with the addition of Luis Robert this past weekend, and the presence of Luis Alexander Basabe in the system, the White Sox still need to target the outfield in the first round of the upcoming MLB Draft. Haseley is seen as a player that will ascend to the major-league level fairly quickly, and possesses the ability to play all three outfield positions well, and most importantly can hit near the top of the order with his above average ability to get on base at a high rate.
A left handed hitting outfielder with a quick inside-out swing that sprays the ball to the opposite field and draws a high amount of walks sounds like a perfect fit for the White Sox at number 11 this month.
While Haseley isn’t seen as a high-ceiling player at this point, his projectability as a consistent everyday player with a high OBP ability profiles as someone that the White Sox can pencil into their lineup everyday for years to come.
Be sure to check out our other prospect profiles as well.