The MLB Draft is a few short weeks away. Let’s take a peek at one of the players sure to be on the Cincinnati Reds radar; prep outfielder Zac Veen.
After back-to-back drafts have seen the Cincinnati Reds select college players (Jonathan India and Nick Lodolo), will Dick Williams and Nick Krall take a look at the high school ranks when selecting with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft? If Zac Veen is still on the board, the Reds shouldn’t hesitate for a single second.
Widely regarded as one of, if not the top prep player in the 2020 MLB Draft, Veen has committed to play ball at the University of Florida next season. However, his draft stock is through the roof. While Cincinnati may need to overslot in order to get Veen to sign, it would be well worth it.
Veen, out of Spruce Creek High School in Florida, is 6’4″ and 195-pounds. The 18-year-old projects as an outfielder, though he also has familiarity at first base. That said, the left-handed hitter throws right-handed, so I wouldn’t expect Veen to become a full-time first baseman.
MLB.com currently has Zac Veen as the seventh best prospect available in this year’s draft. Veen is the top-rated prep player with right-handed pitcher Mick Abel ranking 11th. All other players ranked in the Top 10 according to MLB.com are college players.
A lot of scouts are split between Veen and fellow high school outfielder Robert Hassell. There’s a slim possibility that both will be available when the Reds select at No. 12. However, if another club views Hassell as the better of the two hitters, then Veen may fall right into their lap.
The Daytona Beach News Journal spoke with several scouts after watching Veen play earlier this year. The scouts, speaking on the condition of anonymity said Veen had a “…natural, easy swing with leverage,” and “He’s got plate coverage to all zones.” That sounds like the type of player the Reds or any major league team would love to have in their farm system.
Veen has the potential to be a big-time power-hitter while occupying a corner outfield spot at the next level. Though he played center field for his high school squad, it’s unlikely he’ll stick their long-term. Veen’s biggest drawback might be his speed, but he’s not a below-average runner either.
According to MLB.com, Zac Veen has drawn comparisons to Cody Bellinger (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Kyle Tucker (Houston Astros). If that’s Veen’s ceiling, the Cincinnati Reds should be ready to call his name if he’s still available at No. 12.