There may not be a more divisive prospect in this draft than McConnell. The ceiling is Tulo, the floor is some guy in Single-A you’ve never heard of. Last Summer I thought McConnell might be in the running for first overall, but this Spring his bat has been really inconsistent. I’ll talk more about all this below, but this is a potential legitimate 5-tool prospect. There’s a chance he could drop to the second round if teams don’t buy into the bat as worthy of a first round pick.
McConnell is a 6’2" 190 lbs High School Shortstop from Merritt Island, FL (He may also be 6’3" or 6’4", depending upon your source, I went with 6’2" which is the most reported) with a commitment to the Florida Gators. That’s pretty large for a SS, but every report I’ve seen talks about him having a good glove, range and plenty of arm to stick at Short. It should be noted that he could use more accuracy on his throws, but that can be worked on. Now, he has the frame to carry more weight, so there may be an eventual move to the hot corner, but that’s unlikely to be immediate.
The headline on McConnell might be his speed, which is Plus-Plus and maybe better. I’ve seen a few times from the left side in the 3.6-3.7 range which is roughly Billy Hamilton territory (from a guy 6’2"!). The bulk of times stick him in the 3.9-4.0 range from the port side which is Grade 70.
The subheader though is the bat. He flashes Plus bat speed and power, but this year he hasn’t squared balls up as much as you’d like. So, you’d run the risk he might be Anthony Hewitt. That would be painful (as we all know) in the First, but in the Second Round, it seems like a decent risk to take if you got someone pretty safe in the First Round. Video below is from Baseball America and first off I love, love, love the bat speed and hate, hate, hate the long stride. That long of a stride can cause timing issues and I don’t like that it can also change the plane of the eyes. Combined with the bat load that gives him a fairly busy swing. I’d rather see a shorter stride with a kick, keep his head level and you can speed it up or slow it a little to adjust to the pitch type. HE does repeat his mechanics very well though.
I have no interest in McConnell in the top ten picks, but if he’s somehow still there in the second, I’d jump on that pick in a heartbeat, no discussion needed.