Player: Drew Ward
Drafted by: Washington Nationals (No. 105 overall)
DOB: 11/25/1994 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6’2”/200 lbs.
School: Leedey High School (OK)
Previously Drafted: N/A
What to make of Drew Ward? That's a question scouts have been asking ever since he and his father announced that the younger Ward would be reclassifying himself for eligibility in the 2013 draft, as opposed to the 2014.
Ward was touted as a high-level prospect for next year's draft—possibly even the No. 1 overall position player—but because it was "next year's draft," teams didn't pay him too much attention.
Now, everyone is getting a crash course.
It's hard to argue that Ward didn't make the right call, choosing to turn pro a year earlier than expected. He's got the size and tools to compete with the top infielders in this year's class, despite playing his final season at tiny Leedey High, which competes in one of the smallest classifications in Oklahoma high school athletics.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Dynamic hitting ability; hit .711 with 13 homers during freshman fall campaign and .578 with 11 homers during freshman spring campaign; possesses incredible bat speed; shows a patient approach; set a single-season state record with 88 walks as a freshman; doesn't swing at much he can't get the bat on; good power to all fields; draws some attention for a toe-tap and a high leg kick during swing; as a result, not a real pretty swing; ceiling as a .290-.310 hitter.
Incredible raw power; as evidenced by his 24-homer freshman campaign, he has a good amount of present power; can drive the ball to all parts of the field; should hit for homers and doubles; swing generates excellent lift; ceiling as a 30-35 home run hitter.
Speed isn't his thing; fast enough to not be a liability on the basepaths, but barely; seeing as how 75 percent of his value lies in his bat, lack of speed won't hurt him much; shows quickness in the field; if he continues to grow, he might be a liability running the bases; ran a 7.13 in the 60-yard dash, according to PerfectGame.org.
Played shortstop at Leedey; will move to third base as a professional; has the tools to grade out as an average—or better—defender; great arm strength; soft hands; footwork needs some polishing; has a quick release and good balance; will have to watch his weight; will likely continue to grow, which could force a shift across the diamond to first base.
Impressive arm strength; strong enough to man shortstop or third base, although he's destined for the hot corner given his size; has shown great accuracy with his throws as well.
MLB Player Comparison: Garrett Jones
Projection: .290/30 HR; everyday corner infielder for second-division team; occasional All-Star.
MLB ETA: 2019
Chances of Signing: 85 percent
Don't be fooled by Ward's recent commitment to Oklahoma. The whole reason his family teamed with MLB in order to make him eligible was because they knew he was ready—both physically and mentally—to take his game to the next level.
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