In an attempt to make its lineup more versatile, Wake Forest recently has experimented with playing slugger Allan Dykstra at third base. Typically a first baseman, Dykstra worked at third base in fall ball and has started five games at the hot corner this season. It hasn’t affected his bat, as he’s hitting .333 with two homers and 11 walks in eight games.
The Demon Deacon coaching staff made the move in order to get Evan Ocheltree into the lineup, and it certainly doesn’t hurt Dykstra’s draft stock. But does it help?
Dykstra does have a well above-average arm but does not have the typical mold of a third baseman. At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, Dykstra is taller than every major league third baseman in the game today except Troy Glaus, who is also 6-foot-5. Like Glaus, Dykstra’s money-making tool is his raw power. Last season Dykstra tied for the ACC lead in home runs with 18. He also played every out of that season at first base.
So, is Dykstra a prospect at third base?
"He’s got a real cannon for an arm," a National League crosschecker said. "There’s not a quick first step, but there’s something there. He’s a horse so he’s not nimble, but he’s got a chance."
What does that chance mean for his draft stock?
"In this case, I don’t think it’s going to make that much of a difference," an American League scout said. "It would increase a guy’s stock if he was more of a hitter than a power bat—kind of like a Wade Boggs."
In other words, Dykstra’s position change doesn’t affect much in the ways of his pro career. My gut feel is Dykstra will be drafted as a first baseman and will reach the major leagues as a first baseman.
Contributing: John Manuel.