Sign Up! Join our newsletters, get a FREE e-Edition
Bleday entered his junior season in 2019 as one of the most respected college hitters in the country. After pacing the Commodores in hitting during his sophomore season last spring (.368/.494/.511), Bleday went to the Cape Cod League. There, he showed solid power and hitting ability with a wood bat, posting a .311/.374/.500 slash line with five home runs in 36 games. With a balanced stance, smooth swing, solid bat speed and a refined approach with more walks than strikeouts in his college career, Bleday had the look of a high-floor hitter with a plus hit tool. However, there were initially some questions surrounding his ability to consistently impact the baseball. Bleday has answered those question this spring, as he has regularly tapped into the plus raw power that he’d previously been unable to reach during games. After hitting just six home runs through his first 90 games with Vanderbilt in 2017 and 2018, Bleday is among the country’s leaders in home runs in 2019. He hit 20 home runs through his first 41 games—upping his isolated power from .143 as a sophomore to over .420 as a junior—while continuing to post impressive strikeout and walk rates. Bleday’s power surge has increased his draft stock, going from a likely first-round corner outfield prospect with an impressive track record of hitting to one of the best impacts bats in the class and a player who should be selected at the top of the first round. Defensively, Bleday moves well and could handle center field in a pinch, but he profiles best as a corner outfielder—where his newfound power should allow him to succeed.