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Kahlil Watson

#3 | SS | MarlinsMIA
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Kahlil Watson
Name: Kahlil Watson
Born: Apr 16, 2003 in
High School: Wake Forest-Rolesville HS, Wake Forest, N.C.
High School: Wake Forest (N.C.) HS
Ht.: 5'9" / Wt.: 178 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: R
Drafted in the 1st round (16th overall) by the Miami Marlins in 2021 (signed for $4,540,790)
Watson was one of the standout performers over the summer showcase circuit and immediately put himself in first-round territory after a standout showing at East Coast Pro, where he ran a 6.5 60-yard-dash and looked like one of the best hitters at the event. Watson isn’t the most physical player you’ll see, listed at 5-foot-9, 178 pounds, but there are scouts in the industry who believe his combination of athleticism, tools and defensive profile give him the most upside in the class. Watson has outstanding bat speed and plenty of strength in his swing, with a tendency to take massive hacks and try to hit for power. Despite that approach, he has shown a smooth, lefthanded swing and an ability to manipulate his barrel, with impressive at-bats against some of the best pitchers in the class over the summer. Against mid-90s fastballs and some of the best breaking balls the prep class has to offer, Watson seemed perfectly comfortable within his at-bats, spitting on pitches out of the zone, drawing walks when he needed to and driving pitches in his hitting zone when the opportunity arose. That approach and his physical tools should allow him to project as an above-average hitter with solid or better power. Watson is a tremendous athlete who has turned in 70-grade run times at various events and should be at least a plus runner consistently. Defensively, he has all the tools to stick at shortstop, with quick-twitch actions, solid glove work and 60-grade arm strength. There have been some scouts who think he might fit best at second base or perhaps in center field in the long run thanks to his speed and athleticism, but there’s no tool he’s missing that he needs to be an above-average defensive shortstop. Watson is committed to North Carolina State, where he would continue a solid run of impressive shortstops out of the program, but he is a lock to be drafted among the top-10 picks.
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