Two months ago, Austin Beck was projected to be a top-ten selection on June 12th, when the MLB Draft takes place in Secaucus, New Jersey. Beck backed up his hype with a tremendous senior spring at North Davidson High School in North Carolina. But with the draft approaching, Beck has seen his stock fall. It’s not because of injuries or performance, but rather based on the high number of prep-outfielders and Beck’s lack of major pedigree. Beck’s talent screams future all-star, yet teams may pass on the 18 year-old for other young prospects. If Beck falls to the New York Mets, they should be all over him.
Beck is a 5’11”, 175-pound outfielder who displays four potential plus tools. In his senior campaign at North Davidson, Beck batted .590 with 12 home runs and an OPS over 1.200. His hitting ability is top-flight, as he shows the ability to drive the ball to all fields. Beck’s power to the opposite field is especially impressive for a prep-hitter. Beck also demonstrates the ability to punish breaking balls over the plate, turning on hanging curveballs. His smaller frame for a player of his height also leaves plenty of room for added power once he begins to add more muscle. In his final high school game in the North Carolina 4A State Tournament, Beck went 4 for 4 with three home runs. The opposing pitcher was Garrett Blaylock, a Vanderbilt commit, which shows that Beck can hang with next level pitching.
Beck played centerfield in high school, and while he could stick there as a pro, he would better profile as a corner outfielder. Beck displays great ability tracking fly balls and he often takes extremely efficient routes to the ball. He also has a plus arm that could easily translate to right field. As a corner outfielder, Beck could be an above-average defender at the next level. However, the prep-star definitely has the potential to stick in center.
Beck’s speed certainly isn’t a negative, but it is his weakest tool. Beck tore his ACL last year, but it hasn’t hampered his speed. His 60-yard dash time is around 6.6-6.7, which would make him a slightly above-average runner in the big leagues.
Austin Beck has some serious potential, yet his draft stock is falling for reasons that he cannot control. The talk of his slide may be just that- talk- but if the high school star falls, the New York Mets should pounce.