The Arizona Diamondbacks took another step toward boosting their farm system on Monday night, holding the 25th selection in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft. After selecting a first baseman in the first round of 2017, they decided to go back to the position player well here in 2018.
With that pick, the Diamondbacks selected Matt McLain out of Beckman High School in California. A UCLA commit, McLain is an intriguing prep prospect that really saw his stock rise throughout the year leading up to the draft.
There are often questions regarding young shortstops and whether or not they’ll stay at that position long-term. McLain is a bit undersized, at 5’10” and 175, but many think that he can stick there in the future. Defensively, there’s a lot to like with the glove, as he moves well and can make all of the plays necessary for the position. His hands are solid, and he certainly appears to have the arm strength for short.
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Looking at his swing, I’m a fan of the simplicity. He’s a switch-hitter, first and foremost. He keeps a wide base and there isn’t a ton of movement in getting his hands to the ball. His stride takes that base even farther and helps to set him up for some power as he barrels up the ball. He’s not a tremendous power threat, but he maintains a quality approach and has demonstrated an ability to make consistent contact. That hit tool will be worth watching as he begins to progress through the minor leagues, as many scouts are fans of what he brings to the table in that respect.
Here’s a video, via Baseball America, that showcases some of McLain’s skill set:
Long-term, he certainly seems like the type of player that Snakes fans have a tendency to fall in love with. He’s very active in his movements and his size causes him to feature a bit of the grit element in his game. It’ll be interesting to see how his game progresses. Stay tuned for continued analysis of McLain and the rest of the Arizona draft class as this week’s Amateur Draft wears on.