Draft Preview: Max Pentecost

(Photo: Kelly Wegel)

Max Pentecost
School: Kennesaw State
Position: C
Height/Weight: 6‘2”, 190
B/T: R/R
D.O.B.: 03/10/1993
Previosuly Drafted: 2011- 7 (234) by Texas Rangers

Scouting Reports:
High School:
“Pentecost got plenty of early exposure with his solid athleticism and intriguing bat. An elbow injury in April turned out to require Tommy John surgery”. –Baseball America

College:
Pentecost is an interesting catching prospect due to his well rounded skill set, though he has no real standout tool. He has average raw power presently, but could conceivably add more down the line as his body matures. His hit tool is average to above average. Baseball America notes that “scouts like his line-drive swing”, but say that he is an “average receiver with average arm strength with inconsistent throwing mechanics and profiles as an offensive catcher.”

Baseball America’s Aaron Fitt ranked Pentecost as the #8 prospect in the Cape Cod League last summer after he hit .346/.424/.538 and was named league MVP. His scouting report at the time; “Pentecost has a wiry-strong 6-foot-1, 190-pound build and a smooth line-drive swing from the right side. He projects as a 55 hitter with a chance for average power, and he also runs very well for a catcher, with 50 to 55 speed. Pentecost’s bat is his calling card, but he has a chance to become an adequate defensive catcher in time.”

“Pentecost, a rare catcher who could have average or better tools across the board, has a chance to hit for solid average and power. He has a quick right-handed bat. His receiving skills still need work, though Pentecost should be able to remain behind the plate. He has the requisite arm strength for a catcher, though he can improve his accuracy. He runs better than most backstops and has average speed overall.” –MLB.com

“Solid overall skills. Good athelte for a catcher. Some swing and miss. Not a lot of power potential. Bat looks good but is streaky.” -MinorLeagueBall

Scouting Grades:
Note: these grades are my summations based on all readily available scouting information from sources such as Baseball America, MLB.com and ESPN (Present/Future, 20-80 scale):

Hit: 50/55
Power: 45/50
Run: 50/50
Arm: 55/55
Field: 50/50
Overall: 55

Prospect Overview and Future Outlook:
Pentecost’s athleticism has drawn comparisons to both Buster Posey and Jason Kendall, though Kendall is more realistic from an offensive standpoint. He doesn’t possess great upside, but Pentecost is a reasonable bet to be solid big league catcher. There have been rumours that the Cubs are lining him up to be the #4 pick this year on a significantly below slot deal. That could also be an option for the Sox if they wish to take this route. The catching position in the system (Majors and Minors) certainly needs help, not that it’s ever advisable to draft based on need.

I wouldn’t love the pick even if it’s for well below slot. I think the Sox should take advantage of their draft position by taking the best available prospect. I’d rather have one potential superstar than 2 or 3 potential solid average players. I also worry about his future outlook. If he’s merely average defensively then his bat will need to show up for him to be a valuable player. I think it’s conceivable that he hits .270/.330/.420, with an upper end projection in the .290/.360/.450 range and lower end projection in the .250/.310/.380 range. Catcher's are always in high demand, and Pentecost is the best catcher in this class that's projected to remain at the position, so he will be in high demand.

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