The Oakland A’s selected Jameson Hannah with the No. 50 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. The 20-year-old is an outfielder from Dallas Baptist University.
The A’s have now chosen speedy college hitters in both of the first two rounds, after taking Oklahoma outfielder Kyler Murray in the 1st round. Hannah actually ranked ahead of Murray on MLB Pipeline’s pre-draft board, at No. 32 (Murray was No. 36 due to signability questions). Click here for more on Murray.
Here’s a scouting report on Hannah from MLB Pipeline:
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 60 | Arm: 40 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50
Dallas Baptist never has had a position player selected in the first three rounds, a drought that should end with Hannah, who also has a chance to become the first first-rounder in school history. He was the Missouri Valley Conference’s co-freshman of the year in 2016 and has continued to get better in each of his next two seasons. He also has a track record of performing well with wood bats in summer play, overcoming a slow start in the Cape Cod League last season to bat .392 during a season-ending 20-game hitting streak.
Athletic college players who can hit are always in demand, and Hannah fits that profile. He recognizes pitches and manages the strike zone well, using his quick left-handed swing to repeatedly barrel the ball. He has the strength for at least 15-homer power and perhaps more and also should provide plenty of doubles.
Hannah gets plus to plus-plus grades for his speed and has been a successful if not especially prolific basestealer in college. He also uses his quickness well in center field, where he gets good jumps and can track down balls from gap to gap. His arm is his lone below-average tool but isn’t a huge handicap in center.
Hannah is a pure lefty who stands 5’9. Melissa Lockard of The Athletic calls him the “outfield version of Kevin Merrell in some ways,” referring to last year’s No. 33 overall pick. Over at Minor League Ball, John Sickels sees a chance for an everyday player with continued offensive development but notes that Hannah’s speed and plate discipline give him a particularly high floor.