The MLB Draft is coming up next week on Monday, June 3. Click here for my preview, exploring trends in past A’s drafts. Here’s a profile of one of the more interesting names we could see Oakland choose in the 1st round with the No. 29 overall pick.
Maurice Hampton, CF | Memphis University HS (TN)
Size: 6’0” 195 – 6’1” 210
Fangraphs Scouting Grades: (Future Value = 45)
Hit: 20/50 | GamePow: 20/55 | RawPow: 55/55 | Speed: 70/70 | Field: 50/60 | Arm: 60/60
Hampton is an excellent athlete, a two-sport star in high school. He’s also one of the youngest players available in the draft. Loaded with tools, Hampton is raw but has an incredibly high ceiling. The swing could be smoother but he has the bat speed to catch up to plus velocity. He’s an aggressive player, both in the field and at the plate. Hampton is a project but if he makes it … he’s almost certain to be an All-Star.
Hampton is a 4-star recruit in football and has a full ride to Louisiana State to play both football and baseball. He’ll cost every bit of the $2.4 million slot and maybe more. He needs refinement in every phase of his game; his outfield reads and routes, his throwing, his swing, when to swing, etc. He’s a bit stiff, most likely due to football bulk. There’s a thought that he could unlock even more potential once he focuses on baseball. Whoever drafts Hampton needs to take him in the 1st round and have patience.
A lot of patience.
This is NOT another Kyler Murray situation! The family has come out and said that 1st round signing money, “life changing” money, will make Maurice strongly consider walking away from his LSU commit. If Oakland takes him at 1.29 and he decides to go to college then the team will get a compensation pick in the 2020 Draft. While not an ideal scenario, the fact that Oakland plans on making a splash in the international market come July (Robert Puason) gives the team a bit more freedom to be aggressive at 1.29. But enough about Hampton not signing … I think he’s signable at the end of the 1st round and it would be a massive infusion of talent into Oakland’s system. He’d basically rival Austin Beck in terms of tools and ceiling within the organization and the idea of landing that much raw talent at 1.29 is very enticing. Ask him point blank if he’ll sign for $2,424,600 and if he hesitates, go ahead and walk away. But if he says “Yes”?