Zach Cone Scouting Report (2011)
University of Georgia centerfielder Zach Cone has struggled some in 2011 posting a .306/.358/.403 line as of this post. Previously considered a potential first round pick, Cone has seen his draft stock slip. And while it’s easy to point to new bat specifications as the culprit, I noticed a major flaw in his approach which, if corrected, could make Cone a potential steal in this June’s draft.
- Ideal build; Relatively lean, muscular frame
- Oozes athleticism; Quick, explosive movements
- Clocked multiple home-to-first times off of video; 4.05 & 4.1 seconds
- Present speed and athleticism to remain in CF; Did not see him tested in game action
- Excellent wrists; Impressive bat whip through the strike zone
- Present swing-and-miss in his offensive game
- Hands drop in the back of his load; Correctable loop in the back of his swing
- Does not let the pitch travel; Consistently makes contact in front of the plate; Overly aggressive due to new bat specs?
- Point of contact may be cause of strikeout issues
- Out front on fastballs = WAY out front on breaking pitches
While at the park watching Cone, I asked a college coach I was chatting with if there was any reason a player with that kind of bat speed should not let the ball travel deeper in the strike zone? I already knew the answer, but wanted to see the reaction of the coach. On Cone’s next swing, it was instantly noticeable to the coach who agreed it was an obvious, but correctable flaw in Cone’s offensive game..
As somebody who played during a change in bat specs (5 oz. to 3 oz. change in the late 1990’s), I remember trying to muscle up on balls by attacking them out front of the plate to the opposite result. Power comes from letting the baseball travel deep in the zone to maximize leverage. The team who drafts Cone and makes this adjustment will have quite a player on their hands. He really is the first true 5-tool player I’ve had the opportunity to scout in quite awhile.
19 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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