The Cincinnati Reds selected shortstop Jeter Downs with the #32 pick overall. He comes out of Pace High School in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Jeter Downs Scouting Report
Jeter Downs has potential average of better big league tools across the board. He’s a potential 5-tooler who is a shortstop now, but may slide over in the future. He’ll likely begin his career at shortstop, though where his above-average arm strength plays well. He’s got good glove work that would play well at either second of third base if he does need to slide over to either of those positions in the future.
At the plate he’s got some pop in his bat with a chance for 15-20 home runs in the future thanks to his quick wrists and bat speed. He was impressive in his senior season, hitting more home runs than he had strikeouts during the year. He’s got above-average speed now, but he’s not a burner.
He was a fast riser his senior season, projected more as a 4th rounder in the the winter. However, his tools started to show better in the spring, particularly in regards to his bat speed and power projection.
Initial thoughts on Jeter Downs
You’re never going to hear me complain about toolsy shortstops, and that’s what Jeter Downs is. Even if he does eventually move as a pro down the line, the tools should play if that move is needed. He’s one of the older high school players in this draft class, and he’ll turn 19 during the summer. There’s not much to read into there, but it is worth noting. His range at shortstop seems to be the area where scouts are split on why he can/can’t stay at the position, but his hands and arm work very well there and that gives him a chance to remain up the middle.
The Reds on Jeter Downs
Chris Buckley had this to say about Jeter Downs:
He’s very advanced with is bat, even though he’s in a high school uniform, he’s a little more like a college player – he’s really really advanced.
Dick Williams had this to say about Jeter Downs:
Lot of upside, young high school up the middle, polished offensive player.
For information on all of the other Cincinnati Reds 2017 Major League Baseball Draft Picks, click here.