Today’s edition of the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft Scouting Report series (you can read them all right here) features the first catcher as we take a look at North Carolina State’s Patrick Bailey. He’s currently rated as the #14 prospect on the Baseball America draft prospects list, #11 on the Fangraphs list, and #17 on the MLB Pipeline list.
The 2018 Season
Minnesota selected Patrick Bailey with their 37th round pick in 2017, but he chose to not sign with the Twins and head to North Carolina State. Bailey had a big freshman season for the Wolfpack. The switch-hitter posted a .321 average, walked 28 times with just 32 strikeouts – leading to a .419 on-base percentage – and he slugged .604.
The 2019 Season
After a big freshman year, Patrick Bailey had a bit of a sophomore slump. Not that it was necessarily a bad season – it was not – but it didn’t stack up to his previous season. He would hit .288/.390/.513 on the season with 41 walks and 43 strikeouts in 60 games played.
The 2020 Season
In the first few weeks of the college baseball season, Patrick Bailey was showing off some pop. The switch-hitter had six home runs and was slugging .685 through 17 games when the season abruptly came to an end. He was also hitting .296 with a .466 on-base percentage thanks to 17 walks in 73 plate appearances. But his strikeout rate had also spiked upwards as he fanned 18 times in that same span of time.
Patrick Bailey College Stats
Patrick Bailey Video
Patrick Bailey Scouting Report
Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 190 lbs
Bats: Switch | Throws: Right
Catcher is a premium position on the diamond and the expectations with the bat are drastically lower than most other spots on the field. Patrick Bailey had good, but not elite numbers at NC State in his career, posting a .302/.411/.568 line in his three seasons. He’s got average raw power, and his hit tool is fringe-average. For a catcher that’s better than average for the position.
Behind the plate he grades out a bit better, with above-average defense and an above-average arm. This is where scouts get more enthusiastic when grading his tools as he sticks out defensively at a defense-first position.
Where the concern could be
There are some questions about just how much his bat will play. Being a catcher gives you plenty of wiggle room, but there’s some swing-and-miss that’s popped up against quality pitching, and he’s been a good but not great hitter in college. The overall profile is that for a quality regular, but the upside isn’t believed to be much more than that, either.