For today’s entry to the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft Scouting Report series (you can read all of the reports here) is for Nick Loftin, a shortstop from Baylor. He’s currently rated as the #29 prospect in the draft by Baseball America, the #33 prospect by Fangraphs, and #36 by MLB Pipeline.
The 2018 Season
Undrafted out of high school, Nick Loftin headed off to Baylor where he started as a freshman in left field before moving to the infield and winding up at short. He played in 55 games in 2018 and in his 254 plate appearances he hit .302/.366/.437 with 12 doubles, 6 home runs, 21 walks, and just 20 strikeouts.
Following the year he headed off to the Northwoods Summer League where he played for Wisconsin and played in 49 games, hitting .253/.311/.364.
The 2019 Season
After a solid freshman season, Nick Loftin returned to Baylor and played in 53 games as a sophomore. The shortstop took a step forward at the plate, hitting .323/.380/.502 with 18 doubles, 3 triples, and another season with 6 home runs. He also walked 17 times with 17 strikeouts.
For a second straight season, Loftin headed off to play summer baseball. This time he hit the Cape Cod League, but his stay was short as he played in just 9 games and hit .316/.316/.447 before joining Team USA later in the summer.
The 2020 Season
Things were limited for Nick Loftin in 2020, just like they were for everyone else. Before the college baseball season was shut down, Loftin played in 14 games and hit .298/.339/.544 with 4 doubles, 2 triples, and 2 home runs. His strikeout rate was up in a big way early in the year. After striking out just 37 times in the first two seasons in 519 plate appearances (7.1%), he struck out 11 times in 62 trips to the plate (17.7%) with 4 walks.
Nick Loftin College Stats
(stats while at Baylor)
Nick Loftin Video
Nick Loftin Scouting Report
Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 180 lbs
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Solid. That’s a good word to describe Nick Loftin in just about every area. From a tools standpoint, nothing sticks out. He’s a solid defender at shortstop, which does carry some weight because not everyone can play shortstop – but among shortstops he doesn’t stick out for range or arm strength. At the plate he’s far more contact oriented than power driven. He rarely struck out while at Baylor, but never put up big time averages, either – he was solid. His hit tools, speed – they’re average tools. His power grades out a tick below average.
The overall package is there for a starting shortstop at the big league level if things work out. Those guys are few and far between. The upside isn’t high because the carry tool simply doesn’t appear to be there. But there’s some safety with Loftin, too, as the floor doesn’t seem to be that low.
Where the concern could be
The fact that nothing really stands out on the scouting report is a slight concern. It doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room when you’re looking for every day players. That gives you the need to have a guy get the most out of what’s there in order to be a starter. If the hit tool is a little less than what was expected, or the defense isn’t quite as good as you thought – just a little something in one area, there’s not another area where it can be made up.