MLB Draft Profile: Jalen Battles

MLB Draft Profile: Jalen Battles

by June 15, 2021 0 comments

The favorites to win the national title, Arkansas was eliminated from the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament in the Super Regionals by North Carolina State. Jalen Battles was one of their catalysts throughout the season and postseason as he really elevated his MLB Draft stock with solid play.

Jalen Battles, Shortstop, Arkansas 

Height: 6’2” 

Weight: 205 lbs.

Age: 21 

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

2019 (McLennan Community College): 57 G, .320/.433/.532, 6 HR, 42 RBI, 60 R, 6 SB

2020 (MCC): 24 G, .303/.402/.438, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 17 R, 1 SB

2021: 61 G, .269/.371/.407, 6 HR, 43 RBI, 48 R, 5 SB

Scouting Grades 

Hit: 60

Power: 55

Run: 50

Field: 55

Throw: 55

Overall: 55

Jalen Battles played his freshman and sophomore seasons at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas before transferring to the University of Arkansas prior to his junior season in 2021. He led the team in average (.320), hits (65), doubles (17), and runs scored (60) in his freshman season and was named second-team all-conference. Following that season, Battles was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 34th round of the 2019 draft. The middle infielder decided to return to college for his sophomore year; he was named James Madison’s Athlete of the Year as a senior in high school.

Strengths 

Battles has a tremendous hit tool and a calm approach at the plate. During his college career, the former Razorback walked 79 times which helped him maintain a high on-base percentage. When he makes contact, it is very loud and his swing has a lot of bat speed behind it. His power is still fairly raw, but there is plenty for him to break into. During the 2021 season, Battles proved that he could hit in the SEC and Division I as he transitioned from JUCO. He has all the makings for a solid middle infielder with all the tools from range, arm strength, and smooth hands to stick at shortstop.

Weaknesses 

It is tough to find any weaknesses in the game of Battles, as he really came out and proved he can hit against some of the best pitching in the country in the SEC. Everything he has done proves that he can continue to get better and better as he moves up from level to level. He’s a gamer and does big things on the big stage. The only real question is if he can continue to tap into his power as he faces better and better pitching.

Pro Comparison: Francisco Lindor

Lindor wasn’t much of a big power threat early on either but started to tap into the raw power as he moved along. He has a similar frame to Battles, at 5’11”, 190 lbs and Battles plays with similar flare and top defense at short.

Draft Projection: Round 2, Pick 53, Cincinnati Reds

The Reds are fairly light at shortstop in their system and at the major league level. Battles look pretty pro-ready and could make a swift move up the Reds system. There aren’t too many college shortstops in this draft, which could make him a sought-after guy for championship-caliber teams.


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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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