MLB Draft Profile: Gavin Conticello

MLB Draft Profile: Gavin Conticello

by June 22, 2021 0 comments

The 2021 MLB Draft will begin on July 11, 2021. We take a look at Gavin Conticello, a power-hitting shortstop who figures to play third base in the future.

Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Draft Profiles.

Gavin Conticello, Shortstop, Stoneman Douglas (Fla.)

Height: 6’3″
Weight: 195 lbs.
Age: 18
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
2019: 20G, .302/.384/.412, 19 H, 6 RBI, 9 BB, 20 K
2020: 10G, .250/.382/.571, 7 H, 5 RBI, 1 HR, 6 BB, 5 K
2021: 30G, .351/.439/.585, 33 H, 24 RBI, 2 HR, 17 BB, 20 K

Scouting Grades

Hit: 45
Power: 50
Run: 45
Field: 45
Throw: 55

Conticello is a strong hitter and decent fielder. Given his physical makeup and impressive arm strength, the expectation is that he will shift from shortstop to third base upon being drafted.

Strengths

Take one look at Conticello’s high school stats and you will find enormous slugging percentages in 2020 and 2021. The 18-year-old is capable of hitting for power, and he does it well. He frequently pulls the ball into gaps into deep right field, producing extra-base hits. He didn’t hit a bountiful amount of homers in high school, but the fact of the matter is that he often put the ball in play over the head of the opposing right fielder. His power is one of his top tools, and he generates it using a large stride and leg kick.

Conticello also has decent glovework and speed, though his throwing arm stands out as his best defensive tool. When Conticello fields the ball, he quickly gets the ball from his glove into his bare hand, then fires on to first rapidly. His throw speed was clocked at 89 mph in late 2020. Having a great arm is always important, but in Conticello’s case, it might allow him to stay in the infield. Shortstop isn’t his long-term home, but thanks to his strong arm, he can likely survive at third base. If not for his ability to sling the ball, he’d likely be destined for a corner outfield spot; such a move would hurt his draft stock drastically.

Weaknesses

Conticello’s swing and stride raise eyebrows. It’s challenging to complain about an approach when the hitter is producing results, but the infielder clearly has a dramatic stride and leg kick. So far, this hasn’t led to a massive strikeout rate, but the concern is definitely there. Further, while he makes contact a lot, he has a tendency to pop the ball up to a point where it doesn’t even escape the infield. This might have to be the trade-off for his power, but it’s still less than ideal.

In the field, Conticello is generally a solid fielder. He makes routine plays, is willing to move a bit to find the ball, and transfers from glove to hand quickly. However, there have been times when Conticello doesn’t bend down enough to field a grounder. Regardless of whether he fields the ball successfully this way, this is a dangerous approach because it means he doesn’t always get his glove down all the way. The improper position could also restrict his range and flexibility. This is another reason why Conticello will be moving away from the shortstop position in the pros.

Pro Comparison: Joey Wendle

I really like comparing Conticello to Wendle. The latter is 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, and he has spent 54 games at third base and 16 at shortstop this year. He also bats lefty and throws righty. At the plate, Wendle is slashing .292/.350/.491 with seven homers, 14 walks, and 48 strikeouts. Outside of the walk and strikeout numbers, that looks quite like what we can expect from Conticello. It’s also worth noting that once the Florida product reaches pro ball and faces better pitching, his walk rate might drop and his strikeout rate could rise. In the field, Wendle is better than mediocre, averaging 0.04 dWAR per game (6.9 dWAR per 162-game season).

Draft Projection: Sixth-Round Pick

Conticello will likely go anywhere between the fifth and eighth rounds, so I’ll settle on sixth because that is when Wendle was drafted, too. It’s a reasonable projection for the prep infielder given his power and ability to survive in the infield (albeit at third base, not shortstop).


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Main Image Credit: Perfect Game

Andersen is a teenage sportswriter and reporter whose articles have appeared across the Prime Time Sports Talk, Sports Illustrated Kids, FantasyPros, and SB Nation platforms. He has also received credit from RotoWorld, CBS Sports, ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, The Athletic, SB Nation, NBC Sports, NY Post, and dozens of other sports sites for his reporting work.

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