The 2021 MLB Draft will begin on July 11, 2021, in Atlanta, Ga. We take a look at JT Schwartz, UCLA’s most consistent bat.
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Weight: 215 lbs
A California native, Schwartz attends UCLA and has made improvements in his two seasons with the Bruins. He redshirted his freshman season but has since been a consistent hitter for the school. He has made consistent contributions and logged five hits and four RBI through four games in the Lubbock Regional. Additionally, Schwartz posted a .396 average in the 2021 season, a jump from .328 in 2020.
Schwartz has the potential to hit for average in the majors. He is a consistent bat who can rack up singles and doubles. Schwartz batted .396 in 2021 season with 12 doubles and also exhibited clear improvement in terms of patience at the plate. He drew nearly one walk per game this past season, which was a big jump from 2020 when he only drew four walks in 15 games. Schwartz’s power improved in 2021, too, as he hit eight home runs.
Schwartz’s power is not an area of strength for him. While improved in this realm in 2021, with his 6-foot-4 height, he should look to improve his strength in the majors. Schwartz will likely be limited to just first base in the majors due to his lack of athleticism in the field. He has a chance to play in left field and potentially even third base, though first base remains most likely. Schwartz will not be a threat to steal in the majors as he had just one stolen base in 2021.
Pro Comparison: Alex Verdugo
Although Schwartz is four inches taller than Verdugo, their hitting approach is similar. Both players have hit for contact and power has followed. Verdugo is a consistent bat and did not look to demonstrate enormous power early on. Schwartz will have to take a similar approach when he begins his professional career.
Draft Projection: Round 5, Pick 139, Arizona Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks are in desperate need of a first baseman. Christian Walker has not been a consistent bat and is 30 years old. The Diamondbacks have no first baseman in the top-10 of their prospect pool, so adding a consistent bat such as Schwartz to their pool could pay off a few years down the line. This is especially true if his consistency translates to the majors.
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