The 2021 MLB Draft will begin on July 11, 2021. We take a look at Tommy Dilandri, an intriguing prep outfielder who does have some holes in his game.
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Tommy Dilandri, Outfielder, Palo Verde (Nev.)
Weight: 195 lbs.
2021: 20G, .444/.513/.841, 28 H, 26 RBI, 6 HR, 9 BB, 15 K, 10/13 SB
Dilandri’s top offensive trait is his potential for power, and he showed glimpses of this by launching six homers through 20 games as a senior in high school. This is a great sign for the young outfielder and will likely translate into even more power as he continues to grow and get stronger. As for the hit tool alone, Dilandri also put the ball in play quite a bit in high school, logging hits in 44.4 percent of at-bats and reaching base in 51.3 percent of plate appearances.
The outfielder also possesses a very strong arm. This stems from his experience as a right-handed pitcher in high school. While he isn’t expected to continue pitching beyond Palo Verde, his strong arm will certainly remain with him. He touched 93 mph on the mound and should be able to use this strength and velocity to his advantage in the outfield. Such a great throwing ability means Dilandri will likely stick in center field long-term.
Dilandri also possesses solid speed. He swiped 14 bags on 17 attempts over his final 25 prep games and has also demonstrated speed and range in the outfield. This is another factor towards why he should projects in center down the road.
Dilandri’s hit tool has been his biggest concern thus far. While he posted very impressive numbers in high school, that is to be expected given the level of competition. The reason why scouts are surely timid regarding his hitting is that he has struggled in the swing and miss department. Top-notch prep hitters should be able to draw as many walks as strikeouts, if not more. Dilandri, though, drew nine walks and 15 strikeouts. There are real concerns about his pitch recognition and awareness at the plate, and the fact that he struggled with walks as a senior in high school certainly isn’t going unnoticed.
The 18-year-old has also looked shaky at times in center field. His glovework is just average and he definitely isn’t immune to errors. He will often make up for his miscues with his speed or arm, but it would be nice to not have any errors in the first place. This likely won’t be enough to move him out of center field, but it’s still a noticeable weakness in Dilandri’s game.
Pro Comparison: Austin Slater
This feels like a very strong comparison for Dilandri because it checks off a lot of boxes. For starters, both Dilandri and Slater are right-handed at the plate and in the field. The former is two inches taller and 10 pounds lighter, though he should close that weight gap as he fills out his frame. Slater, just like Dilandri, has demonstrated a solid arm in the outfield, and his one double play started this season ranks fourth among center fielders. He also has decent speed (seven stolen bases through 65 games) and decent power (seven home runs).
Draft Projection: Late Second-Round Pick
No matter how strong his arm is or how much power he could potentially display, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which executives ignore his hitting concerns and draft him in the first round. The second round seems much more likely as it means teams can land a safer pick with their first selection, then go with a somewhat riskier but upside-driven pick in someone like Dilandri.