The MLB Draft is now exactly two weeks away as we continue to break down the talent waiting for their names to be called. The outfield class is very talented led by Druw Jones and Elijah Green, while Dylan Beavers is not too far behind. The junior from the University of California is coming off his best season which firmly puts him in first-round discussion.
Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Draft Profiles.
Dylan Beavers, OF, California
Weight: 206 lbs.
2020: 12 G, .250/.333/.357, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R, 9 K, 4 BB
2021: 55 G, .303/.401/.630, 18 HR, 49 RBI, 44 R, 10 SB, 53 K, 32 BB
2022: 56 G, .291/.427/.634, 17 HR, 50 RBI, 62 R, 7 SB, 54 K, 51 BB
A two-time All-Pac 12 First Team member, Beavers led Cal in RBI (50), total bases (135), sacrifice flies (5) & multi-RBI games (13) in 2022 while being one of the country’s top college hitters. He hailed from Mission College Prep in San Luis Obispo, California, where he was a two-time All-League First Team selection and a MaxPreps California Medium Schools All-State Team selection as a senior. The 20-year-old struggled in the Cape Cod League last summer, but it was a small eight-game sample and he bounced back once the college season came around.
Beavers has legitimate five-tool potential and he showed off that full toolbox in 2022. His raw power was on full display and he was able to lock in at the plate. There were concerns with his swing at times early in his career, but he worked on it and improved his plate discipline. From last year to this year, Beavers raised his walk rate from 12.7 percent to 18.8 percent, while also lowering his strikeout rate from 21 percent to 19.9 percent. Although the strikeout drop isn’t too significant, it is still a decrease and the walk rate jump is definitely noteworthy. The patience is certainly there and he also reached base safely in 51 of the 56 games this season.
Despite being a big 6’4″, 206 pounds, Beavers has wheels on the basepaths and a strong arm in the outfield. He can steal his share of bases while being smart on the bases and could play anywhere in the outfield. Although, most of his time in college was spent in right field, with 83 games there (all 56 in 2022), 36 in center, and four in left.
Even with the improvements that he made this past season, Beavers has an unusual swing path that leads to swing-and-miss tendencies. That was prevalent in the Cape Cod League and as he faces tougher pitching the breaking balls will continue to bite him. It will be hard for him to avoid having more of a power-over-contact profile. But that doesn’t mean he will be a three-true outcome hitter by any stretch. He can still hit the ball hard to all fields but just might take some time to adjust as the pitching gets stronger in the higher levels. That also won’t take anything away from his defense, where he could move to center with his speed or stick at right with his strong arm.
Pro Comparison: Teoscar Hernandez
Along with having similar builds with Hernandez standing at 6’2″, 215 pounds, the pair also own the same tools in their toolbox. They both have five-tool potential with a more power-over-hit approach and a very strong arm from right field. Beavers could take a similar path to Hernandez, who took time to adjust to the minors after signing in 2011, making his MLB debut in 2016, and breaking out fully in the majors at the age of 25 in 2018. Hernandez was only 18 when he signed, so one would believe it won’t take Beavers quite as long, as he is already pretty advanced for a younger college prospect.
Draft Projection: St. Louis Cardinals, Round 1, Pick 18
The Cardinals have drafted college pitchers in the first round in two of the last four drafts, and prep third basemen in the other two years. The last time they drafted an outfielder early was in 2016 when they took Dylan Carlson with the 33rd pick. That has certainly worked out and they could find a potential future pairing with Beavers.
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Main Image Credit: From Dylan Beavers’ Twitter