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2017 MLB Draft Profile: Nick Pratto

Perhaps the best high school bat in this year’s draft class, Huntington Beach’s Nick Pratto could be a great addition for the rebuilding Chicago White Sox.

Who is Nick Pratto?

In February, I wrote:

Nick Pratto 6’ 2” 195 pounds Throws: L/Bats:L

There is a good chance Pratto is on the board when the Sox pick at #49. He plays first base, not a premium position and he has average speed. He also pitches, so the arm is strong, and his skill at first is above average. He is a polished hitter with the power you look for at first base and great makeup, to go along with leadership abilities. He could play corner outfield as well. So he's not stuck at first base.

At that time, Nick looked to be second round bound. Every day since he has improved his draft stock. He now looks poised to be drafted in the first round. Either just before or after the White Sox pick at #11.

How does Pratto rank?

MLBPipeline: 10th
Baseball America: 17th
ESPN: 9th
Hero Sports: 11th
Fangraphs: 11th

The MLB Draft Prospect Average Tool has him 11th.

Nick has made himself famous. There is some talk of top ten teams looking to sign him under slot. The Yankees pick at #16, and that looks to be his floor. The last Mock Slyder (Josh Nelson) and I did, we both choose him. If the Sox were to take him, it would be about where he is expected to go.

What is Pratto’s game?

First of all, he is a two-way player. His pitching is fine, but we don’t care. He will be drafted as a first baseman. Defensively, Pratto is very accomplished around the bag, with strong leadership qualities. This young man was a star in the 2011 Little League World Series. He had a walk-off hit in the final game. He has indicated that he is ready to start his career now.

His understanding of the strike zone is at the highest level. He is known to show some disdain for Umps who miss calls. Reminds me of a certain Hall of Fame first baseman who played for the Sox. Pratto has been called the most advanced high school bat in this draft by a number of scouts. He hits from sideline to sideline, making a shift less than wise.

What does Pratto look like?

Pratto is 6'2", 200 pounds. Not real big, but a good size with plenty of pop and a projection of more to come. Scout Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 50 | Run: 45 | Arm: 55 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55

He can play left field as well, but he is excellent at first and would be just OK in the outfield. He runs fine, but speed is not his game.

Why would the White Sox draft him?

I have expressed hope they would look to add high school position players, instead of selecting and rushing college players. Load up the pipeline for continuity. There are things Nick Hostetler has said that lead my to believe they may be of the same mindset. Pratto would immediately become the first baseman of our future.

Collins behind the plate, Anderson, Moncada, Robert, up the middle and Pratto at first.

That's not bad.

Why would the Sox look elsewhere?

There might be a player that falls to them that they won’t pass up. A player like MacKenzie Gore, or Royce Lewis. Maybe they go college bat. There is some talk of him signing under slot earlier in the round. I would note, high school first baseman chosen in the top ten in the last eight years. That is a big zero.

As a position player, Pratto would be ready to jump right in and get at-bats. He already has a depth of experience and by every account, will handle himself like a professional far beyond his years. 2020 expected arrival.