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Draft prospects you should know: Jason Hodges, Marist H.S. (Ill.) OF/1B

A local slugger looks to make a splash this June

Slugger powwow: Jason Hodges is seen here getting tips from World Series hero Jermaine Dye.
@jason_hodges14/Twitter

When you have the No. 3 overall pick, it’s never too soon to take a quick peek into this year’s MLB draft. This year’s draft class is loaded with excellent hitting prospects, but is relatively weak on the pitching side.

Draft Prospects You Should Know is a new series that features prospects who the White Sox could pursue in this year’s draft. As the June draft nears, we’ll return to many of these athletes and provide updates on whether their stocks are rising (or falling).

Age listed as of Day One of the Draft (June 3).


Jason Hodges

Marist H.S., Chicago, Ill.
Left Field/First Base
Age 17
Bats Right
Throws Right

Rankings

Baseball America 99
MLB Unranked in Top 50
FanGraphs 68

Hodges, a native of nearby Park Forest, currently attends Marist High School and is verbally committed to the University of Arkansas. His build (6´3´´, 210 pounds) is quite projectable. He runs the 60-yard-dash at a respectable 6.94 seconds according to PerfectGame, but his value will be based upon the punishment his bat provides to opposing fastballs. He hits from an upright open stance, has above average bat speed, gets good carry off the barrel, loose extension through contact, and has tons of projectable power. Below is a video of the first pitch he saw at the Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif.:

Hodges has average range, but figures to slow down as he continues to develop. His arm is a bit below average, so he best profiles in the outfield as a left fielder. During the offseason tournaments last summer, PerfectGame noted that he looked more comfortable at first base due to his quick feet and athleticism for that position. First base likely will be his position the deeper he plays at the professional level.

Physically, he’s close to Eloy Jimenez, and he won’t even turn 18 until a month after June’s MLB draft. He has first-round hitting ability, but questions pertaining to his defense may sink him to the late second round or lower. If he falls to the White Sox in the third round, he could be the steal of the draft.


Previously, on Draft Prospects You Should Know

Jack Leiter, Delbarton (N.J.) H.S. RHSP
Matt Wallner, Southern Miss OF
Tyler Dyson, Florida RHSP
Rece Hinds, IMG Baseball Academy 3B
Daniel Espino, Georgia Premier Academy RHSP
Quinn Priester, Cary-Grove H.S. RHSP