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).
University of Georgia
Baseball America 97
Cam Shepherd, rated as the No. 85 prep prospect in the 2016 MLB Draft, was selected by the Red Sox in the 29th round that year draft but decided to keep his verbal commitment with the University of Georgia. After a solid rookie campaign with the Bulldogs, Shepherd’s prospect status took a nosedive after a difficult sophomore season. These are his stats from his two NCAA seasons to date:
2017 57 G, 241 AB, .307/.354/.452, 16 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 5-7 SB, 13 BB (5.0%), 28 K (10.7%)
2018 60 G, 221 AB, .244/.357/.385, 12 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 2-6 SB, 40 BB (15.0%), 45 K (16.9%)
On the positive side, Shepherd tripled his walk rate, so his plate discipline seems to have improved. Aside from improved patience, what is there to like? Shepherd has sure and quick hands in the infield, quick transfer to a compact arm action, with good arm strength and accurate, on-line throws. He profiles best as a second or third baseman moving forward despite the fact he’s primarily played shortstop collegiately.
In the batter’s box, Shepherd hits from the right side, with good strength and bat speed, and projectable home run power in the future. He’s basically an average runner, as evidenced by his 6.80 60-yard-dash according to PerfectGame, as well as his low stolen base totals.
Shepherd isn’t the toolsiest player in the world, but he does a lot of things well. While projected by Baseball America at No. 97, I expect him to fall in this year’s draft barring a resurgence at the plate. Shepherd is likely to fall anywhere from the fourth to 10th rounds, and may best profile as a utility infielder as a professional. His closest comp in the White Sox organization is Birmingham second baseman Mitch Roman.
Here’s a YouTube video taken last February of Shepherd:
In place of the long list of Draft Prospects You Should Know with story links that usually resides here, just click the “Draft Prospects You Should Know” on our page, below the main stories, to access a list of every player so far profiled.