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2019 MLB Draft: White Sox take James Beard in the fourth round (110th overall)

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This center fielder is easily the fleetest player in the draft

Beard recently ran the 60-yard-dash in a mind-blowing 6.21 seconds.
Twitter | @MLBPDP

James Beard

Loyd Star H.S. (Brookhaven, MS)
Outfielder
Age 18
Bats Right
Throws Right

Rankings

Baseball America 100
MLB 127
FanGraphs 144

Who is the fastest athlete in this draft? If you answered either C.J. Abrams or Greg Jones, you would be wrong. If you answered, you’d be on the money. This is what ESPN said about his tryouts at Oxford, Alabama last year: “Beard left many scouts at the ECP-PDP event doing a double take when he ran his 60-yard dash to open up the afternoon session. He posted a 6.21 time, much faster than the next closest time, which was over 6.3. The upcoming senior at Loyd Star High School in Brookhaven, Miss., has an accurate arm in the outfield and can cover a lot of ground, thanks to that speed. But more than just speed, Beard also has power on his side.

Because of his blazing speed, Beard has drawn comparisons to Royal speedster Billy Hamilton. That’s where the comparison ends, however, as he has the upside of at least an average hitter with double-digit home run power. Here are his stats for the varsity squad this year:

27 G, 107 PA, 70 AB, .429/.626/1.000, 46 R, 30 H, 8 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 30 RBI, 31 BB, 10 Ks, 6 HBP, 26-of-27 SB

These While not expected to be a 20-homer guy in the professional ranks, it’s certainly conceivable he could hit a dozen or more annually. He has some refining to do defensively, especially when it comes to being more aggressive, but he can outrun most mistakes for now. He doesn’t have a great arm, but would certainly be passable in center or left field. For now, he projects as a center fielder. At 6’0” and 190 pounds, Beard seems to be getting stronger. MLB Pipeline grades Beard’s tools as follows: 80 Run; 55 Field; 45 for Run, Power and Arm. It shouldn’t take much to pry him from his Meridian Community College verbal commitment.

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Most successful White Sox fourth round pick: James Baldwin, RHSP, 1990, Pine Crest H.S. (Southern Pines, NC)

Last year’s fourth round pick: Lency Delgado, SS, Doral Academy Prepatory School (Doral, FL)