clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2021 MLB Draft: Tampa Bay Rays select college 3B Dru Baker No. 130 overall

The Rays fourth round selection is a Texas Tech third baseman.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Michigan vs Texas Tech Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays have selected a college hitter in the fourth round, picking up Texas Tech 3B Dru Baker.

MLB Pipeline has much to say about Baker:

Baker made an immediate contribution as a freshman at Texas Tech in 2019, starting at shortstop and third base and helping the Red Raiders to their best-ever finish (tied for third) at the College World Series. He moved into the leadoff spot and shifted to the outfield corners last year and has remained there this spring, catalyzing Texas Tech’s offense. He batted .440 in the first six weeks of the season before sustaining a quad injury that sidelined him for six games.

Baker’s best tool is his speed, which earns plus-plus grades from some evaluators and makes him a basestealing threat. He has quick hands and a compact right-handed swing built for consistent line-drive contact. While he has average raw power, he focuses more on getting on base than driving the ball and projects to max out around 10-12 homers per season with wood bats.

Though his best positions for becoming a big league regular would be second base or center field, Baker hasn’t played them in college. He doesn’t have the cleanest infield actions and his fringy to average arm isn’t suited for an everyday role at shortstop or third base. He has the quickness to cover the gaps in center, a more viable spot than the outfield corners because his lack of pop doesn’t fit the profile there.