Ryan Mountcastle – 3B
2018 Level: Rookie Ball
Current/Future/Ceiling Grades: 40/55/60
What we know:
Still the bat with most impact projection in the system, Mountcastle spent the entire season at Bowie (AA) at 21-years of age and put up a respectable .297/.341/.464/.806 slash line. Improved his pitch recognition and his walk rate nearly doubled (from 3.16% to 6.07%) from the season before though his ISO dropped from .202 to .167. With quick hands and plus raw power, at 6-3, 195, Mountcastle should add more power and allow him to profile as a guy who could hit 30+ homers. As good as his bat is, it has to be because defensively he’s still a major question mark. His poor arm strength (30 arm), and long arm action doesn’t allow him to come in on the ball effectively from third base and there is little belief in the scouting community that Mountcastle will be able to play a major league third base effectively. A move to first base of left field could be in his near future.
What we don’t know:
Will his plate discipline improve and will his power develop? The development of those two things will determine his bat impact which will need to be his carrying attribute since he doesn’t bring anything defensively at the moment. Can he play left field effectively? If he stays on the dirt, can he make the transition to first base?
What we think:
Mountcastle has the potential to be a high average power bat guy in the major leagues. He’s ahead of Trey Mancini at the same time in their careers, and has better physical tools than Mancini, but Mancini edges him in having a plan at the plate. There is no reason to think the bat won’t play as an every day big leaguer, but the question will be whether he ends up bringing any defensive value somewhere or will need to DH which will limit his value overall.