Name: Heston Kjerstad (Draft comments page)
Age as of 6/30/20: 21
Current Grade: 40
Future Grade: 60
Ceiling Grade: 65
Most Likely Future Role: Everyday RF, occasional All-Star
Ceiling: Perennial All-Star
Quick Scouting Report Update: The 2nd overall pick in the 2020 draft, this left-handed power hitting outfielder went much higher than most draft analysts thought he would. With a $7,789,900 slot number with the second overall pick, Mike Elias decided to go with Kjerstad for a pre draft agreed to signing bonus of $5,200,000 saving the team $2,589,900 that was used to sign overslot high schoolers Coby Mayo and Carter Baumler with the 4th and 5th round picks.
Saying all that, Kjerstad was off to a great start during his Junior year at Arkansas slashing .448/.513/.791/1.304 through his first 78 plate appearances when his season was cut short. Considered to have the best left-handed power in the draft, Kjerstad is a perfect fit for the cozy confides at Camden Yards where he’ll take aim at the flag court and Eutaw street one day.
Kjerstad in the past had some minor plate discipline issues, but was off to a good start with seven walks to nine strikeouts in his abbreviated season. If his plate discipline improvements were for real, he could very well end up a high average, high OBP power hitting outfielder.
While he’s an average to slightly below average runner, Kjerstad’s defense has never been his calling card. He does have a solid right fielder’s arm and some believe he looked better in the outfield during his junior year, but most do not think he will be anything but an adequate defensive outfielder at the major league level.
Kjerstad is still a bit of an unknown due to the miss season so it’s hard to make a complete assessment. He has a similar ceiling as Ryan Mountcastle, but Mountcastle has already reached the major leagues with success.
Lots of upside and ceiling, but some risk is involved until he gets some minor league PAs under his belt.