Bo Way, Outfielder
HT : 6'0
WT : 180 lb.
DOB : November 17, 1991, Brunswick, GA
Throws : Left
Bats : Left
School : Kennesaw State University (Kennesaw, GA)
Acquired : Drafted in 7th round (209th overall) of 2014 June Draft
Stock : Highest Rising Prospect, Potential Star
Cool Notes : Finished in top 10 of Moniker Madness
The Angels took Kole Calhoun in the eighth round of the 2010 draft. This past year, in the seventh round, the Angels took another grinding college outfielder who hit from the left-side of the plate, and has torn up the minors right after the draft. Bo Way is the real deal, and reminds most of us of Kole Calhoun, even though it's never fair to compare players. Bo Way is an outright, darn good ball player, who is going to create some havoc on his way to the top.
Way has a swift swing from the left side of the plate. Way has quick hands, and tends to crowd the plate, which allows him to use his hands and wrist well to spray chart the ball. Way has a natural line drive swing, with a smooth path directly to the ball. Something Way does better than most is doing little. Seems silly, but Way never overmatches himself at the plate, and stays consistently easy at the plate.
With Way doing little at the plate, he has a sound approach. He has no trouble working from being behind in the count. This helps with his ability to make contact with the ball, even while behind. However, Way is aggressive at the plate, and doesn't draw as many walks as you'd like for a leadoff bat.
Defensively, Way is more than just sound. He's a standout in the Angels system, and across minor league baseball. In a mix of quick feet and his above average speed, Way explodes to ball, and covers an incredible amount of ground. He also has a great arm, that not only could hold runners but contribute to taking away the running game with even the most aggressive runners. Another perk to Way's defense is his ability to leave the ground and make some SC Top 10 kind of plays, that will bring the crowd to their feet.
Way is incredibly fast on the base paths. Not necessarily an elusive base stealer, but an elusive base runner in general. He has quick strides, which somewhat allows him to stay quick throughout his entire trip around the bases, and picks up speed while rounding each base with what seems like a new gear at each.
Way is pretty well grown, and is nearing his final physical growth. This mean he may not add much more power or speed to his game, but his athleticism and thirst for knowledge may be able to give him some small improvements and quirks to his already good set list of tools.
In high school, Way was named a Two-Time All-Georgia selection, and was named MVP twice for Georgia in the Sunbelt Classic. He followed this up with two years at Middle Georgia Junior College, where in his freshman year, he lead the team in hits, triples, and stolen bases, helpign him be named an All-Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association selection. In his second year at Middle Georgia JC, Way finished second on the team in batting average (.350), and collected 12 doubles, five triples, two home runs, and 18 stolen bases, with a .481 slugging percentage.
In his first year at Kennesaw State, Way hit .314, with 11 doubles, four triples, two home runs and 27 RBI, while holding a .419 slugging percentage. Way lead the team in stolen bases with eight and also lead the team in runs scored with 31. Way collected a 20 game hit-streak, and also reached base in 30 straight at one point in his 60 games. One of the highlights of Way's season was a 4-for-5 effort against rival Georgia State, where he picked up three RBI, falling a triple shy of the cycle.
Way was named an Atlantic-Sun Preseason All-Conference honoree before the season even began last year. He didn't disappoint, putting up a .353/.398/.465 slash with 31 RBI, 17 doubles, two triples, two home runs, and 40 runs scored. Way also stole 11 bases in 15 attempts, while walking 16 times and striking out just 22 times.
Way was an absolute stud once being drafted, putting up a .354/.397/.554 slash in his first 32 games in Rookie Ball. He added 12 doubles, four triples, two home runs, 27 RBI and 29 runs scored to his resume while in Orem as well. 13 of Way's final 27 games went for multiple hits, and he hit in all but five of his 32 games, reaching in all but two. In his final 18 games, Way hit .384/.421/.641, averaging 1.6 hits per game, reaching base 1.94 times a game, and averaged an extra base hit every six at bats, while striking out just twice in 83 plate appearances.
Way did just as well, if not better once earning a callup to Low-A, posting a .339/.424/.461 slash in 29 games. Way had 10 of his 29 games go for multi-hit games, and four go for three hits or more. Way collected a 22-game streak of reaching base throughout August. During the span, Way went 32-for-89 (.360), reaching base in 43 of 100 plate appearances (.430 OBP), and held a .483 slugging percentage.
Way was rock solid in his first year of pro ball, between Rookie Ball and Low-A. He was even better at Low-A actually, and it may have earned him a trip to High-A out of Spring Training in 2015. Way will be 23 throughout the entire season next year, which means the Angels may rush his process slightly, which would give us even more insight into seeing him go to High-A Inland Empire.
Way should be a conservative guy through the minors, taking each step progressively each year. With this said, he should see High-A in 2015, Double-A in 2016, and Triple-A in 2017. With this steady path up, Way could see some Major League time in the 2017 season, but it's most likely he'll make the big leap and be a permanent member in 2018, possibly as a starter in the outfield.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for InsideTheHalos.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.