Kenny Towns, Third Baseman
HT : 5'11
WT : 180
DOB : December 19, 1992 (22), in Burke, Virginia
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Viriginia (Charlottesville, VA)
Acquired : Drafted in 20th Round of 2015 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : Unranked
It's never a bad thing when a prospects hold school records, and comes from one of the most established collegiate programs in the nation. Kenny Towns is now a third base prospect in the Los Angeles Angels farm system, just beginning a new journey. After winning the College World Series, Towns has a new dream of winning a different World Series title.
Towns' strongest asset is his fielding abilities. Despite weak defensive numbers as a professional, Towns is one of multiple good defenders from the hot corner in the Angels organization. He has a strong arm, and a quick first movement that allows him to cover ground and take target of throwing out runners with ease.
At the plate, Towns has gap-to-gap line driver power. Most of his power comes from his legs and explosive bat speed. As he fills out, he should see a boost in his home run total.
Towns is still learning an approach at the plate, being a reasonably aggressive hitter. With this comes a low strikeout rate, but also a low walk total. He also stands close to the plate, allowing his bat to travel through the entire zone as he swings.
The former Cavalier does have a knack for dramatics (see: senior season at UVA), coming up big in situational manners. Being a large part of Virginia's World Series team, Towns had his biggest moments in clutch scenarios. It played out in professional ball as well, flashing a .763 OPS with runners in scoring position and two outs.
Towns has slightly above average speed. He is a very smart base runner, and his aggressive style goes to the base paths with him, which should result in double-digit stolen bases at full season affiliates.
VIDEO : ACC Digital Network
Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com
No player from Lake Braddock High School has a resume quite like Towns. The third baseman holds the school record for runs, hits, RBI, doubles, home runs, walks, bating average and total bases. In his junior year, Towns was named a First-Team All-Distrct and All-Region selection, earning honorable mentions for All-State. During his senior campaign, Towns hit .550 with eight home runs, 35 RBI and a .667 OBP, all while posting a 1.20 ERA on the mound. This helped him to such honors as All-State and All-Met honors, along with Virginia State Player of the Year.
Towns played in 28 games for Virginia his freshman season, 21 appearances coming in the final 30 games. Towns hit .294 that season, with a .313 average at DH. Towns reached base in six of 10 plate appearances against Duke, and had two clutch moments over the season, a game-tying two-run double in the eighth inning against Maryland and a walk to load the bases, setting up the go-ahead run against Clemson in the ACC Tournament opener.
There was no sophomore slump for Towns, as he slashed .290/.373/.516, seeing a power surge of seven home runs, second best on the team. He also hit the third most triples (five) in the ACC that season, while driving in 44 runs, sixth best on the team. Towns finished the season on an 11-game hit streak. Towns also hit two grand slams, and a three-run walk-off home run against Georgia Tech.
Towns got off to a slow start his junior year, hitting just .094 in his first 12 games. He went on to hit .316 the rest of the season, which included an 18-for-53 performance in the NCAA Tournament, second-most hits in the tourney. Towns hit .308 in the College World Series his junior season, with Virginia falling to Vanderbilt.
Towns finished his collegiate career with a .289/.371/.447 slash at Virginia, to go along with 51 doubles, 14 home runs and 159 RBI. Towns' senior season was one to remember, as the young third baseman earned All-ACC Second-Team and All-NCAA College World Series honors. Towns' shined in the biggest stage, picking up his school record, 22nd NCAA Tournament RBI to tie Game Two of the CWS. He also made a stellar stop that aired across national stations, saving a go-ahead run in Game Two. Virginia went on win the College World Series, with the help of Towns, who now holds the school record for NCAA Tournament RBI, hits, and doubles. Towns tied a school record with 67 RBI his senior year, and earned his bachelor's degree to top it all off.
Like his junior campaign at Virginia, Towns began his professional career on a poor note. In his first 24 games, Towns was looking at a slash line of just .145/.226/.197, which included a five-hit game. Towns ended the year on a high note though, hitting .352/.370/.549 with eight doubles and two home runs in his final 18 games. Towns also finished the season with a seven-game hit streak, where he went 13-for-26 with seven extra-base hits.
Despite the late boost in offensive numbers, Towns will need a successful Spring Training to move forward into Single-A. There's a small grid lock at the third base position, and he'll have to prove he's the better option to develop at the higher levels. One strong side to Towns' case is that he is older than some of the third base prospects who could land ahead of him in the depth charts.
There's no doubt that Towns has the work ethic to push himself to the higher levels. It's what he does there that will show whether he'll become a full pledged player or not. With a nice glove at the hot corner, and some gap power, Towns could play out as a nice utility piece at the highest levels.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.