Continuing the coverage from last weekend's PG World showcase in Fort Myers, Kiley gives us a scouting report and video of the 4th ranked player from the event, Todd Isaacs.
4. Todd Isaacs, CF, American Heritage-Delray HS (FL), No college commitment
5'11/175/, R/R, 18.0 on Draft Day
Isaacs is arguably the fastest prep player in Florida and maybe the country, with the other leading candidate a classmate at the same northern campus of American Heritage, Anfernee Seymour. Seymour will play with the Elev8 Academy this spring, so both will be able to patrol center field exclusively. Isaacs ran a blistering 6.33 in the 60 at the Diamond Club showcase in October, essentially matching Seymour's best times in the low 6.3's. On a wet field at PG World, Isaacs ran a 6.47.
As you may guess, the carrying tool here is speed and Isaacs' grades out as at least a 70 and may be an 80. He also has some feel for playing center and has a plus arm, so the defensive and base running value could both be top-of-the-line. In addition, Isaacs isn't committed to a college right now and this type of tool package, especially when signable, tends to go higher than the consensus evaluation as tools-inclined organizations can fall in love with the upside and athleticism.
Isaacs is not slouch at the plate, flashing 45 raw power to the gaps in batting practice and, despite skipping the summer showcase circuit, has hit well in fall/winter events. Isaacs made solid contact at Diamond Club and PG World and went 7-for-14 with 1 walk and 1 strikeout at Jupiter versus some premium pitching.
Isaacs takes a level cut and has some present bat speed and strength that holds back the draft status of other speed demons. The issue is that his swing isn't as fluid as you'd like to see, which may improve with age, but could also be helped by making his mechanics a little less deliberate (or mechanical-looking). He doesn't load his hands at all and his leg kick is big enough that it can vary at times, which makes his hands start at different times. if his hands lag, his mechanics can get out of sync and if his hands move quickly, they often have a first movement down rather than directly to the ball.
A downward first movement of the hands from a already dead start does nothing for his bat speed or the simple approach he should have at the plate. Isaacs needs to clean up his setup and early stages of his swing to put himself in a better situation to have a consistent swing and play his game: hard line drives and ground balls to the middle of the field.
He's athletic enough that scouts will give him the benefit of the doubt on issues like this, as the raw hitting tools are there and Isaacs shows feel for making less-than-perfect mechanics work against 90+ mph velocity. As I mentioned before, this is the kind of guy that gets over drafted relative to consensus, especially when signable, and some scouts are going to be watching closely to see little improvements to justify getting Isaacs upside into their system. I could see him going as high as the sandwich round with a strong spring and modest demands, but on talent right now he fits more in the 3rd round as a wait-and-see guy for the spring.