Name: Donny Sands
Position: Third Base
DOB: May 16, 1996
Batting and Power. Sands has uncanny strike zone discipline and plate patience for somebody so young, two traits that have allowed him to enjoy consistent success at the plate in the early going and why scouts believe he could become one of the more polished hitters around in due time. He employs a simple, easy swing from the right side that is very repeatable, he has very good bat speed, and combined with his whole-field approach and refusal to go out of the zone all of it spells consistent at-bats. A calm and confident presence at the plate, he is all about taking what the pitchers give him and that includes walks. Showing great on-base potential, where Sands lags behind others right now is with his rather average power potential. He shows good gap power right now and at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds the 19-year old has a projectable body that could develop long-term above average power but more of a line-drive hitter it remains to be seen how much he will be able to add in the coming years. He's a pure hitter but one whose power may take some time to develop.
Base Running and Speed. Sands isn't exactly fast but he shows real agility, nimble feet, and high baseball intellect, enough to be a bit above average runner for a young corner guy right now and a mild stolen base threat overall. As noted above, however, he has the type of frame that could get bigger and stronger in the coming years so it remains to be seen how that will impact his long-term running game. His ceiling is most likely a 15-plus stolen base threat and solid station to station runner.
Defense. Still a teenager, Sands is a very solid defender already. He shows above average range and arm strength at the hot corner, and solid hands overall, and it gives him the chance to turn himself into a long-term above average defender after he learns the nuances of the position. While there isn't a plus physical tool defensively, he is extremely intelligent and has a tireless work ethic and that could turn him into one of the better defenders down the road. He has a strong chance to not only stick at the position but perhaps excel there someday.
Projection. Very hitter-ish at a young age and both solid in the running game and defensively, Sands, who also has some of the best mental makeup around too, nearly has the complete package in place to project as a big league starting third baseman someday, perhaps even one with the above average hitting potential to hit in the top third of a big league lineup if things break right. While he has virtually no glaring weaknesses in his game despite his youth, however, the one legitimate question mark is how much power will he develop in the coming years and it's a question without an answer right now. Physically and mentally he resembles a young David Wright when he was first drafted by the Mets and like Wright the bat [especially approach-wise] is pretty advanced at a young age. If Sands can fill out in comparable Wright-like fashion [Wright became a real gym rat after he was drafted] as he matures he too could develop into a special two-way player someday but it is something that remains a wait and see proposition.
ETA. N/A. Still extremely young [he won't turn 20 years old until May], the Yankees could be tempted to take it slow and let him experience Extended Spring Training for the first time [something they didn't do with the last high school position player they skipped over that point; Gosuke Katoh] before breaking him into one of the short-season leagues later, perhaps even Staten Island, but Sands has the kind of overall polish to pick up right where he left off and begin the 2016 campaign back in low-A Charleston.