THE JUCO REVIEW: ANDREW BECHTOLD(CHIPOLA JC)

Well seeing as I got my first view ever today, thought I would have to make another post to celebrate it. And the reader was from Alaska, a state that does not have much baseball going on, so I was extra excited. So to whomever that was, thank you for stopping by and hopefully you read again.

Now onto the important stuff. Our next write up is on Andrew Bechtold, the one of the best JUCO hitters in the draft this year. Bechtold originally went to play for Maryland, where he hit an unimpressive .218 and committed 11 errors. He is now playing for Chipola Junior College in Florida and has committed to LSU next year, should he not sign. He was originally drafted by the Rangers in the 37th round of the 2014 draft, but obviously did not sign. Bechtold has played both 3rd and shortstop, so it will be interesting to see what position he gets drafted to play.

Bechtold is an interesting prospect. He struggled mightily in his first year of college ball after having a tough transition going from shortstop to third base. The main concern with Bechtold is that his fielding will not catch up with his bat, which is pretty impressive. As previously stated, Bechtold had 11 errors in his first season with the Terrapins, but we can chalk that up to a position change and inexperience. However, he had another uninspiring year in the field, committing 11 errors and finishing with an ugly .896 fielding percentage at Chipola. Errors can be subjective of course, but its is still concerning, especially at the JUCO level. However, he does have a strong arm which makes up for his fielding deficiencies somewhat. If Bechtold wants to have any success at the next level, he will have to prove that he is not a liability in the field. I wonder if he might end up transitioning to first, but that might just be me overreacting.

Now it is not all doom and gloom with Bechtold, he is the one of the highest touted JUCO hitters after all. This season, he put up an impressive .419/.523/.676 slash line while hitting 12 home runs in 210 at bats. He also had more walks(49) than strikeouts(44) which is always impressive, although the website does not say how many were intentional. Either way, the plate discipline is impressive, and I think it will translate at the next level.

Finding video of Bechtold was hard, but I was able to find a clip from MLB draft countdown, so shout out to them I guess. From what I saw, I was very impressed with how compact his swing was. He has a slightly open stance, and there is no hitches or loops in his swing. He is very mechanically sound, and I think he will be a good hitter in the pros.

The ceiling for Bechtold is that he is an everyday third baseman who hits around .250 with 15 home runs and is able to get on base. This might be a bit of a stretch though for two reasons. The first is obviously the fielding; I am a bit skeptical that it will turn around. The second is that he did not hit for much power this season, even at a low level. That’s the trick with JUCO players, they do not play against the stiffest competition so it is hard to get a good read. My projection is that he will end up being a solid bench bat for a team in the majors. Look to see him drafted between rounds 3-6.

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