Drew Ward 3B Harrisburg Senators
Hit (35) Power (50) Arm (55) Defense (45) Run (35)
Drew Ward was Washington’s 3rd round pick, 105th overall, in the 2013 MLB Draft and signed for $850,000. Born in November 1994, the 22-year-old Ward is a left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing third baseman. He is listed at 6-3 215lbs, with long arms and tree trunks for legs. He could add some upper body mass, but there is little projection remaining in his frame. Ward possesses below-average or worse speed, consistently running 4.32-4.36 seconds home to first.
At the plate Ward has easy “60” raw power in his left-handed swing, launching balls deep to center and right field during batting practice. However, there is plenty of swing-and-miss in his game, hindering his ability to generate power during game action. Ward begins with the bat handle near his ear and uses a small leg kick to trigger his longish swing. He has some feel for the barrel, but velocity on the inner-half and breaking pitches gives him fits. He does damage to fastballs middle-to-middle-away and impressively identifies changeups. Ward will work the count and has a feel for the strike zone, but will need to shorten his swing and improve against breaking pitches against better competition. I project Ward as a “35” hit, “50” game power (“60” raw) hitter at the major league level.
Defensively Ward utilizes his above-average arm strength, soft hands and baseball instincts to overcome his mediocre athleticism and below-average speed at third base. Ward looks somewhat clunky moving laterally, limiting his range, but he consistently makes the routine play. His physical limitations will prevent him from becoming an average defender, but if he avoids another growth spurt, Ward projects as a below-average to fringe-average defensive third baseman.
Ward is an intriguing prospect due to his left-handed home run power, strong arm and innate baseball instincts. Sadly, his tendency to swing-and-miss, coupled with his below-average speed and athleticism, limits his eventual ceiling. His age relative to his competition and “baseball IQ” gives some optimism he can make the necessary swing adjustments. Ward projects as a Triple-A third baseman or backup corner infielder, with a ceiling of a below-average starter if he can make more contact and unleash his raw power.