Jay Charleston Scouting Report & Game Video
Dates Observed: June 5-6 2018
Team/Organization: San Luis Obispo Blues (California Collegiate League)
League/Level: College summer baseball
Scouting Notes: Jay Charleston has been a productive second baseman/centerfielder type for the University of Tennesse the last two years. Seeing him in person, he’s very lean and a bit undersized to list; that’ll maybe lead to some durability questions in pro ball, but athleticism and foot speed are off the charts with good feel for the game on both sides of the ball and an innate ability to spark rallies and test opposing pitchers and defenses with great wheels and a decent hit tool … Timed 4.11, 4.13, and 4.14 out of the RHH box up the line to first base in my early June look; 4.50, 4.51, and 4.51 on the turn at first base; 8.00 and 8.02 hitting the second base bag, and 11.38 (sliding) and 11.42 (standing) times to third base for two triples. Appears to have been given the green light in San Luis Obispo this summer, stealing on the first or second pitch every single time he reaches first base; gunned down a few times by solid catchers with good (1.9-1.95) pop times, but generally running wild on opposing pitchers; good feel for jumps on the bases with enough natural speed to make up some time, particularly at second base when trying to steal third … Bunting is a part of his game; will look to bunt, particularly early in game to test defensive responsiveness, get a feel for opposing pitchers … At the plate, low hands at starting point and his bat path in his ‘A’ swings remind me of Seattle Mariners outfield prospect Braden Bishop; low hands with flat bat path help to create line drive contact that gives Charleston ability to go gap-to-gap and run for days; lacks consistent over-the-fence pop besides an occasional home run, but plenty of room for doubles/triples power with aid from speed. Even with bat path, Charleston will produce a decent amount of weak, ground ball contact; that may work at college level with the University of Tennessee, but likely needs to change some as he graduates to pro ball. OK contact feel and barrel control; will widen out and shorten up with two strikes; understands importance of contact to being able to use his foot speed to exploit defenses, though he will strike out a fair amount … Defensively, never saw him in outfield, only at second base in my first look; great range there to both sides with exceptional first step to balls off the bat. Feel for going deep into hole and making some of the quirky throws at the position. General below-average arm strength will keep him at second base (or in center/left field, as opposed to right) but he’s got enough carry and accuracy to make the arm work, and foot speed helps a ton in both defensive roles. Very good range on pop-ups from second base back into shallow right/right-center field; spatial awareness and body awareness moving out into outfield with head up to track … Overall, Jay Charleston is a very good athlete and solid all-around baseball player with a shot at hearing his name called in the 2019 MLB Draft out of the University of Tennessee. Defensive versatility and feel for the barrel at the plate, even without much raw strength or projectable power, will give him a shot to succeed in pro ball; foot speed is the carrying tool here and potentially a difference-maker to help him stand out beyond that. Early to project, but for me, tools to hit 50 FV at ceiling with versatility and value as a potential everyday starter; probably more likely to fall back into a 45 FV as a utility/super-utility man.
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