Almost exactly one year ago, I was keeping an eye on Longwood’s Kyri Washington (Woodstock 2013), who, with his massive power potential, as rumored to go as high as the 2nd round of the 2015 draft, which would have made him the highest drafted former Valley Leaguer since Cory Spangenberg was popped in the first round in 2010 (depending on where in the 2nd round, of course).
Alas, it was not to be- Kyri wasn’t picked until Boston took him in the 23rd round- 681st overall. Boston did shell out $100,000 to buy Kyri away from his senior year at Longwood, but why did he slide so far? I think part of it comes down to his strikeouts. Even in his best year at Longwood, in 2015 as a junior, Kyri still struck out, roughly, 29% of his plate appearances.
So I was understandably curious about what might happen to Kyri once he gets in a pro system, with pro coaches and a pro mentality (no classes to go to, for one thing).
After the 2015 draft, Kyri spent time at two different levels: the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, and then at Lowell, of the New York-Penn League. Overall, in 132 plate appearances, Kyri hit 263/341/381. OBP very solid, but where was the power? In those 132 appearances, Kyri hit only 9 doubles, 1 triple, and 1 home run. He also struck out 40 times, which put him at right about 30%.
But in no way do organizations give up so soon on a player who shows one outstanding tool at some point, like Kyri showed at Longwood with 15 home runs in 2015.
Well, all that to say that Kyri is off to a very powerful start at Low-A Greenville in 2016! Admittedly, this is a small sample size (SSS), but Kyri is hitting 295/313/641 in 19 games and 71 at-bats. His OBP has come down a bit from 2015, but his slugging is way, way up. It looks like he’s translated his batting-practice power to game situations, as he’s hit 5 doubles, 2 triples, and 6 home runs so far. That’s 13 extra base hits in 17 games! He’s struck out 22 times, which puts him at about 28% of his plate appearances. Still a mite bit too high, but down from 2015.
Congratulations on the excellent start, Kyri- keep it up!