The Miami Marlins used the fourth pick in Major League Baseball’s 2019 first-year player draft on J.J. Bleday, a left-handed outfielder from Vanderbilt. MLB Network, who is broadcasting the draft per usual, celebrated the Bleday selection by having a special guest break down the newest Marlin. That guest? Hall of Fame outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.
Here’s Griffey’s analysis of Bleday, in which he urges him to not “do anything different” and establishes him as a power-hitting lefty who can play a fine right field:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Griffey’s take on Bleday lines up with most scouting reports on him. MLB.com, for example, projects Bleday to develop into an above-average hitter (with a 55 grade on his ability to hit for contact and a 60 on his power) who also plays an average right field. That’s a quality player — one who should soon help out the Marlins as they continue to rebuild.
We do have one quibble with Griffey’s analysis: He said he didn’t develop power until he was in his late-20s. This from someone who averaged 30 home runs per season through his age-26 campaign. If modesty is the sixth tool, then it’s another one that Griffey clearly possesses.
You can keep track of all the first-round picks.