17. Nicholas Northcut
Nicholas Northcut is the first 2018 draftee to make the top-30. The third baseman can’t run much. I point that out because it’s the only negative you’ll really get when looking at his game.
There’s not a lot to go off when it comes to professional experience. He’s had 166 professional at-bats, only 24 of which were above Rookie ball (Low-A). This leaves the prospect status mostly up to potential.
Northcut definitely has the build of a Major League player – listed at 6’1″ and 200 lbs. While that bodes well for him, it’s not nearly as important as his game. The good news on that front is the projections there are strong.
The 19-year-old is solid defensively and has room to grow. He also has a strong arm that should play well at third base. Don’t expect Nolan Arenado type plays, making diving stops seemingly five times a night. However, he’s going to make the routine plays and can still make the flashy plays on occasion.
Offensively, the right-handed hitter has a lot going for him. Northcut will have his fair share of strikeouts but there isn’t much else wrong at the plate. The right-handed hitter sprays the ball to every part of the field – and that seems to come naturally to him. That bodes well for his average and is should help keep him out of extended slumps.
Northcut also has plenty of raw power and could definitely be a 25-plus home run bat in the future.
As I’ve mentioned before, the third base position is loaded. Northcut is still so young that this shouldn’t be as much of a problem though. You shouldn’t expect him to be with the Red Sox until at least 2021 – plenty can change between now and then.