Detroit Tigers: A look at 22nd-round draft pick Colby Bortles

thooth1
Aug 8, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers executive vice president and general manager Al Avila before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 8, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers executive vice president and general manager Al Avila before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

In the 22nd round of Major League Baseball’s annual draft on Wednesday, the Detroit Tigers selected third baseman Colby Bortles from Ole Miss.

Detroit Tigers new draftee comes with one attribute that makes him worth highlighting: He is the brother of Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback Blake Bortles.

Bortles was drafted as a third baseman out of Ole Miss.  He is 6’5″ and 225 pounds according to his college profile.

The Mechanics

Being the brother of a professional athlete will only get him so far, he as he needs to prove he can play at a high level.

His college stats suggest he will struggle, but more on that later.

The only video I found of him playing baseball can be seen right here from Ole Miss’ official Youtube page.

In that short video it shows three swings, two off of a tee.  And him fielding one ground ball.  So it is hard to pick up a whole lot of things mechanically.

From the ground ball he looked to have soft hands and a smooth transition for the ball from glove to hand. That shows his defensive ability is more than likely what will carry him through the minors.

His swing does not look bad at all.  His hips fire through the zone quickly which will provide power from his legs.

The problem with that is it leaves him susceptible to his hips opening up too early, which looks to be the case in one of the swings in the video.  He will still make solid contact, but not have the power he could.

My Grade

With little to no scouting data to share, I am unable to provide you with grades on a 20-80 scale.

What I can tell you, as you may already guess, is keep the expectations low for the 22nd-rounder.  He was a .271 hitter through four years of college.

More from Detroit Tigers News

And what I said about his strong fielding has not proven to be true yet, although the potential is certainly there.  He carried a career .945 fielding percentage at college.

Bortles did flash some power hitting 10 homers in his senior year and 27 overall for Ole Miss.

As a 22nd round pick, he obviously will not grade out well. The raw skills may be there, or they may not.  It comes down to what the organization thinks will happen in the future.

The biggest tool flashed by Bortles in his college career is his power, and at 6’5″ he has the size to develop into a solid power bat.

My Projections

So, with that, here are my final projections for if Bortles surpasses expectations and makes it to the Majors.

First, he will transition to first base. His 0-5 record of stealing doesn’t highlight speed and his range may not be the best.  A 6’5″ frame projects at first.

Second, Bortles will develop slow.  He will spend awhile in the minors working his way up.  He will be one of those players that celebrates his first MLB hit at 28 years old.

Third, if he works his way to become an every day starter, he will be a consistent .250 hitter that will hit between 10 and 15 homers in a season.  But that is his ceiling.

Next: There Is Value In Late Round Picks

Time will tell if I am right about Bortles.  He is tough to project because of the little information about him.  But for now, congratulations to him for getting drafted by the Detroit Tigers.

facebooktwitterreddit