Detroit Tigers No. 9 Prospect – Colt Keith – IF
Colt Keith lived an itinerant life as a youth, but his family eventually settled in Mississippi, where he was an award-winning two-way player. Keith threw in the low-90s from the mound and was a legitimate prospect as a pitcher, but the Tigers took him in the 5th round of the 2020 draft because they liked his bat Keith stayed in extended spring training for about a month, but then he managed to hit his way to High-A West Michigan in fewer than 50 games.
Keith developed a bit of a pattern in his first pro season. At each step he was initially a bit too aggressive, but then he would quickly adjust. First he started taking more walks, and then he began to hit the ball with more authority. He hit just .191/.296/.255 in his first 14 games in Low-A, then posted a .380/.480/.500 line over his final 30 contests at the level, and he was seemingly making a similar adjustment in High A when the season ended.
Keith shows average raw power, but his swing is short and relatively flat, leading to a lot of hard grounders and low liners. He spent most of his time at third base last season, but he also saw 17 games at second base. His plus-or-better arm strength jumps out immediately, but his hands aren’t terribly soft, and his movements are a bit stiff. Keith may fit best in right field, in which case he’ll need to add a bit of loft to his swing to produce more in-game power.