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2020 MLB Draft

2020 MLB Draft Profile: Justin Foscue, 2B, Mississippi State

POSITION: 2B/3B
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6’0″/201
THROWS/BATS: Right/Right
COLLEGE: Mississippi State
HS: Virgil Grissom (AL)

Background

Justin Foscue was a minor prospect coming out of high school. He was named honorable mention All-America by Perfect Game as a senior but was not rated as a part of Baseball America’s top-500 draft prospect list (subscription only). Foscue enrolled at Mississippi State and only began to breakout until his sophomore season.

As a freshman, Foscue struggled at the plate. In 58 games, he produced a slash line of: .241/.332/.353. He also had just 3 homers, 22 walks, and 22 K’s. Besides showing good contact ability, there were no positives to his offensive performance. After the season, he went on to play in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League where he put up much better numbers. In 17 games, he hit: .304/.467/.913.

While his summer-league numbers were much better, there were still some issues with his swing. In the offseason before his sophomore year, his hitting coach Jake Gautreu, had him work on making some key changes. Below is an excerpt of an article from Tyler Horker, of USA Today, in which we see what changed in Foscue’s swing:

“Gautreu told Foscue his hands were too close to his head in his set up. If he could learn to create more separation there, his swing path would get a little flatter and he would be able to stay on top of balls much better than he did before.”

“Foscue worked on it in the months leading up to February’s season-opening series against Youngstown State. He mashed a home run in the series finale and roped a double in the same game.”

“It clicked,” Foscue said. “It finally clicked. I felt like I found my true swing.”

Since Foscue found his true swing, he has not stopped hitting. In 67 games last season, Foscue had a slash-line of: .331/.395/.564. He hit 14 homers, had 30 walks, and just 32 strikeouts. Over the course of the entire season, Foscue was never held hitless in consecutive games.

Foscue’s swing was not the only thing that changed in his game his sophomore season. He also moved positions as he played the full season as a second baseman. Foscue proved he can handle the position reasonably well and is surely going to be drafted at the position.

Foscue did not play in a summer league last year because he was a member of the US National Team. In his junior season, Foscue played 16 games and hit for the following numbers: .321/.464/.509, he hit 2 homers, had 15 walks, and only struck out 3 times.

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Overview

Foscue is ranked as the 40th best prospect by Baseball America, the 48th best prospect by FanGraphs, and the 32nd best prospect by MLB.com. It is believed that he should be available for the Yankees to select him at pick 28. The Yankees do not generally go for college bats in the first round, but they usually take one or two within the first few rounds. Now that the draft is just five picks, it’s possible they change their approach and take a college bat early. After all, college hitters seem to be the safest players you can draft. Foscue, in general, seems to be a safe pick as his hit tool gives him a high floor.

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