2018 MLB Draft Target: Jeremy Eierman, SS

The son of a former professional player and high school coach, Jeremy Eierman is a shortstop prospect that burst onto the scene last year with a huge season at Missouri State.  He was an All-Conference, All-Region, and All-American player, and suddenly being mocked as a 1st round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.  Eierman is a criminology major who will more than likely finish college online or after his professional playing career.

The 6’1” Eierman hit protection for Jake Burger (White Sox first round pick in 2017) and sometimes it was questioned who was really providing protection for who.  You may remember the huge walkoff home run Eierman hit against Oklahoma State to win the opening game of the NCAA Regional in 2017. His 21st of the year. On the year he hit 23 home runs with a .313 average, a .431 OBP, and a .962 fielding percentage.  

A lot of people are excited that Eierman will stay at short for his pro career but some are afraid he doesn’t have enough side to side range, will get to heavy, or have to move to third for some other unforeseen reason.  With a career .943 fielding percentage, Eierman should get the chance initially.  His fielding percentage has been brought down by his freshman year but he makes the routines and can make the web gem as well.  Eierman also throws the ball really well.

This year, Eierman has had a down season with only ten home runs and the lowest average of his three seasons in college.  Some feel that he is pressing and some feel that he over performed last season and isn’t nearly as good of a hitter as advertised.  Personally, I think he is trying to do too much instead of just playing the game.  The truth is it probably is somewhere in between.  

In his lone, full season in the Cape, Eierman hit .192 with no home runs in 104 ABs with 30 strikeouts and only nine walks.  His track record with wood isn’t exactly what you want to see in a first round pick. Another aspect to his game is that Eierman runs well.  He has 20 stolen bases in 23 attempts this year and 44 in his three years at Missouri State. His brother, Johnny, had elite speed as a player. I coached against Johnny in high school and his speed was game changing.  Jeremy isn’t known for his speed, but he is not slow and should be able to find ways to play up his speed in the pro game.

One of the biggest concerns of his game is contact.  When Eierman makes contact he does damage hitting for extra bases on nearly 45% of his hits.  But he has also struck out in 25% of his collegiate at bats.

If the Royals draft Eierman, he could start at Burlington, Idaho Falls, or Lexington as a shortstop competing with Jeison Guzman and Cristian Perez.  The Royals usually send their higher picked college guys to Idaho Falls so that would probably be where he starts his pro career if he ends up a Royal.  Eierman would probably move a level at a time but would probably get to Wilmington fairly quickly. The Royals don’t have a big shortstop prospect in the wave of talent currently sitting in Lexington and Wilmington so Eierman could end up slotting in that group.  I am fairly confident that Eierman will be there at 18 but might not slip to 33.  If he is available at 33, the Royals will have to seriously consider selecting him.

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