Zac Veen is a high school kid with tremendous potential. There are several of us at RFR who would make Veen our pick if we had the choice. Find out why below.
With the MLB Draft approaching, it’s time to start looking at some potential picks the Royals could end up making. I’ll profile one player every day excluding Sunday leading up until the draft assuming it happens June 10 like the rumors have reported. Some of these players will not be available to the Royals, but players drop and players move up when the picks actually start happening.
MLB had announced that the Draft would take place in Omaha coinciding with the College World Series Opening weekend this year. This was the first Draft that fans would actually be attending and Alex and I had a hotel room booked overlooking the stadium and planned to be in the thick of the action. However, we all know how plans have changed with the devestation the Coronavirus pandemic has unleashed on the globe. In response, the NCAA canceled their season, the CWS, and MLB moved the draft to a virtual format.
Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek High School
Zac Veen is a Florida Gator commit from Port Orange, Florida. As a Florida high schooler, you know he has faced some better arms than his northern counterparts meaning his ability to hit against better talent has been tested often. We should have a better idea of his ability to hit against higher level pitching and his stats should give us a better understanding of who he is as a player than some of the other high school players.
Veen is 6’4” and weighs 195 pounds. His size leaves the ability to add some muscle to his frame without sacrificing too much defensively. Veen is a very good athlete with smooth actions. He can create a lot of power with his swing but exhibits good contact skills as well. Veen is mentioned as the best pure high school hitter by many scouts and evaluators.
The thing I really liked when watching Veen was that he gets to the ball out in front so consistently. His swing is short, quick, and he creates loft by getting the ball on the upswing out in front of his body. Veen can really transfer power into the ball and stay through pitches. He can get his hands to everything and drives the ball easily. Veen already has a lot of power and has the ability to hit for power even when he is focusing on contact. This type of combination doesn’t exist with a lot of high school kids so the fact he can do it already is a testament to his skill and strength. As he continues to get stronger, he can focus more on just getting the barrel on the ball instead of trying to drive the ball.
Veen already has an advanced feel for hitting taking a patient approach. He doesn’t swing at what he can’t hit very often. I’ve been told by several really good MLB hitters that the key to hitting is swinging at good hitters pitches. Veen seems to have this ability. He consistently seems to get to a pitch that he can square up. Because of this, he should be able to keep hitting as he moves up level by level.
Veen has been clocked in the low-90s with his throws from the outfield so he has good arm strength. Scouts think he will be a corner outfielder in pro ball even though he plays center for his high school team. He has the arm to play right if he doesn’t end up having the speed to play center.
The Gators will likely never see Veen on campus other than visits. He has climbed up draft boards with his solid ability and potential. Scouts and evaluators think that Veen could be the first prep player selected and nobody would be surprised if that happens. Veen has a work ethic that has been evident for years. Baseball America ran a story about Veen and how he would ride his bike to the high school field to hit in the cages after school. Veen was 12-years-old when he started doing that.
Veen has tremendous talent and some scouts have even mentioned the words most valuable player potential. People are giving Veen comparisons to Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger. Veen could very well end up being a superstar and someone is going to be ecstatic to watch him chase that dream in their system.
For the Royals, Veen would fall in right behind Bobby Witt, Jr. as a tremendous upside high school player. Witt, Jr. was compared to Alex Rodriguez. Veen has gotten the aforementioned Bellinger and Yelich comparisons. Imagine having ARod and Yelich/Bellinger on the field at the same time and hitting three-four in your lineup. I’m just going to leave you salivating at that thought.
If you missed yesterday’s Draft Profile, I took a look at Texas A&M LHP Asa Lacy. Check it out.
Image from The Detroit News. They gave credit to Veen’s twitter account.