Royals select SS Nick Loftin at #32

The Royals have selected Baylor SS Nick Loftin 32nd overall.  Loftin is a guy I watched play quite a bit but didn’t write up because the season got canceled.  Loftin was named the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year.  Here are my notes on him.

Loftin hit third for the Bears and played 2B, SS, 3B, LF, and RF for Team USA.  He told coaches he didn’t care where he played just as long as he got the chance to be on the field.

Loftin hit .292/.280/583 with the wood for Team USA.  He had 2 doubles, 1 triple, and 1 home run. He has a knack for getting on base and also stole one base.

Loftin was a three year starter for the Bears and was considered one of the top NCAA shortstops.  Loftin does everything well.  He seemed like he was starting to have a breakout season but never got the chance to finish it.  He had added some pull side power leading scouts to believe that he wasn’t just a contact hitter.

Loftin has a clean swing with a simple, upright stance.  He takes a small and low stride making sure not to get out of control.

Loftin is known as a defensive player who has a solid backhand and is very smooth.    Loftin was also named as a preseason All-American.  Loftin was a career .313/.371/.481 hitter.

Watching Loftin in games, he seemed to have a really good eye for the zone and what pitches he can hit.  He worked opposite field with pitches away and turned on pitches that were in.  He didn’t chase the slider off the plate and is able to see some pitches.  The announcers mentioned that the slider was a pitch Loftin used to chase so he made progress as a hitter over the summer and fall.  He did roll over a curve away but hustled hard down the line.  Loftin seemed to barrel up a lot of pitches and the results will continue to improve as he gets stronger.

Loftin worked really hard on his internal clock this off season as not to be rushed defensively.  The goal was not to be rushed with speed guys because it led to errant throws.

Loftin is described as a competitor and wants to win whether it is a drill or game.

Image from the Baylor Athletics website.

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