Kennedy was Arizona’s fifth-rounder in 2017 from the same New Jersey high school as Mike Trout. Like most cold-weather prep players, he was held back in Extended Spring Training to start his first full year of pro ball in 2018. Kennedy looked ready for the Pioneer League last summer, slashing a robust .327/.396/.465 for Missoula. He has shown the same patience and feel for the barrel during his first taste of full-season ball this year, named to the Midwest League all-star game after a strong first half for Kane County.
A stocky, muscular 6-foot-1, Kennedy is already fairly physically mature. That strength gives him advanced batspeed, whistling the barrel through the zone with loose hands that produce hard line drive contact. He shows enthusing strike zone awareness and contact ability, striking out in just 13-percent of his plate appearances in 2018 while walking nearly as much. That approach has shown up again in 2019, with a nearly identical walk rate and manageable 20-percent strikeout rate as a 20-year-old in A-Ball. There’s more power potential to unlock as Kennedy learns to backspin the ball better. He will need to ultimately produce more thump at the plate to wind up an everyday player on a corner, though his strength, batspeed, and uptick in aerial contact this season hint the home run numbers could still be on the come. Defensively, he’s more athletic than he looks and plays 3B for now. He isn’t outstanding there, but the Diamondbacks love his aptitude and makeup enough to have faith Kennedy can become playable at the position.