Drafted by Oakland in the 18th round of the 2018 draft out of the University of Alabama, the short and stocky Vance debuted well as an older player in the AZL (.304/.361/.464). He was aggressively pushed to High-A Stockton to end his pro debut, where he was understandably overmatched. I saw Vance during Instructional League this October.
Vance has a linear and compact stroke designed for frequent contact. He shows feel for the barrel on different pitch types, and his patient approach helps him work late into counts. His bat-to-ball skills play, but it’s slappy contact without much power behind it. He projects as a 50-grade hitter who gets on base. Undersized and lacking standout batspeed and lift, Vance will never hit for much over-fence power. An average runner with quality instincts, he gets the most out of his speed and has the jumps to swipe the occasional base. That feel for the game carries over to the defensive side of the ball, where he’s a 60-grade defender at 3B and 2B with standout playmaking ability. A fringy arm is pushed on the left side of the infield, so over longer stretches he profiles best at the keystone.
Without the ability to play a premium position or hit with power, Vance’s ceiling is a utility player who gets on base from the bench and fills in around the infield. He has the instincts and athleticism to add corner outfield to his toolbox to increase his versatility. I loved the makeup and hustle, and while he won’t be an impactful contributor, the sum-of-the-parts help his chances to become a role player.