An impressive physical specimen and athlete, Neal was star wide receiver in high school before heading to JUCO ball at South Carolina-Sumter for two seasons. The Blue Jays selected him in the 26th round of the 2017 MLB Draft, signing him for $100K as a somewhat raw talent given his age. Now a dedicated pro, Neal has shown his offensive capability, tapping into his power and putting his speed on display on the base paths, with 23 steals across two partial short-season campaigns. I saw Neal with Bluefield July 14-16, and again on August 11th.
Neal is a plus athlete with wirey strength on a frame that shows room to add some additional muscle, enough to project his raw power to an average grade without losing any of his speed. He’s a 55 runner with plus instincts on the bases. Neal is an aggressive fastball hitter with average bat speed and a line-drive bat path able to hit HRs on elevated pitches. He projects to 45 game power, held back by a below average hit tool, with trouble expanding the zone, and specifically laying off spin in the dirt. In the field, Neal played both corners in my looks, using his speed to compensate for spotty reads and routes. He could reach average at both positions, but the 45-grade arm is best suited to left field.
Neal’s fringy offensive profile could still work if he could stick in CF, where he’s seen 24 games of experience to-date, but to develop there he would need to refine his routes and projects as an emergency option only in CF, a tweener corner-outfield prospect. His ability in the outfield corners gives him some bench bat utility upside, but until he shows some advancement of his approach at the plate, Neal profiles as a Role 30 organizational-depth option, capable of finding his way onto the end of an MLB bench.