Kansas City selected the switch-hitting outfielder from the University of Arkansas in this year’s draft, signing the 4th rounder at slot for $497K. I saw Cole in the Appy League this summer, where he first began his pro career and slashed a solid .281/.353/.389 with strong peripherals. I got another look this fall during Instructional League.
Cole’s statistical line matches his offensive tools. He has a patient approach, and despite ample pre-swing noise, the bat path is direct and makes a lot of contact. There’s a solid two-strike approach, looking to lace off-speed and spin to the opposite field. A switch-hitter, Cole won’t ever offer much power, showing slightly more thump from the left-hand side. He’s able to occasionally sting the gaps but projects as a 30-grade power producer. The carry tool is his blazing speed, as Cole regularly posts sub 4.1 times up the line and closes well on balls in the outfield. Equipped with the physical tools to play CF, his reads and routes aren’t great right now but he’s fast enough to outrun them. As he learns to move directly to the ball with additional pro reps, Cole projects as an above-average defensive CF who grades out at 60 if he’s playing either corner spot. A fringy arm likely makes him more useful in CF and LF than RF.
Cole fits a prototypical 4th outfielder profile, able to play all three outifleld spots above average while adding some speed and on-base ability off the bench. The arm is short and there’s no power, but his plus athleticism and well-rounded skillset fit nicely in a bench role.