The Potential Tools: 55 hit, 50 power, 50 arm, 50 glove
Strengths: Above-average athleticism; young, projectable, and broad frame – room for good strength; above-average bat speed; true knack for hitting; slight natural lift in swing; advanced approach and pitch selection at the plate; walk rates will be high at major league level; above-average hand/eye coordination; short, compact direct swing path; strong wrists and hands; ability to barrel velocity; will use all fields; above-average raw power; average reads and reactions in the field; experience playing left field and right field; present power is gap-to-gap oriented; added strength will turn it into average HR power; average arm strength – will work in left field; average glove at first base; average range and picks throws in the dirt; high baseball IQ.
Weaknesses: Run is below average; variety opinions on arm strength may limit him to left field or first base, bringing limited defensive value; power yet to manifest into HR power in game; may play below average; lacks premium tools if at first; profile will rely on power projection; no upper minors-experience.
Role Ceiling: 50; major league regular first baseman.
Risk: Moderate; needs strength for power to play; may be 1B defensively.
Summary: Nothing about Bauers’ profile will jump out and have people raving but he owns one thing that not many prospects do – consistency across the board. Four of his tools plays average or above average. Bauers is an above-average athlete with above-average bat speed and an idea for the strike zone. He has slight lift in his swing, and the ability to show average raw power in BP. He’s a sure handed first baseman but also has had experience playing left and right field. Bauers has played against older competition every level he’s been at, and been able to hold his own, and he gives the Rays reason to continue pushing him forward. His ability to work counts and draw walks paired with his short, compact swing path should allow his hit tool to play solid average. Nothing that he does will stand but he’s a consistent, average major leaguer and those players are known stick around for a while.