Prospect Spotlight: Tyler Black, 2B Milwaukee Brewers
A left-handed hitter out of Toronto, Ontario; Black measures in at 6’2” and 190 lbs. A three-year starter at Wright State, Tyler put up an NCAA career triple slash of .353/.468/.612 prompting Milwaukee to take him with the 33rd overall pick of the 2021 first-year player draft. Prior to the draft, Black was ranked as high as the 18th best prospect available by ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, and outside the top 50 by Baseball America.
Twitchy and upright in his setup, Black opens with a distinct leg kick before unleashing a short but aggressive swing. He keeps his arms in and uses his core strength to generate plus bat speed and consistent hard contact. The bat whips to the ball spending little time in the zone, and the path is a pronounced uppercut especially at balls down in the zone. While this helps create good exit velocities and hard contact, it will also likely lead to some swing and miss at the pro level.
Noted as a patient hitter through his college career, Black produced an NCAA career walk rate of 16.8% with a 52:84 K:BB ratio across 500 plate appearances. In Tyler’s first taste of pro ball, he managed to continue walking consistently, garnering 26 free passes in 115 plate appearances, but his strikeout rate rose to nearly 27% mostly in A ball. As mentioned while discussing Black’s hit tool, the swing path will likely continue to lead to a high strikeout rate, but his approach should also lead to plenty of free passes as well.
Black should develop into an above-average power hitter, with most of his homers going to the pull side. He rarely drives the ball the other way and would only clear the fences from time to time when he does. It’s not a straight pull profile, but his over the fence power just doesn’t translate well the other way. If things break right for him, look for 20 homer potential with good doubles totals at the highest level.
An average runner Tyler has shown tendencies to steal bags, with 11 as a senior in college in 2021, and another 5 (of 7) in his first taste of pro ball. With about average success rate it might end up being his manager’s decision how often Black steals a bag, but he’s certainly willing to go and could put up double-digit totals if given the opportunity to do so.
Black is a solid defender at the keystone, with good range for the position and reliable hands. He’s quick to turn the double play but an average at best arm will likely keep him on the right side of the infield or to left field.
With an above-average hit tool and power stroke, plus approach and solid defense, there’s a good chance Black becomes at least a major league regular and potentially a top 10 player at the position. He’ll have to show he can handle pro spin and make consistent contact to avoid being a drain on batting average but has the bat speed and bat to ball ability to do so. After already seeing over 100 plate appearances in A ball, look for him to start the season there, with a chance to be promoted to high A by midseason.
Hit Raw Power Game Power Speed Field FV
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