Prospect Talk

Prospect Spotlight: Tyler Black

Ahhh… cold-weather bats are among my favorite types to target in fantasy. Simply put, scouts generally don`t get enough exposure to these players because they often don`t play as many games or showcases as their warmer-climate brethren. They also don`t play nearly as often unless they`re on the showcase circuit. Tyler Black is one of these types of players, hailing from Toronto and attending college in Ohio, Black is no stranger to the biting cold of a “spring training” game in early April that features wind chills in the single-digits and frosted bills on hats.

But, Black persisted and was regarded well enough to be drafted by the Brewers as the 33rd pick in the 2021 draft. Black has always been around baseball; his father was the announcer for the Blue Jays when he was younger, so Tyler has always been part of the game at least in some small way since he was a child.

Ken Balderston put Tyler Black in one of our Prospect Spotlights two years ago, so forgive me for writing about him again but I wanted to check back in on our maple-loving friend from the Great White North.

So let`s check in to see what Tyler has been up to since we last looked at him. In ’22, Black only recorded 283 plate appearances at High-A where he posted a .281/.406/.424 line with four home runs and chipping in 13 steals. Black showed his patience and eye at the plate, walking 45 times to striking out just 44.

Last season was Black`s first truly healthy season in professional ball, and with it, his stock soared. Black was around a top 250 dynasty prospect by most outlets at the beginning of the year, and when the last out was called to close the season, Black was firmly entrenched in most lists as a top 50 prospect. It`s not hard to see why, as Black started the year in Double-A against the pre-tacked balls the league was trialing, and where most players had issues with their batting averages taking a pretty severe hit, Black batted .275 during that length of time with 11 home runs and an eye-popping 40 stolen bases. Also on that team was Jackson Chourio, who for comparison`s sake hit .253 with 10 homeruns and 22 stolen bases during the same pre-tacked ball period. I`m not arguing that Black is above Chourio mind you, just pointing out the fact that Black performed better in that small amount of time and that even against the pre-tacked balls Black maintained a 79% in-zone contact rate and was chasing under 20% of the time which is even more impressive when you think about the issues with those balls.

When Black was promoted to Triple-A in August he accrued a little less than 200 plate appearances in which he once again walked more than struck out, hit three home runs, and stole another eight bases to finish the season with 55 stolen bases and 18 home runs on the year. At Triple-A, Black`s in-zone contact rate sat well above average at 88% and he continued to dominate the strike zone, only chasing 18% of the time.

Future Fantasy Outlook

So, what can we expect from Black moving forward? When I look at Tyler Black, I see someone who has at present a 50-Grade hit tool bordering on 60 because of his fantastic knowledge of the strike zone and above-average contact ability while in the zone. He may struggle on initial promotion to the Brewers and hit something like .240 as the projection models are saying, and if he does, I feel that is the perfect time to go out and acquire him as he should settle in as a .270ish hitter.

At Triple-A, Black`s maxEV was 109.6mph and his 90th EV sat around 101mph, I feel comfortable in saying that he can get to 12-15 home runs a year with those numbers comfortably, with a peak year of maybe 20 home runs.

Black should be up as the primary third baseman this year in short order, the Brewers have a hole at the position (with all due respect to Monasterio) and with his speed and bat, may not profile like a typical third baseman, but should have a ton of value at the hot corner for years to come.

The Author

Ryan Epperson

Ryan Epperson

Lead prospect analyst and managing editor for The Dynasty Guru.

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