Xavier Edwards | SS
Edwards, 18, attends North Broward High School in South Florida and is hitting .367/.496/.561 with two homers, 24 walks, and eleven strikeouts through 31 games this spring. He’s committed to Vanderbilt and there’s some thought it’ll take a big overslot bonus to get him to turn pro.
Edwards is undersized at 5-foot-10 and 155 lbs., but he is one of the most electric athletes and tooled up players in the draft class. He is a true 80 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale and he knows how to play the little man’s game. Edwards is a switch-hitter with quick hands who focuses on contact and raises hell with a slash-and-dash approach. And once he’s on base, he’s always a threat to steal. Defensively, Edwards has excellent range and hands at shortstop, and his instincts are very good as well. The only thing that may prevent him from playing shortstop long-term is his arm. It is easily his weakest tool and may force a move to second base even though everything else points to shortstop.
In their most recent rankings MLB.com has Edwards as the 29th best prospect in the draft class while Baseball America (subs. req’d) has him 44th. Keith Law (subs. req’d) listed Edwards as an Honorable Mention in his top 50 draft prospects. The Yankees hold the 23rd overall pick and, for what it’s worth, they’ve been connected to Edwards in recent MLB.com and FanGraphs mock drafts. There is still something of an industry bias against short players, and I think if he were two or three inches taller, Edwards would be a slam dunk first round pick. His size and his Vanderbilt commitment could cause him slip out of the first round and away from the Yankees, however.