Steele Ledford Scouting Report
Notes & Comments
Below-average bat speed; tight wrists and hands, not much of a handsy hitter; rotational through shoulders with some tendency to pull off the ball. Some bat wrap around behind his head, leading to a slower, longer swing; tight at the plate rather than loose and relaxed; tendency to muscle up balls without natural easy leverage from bat speed. Enough speed to start really going the other way to left field, but general orientation/approach is still to pull; occasional impressive line drive power when he gets a hold of one on inner half but lacks consistency in finding the barrel there, will struggle against better velocity and better competition. Longer development road ahead here.
Very little over-the-fence pop; modest gap-to-gap power aided greatly by above-average speed. Tendency to muscle up balls for power but lacks bat speed and barrel manipulation to consistently get the bat head out against better pitching. Unlikely to develop a ton of power moving forward just by virtue of likely future role/position; tools setting up to be a top/bottom of the order spark plug-type who can get on base and run.
Very good outfield defender; tracks the ball very well off the bat and moves quickly with good first step. Glides well in the outfield with smooth running mechanics that allow him to follow the ball well in flight. Moves particularly well side to side to the gaps, and running in on balls in front of him. Arm strength could use some improvements, but he’s a natural center fielder who has successfully covered a ton of ground at a very expansive Ventura College home baseball field this year; profiles well to stay in center field and become a plus defender in pro ball.
Lacks a plus arm for the outfield, but speed will help make up for some of it; below-average arm strength with some tight throwing mechanics; as with hitting, could stand to loosen up through shoulders for better carry and velocity on throws. Some natural arm strength already in spite, and more coming as he grows into his body and works on the tool; for me, unlikely to fully become a plus arm from center field at ceiling, but we’ll see.
Very, very fast runner. Timed 4.11, 4.13, and 4.14 from home to first out of LHH box; 4.43 turn; 8.03 home to second; 11.19 home to third. Can really fly and gets going quickly with very good first step out of the box and in the outfield. Aggressive runner who will take an extra base; still learning the ropes as a base stealer and hasn’t really let loose yet there. Speed, along with glove, will prove to be his carrying tool; enough raw speed and such a strong first step that he’s got a shot to be a great base stealer as he better learns the craft in coming years.
Good athlete; the best athlete on a Ventura College team that has a couple MLB Draft guys and a couple other legitimate Division I prospects. Sneaky MLB Draft guy with a shot to go this summer (more below). Thin and very lean, listed at 6’0″, 180 lbs.; well-defined musculature but not much bulk, and he’ll put on considerable muscle in time. Wiry, strong, and athletic, but plays tense rather than loose; even in his above-average athleticism, a lot of room here to be more free and easy; that’ll go a long way to help bat speed alone. Broadly, reminds me of College of the Canyons outfielder Corbin Williams; both are no-hit, plus-speed, plus-glove outfielders who have legitimate paths to pro ball and everyday centerfielder ceilings albeit with long development paths and plenty of risk ahead.
Strong 2018 MLB Draft follow; apparently really wants to go play pro ball and there’s a high probability he’ll sign wherever he’s selected rather than continue with school. Flashes enough by way of tools to give him a legitimate shot here; easy to imagine him roaming an AZL outfield this summer. High risk with long development path, but everyday outfielder ceiling; very young player with lots of defensive upside here for an organization to carve out a good professional baseball player; hit tool must make strides to reach ceiling.
OFP (50 FV)
Enough by way of defensive tools to have a legitimate everyday center fielder ceiling in several years’ time; long path to get there with plenty of risk to fall back into platoon/up-and-down role, or even an org depth floor, but athleticism and two-tool base mark a great starting point. Wouldn’t be surprised if I’m covering him in the AZL four months from now; long term, Steele Ledford is young enough with robust physical potential for an organization to take their time developing him through the minors. MLB ETA: 2023.
Steele Ledford Scouting Report, Ventura College — Game Video
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More from our Steele Ledford scouting report and other Ventura College prospects:
Rudy Aguilar, SS | Austin Rubick, RHP | Justin Friedman, RHP
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