PuRP No. 24: Tyler Nevin (247 points, 30 ballots) | Winter 2014 Ranking: NR | High Ballot 16, Mode Ballot 16, 24, 25
Tyler Nevin, the son of Phil Nevin, the first pick in the 1992 draft, went 38th to the Rockies in Competitive Balance Round A of this year's draft and signed for a $2 million bonus. The pick was reminiscent in many ways of Colorado's second-round pick two years ago, another high school third baseman in Ryan McMahon.
That is, the 18-year-old (just turned in May) Nevin is an athletic player with above-average tools and plus makeup at the hot corner who rated a little lower by scouts than his draft position (Nevin was on average listed around the 70th-best player available). McMahon has worked out pretty well thus far and the Rockies are hoping for a similar result with Nevin.
Resident prospect guru David Hood, who rated Nevin No. 46 in his pre-draft evaluation, had this to say about the third baseman (in a mock draft for the Dodgers, where he took him at No. 67):
Nevin (#46) carries his own injury issues, having missed most of the summer circuit due to Tommy John surgery, but he's since recovered and played well this spring. With Nevin, you're largely buying the bat, where he's shown a high aptitude for contact with the leverage and build for future power. As he fills out, it's possible he may need to move across the diamond to first base, but for now, he will head out as a third baseman.
In a draft filled with athletic players, Nevin took precedent here because the risk is tempered by the hit tool and we're buying into him filling out his 6'3 200-lb frame to produce plus power fitting of a first baseman in his prime if need be.
Thus far in his short professional career with Rookie-level Grand Junction, Nevin has a .296/.366/.451 line (95 wRC+) in 82 plate appearances against pitchers that are on average 2.8 years older than him. The combination of bloodlines, scouting accolades, draft position, and production in a small sample was enough for me to place Nevin 16th on my personal list (making me the high voter on him).
I'm intrigued by what the Rockies will do with Nevin next year in terms of assigning him to either a full-season affiliate or having him repeat in short-season ball, given his youth. My guess is that Colorado will give him a chance, like they did with McMahon last year and Kevin Padlo this year, to play at Low-A Asheville.
Contract Status: 2015 Competitive Balance Round A; not Rule 5 eligible (2019); three options remaining
MLB ETA: Late 2019