2016 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Sheldon Neuse

By: Burke Granger

Sheldon Neuse.  6’0″ 195.  Bats: R.  Throws: R.  DOB: December 10, 1994.  Last Drafted:  2013 (Texas Rangers – 38th Round).  

SCOUTED:  Oklahoma Sooners @ West Virginia Mountaineers, April 18, 2015.  Morgantown, WV.

A product of Fossil Ridge High School in Keller, Texas, Neuse was a highly regarded prep prospect.  Ranked as the 303rd best prospect in the 2013 draft by Baseball America, Neuse slid to the 38th round thanks, in part, to his strong college commitment to Oklahoma.

Neuse has been a consistent offensive performer for the Sooners since stepping on campus, starting all 58 games as a freshman.  Neuse hit .304/.369/.521 that season, earning All-Conference and Freshman All-American (Louisville Slugger, Baseball America) honors.

Though Neuse backed up a little as a sophomore, hitting .275/.342/.424, he repeated as an All-Conference honoree.  His struggles continued into the summer as he hit just .221/.283/.375 for the Harwick Mariners in the Cape Cod League.

As a junior this season, Neuse has regained his freshman luster and then some, absolutely raking at the plate, while also posting a 4-1 record, 1.47 ERA and 4 saves on the mound.

*Stats as of May 26, 2016.

YEAR
AVE
OBP
SLG
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
K
SB/ATT
2014
.304
.369
.521
17
7
7
47
27
31
7/9
2015
.275
.342
.424
10
3
6
43
24
46
10/16
2016
.376
.466
.694
14
5
10
42
32
37
11/13

HITTING:  Last week I mentioned Kyle Lewis and his exaggerated leg kick.  Neuse employs an almost anti-Lewis leg kick.  Not sure you can even call it a kick.  Just before the pitcher releases the ball, Neuse picks up his front foot perhaps an inch off the ground and places it softly just a few inches ahead.  This appears to work as a timing mechanism.  The result is a quiet head, balanced swing, and quick path to the ball without any wasted movement.  Neuse sees the ball well and works counts in his favor but there is some swing and miss to his game.

POWER:  Neuse has above average raw power to his pull side that also shows up in games.  Generated by his strong lower half, quick hands and efficient path, Neuse has enough power for whatever defensive position he calls home.

SPEED:  An average runner, Neuse has just enough speed to handle a move to a corner outfield spot if needed.

ARM:  Clocked in the mid-90s while serving as a reliever for Oklahoma, Neuse has the arm to play anywhere.

DEFENSE:  Neuse has held down shortstop for the Sooners the past couple of seasons and that’s not likely to happen as a professional.  For me he profiles best at 3B but he appears to be athletic enough to give the outfield a try as well.  He has the body of a catcher, and while he hasn’t played there in college, one can dream on his arm and up the middle footwork behind the dish.

FUTURE:  A strong spring may have restored Neuse’s draft stock to where it was after his freshman season.  In a draft lacking in corner infield bats, Neuse could get a bump for fitting a profile that’s sparse.  I view Neuse with a ceiling as an every day third-baseman and a floor of a guy who won’t hit consistently enough to get past double A ball.

DISCLAIMER:  It’s important to note that I’m not a scout.  I don’t have the training or expertise that they do.  I do however actually go to see these guys play live, which is more than you’ll get from many online “Scouting Reports”.  I also talk to scouts when I’m there.  While scouts reserve their reports for their employer, I can share my thoughts with you, the reader.

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