With the eighth pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Padres have selected outfielder Robert Hassell out of Independence High School in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee.
The prep outfield class is a very interesting one and while Zac Veen is the top of that class, there are plenty of believers in the talent of Robert Hassell’s potential. While there are some who think that he will not have much in the way of power at the next level, you are looking at arguably the most advanced hit tool among the prep class in 2020 who also has a very real chance of sticking in center field. His 6’2, 195 pound frame can and probably will fill out a bit although how much that strength/weight will translate into power, there does seem to be some projection there.
Despite all of the positives, there are some things to keep in mind with Hassell. One is that while some think he can be a capable centerfielder, you will struggle to find those who think he will be a good or better defender out there. You will also find those who think he needs to be in a corner outfield spot due to his stiff actions which will put more pressure on the bat to perform. He is a guy that could be a top half of the first round talent if you believe in his projection, but also a guy with real risk in his profile.