With the 34th selection in the 2021 MLB Draft (the fourth pick of Competitive Balance Round A), the Rays selected infielder Cooper Kinney out of Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Kinney is a left-handed hitter who already possesses plus contact-hitting skills and has the size and strength to eventually develop into an imposing power hitter. However, the South Carolina commit doesn’t have a tremendous amount of athleticism, and even in the best case scenario, he appears likely to provide slightly below-average defense at third base or average defense at second. He could be a Tommy La Stella-type player, but in order to do so, he’s going to need to consistently get on base in order to negate his lack of contribution in the field and on the basepaths. Beginning to tap into that power potential would surely go a long way toward enabling him to be an effective pro hitter.