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MLB Draft 2017: Royals select high school 1B Nick Pratto

He features a smooth swing and plate discipline

MLB First Year Player Draft Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With the #14 overall pick, the Royals have selected first baseman Nick Pratto, a high schooler out of Huntington Beach, California. Pratto is a left-handed hitter, described as having a smooth swing and an advanced bat for a high school player. Baseball America had him ranked as the #24 prospect on their board.

Unlike many raw high school players, Pratto has been lauded for having terrific plate discipline. He is still developing his power, although many feel with his 6’1’’ 195 pound frame, the home runs will come.

At Minor League Ball, John Sickels writes about Pratto’s swing.

Drawing praise for his pure hitting ability, Pratto combines above-average bat speed, consistent hitting mechanics, and an exceptional feel for the strike zone, showing the ability to handle both fastballs and breaking balls. He may be the best pure hitter in the prep ranks, and he has enough strength to hit for substantial power as he matures.

Baseball America continues:

Pratto stands close to the plate and covers it well. He has exceptionally loose wrists and creates separation in his swing, giving himself time to adjust to pitches late and keep himself alive in counts.

ESPN’s Keith Law ranked him #13 on his board, but has some doubts about his stick.

Pratto to the Royals is an interesting pick given their system's lack of up the middle prospects - he's a first baseman with a projected plus hit tool with average power, but scouts question whether he'll have enough total offense to profile as more than a regular at first.

Pratto is described as having an calm demeanor and strong work ethic. He has a very strong arm and was considered to be a pitching prospect as well, although he will definitely be a first baseman at the pro level.

He is committed to USC and earned fame early by getting the game winning hit to win the 2011 Little League World Series.

In his interview with MLB Daily Draft, Pratto sees a World Champion as his top comp.

"I’d have to say Anthony Rizzo right now. I think the approaches and the swings are similar. I expect that’s how I’m gonna be in the major leagues right now."

The Royals will select with the #52 pick and again with the #73 pick tonight.

Welcome to the Royals, kid