by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech Athletics.
The Pittsburgh Pirates own the #1 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, which is scheduled for July 9th-July 11th in Seattle, WA. This draft could be the final piece of GM- Ben Cherington’s puzzle to catapult the Bucs into a yearly contender.
In the next few weeks, Draft 412 will showcase the top prospects coming out in 2023.
Name- Jack Hurley
Team- Virginia Tech
HT/WT- 6’0” 185 lbs.
Home – State College, PA
Jack Hurley lettered four seasons at State College High School. In 2018, he earned a spot on the All-Mid Penn second team and showed his athleticism on the basketball court as well.
In his freshman season as a Hokie, Hurley started 45 games in the outfield, hitting .231 with 6-home runs and 25 RBI’s. Hurley primarily played centerfield that season.
He found his stroke in year two, hitting .375 with 14 home runs and knocking in 55 runs. playing in left field for the majority of the season. In 94 chances, he had a .989 fielding percentage while showing off his strong arm with 7 assists.
Hurley fought through some nagging injuries in this junior season and still produced, hitting .320 with 17-home runs and knocking in 49 runs. He was moved to left field in 2022 in favor of #1 draft pick Gavin Cross, Hurley returned back to centerfield in 2023.
Hurley has the potential to be a 5-tool player at the next level. He has excellent bat-to-ball skills and can also take a mistake pitch and hit it a long way. He has the kind of speed to be a 20-30 steal a season player and as a gap hitter, he should have no problems getting his share of extra base hits.
Defensively he can play centerfield and cover a lot of ground with his speed and technique. He showed in 2022 he has a good arm, and has good crow-hop throwing mechanics. He plays an energetic style of baseball.
Hurley has issues with swings and misses at times. Off-speed pitches tend to get him chasing and he tends to take his hands off the ball at times trying to pull pitches. His game plan as a hitter appears to be out of whack at times and he should try and work pitch counts deeper.
Jack Hurley has the potential to be a Byron Buxton type player. A more athletic Mike Conforto is what Draft 412 sees as his comparison.
Jack Hurley is one of those players who is going to be lying around late in round one. Hurley has a chance to be a quality MLB bat for years to come.
Round 1-2 #29 on the Draft 412 list.