by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of The Daily Progress.
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- Jake Gelof
Pos-3B B-R T-R
HT/WT- 6’1” 198 lbs.
Home – Rehoboth Beach, DE
Jake Gelof originally started his high school career playing baseball at Cape Henlopen High School in Delaware. Gelof transferred to play at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida for his final two seasons of high school baseball, playing primarily shortstop. Gelof’s older brother, Zach, was a 2nd round pick of the Oakland Athletics in the 2021 MLB Draft.
Gelof went undrafted in the shortened MLB Draft and committed to Virginia to play baseball for the Cavaliers. He started at first base as a freshman and also got some starts at third base and right field. He finished the season only hitting .252 with 4 homeruns and 15 runs batted in. After a freshman season that saw him help the Cavaliers advance to the College World Series, he played summer ball in the Northwoods League and started to show off his power potential. In 119 at bats, he hit .370 with 5 home runs for Kalamazoo.
During his sophomore year for the Cavaliers, Gelof saw his hitting come together, hitting .377 and bashing 21 home runs while knocking in 81 runs. Gelof played multiple positions in 2022, including 1B, 2B, 3B, and OF.
He didn’t disappoint during his junior season, earning honors as an All-American when he broke the all-time Cavaliers record for homeruns, on route to hitting 23 and knocking in 90 runs to go along with a .321 batting average. During his junior season, Gelof played primarily third base, marking the first time he had a set position at Virginia.
Gelof is a power hitter who can turn on inside pitches and hit them a long way. Not one to get cheated at the plate, Gelof has the same swing with 2 strikes as he does on the first pitch. Lastly, he’s an average runner who will not hurt you on the basepaths.
MLB scouts are unsure if he translates into a long term answer at third base. He has the arm strength to play the hot corner, though some see him as a better fit at first base.
A power over average type hitter, Gelof will strike out at a higher rate than some scouts would like to see. He has a long swing, which generates power, but can also lead to prolonged slumps. He needs to drive pitchers where they are thrown and not try and pull everything.
Draft 412 thinks Patrick Wisdom is the right MLB comparison for Gelof. A third baseman/first baseman who bats for power. Both tend to pull everything as well.
A deep draft when it comes to third baseman, Draft 412 believes Gelof will just miss the first round and be a solid 2nd round pick, just like his brother was in 2021.
Round 2- #42 on Draft 412’s big board.