Welcome back to the Reaching Royalty series where I take a detailed look at potential targets for the Kansas City Royals in the 2022 MLB draft. Up next, an extremely talented corner infield bat in Jacob Berry.
Jacob Berry, 3B LSU
Berry is an extremely sought-after prospect because the guy can flat-out hit a baseball. He has really quick hands and has a big 6-foot, 205-pound frame already that makes balls jump off of his bat.
Berry broke onto the scene as a freshman at Arizona last season, where he slashed .352/.439/.676 with 17 home runs and 70 RBIs. Following his freshman season, Berry decided to follow his coach Jay Johnson to LSU, and joining a loaded Tigers squad is only going to help his draft stock and grant him opportunities on big stages against the nation's best pitchers.
Scouts are already in awe over the power that Berry possesses from both sides of the plate. The power potential is dangerous from each side, but like most switch-hitters, Berry has the most power when batting left-handed. He is able to use the whole field with gap-to-gap pop, and it has allowed him to hit for a high average so far in college.
There is some concern about Berry's ability to handle the hot corner at third. With the emergence of Cade Doughty at third base at LSU, it is rumored that Berry may be making a move to first base. This could be a move that pays off in the long run for him, though. Athleticism is not exactly a strong suit of Berry's and it seems that he projects better at first base at the next level. Getting a jump on the position now should only help draft stock come next summer.
Even if Berry finds no position in the field, a team will still take the chance with a high draft pick to get his bat. Designated hitter is already a role that Berry has played in college and could be a big part of his professional career.
In short, Berry projects to have another big season this spring and has the potential to shoot up into the top of the 2022 draft class.
Why the Royals should be intrigued
Berry has a very high ceiling with his potential at the plate. He's another draft-eligible sophomore that squeaks that eligibility in next year's class. Berry already has a strong frame, but as he fills out more, his power potential will only grow higher.
It will be interesting to see if there is any adjustment window for Berry as he moves to the SEC, but reports out of Baton Rouge are expecting big things. If he is able to put together another season similar to his last one, he will be an extremely hard prospect for teams to pass on.
The Royals have been piecing together the DH position since the departure of Kendrys Morales, and Berry is a guy that could fill that void down the line. For that reason alone, he makes for an intriguing prospect.