With their fourth round pick, and fifth selection of the 2020 draft, at 107 overall, the Seattle Mariners selected 3B Tyler Keenan out of Ole Miss. I wrote about Keenan as a potential late round target for Seattle this morning, calling him the heir to the Beef Boy throne.
May I interest you in another Beef Boy? When Keenan steps into the box, it looks like if Shed Long woke up one day in a 6’4, 250 lbs body and decided to take it for a test drive. His hands are quick and explosive, which translates to the field as well. His glovework is uncanny for a guy of his size, but his foot speed and range may push him to the cold corner. Keenan is one of the better college hitters in the draft, and could carve himself a Hunter Dozier-like profile of hitting enough to assuage the defensive limitations (particularly if he’s paired with a rangy defender at short).
Everything in there rings true, and courtesy of our friends at Red Cup Rebellion, we’ve got a nickname (and fantastic scouting report already): Tekken. Appropriately, Keenan packs plenty of punch. When the college season ended, after 17 games Keenan sat atop the SEC leaderboards in slugging percentage, with a .403/.488/.791 slash and seven home runs in 80 plate appearances. He handled the Cape Cod League well too, hitting .300/.432/.467 in 37 PA.
Ole Miss' Tyler Keenan went deep on Friday against High Point. Here's what his shot looked like from the side. pic.twitter.com/s7hKKNZIRI— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) March 2, 2020
Keenan does a good job adjusting to pitches all over the zone, and has run sub-20% strikeout rates every year of his college career. That manifests in some solid opposite field power as well.
The second-largest Game 3 crowd (11,146) in Swayze Field history watched as #RebsBSB took down Arkansas in the series finale behind this home run from @TylerKeenan_10!— Ole Miss Baseball (@OleMissBSB) April 30, 2020
The fourth-largest weekend crowd (31,413) ever saw the Rebs claim the key SEC series victory. pic.twitter.com/ps4p3NHFff
Despite being one of the biggest third basemen in college, and likely one of the biggest in MLB if he makes it to the bigs at the position at 6’4, 240, Keenan moves athletically, with fluid hands and a strong enough arm to stick at third if he can cut it with his foot speed. The foot speed is not something that stands out, admittedly, as Keenan is willing to admit.
There’s a very real chance Tekken ends up as a first baseman, which would obviously put more pressure on his bat, but hitting will make or break his potential. Keenan has a great reputation as a teammate, and what appears to be a reasonable sense of humor, which pairs well with his mashing, titanic profile for a fan favorite. His pathway to the bigs will be paved by his bat, and his swing has handled the best pitching college baseball has to offer for three years. In a system thin on infield prospects, all Tekken has to do is keep mashing, and not worry about winning any dunk contests.