Astros Draft Prospect of the Week: Ronald Washington
This week we turn our attention back to the plate as we focus on local high school product Ron Washington.
Washington was initially one of the most highly sought after talents for the class of 2017, as he committed to the University of Texas his freshman year. Prior to this school year, he reclassified to the class of 2016 and transferred away from Dulles High School to Ridge Point High School. The reclassification meant he also had to decommit from the University of Texas, as he changed his commitment to local JUCO powerhouse, San Jacinto.
Washington is a physical specimen, especially for someone who just turned 17 slightly over a month ago. He’s 6’1″ and 210 lbs. Washington’s draft stock had even started to fall a little bit, as scouts think he’s filled out physically and that there isn’t much left to project with him physically.
Washington runs a sub 6.70 60-yard dash. That’s too slow for a center fielder, but projects very well as a corner outfielder. That’s another part where Washington’s current size hurts his stock, as scouts don’t see how he’ll be able to lower his 60 any more and be able to play center field.
He’s thrown 89 MPH from the outfield according to Perfect Game. Arm strength is something that will definitely improve, regardless of how big he is now. He’s thrown 88 MPH off a mound, and most outfielders throw around 5 MPH harder from the outfield than they do off the rubber, so there’s probably more left in the tank. An average MLB outfield arm usually gauges around 90 MPH.
Washington has a smooth swing from the right side. He has plus-plus power potential. Last year he won the junior Home Run Derby in Cincinnati with 12 homers. I’ve played with and against Ron a handful of times over the past couple of years and I can definitely speak to his power.
Right now Washington is a little feast or famine. He doesn’t do a great job of adjusting and hitting the offspeed. When he gets a fastball he crushes it, no matter the velocity, but if you throw a crafty guy that can locate multiple pitches he struggles a bit, which is something that he’ll find plenty of at the next level. I’m sure he’ll learn how to do this eventually, as it comes with work and experience.
Washington won’t be able to play CF at the next level. He’s fast for a high schooler and could do it now, but he’s pretty much developed a home in RF over the past few years. He could certainly be more rangy and again he will be able to improve once he gets in a professional system and baseball literally becomes his livelihood. Scouts range in their opinion of him, with some saying he’s nothing more than a DH and some thinking he’ll play a plus defensive corner outfield in the future.
Washington is not the athlete or defender that Upton is, but the swing and power potential are very similar. Upton was highly sought after coming out of high school, similar to Washington.
**Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images**