Astros: Get to know fourth round draft pick Zach Daniels

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 09: A sign commemorating the Houston Astros 2017 World Series championship outside FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on March 9, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida.(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 09: A sign commemorating the Houston Astros 2017 World Series championship outside FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on March 9, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida.(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Get to know Houston Astros fourth round draft pick Zach Daniels.

After Houston Astros GM James Click went with right-handed pitchers with each of his first two picks in the 2020 MLB Draft, he finally grabbed a position player in the fourth round. Tennessee outfielder Zach Daniels was his choice.

Prior to this spring, many wouldn’t have thought Daniels would be chosen in a five-round draft. His first two seasons in college did not produce the desired results, and he struggled in the Cape Cod League in 2019 as well.

But he turned a corner in 2020, finally turning all that promise into results on the field. It’s a relatively small sample, but evidently it was enough for Click to commit to Daniels being the team’s highest-drafted position player this year.

The Numbers

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As a freshman in 2018, Daniels hit .161/.339/.344 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 35 games. In the Northwoods summer league in 2018, he hit .250/.388/.403 with seven homers and 43 RBIs in 62 games. He was hoping to take those improvements back to Tennessee in 2019, but that did not happen.

As a sophomore, he hit .200/.262/.417 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 31 games, playing more of a part-time role. In the wood bat Cape Cod League, he continued to struggle to the tune of a .169/.217/.247 line with just one homer in 35 games.

But he really turned a corner in 2020, hitting .357/.478/.750 in 17 games with eight doubles, four homers and 18 RBIs. He drew 13 walks against 14 strikeouts, so he exhibited good plate discipline, though he’ll probably always strike out a fair amount. But it was certainly enough to catch Click’s attention.

He really shined in the Round Rock Classic, capturing the tournament MVP honors as the Volunteers defeated Texas Tech, Stanford and Houston. He led his team in a number of offensive categories in the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

Biographical Info

A Georgia native, Daniels was ranked as the No. 48 overall MLB Draft prospect by D1Baseball.com. He always had intriguing power in his bat, but he put in a great deal of work leading up to this season to improve his game, and it showed.

Those improvements not only showed at the plate, but also in the field as well, as he played error-free baseball this year. He possesses a strong arm as can easily be seen in the video, and he should hit for some power which will offset the fact that he’ll probably strike out fairly regularly.

Listed at 6’1″ and 210 pounds, the right-handed slugger certainly has the potential to become an impact major league player. If he can carry his adjustments over to the professional game, the sky is the limit.

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