Jeric Curtis was an under-the-radar prospect entering last summer. He didn’t partake in showcase events until last year, after he and his parents realized the need to attend events to gain notoriety from professional scouts.
Last summer, Curtis participated in numerous events, including the Perfect Game National and Area Code Games. The experiences allowed him to play against high-end talent and display his skills to scouts.
This year, Curtis is squarely on the radar of talent evaluators in preparation for July’s MLB draft. The Tomball Memorial High (Texas) School outfielder possesses immense potential and figures to hear his name called in the first five rounds of the draft.
“I feel like I was a late bloomer,” Curtis said. “I wasn’t really exposed enough. But once I started participating in showcases, I feel like that’s when I started to get exposed. In the last year, I have worked really hard to be a better baseball player, so that’s helped me.”
Curtis is an exciting player, possessing elite speed. The 6-foot, 165-pound outfielder is arguably the fastest player in this year’s draft class. Last summer, he recorded a 6.22-second 60-yard dash at the Perfect Game National Showcase.
His speed makes him extremely dangerous on the base pads. He also uses his speed to cover plenty of ground in center field. He possesses solid arm strength and quality defensive instincts.
“It’s really nice having the speed,” Curtis said. “I can track down balls and get to them faster. Then, I get a lot of stolen bases. I have always had the speed, so it’s just natural.”
In the offseason, Curtis refined his swing and offensive approach. Curtis, a right-handed hitter, widened his stance while moving his hands up and removing the pre-pitch hand movement in his swing.
Curtis worked with Washington Nationals minor-league outfielder Dondrei Hubbard in the offseason. He describes Hubbard as his mentor, as he has provided Curtis with advice in all aspects of his game over the last two years.
This spring, Curtis has made strides at the plate. Right now, Curtis is more of a contact-oriented hitter, showing an ability to square up pitches and drive the ball to the pull side. He is a quality bunter and regularly beats out ground balls for singles due to his speed.
Scouts are intrigued by Curtis’ potential at the plate. He still has room to improve offensively and could develop into a quality top-of-the-order hitter in the pro ranks.
“I just want to improve on my consistency with hitting,” Curtis said. “I have been hitting well this season, but I just want to keep it going.”
His family, including his 3-year-old brother Bronson, and his passion for the game motivate Curtis. He has a bright future, regardless if he jumps straight into the pro ranks this summer or attends college in the fall.
Besides his status as a draft prospect, Curtis also is a Texas Tech commit. He verbally committed to Texas Tech in July 2021 due to the program’s track record of success and developing talent for the professional ranks. He believes the Texas Tech coaching staff will take his offensive skills to the next level.
“The coaches seem very genuine,” Curtis said. “I feel like they take care of their players really well and develop their players really well. They develop their hitters well and always have really good hitters. I fell in love with the program.”
Do you enjoy reading Baseball Prospect Journal’s draft content? Become a Patron!
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for seven years. He has interviewed 356 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.