John Malcom III is the top 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft prospect in the state of Michigan.
But, if it wasn’t for his success in summer showcase events and with his travel team, Team Elite Prime, professional scouts might not consider the highly-regarded first baseman and outfielder a likely first-round pick in June’s draft.
“We have to work harder than people down south,” Malcom said. “I guess sometimes we are overlooked. It’s just basically how hard we work.
“There’s enough resources to get your name out there. In the past I think it was probably harder for people in the north, but with all the resources, you can make a name for yourself.”
Malcom said he’s looking forward to the months ahead, but isn’t trying to look too far into the future with the draft still about seven months away.
“I just want to make sure I don’t miss the opportunities, but it’s been fun going through the process,” he said. “Just trying to stay level-headed throughout the whole thing. It’s been an exciting process.”
If the draft doesn’t unfold like Malcom hopes, he’s committed to Vanderbilt. He could decide to go the college route and play for the Commodores for at least three years, before reentering the draft.
“I visited other schools, but when I visited Nashville and met coach Tim Corbin, it was just a great fit,” he said. “Seeing how many players they got in the pros and their facilities. Everything was top of the line.”
With a 6-foot-4, 217-pound frame, Malcom has a strong athletic build and bats from the left side, possessing major power potential. A left-handed thrower, Malcom is athletic defensively with a strong arm.
“My power with the bat and my leadership I bring to the team is a tool that I think is overlooked,” Malcom said. “I lead vocally and by example. With me being bigger than most kids, they kind of look up to me without me trying.”
Malcom is a senior at Detroit Country Day High School in Michigan. While his high school baseball season is months away, he’s determined to improve his discipline in the batter’s box.
“Just the mental side and just making sure I don’t give up at-bats,” Malcom said. “Making sure I keep it simple and not do too much because the power is there, it’s just making sure I stay simple so I’m able to reach that power.”
Malcom has seen a significant amount of time at first base against elite prep competition on the showcase tour, but he envisions himself moving out of the infield. Malcom has experience playing all three outfield positions.
“I take pride in staying athletic,” he said. “First base is fine, but I see myself moving to the outfield where I can run around more and be athletic.”
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