Trey Faltine was a well-regarded prep prospect in the 2019 MLB draft. However, the Richmond, Texas, native didn’t jump straight into pro ball out of high school. Instead, he honored his commitment to the University of Texas at Austin.
The decision to play college baseball has paid off for Faltine over the last 2½ years. The shortstop has refined his skills and showed encouraging results. He also has worked with former MLB shortstop and current Texas assistant coach Troy Tulowitzki.
The experiences Faltine has had in college have helped him develop into one of the top players in college baseball. Scouts rave about Faltine’s defensive skills and his improving offensive ability. They project Faltine as a potential early-round pick in the 2022 draft.
“It’s a huge thing for me knowing I am more prepared going through the draft than the first time,” Faltine said. “In high school, you feel the pressure. But having the opportunity again, I feel more relaxed and comfortable. I can talk to teammates about it and learn from the experience after going through it already before.”
Faltine is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound shortstop who has all the traits to remain at shortstop long-term. He has above-average arm strength and solid athleticism, allowing him to make all the routine plays. He also moves well to his sides, letting him make highlight-reel plays.
“I try not to make it too complicated,” Faltine said. “People look at the crazy plays I make, but I just focus on the routine plays. I want to be super consistent and take pride in making the routine plays. Having that mindset helps me have success in the game.”
In his first two years at Texas, Faltine hit .251 with 21 doubles, six home runs and 44 RBIs in 275 at-bats. He has posted 83 strikeouts compared to 41 walks.
Faltine is a gap-to-gap hitter right now but possesses the potential to hit for power in the future. He has simple mechanics and uses a short and compact swing to hit the ball hard.
Faltine has refined his approach in hopes of attacking mistake pitches earlier in the count and cutting down on his strikeouts.
“I worked on cutting down the strikeouts and improving my walk ratio,” Faltine said. “I just really worked hard in my two-strike mindset and worked hard on being aggressive and swinging at pitches I knew I could handle and doing damage with those pitches.”
Last year, Texas advanced to the College World Series for the second time in the last three postseasons. The Longhorns finished third in the College World Series and posted a 50-17 record last season.
The Longhorns hope to return to the College World Series and capture the program’s first national championship since 2005.
“There are a lot of teams that are coming for us after we were at the College World Series,” Faltine said. “We need to give the same mindset, but realize we aren’t going to be perfect. This season, we have a lot of returners who know what it takes. We need to just have that no panic mindset coming into this year.”
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.