Name: Blake Tiberi
Born: Taylor Mill, Kentucky
Age: 21 (2/16/95)
Height/Weight: 5'11"/200 lbs
School: University of Louisville (Louisville, Kentucky)
With their fourth pick in the 2016 draft, the Mets selected Blake Tiberi, a third baseman from Kentucky. Despite being considered one of the better hitters among high schoolers in Kentucky, the left-hander went undrafted, and attended the University of Kentucky. He did not play as a freshman, but had a solid sophomore campaign and even better junior season, giving him a great deal of momentum in the weeks and months leading up to the 2016 draft.
Tiberi is a good hitter, good enough that with a little more work and refinement—such as tightening up his swing a bit—he may have a plus hit tool at the more advanced levels of professional baseball, including the major leagues. His swing is fairly simple, fluid through the zone with a toe-tap timing mechanism. He opens himself at the plate and distributes his weight well.
The left-hander possesses above-average bat speed and excellent bat control, allowing him to square up on pitches and make hard contact. The biggest drawback with his high-contact approach is that he does not have a track record of drawing many walks. Tiberi shows selectivity and awareness at the plate, rarely swinging and missing and rarely striking out, so the walks very well may come when he starts working through more advanced levels of professional baseball.
He shows excellent raw power in batting practice and feasts on mistakes like all good hitters should, but his power profile is something of a question mark. In a little over 300 at-bats as a sophomore and junior at Louisville, Tiberi slugged 14 home runs, with the majority coming in his monster 2016 season. In roughly 250 at-bats in the New England Collegiate League and the Cape Cod Baseball League, he has three home runs. This might simply be a statistical quirk, but is something to note, given that the two summer baseball leagues utilize wood bats, while the NCAA uses metal bats.
Defensively, Tiberi is a mixed bag at third base. He excels at certain aspects of the position, but still needs work at others. He has soft hands and has an above-average arm, but his thick, stocky body limits his range and first-step quickness. He improved on his defensive prowess by getting into better shape between his sophomore and junior years, so it is within the realm of possibility that Tiberi will be able to further improve on his defense going forward. Despite his shortcomings at the position, there is little doubt that he will be able to stick at the hot corner.