Gene Cone – In the video you see Cone his double and homerun against Florida State.
DOB/Age: 09/21/1994, 21 years old.
Pick: Round 10, 310th overall
Signed: For $150,000 K (6,600 under)
Slot Value: 156,600 dollars
School: University Of South Carolina, JR
Bats/Throws: L/L Height: 6’0” Weight: 170
The Mets pick Outfielder Gene Cone in the 10th round of the draft this season. The 21 -year old left-handed center fielder played his third season with the University of South Carolina. In 52 games Cone hit .356/.468/.489 with three homeruns and 22 runs batted in. Cone struck out just 19 times in 188 at bats in 2016. He hit two triples and twelve doubles.
Cone has improved every season in college. Here are his 2014, 2015 and 2016 numbers:
2014: .221/.371/.288 with no homeruns and 18 runs batted in (104 at bats).
2015: .257/.377/.322 with two homeruns and 12 runs batted in (214 at bats).
2016: .356/.468/.489 with three homeruns ad 22 runs batted in (188 at bats).
Over his college career Cone, struck out just 77 times in 506 at bats, while walking 100 times. He shows a great ability to make contact. In his last season everything worked well for the 21 year old besides on the base paths. In 2014 and 2015 combined he stole 17 bases while being caught just two times. This year he stole seven and was caught four times.
Cone is getting a lot of positives about his sweet swing without many moving parts. The lead off hitter is known for his ability to make contact with a sweet swing from the left side.
USC Assistant Baseball Coach Sammy Esposito had this to say about his swing in an interview with Thestate.com:
“It’s a short, compact, extremely balanced swing and approach that has helped him to the success he’s had,” Esposito said. “He’s spread out in his stance and he really doesn’t stride at all. Throughout baseball and even in the big leagues you look at guys that have a big leg kick or a lot of movement, but Gene’s pretty simplified. He leans back, picks his foot up and puts it right back down and there’s not much hand movement in there. Gene’s set in his hitting position pretty much as soon as he gets in the batter’s box.”
“He’s very direct with the barrel of the bat to the baseball. That’s where he gives himself a chance to have success,” Esposito said. “He’s got a short swing, and his barrel is in the zone for a very long time. Whether he’s beat on a pitch, he has a chance to put it in play. Or if he’s out in front his barrel is still in the zone so he can still get hits. It’s incredible watching how simplistic his swing is and yet the high level of success he’s having.”
Here is Cone hitting a game-winning home run off left-hander Kirby Snead who was also taken in the 10th round this year:
His contact swing works allows him to be successful against all types of pitchers. His approach and simple but effective swing should work.
Cone didn’t start a lot in the first week but he kept working hard and earned his spot in the starting lineup. Esposito had this to say about Cone his work ethic:
“It shows tremendous maturity by him because it’s easy when you’re an older guy and not playing — after you’ve been playing for a long time — to get upset and get down and not be ready to play when your number is called,” Esposito said.
Cone owned a 31-game hitting streak, longest hitting streak in school history and the longest this year in Division I baseball, also reached base safely in 34 straight games, streak ended on May 7 at Kentucky (via gamecocksonline.com)
Cone had an amazing season and his swing should work against many different levels of pitching. His swing is so effort less and stays level throughout the zone which is something you don’t see that often from a lefty hitter. I think he could be a solid lead off option lead off type that could stay in center field despite not having plus speed.