I’ve talked about Maddox a few times on the site, both in the 2009 draft preview on the podcast (near the end) and in a review of the Sarasota Classic. I’ve been able to see Maddox a handful of times during his junior season, including seeing his team win the state championship in Sarasota, and he brings his full toolbox to the yard every time out. I also have some video I’ll post soon.
Maddox’s stance (check the above picture for an idea) and swing are reminiscent of Mark McGwire due to his powerful, leveraged, yet compact right-handed stroke with serious bat speed. Maddox just squares balls up, hitting over .500 this year against top competition, and has flashed his plus-plus raw power in every game I’ve seen him play. The scouting community, who largely ignore juniors during the regular season, saw this power when Maddox hit multiple homers over 400 feet with wood bats in recent national showcases.
That being said, Maddox is the top position player on this list because of his defensive tools. He consistently uses his plus-plus howitzer to register pop times under 1.85 and has been under 1.80, while hitting 95 on the mound. He also has what I, and a few scouts I’ve talked to, feel is already big league average receiving and blocking skills. Maddox is also a hard worker that gets high marks for his makeup; he’s committed to Florida.
The only real question with Maddox is if his already extra-large frame will be able to stay agile enough to remain behind the plate. Some may knock his team’s schedule, as they are in the smallest classification (1A) in the state and play some cream puff teams, but intentionally schedule almost every other game against top competition, and Maddox is a showcase veteran that can hit with wood. A scout familiar with Maddox sums it up: “We have him as a top follow and I see a Mike Piazza package, except with a cannon behind the plate.”