Tommy Specht bursts onto the scene

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Tommy Specht typically played baseball in high school during the summer months. But this year, the Iowa prep outfielder played travel baseball for the first time, adjusting for the East Coast Sox.

As well as playing against some quality competition, Specht was also coached by Mark Willoughby, an MLB scout for 20 years. Specht started to receive interest in the MLB Draft this summer and having an experienced coach in recruiting has benefited him. Willoughby gave Specht advice on interaction with scouts and pro ball.

Specht, a senior at Wahlert High, appreciates the relationship and the advice he received from Willoughby. The information will help him over the next eight months as he prepares for the 2022 draft. The Boy Scouts are projecting Specht as a potential first or second round pick in this year’s draft.

“Being able to choose your brain over scouting and what to look for in players has been very helpful,” said Specht. “Sometimes that goes beyond the stat line and the way you play, and that’s the way you prepare. The great thing I took from her is that the # 1 thing that will take guys into the big leagues is their makeup.

Specht has always dreamed of playing professional baseball, but it wasn’t until last summer that he truly realized his potential. He excelled in front of the scouts on the showcase circuit, improving his prospect status.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Specht. “Looking back five or six years ago, this was just a job I dreamed of being in. It didn’t seem real at the time. But now that it’s starting to come together, it feels really real. To be a professional baseball player has been a dream of mine. I know there is still work to be done. “

Specht is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound outfielder who hits from the left side of the plate. He has a smooth, easy swing with his left hand and constantly sends the ball to produce hard drives. Specht generates loft in his swing and will likely add more power as he physically matures.

Defensively, Specht will stay in the middle of the pitch for a long time due to his speed and strong, precise arm. He has the tools to play all three outfield positions.

Overall, Specht is an impressive all-rounder who has the potential to be a five-tool player in the professional ball.

“I feel like a five-tool player,” said Specht. “I work on all my tools equally. Being a five tool player helps so much out on the pitch and allows me to do anything. My greatest overall strength is my hand-eye coordination and my ability to put the ball into play. ”

This spring, Specht plans to play in the Perfect Game Spring League. He hopes to refine his approach and show continued growth on the plate, he said.

“I want to work on my overall approach to the plate and the plate discipline,” said Specht. “My goal is to improve myself and to have a consistent approach to the plate. I have power in my swing and I know it will come out if I am selective and swing on the courts that I know I can chase from the park.

After graduating from high school, Specht will decide between attending the University of Kentucky or embarking on a professional career. Although he is a highly regarded draft prospect, Specht is also intrigued by the option of playing Kentucky and the Southeastern Conference.

Specht made a commitment to Kentucky on September 29, 2020, on offers from North Carolina and South Carolina. The Kentucky coaching staff stood out to Specht during the recruiting process.

“I just felt at home,” Specht said. “The coaches were so welcoming. It was an easy choice. I was considering others. But I have the impression that they were in the lead all the time and that I was most interested in attending. I am super lucky to have the opportunity.

Video by Tommy Specht courtesy of Keanan Lamb and Baseball Flyer.

Dan Zielinski III covered the MLB Draft for seven years. He interviewed 356 of the draft’s top prospects during that span, including four No.1 picks in total. Numerous publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have cited his work, while he appeared on radio stations as the “MLB Project Expert”. Follow him on twitter @ DanZielinski3.

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