The strongest skill that Kreidler is able to offer is his defensive ability. The tall shortstop is a natural at the position, and demonstrates all the requisite abilities to stay there long term. Evaluators like his defensive actions and praise his soft hands, also mantioning that he has good instincts that allow him to read the ball well off the bat. Although he is only an average runner and won’t be able to make long-distance rangy plays, balls simply don’t get by him.
He also controls the running game well with a tremendously strong arm that compliments his fielding ability well. That is mainly attributed to the catcher, who obviously plays a key role in quashing stolen base attempts, it will be difficult for opposing batters to beat out grounders with Kreidler patrolling at short. Although presently it appears that he should be able to stay at a premium position long-term, scouts also note could slide over to third base seamlessly and be no-joke defenseman there too.
The quest for offensivly talented middle infielders doesn’t end here, though. While Kreidler will show average raw power that comes into games sometimes, he’s more of a glove first prospect who will need to prove that he can hit at every level. He showed a little more liveliness in his junior year than previous seasons, hitting .313/.387/.532 in regular season play, but he doesn’t really have to tools to back it up.
“He’s a below-average hitter,” writes Baseball America, “who doesn’t cover the outer half and is susceptible to breaking balls.”
Ranked 137th on Baseball America’s board and 200th over on MLB Pipeline, Kreidler seems to be a bit of a reach with the 112th selection. The Tigers have a soft spot for gamer types with strong defensive chops, though, and Kreidler fills that role exactly.
The Tigers’ next selection comes in at 142nd overall.