A college performer who put up crooked numbers throughout his career, Packard offers a legitimate package of offensive talent. The profile is a little hit-over-power at the moment, although both tools are given the chance to shine on any given night. The high point of his career his to be his sophomore year — he hit an outrageous .406/.462/.671 with 14 home runs. That would be a difficult performance to match, much less top, in game play this year. He didn’t do quite as well but his .361/.447/.568 line is still a meaty contribution to his team’s performance.
Packard should be able to continue hitting as a professional. Pegged as one of the more polished college bats eligible this year, he is applauded for an extremely mature approach that leads to plenty of walks and consistent swings that lead to all-fields contact. He rarely sell out his approach and makes reliable contact in all situations.
The power that Packard showed as one of the nation’s leading sophomores in 2018 didn’t show up as much as one would have liked this season. That could possibly attributed to wrist and back injuries that put a damper on his performance out of the gate. He projects to hit double-digit homers in a full season of pro ball, though, and hasn’t shown any indication that he’ll compromise his poise in the box to add power.
There’s obviously a drawback here, otherwise he would have been picked already. Packard is a negative presence in the field and has very little in the way of defensive chops. He’s a below-average runner with less than ideal range. Add that to a poor arm and underwhelming glove work, and you’ve got a guy who will top out as a left fielder. There’s also some chatter of moving him to first base; there, his poor arm and lack of footspeed could be neutralized. Nevertheless, the profile revolves around his bat. That bat can play at any position on the field.
The Tigers’ next selection will be at No. 172 overall.