The obvious calling card with Gold is his ability to crush the ball. When a pitcher makes a mistake, Gold is liable to punish them without mercy. During his time at Boston College, he hit for a career .303/.374/.540 line, walking nearly as often as he struck out during his junior season. FanGraphs grades his raw power as plus, noting that he’s able to drive the ball to the pull side and praising his pitch selection. Importantly, his power is derived from bat speed — not muscularity — meaning it’s projectable to the pro game, unlike some college mashers.
“Gold presents one of the better bats in the 2022 class. There’s average. There’s power. There’s discipline and bat-to-ball. He does everything at the plate quite well,” wrote Prospects Live.
Expect Gold to move quickly through the bottom half of the minors. College bats with an advanced offensive profile eat the kinds of pitchers that reside in the Midwest League, where the Whitecaps play, for breakfast. Where he may run into trouble is the upper minors, where pitchers can execute a game plan more consistently. Some batters like Gold can’t overcome facing adversity for the first time.
However, like Jace Jung, who the Tigers selected with their first pick, Gold is without an obvious defensive home. The Eagles tried playing him at third base, which didn’t go so well because his lateral quickness is non-ideal and his throwing arm is below average. MLB Pipeline projects him as a second baseman long term, with a fringe-average fielding grade, whereas FanGraphs calls him a well below-average third baseman.
Not only is that a problem when projecting Gold as a valuable asset long-term, it also may be an issue developmentally in terms of getting him consistent reps. The Tigers have gotten themselves into a bit of a logjam on the infield and he’ll potentially have to compete with prospects like Gage Workman, Jace Jung, Izaac Pacheco, Wenceel Perez, Colt Keith, and Trei Cruz. Gold may find himself playing a lot of first base. It’s all about the bat anyway.
Regardless of that fact, Gold seems like a good value based on the industry consensus. He was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 87th player in this draft class, by Prospects Live as the 97th player, and by FanGraphs as the 100th player. Coming off the board to Detroit with the 147th pick, he’s liable to seem like a decent value if he makes noise in the minor leagues.