Not to be confused with Baltimore’s Josh Bell, nor the several other athletes spanning all the numerous sports (numbering in the 20s) sharing the same name, Texas high-schooler Josh Bell is one of the 2011 draft’s fastest movers, as in moving up draft boards.
The 6’3″, 205 pound, outfielder is arguably a five-tool talent depending on who you ask. Baseball America tends to agree, calling his offensive upside some of the best in this high-school class.
Bell is a switch-hitter with the chance for above-average power, but the exciting tools don’t end there.
He has a short, powerful swing and combines it with excellent bat speed to crush pitches in the zone to all parts of the field.
In the field, he offers slightly above-average defensive ability. He has a cannon for an arm, but lacks the range to stick at center-field as a pro, his position so far in high school. Bell could play center in a pinch, and will likely begin his pro career there but he won’t be long for a corner spot.
Neither spot will diminish the impact of his impressive arm strength, giving him yet another tool.
On the base-paths, he has pretty good speed. That should wane as he develops a bit more and adds some muscle, but his instincts and fundamentals are good enough that he could be a 15-20 steal guy as a pro.
When you’re talking pure tools, only Bubba Starling has more than Bell, leaving the Texan in pretty good shape. He could be off the board by the time the Blue Jays pick at No. 21.