ZACK KONE, SHORTSTOP
Born: November 5, 1996
Height: 6′ 3″
Weight: 202
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 13th Round, 384th Overall, 2018
How Acquired: Draft
College: Duke
Agent: N/A

WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE

Kone was one of the best college players left on the board on day three of the 2018 draft, being ranked 228th overall by Baseball America.  He’s a big framed shortstop with a thick body and a plus arm.  The arm could also make him a third baseman if he can’t handle shortstop. He has average raw power that hasn’t translated to games, possibly due to what BA describes as inconsistent and sometimes violent swing mechanics.  He hit for a 300/359/449 line in 2018, but will probably need some adjustments with his mechanics.  That continued a steady climb, as he’d had an OPS of .638 in 2016 and .704 in 2017.  Kone hasn’t had alarming K rates, fanning in just 15% of his at-bats in his college career, so there’s no reason to expect he’ll be overwhelmed in pro ball.  He signed at the deadline for slightly above slot.

2018
A-:  250/332/341, 164 AB, 10 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 20 BB, 43 K, 7-10 SB

With Connor Kaiser at Morgantown, Kone became the second baseman when he joined the team in mid-July.  Kaiser moved up to West Virginia in mid-August, though, and Kone ended up seeing nearly three-quarters of his time at short.  He had some trouble with errors, committing seven in 32 games there.  At the plate, Kone struggled until the last week of August, when he suddenly caught fire.  In his last nine games, he went 17-for-40.

2019
A-:  194/286/194, 31 AB, 4 BB, 16 K, 1-1 SB
A:  186/271/249, 269 AB, 9 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 30 BB, 94 K, 5-7 SB

Kone spent the season with Greensboro, apart from a rehab assignment at West Virginia following a month-long injury.  He was overmatched at the plate at both levels, striking out excessively while struggling to hit for average or power.  He had just a .499 OPS against RHPs.  Kone mostly played third, although he saw time at second and short as well.

Kone will probably fill in someplace in class A where there’s a need in 2020.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2020: Minor league contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $166,700
MiLB Debut:
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible: 2024
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2021
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 6, 2018: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 13th round, 384th overall pick; signed on July 6.
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