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Chance Shepard went undrafted, but he's still looking for an opportunity in professional baseball

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NC State Athletics Communications

Five NC State players were selected in the 40-round MLB Draft this past weekend, but you might be surprised to learn that power-hitter Chance Shepard was not one of them. Shepard led the Wolfpack in 2016 with 15 home runs. As a regular for the first time in his college career, he had a breakout campaign, hitting .279/.384/.558. He finished the season with 60 hits, half of which went for extra bases.

That's a solid year, but Shepard had two glaring issues working against him, from an MLB scout's perspective: his defensive shortcomings, and his inability to hit for contact.

At this point, Shepard has no position. He spent some time at catcher but mostly played at DH, and that is not an advantageous place to be this early in your baseball career. He's on the wrong side of the defensive spectrum, with nowhere to move, unless his bat can transport him to first base...

...and it probably can't. Shepard struck out 82 times in 215 at-bats this season, and that was against inconsistent and spotty college pitching. His power is undeniably great--when he put the bat on the ball this year, the ball went a long, long way. It's just that his strikeout rate is a significant red flag.

These things are working against him, but they don't mean his baseball career is finished, either. He worked out locally for the Royals on Sunday, as Bob Sutton of the Times-News reported. He'll probably get a shot somewhere; the duration of that opportunity is going to depend on whatever repairs to his swing are possible.

Here's hoping.