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Microline133

First Base Analysis

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Originally posted by BiggieG

In thinking about this, maybe somebody can remember better than me, didn't Mark McGuire show poor to average power numbers before his first full year in the biggies?

Mark....does it seem power hitters develop later in their careers? I know there are most likely players to pint at both ways, but is this a pretty clear rule of thumb?

McGwire had hit 24 and 26 in the two years prior to his rookie season....

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong....but I've always considered power to be one of the last tools to develop, simply because it is largely dependent on the complete development of the body....

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Originally posted by Microline133

That and Ledezma's first half are the only ones I can think of in recent memory....

Without going through everything, I think you would almost have to go back to Gabe Kaplers ridiculous couple of seasons...

We have had a few of those stretches by a couple of players...but when was the last time we had a player who dominated a level...was promoted....continued to dominate...was promoted again...and still played well....something like Cain, Capellan, Hernandez, or Kinsler did this year....

I think Cornejo was the last prospect to rocket through the system. Tony Giarratano took his promotion rather well before getting injured and if Anderson Hernandez wasn't in front of him I think you might have seen a quick jump to AA this season if he didn't get injured.

As for the question as to when we last had a prospect to dominate a level, I just like to think what a 21 yr old Jeremy Bonderman would be doing in AA Erie, what a 22 yr old Omar INfante might be doing in AA Erie or AAA Toledo.

I also remember reading articles back in the day that had Vlad Guerrero, Andruw Jones and Juan Encarnacion considered on the same level as prospects...

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Originally posted by Microline133

McGwire had hit 24 and 26 in the two years prior to his rookie season....

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong....but I've always considered power to be one of the last tools to develop, simply because it is largely dependent on the complete development of the body....

Power is usually the last to develop due to natural maturation - which is why those in the know look to prospects amount of doubles to forcast future power potential.

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Originally posted by Shaggy Ry

Tony Giarratano took his promotion rather well before getting injured

Speaking of the G-Man.....here is a little snippet from John Sickels mailbag...

Allen from Racine, Wisc., asks:

I'm a big Tigers fan, and I was wondering what you think about shortstop prospect Tony Giarratano. He had a good year in Class A and looks like a good sleeper to me. What do you think?

He looks like a good prospect to me, too, not just a "sleeper" but a legitimately strong player. Giarratano was drafted in '03, a third round pick out of Tulane. He was well-regarded as a defensive shortstop in college, but there were questions about his bat. He answered those by hitting .336 in college last year, then .328 in 47 games in the New York-Penn League after signing. In 2004, he went to the Midwest League and played well, hitting .285/.383/.352 in 43 games for the West Michigan Whitecaps. This earned him a promotion to the Florida State League, where he caught fire and remained enflamed for the rest of the season, hitting .376/.421/.505 with 14 steals. He needs to sharpen up his plate discipline, but I think he has the baseball aptitude to do so if he's encouraged. His batting average should always be good, but given his relative lack of power, some extra walks will keep his overall OPS boosted to strong levels.

We can't expect Giarratano to hit .376 all the time, but he certainly looks like a solid .280-.300 hitter, with enough doubles, walks, and steals to be a multi-skilled offensive contributor. He's considered a very good defensive shortstop, so impressing coaches and scouts with his glove won't be a problem for him. He should start 2005 in Double-A, and a second-half promotion to Detroit is quite possible. I think he's a solid all-around player and seriously underrated by many.

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Originally posted by Cult of Guillen

where is Chris Shelton? Seems like he was headed to 1B in Toledo. Will he and Tejada rotate at 1B/DH?

Good question...

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Originally posted by Cult of Guillen

where is Chris Shelton? Seems like he was headed to 1B in Toledo. Will he and Tejada rotate at 1B/DH?

Well, the article was intended to analyze the first base prospects in the minors....

I think you're going to see Shelton primarily DH next year in Toledo, with Tejada playing every day at first, and St. Pierre behind the plate. Shelton could get some time spelling both...but I really don't see him getting more than a nominal amount of games in the field...whether that is a wise decision or not....

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Microline, I really enjoy your work and always look forward to your analysis of the positions. Kelly Hunt had a good year in the minor leagues, but what do you think his ceiling is? Maybe that of Juan Tejada? Also, Kelly's teammate in college, second/third baseman Cory Loomis, was in the Tiger's organization for a while a couple of years ago, but was released. Do you remember him, or the reasons why he was released? I'm interested because I watched both of them play in college.

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I saw Kelly in Florida a few weeks ago, and he is a guy who I think has more raw power than Tejeda, but Juan has more discipline and is a better hitter. Hunt will need better strike zone judgment, and tone down his aggressiveness at the plate as he moves up. Loomis was drafted in 2002, and if memory serves me right, he didn't really hit well in his stint at Oneonta.

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I can't figure out why Kelly Hunt is getting more attention. He lead all of the Tiger's teams in RBIs, set a team record for homeruns, and yet still isn't getting the attention he deserves. I know he didn't have any triples, but his other stats seem to deserve more attention.

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Originally posted by wiz1290

I can't figure out why Kelly Hunt is getting more attention. He lead all of the Tiger's teams in RBIs, set a team record for homeruns, and yet still isn't getting the attention he deserves. I know he didn't have any triples, but his other stats seem to deserve more attention.

He was also a couple years older than most of his competition last year. He's not getting ignored but people are looking at his numbers with caution, and deservedly so. I hope he can put up big numbers in Lakeland this year. If he does, then I'm on the bandwagon.

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Originally posted by TonyJM

Keep 'em coming, Micro...I love these things.

-Thanks,

Tony

Micro, you rule!!!! :cool:

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Micro, I don't often whalewander into the minor league forum nowadays, but on the occasion that I do have found the messages to be very insightful. Professional style writing, like yours, is exactly what makes this site a great place to visit. We'd be crazy not to let you post it. Good job.

1B is probably a weakness in the organization, but if Carlos Pena does poorly at the major league level they could simply put Young at first full time. I wonder if the weakness on the farm is due to bad drafting and development, or simply neglecting the position because it's easy to find someone who can adequately fill in at first base. (by adequately I mean hit with some power and play it defensively...I don't mean to underscore the importance of a good firstbaseman)

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Lee interests me with his seemingly good eye and his power potential.

Definitely a player to watch.

I totally agree that Tejada is underrated. I am not sure he will ever be a dominant 1B but he seems like the type of hitter that could put together solid campaigns there just under the radar. Something like .285/.365/.465 in his best years.

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Thanks for the compliments MotownRandy and TOM84....I appreciate it!

As for a couple of the players mentioned in recent posts....

I recently wrote up my Prospect Profile on Kelly Hunt for the website, and I think I'm more impressed with his skill set than most scouts/writers. His biggest drawback at this point is his low walk rates. He never walked much in college, but he never struck out much either...always making contact. Now he's not walking very much, and striking out a ton. He'll need to curtail those trends to make himself an effective offensive player. He's a huge guy with tremendous power (not many players hit 21 homeruns playing half their games in Fifth Third Ballpark). Lakeland will provide a nice test for him this season, and if he shows well early; at his age, there's really no reason he couldn't get bumped up to Erie at some point this year. With only Jody Roughton in his immediate path, that shouldn't hold him up....This is the year Hunt established himself as a legit prospect or just another minor league slugger in the mold of Kurt Airoso....

estrepe mentioned Josh Lee, who I like a lot, but he is ver, very raw. He'll take a while to develop, but he could be a nice player. He's always combined nice plate discipline and great power.....he just needs to adjust to the pro game and apply it there too. 2005 could be a tough year for him in the New York-Penn League, but the key will be seeing signs of increased plate disipline and better pitch recognition than he displayed in 2004......

Tejada is an underrated player caught in a huge bind. If Pena plays well in 2005, I don't expect Tejada to be with the organization in 2006, particularly if he puts together a nice season at Toledo. Playing in a neautral park, you should see a fair number of homeruns and a nice spike in his doubles, hopefully giving him a lofty slugging percentage and added value in trade. If Shelton continues to develop and Pena secures his 1B slot, I don't see a lot of at-bats for someone like Tejada....but he could be a nice chip in a package deal of some sort.....

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