More Book Excerpts

Four more 2011 Baseball Prospect Book comments for your perusal: Jared Hoying, Austin Hyatt, Jose Iglesias, and Junior Lake.

Jared Hoying, OF, Texas Rangers
Bats: L    Throws: R     HT: 6-3      WT: 190   DOB: May 18, 1989

Hoying was drafted in the 10th round last June from the University of Toledo. He's got good tools, including above average raw power and fine running speed. He lasted 10 rounds in the draft because scouts hated his swing. He retooled it in pro ball, resulting in a very strong performance in the Northwest League (+34 percent OPS). He's somewhat raw with the outfield glove, but was a shortstop in college so that's understandable. I like Hoying's power/speed combo, but even with the new swing, his strikeout rate for Spokane was very high. He is worth tracking but I want to see what happens against better pitching. Grade C.


Austin Hyatt, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
Bats: R     Throws: R     HT: 6-2   WT: 180   DOB: May 23, 1986

A 15th round pick out of Alabama in 2009, Austin Hyatt was one of the best pitchers in the Florida State League last year, with excellent component ratios in all respects. He had a few problems in four Double-A starts, but even at that level he struck out more than a hitter per inning, finishing with a 181/44 K/BB ratio in 146 innings on the season. Despite these numbers, Hyatt doesn't show up on many hot prospect lists. His fastball and breaking ball are just average, but he has a killer changeup that fools inexperienced hitters, and sometimes even experienced ones. He has good pitching instincts, but has a strong fly ball tendency that might cause problems at the highest levels. Nevertheless, I like what Hyatt did last year, and he has a decent chance to get to the majors as a fifth starter or reliever. Grade C+.


Jose Iglesias, SS, Boston Red Sox
Bats: R    Throws: R     HT: 5-11      WT: 175   DOB: January 5, 1990

Jose Iglesias will have more value to a real baseball team than he will to a fantasy squad. Scouts love his defense, rating his hands, range, and arm strength as excellent in all respects. He's reliable, too, making just seven errors in 57 defensive games last year. Interestingly, his range factor was actually way below average, but minor league defensive range stats are problematic. It will be interesting to see if that holds true in subsequent seasons, given how much scouts love his glove. His bat is a question. He makes contact and can hit for average, but his approach is very aggressive and he lacks power, making his offensive value entirely reliant on his batting average. The Red Sox believe he will add more pop in time, although observers from other organizations aren't as sanguine. I'll go with a Grade B here, on the theory that his glove will make him a valuable regular for a long time, but keep in mind that his fantasy value won't be as good, not unless his offense develops more than I expect, or unless you're in a fantasy context where defense matters.


Junior
Lake, SS, Chicago Cubs
Bats: R    Throws: R     HT: 6-2    WT: 200   DOB: March 27, 1990

One of the toolsier players in the Cubs system, Lake has some power potential and an extremely good throwing arm. He is unreliable defensively at shortstop and will end up at either third base or, perhaps, right field in the long run, which will increase the pressure on his bat. Although he is still raw at the plate, he made huge strides with his strike zone judgment last year, improving it from unbearably awful to mediocre. I don't mean to be sarcastic; it was real progress, and he did it playing in the Florida Sate League, not an easy place for hitters. Lake is young enough to have a real breakout in the next year or two, although Double-A will be a big test for him in '11. Grade C+.

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