Excerpts from 2011 Baseball Prospect Book
I've received a couple of emails asking me for examples of book comments. Here are three of them from the "S" section: Steve Singleton of the Minnesota Twins, Tyler Skaggs of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Kyle Skipworth of the Florida Marlins. The actual book comment contains the player's stats, but I'm cutting those from this example since they won't format properly on the blog. I'm also including a brief update about each player and how they are currently doing in 2011, so this also counts as some extra player notes for today rather than just a commercial for the book.
Steve Singleton, INF, Minnesota Twins
Bats: S Throws: R HT: 6-0 WT: 185 DOB: September 12, 1985
Singleton was an 11th round pick in 2006 from the University of San Diego. He's not a hot prospect by any means; his tools are average at best, but I've had my eye on him since he was in college as a potential sleeper. I don't have much objective data to back this up, but he strikes me as one of those scrappy middle infielder types who can come out of nowhere, have a surprisingly good season at age 26 or 27, then hang around forever as a utility infielder. He has some pop to the gaps and doesn't strike out much, two markers such players often have. Grade C.
IN-SEASON UPDATE: Currently hitting .284/.306/.463 for Double-A New Britain with excellent defense at second base. If the Twins can't find a middle infielder who can hit, Singleton could conceivably get a chance in the majors later this year. If he can time a hot streak at the right time, he could stick around for a bit.
Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Bats: L Throws: L HT: 6-4 WT: 195 DOB: July 13, 1991
Skaggs was drafted by the Angels in 2009 as a supplemental first rounder, then was traded to Arizona last summer in the Dan Haren deal. A classic projectable lefty, he throws 88-92 MPH with sinking action, giving him a 1.63 GO/AO last year and a low home run rate. He also has a very good curveball, but is still working on refining his changeup, though he has the aptitude to improve it and it shouldn't be a long-term problem. He throws strikes, has good mound presence, and all of his component ratios were quite good last year in the Midwest League. As with all young pitchers, he could get hurt or backslide, but overall he looks like a very good prospect to me, earning a strong Grade B rating.
IN-SEASON UPDATE: 3.94 ERA in six starts for High-A Visalia, with a 45/17 K/BB in 32 innings and 27 hits allowed. His walk rate is higher than ideal, but his K/IP is excellent and scouting reports are positive thus far. I'd still rate him a strong Grade B, but if he can get the walks down a bit he will be a B+ by season's end, and there's some chance he could go higher than that. I still like him a lot.
Kyle Skipworth, C, Florida Marlins
Bats: L Throws: R HT: 6-4 WT: 205 DOB: March 1, 1990
Well, the good news is that 2010 wasn't as bad for Kyle Skipworth as 2009 was. He showed more useable power, and scouts report improved defensive play, particularly with his throwing which improved from 20% of runners caught in '09 to 35% last year. However, he still struck out more than once per game due to a long swing, improved his plate discipline only marginally, and continued to make too many errors and give up too many passed balls. When Skipworth was drafted in 2008, the Marlins thought they were getting a very good defensive catcher who could hit for power and average, a possible All-Star. Now, they'll be lucky if they get a low-batting-average power-oriented slugger with a fair glove. If he hadn't been a first round pick, he wouldn't get as much attention as he does. Grade C.
IN-SEASON UPDATE: The Marlins sent him to Double-A despite his struggles last year, and not surprisingly he is having a rough time of it, hitting .176/.256/.284 in 19 games for Jacksonville with 24 strikeouts in 82 plate appearances. He is overmatched at this level and I really don't understand the aggressive assignment. About the only positive thing I can think of is that Skipworth would just be in his junior year of college right now if he hadn't signed. But if he had struggled as badly in college as he has done in the pros, there's no way he'd match his draft status as it was out of high school.