Hypothetical Prospect: How Would You Grade This Guy?

Here is a hypothetical case for you. How would you grade this player?

Player X was a highly-regarded high school catcher in 2009. He could easily have gone as high as the second round, but everyone knew he was strongly committed to a major college program, so he wasn't drafted until very late, and chose not to sign.

Player X goes to college. He plays semi-regularly as a freshman, but his overall performance is considered very disappointing on both offense and defense. But you know, he's just a freshman. He still has time.

He takes over as the regular catcher as a sophomore. His hitting improves slightly: he draws more walks and hits some doubles, but his batting average, OBP, and home run production remain disappointing. His defense is adequate but not as good as anticipated when he was in high school. Coach is not impressed.

Player X enters his junior year fighting for his job and hoping to salvage his draft status. But everything goes awry: he suffers a shoulder injury and misses the first part of the season, then he gets suspended by the head coach for an off-field infraction.

He comes back in the last two weeks of the college season. His shoulder is still bothering him so he is mainly the DH, but in those two weeks he hits very well, for the first time showing the power that scouts saw in high school.

Player X gets drafted. He thinks about coming back for his senior year, but the coach doesn't really want him, and transferring to a new school would be a giant pain. So he takes the bonus offered by the drafting team, swallows his pride, and heads down to the spring training complex to prep for pro ball.

Player X looks so good in workouts and simulated games that he gets sent directly to Low-A, where he hits .304/.411/.456 (in a neutral park/league) with outstanding plate discipline in his first 50 professional games. He DHs at first, but starts catching in August and throws out 38% of runners in 15 games, not giving up a single passed ball and suddenly looking like the player he did in high school.

What would you think of this hypothetical player and what grade would you give him?

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