At age 22 last year, Omar Infante hit .264 with 16 homers and 13 steals for the Tigers. OBP .317, SLG .449, OPS .766. He did this with very little media attention. Given his age, Tigers fans are very optimistic about his future. He certainly deserves more media coverage than he has received. Let's look at some comparable players.
Sim Score Comparables
Dib Williams (975)
Dick McAuliffe (975)
Jackie Hayes (966)
Jimmy Bloodworth (959)
Juan Uribe (959)
Luis Rivas (955)
Alex Gonzalez the Marlin (952)
Frankie Crosetti (952)
Other Comparables Per PECOTA
Current players Luis Rivas and Juan Uribe show up both on the Sim Score and the PECOTA list.
A lot of these names make sense. Of the no-longer-active guys, you have a Hall-of-Fame type in Ryne Sandberg, then some long-career players like McMillan, Campaneris, Dunston, McAuliffe, and Crosetti. Williams and Hayes were early washouts. Auerbach had one year of regular play before settling into a utility role.
Infante has respectable power for a middle infielder, and given a normal growth curve he should develop into an impressive player. Negative factors include his mediocre strike zone judgment, which could inhibit his offensive improvement, and the fact that middle infielders, especially second basemen, often fail to develop as expected. I don't think Infante will turn into Ryne Sandberg, but if he can make a bit more progress with the strike zone, and stay healthy, he should have a long career.
Rather than doing a 2005 projection for Infante at this point, I'd like to see where you guys think he will go. Will he build on his current skill set? Can he improve his plate discipline? What is his ceiling? Where does he fit on the Sandberg/Dunston/Auberbach Career Continuum?