Junior Lake, SS, Chicago Cubs
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-3 WT: 215 DOB: March 27, 1990
If you see Junior Lake on the right day, he looks like one of the best players in the world. He'll blister a long home run, or he'll make a spectacular defensive play, or he'll show off a tremendously good throwing arm, or he'll steal a critical base. If you see Junior Lake on the wrong day, he'll look like one of the most confused, helpless players in the world. He'll swing at a breaking ball two feet off the plate, or he'll butcher a routine little league grounder, or he'll throw the ball 20 feet over the first baseman's head, or he'll run himself into a critical out. Sometimes he does the good and bad things in the same game, or the same inning. Lake's tools are simply excellent, especially his throwing arm. He's made improvements around the edges and flashes intriguing baseball skills, but he's not consistent about it and is still frequently frustrating. Triple-A pitching will be a big test of his adjustment skills, though he could put up some superficially strong numbers in the Pacific Coast League. Pay a lot more attention to his BB/K/AB ratio than to his standard slash line. Also watch his position: he's still rough at shortstop and could end up at third base or the outfield. Grade C+
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