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2011 MLB Draft | Shortstops Review Part 1

Welcome back to our review of the 2011 draft.  In this series we’re taking a look at players from the 2011 draft who signed and got into game play in 2011.  We’ve separated the High School players from the College players and compiled which players had the best season statistically.  This isn’t a prospect ranking, rather simply a report on how they did.  Unlike the previous articles on Second and Third basemen, there’s no shortage of of players to cover on the Shortstop side.  So much so, that we are going to break this review up into 2 articles.  So lets get started with High School Shortstops.

The High School Shortstops

Colorado RockiesTrevor Story, SS Colorado Rockies – (18) – Round: 1C Pick: 45

 Story hit .268/.364/.436, which included HR-6/3B-2/2B-8/RBI-28/R-37/SB-13, and a 41/26 K/BB ratio in 179 at bats over 47 games for the Rookie Level Casper Ghosts of the Pioneer League.  As I mentioned in my September article Touch’em all | Pioneer League – Hitters, Scouts had doubt’s about his bat, and while this doesn’t make everyone change their opinions, it should at least tell people he’s the cream of the 2011 SS crop and should start the 2012 season with the Single-A Tri-City Dust Devils of the Northwest League at minimum.

Tampa Bay RaysJake Hager, SS Tampa Bay Rays – (18) – Round: 1 Pick: 32

Hager is a known baseball rat from Las Vegas, wasted no time by getting  signed on June 23rd, 2011.  He hit  .269/.305/.399, which included HR-4/3B-1/2B-11/RBI-17/R-29/SB-5, and a 26/9 K/BB ratio in 193 at bats over 47 games with the Princeton Rays of the Rookie Level Appalachian League. He’s got a legit shot at sticking at SS, but then so does fellow 2011 draft pick Brandon Martin.  Both could end up as the middle of the Rays infield in the future.  I have feeling that the Rays will be aggressive with him in 2012, if he doesn’t start the season with the High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Florida State League, he will be there at some point during the season, but most likely he will start out with the Class-A Bowling Green Hot-Rods of the Midwest League, while Martin starts out with the Low-A Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League.

Oakland AthleticsChristopher Bostick, SS Oakland Athletics – (18) – Round: 44 Pick: 1336

Christopher who?  The scouts didn’t really know either as weather in the New York area was horrible from mid to late May, wiping out the only opportunities those scouts would of got to see him play.  He hit over .500 his senior year, and then .417/.500/.642 in the New York Collegiate League before signing with the A’s and passing a full ride to St. John’s University.  He hit  .442/.482/.654, which included HR-1/3B-1/2B-6/RBI-5/R-13/SB-4, and a 12/3 K/BB ratio in 52 at bats over 14 games with the Athletics of the Rookie Level Arizona League.  While 52 at bats doesn’t make a career, it should give the A’s enough motivation to start him off  close to his home with the Low-A Vermont Lake Monsters of the New York-Penn League.  While it’s unclear if he can stick at SS, he’s got the potential with the bat to progress with the A’s.

Philadelphia PhilliesTyler Greene, SS Philadelphia Phillies – (18) – Round: 11 Pick: 361

The Phillies gave Greene over slot money to get him signed.  He was likely a 1st or 2nd round pick, but a strong commitment to Georgia scared some teams away.  The Phillies had the cure for the commitment, it was called money.  He hit .276/.386/.379, which included 2B-6/RBI-4/R-9/SB-5, and a 23/11 K/BB ratio in 58 at bats over 17 games for the Rookie Level Phillies of the Gulf Coast League, which is probably good enough to get a bumped up to the Low-A Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League.

Toronto Blue JaysJustin Atkinson, SS Toronto Blue Jays – (18) – Round: 26 Pick: 799

The Surrey B.C. native was a former Canadian junior national team standout. He’s definitely a tweener as he lacks speed to be a SS and lacks power to be a 3B.  Having said that, he is a very polished player and should be able to find a place to play.  Atkinson hit  .279/.298/.395 off of  13B-1/2B-3/RBI-6/R-6, and a 3/2 K/BB ratio in 43 at bats over 12 games with the Blue Jays of the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League.  Like Tyler Greene, he should be bumped up to short season ball, starting 2012 off with the Low-A Vancouver Canadians of the Northwest League.

Cleveland IndiansFrancisco Lindor, SS Cleveland Indians – (17) – Round: 1 Pick: 8

Lindor was a fine pick by the Indians at this spot and he is likely to stick at shortstop.  He played recently in the Arizona Instructional League (not to be confused with the Arizona Fall League) where it was noted that he is making good contact and is playing amazing defense.   He hit  .316/.350/.316, with 2 RBI, 4 runs, and a stolen base, as well as a 5/1 K/BB ratio in a limited 19 at bats over 5 games with the Low-A Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the New York-Penn League after signing at the August 15th, 2011 deadline.  Lindor is a good bet to start the season again in the New York-Penn League, but could also find himself quickly with the Class-A Lake County Captains of the Midwest League in 2012.

Chicago CubsJavier Baez, SS Chicago Cubs – (18) – Round: 1 Pick: 9

A 2011 top 10 draft pick and the 3rd Shortstop off the board, didn’t get in much game play in 2011 as he was a deadline signing.  He did hit  .278/.278/.389, which included 2B-2/RBI-1/R-2/SB-2, and a 2/ K/BB ratio in 12 at bats with the Cubs of the Rookie Level Arizona League and 6 at bats with the Low-A Boise Hawks of the Northwest League.  He could very well start off the 2012 season with Boise, depending on the Cubs true view of his position.  Several scouts believe that he’s going to out grow the position and soon be a 3b, which would move him further faster as he’s blocked by 21 year old SS phenom Starling Castro.  If that’s the case, perhaps the Cubs will be a little more aggressive and push him up to the Class-A Peoria Chiefs or even the High-A Daytona Cubs of the Gulf Coast League.

New York MetsPhillip Evans, SS New York Mets – (18) – Round: 15 Pick: 462 

Here’s a kid who has good make-up and skill set to be an above average major leaguer.  There was a buzz last year that he could be a 1st round draft pick, but after an up and down spring and a firm commitment to play for Tony Gwynn at San Diego State (not far from home in Carlsbad, CA) his stock dropped like a ton of bricks.  I’m not sure he has the range to stick at SS, but after the Mets moved 8th round pick Daniel Muno from SS to 2B, perhaps the Mets feel differently than I do.  Evans was an August 15th deadline signing and kudos to the Mets for getting this done.   Evans hit .294/.351/.412, which included 2B-4/RBI-4/R-7, and a 5/3 K/BB ratio in 34 at bats spread over quick stops at 3 levels, ending up with Muno with the Low-A Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York Penn League and that’s likely where he will start the 2012 season as well.  I think he’s a player to watch.

Tampa Bay RaysBrandon Martin, SS Tampa Bay Rays – (17) – Round: 1C Pick: 38

The Tampa Bay Rays certainly did not shy away from drafting shortstops in the 2011 draft.  They drafted and signed Hager in the 1st round and Martin in round 1C.  Like Hager, Martin has a good shot at sticking at SS.  Likely though, 1 will move to 2b.  Scouts say that Martin has great speed and makes spectacular plays at SS.  He hit .255/.386/.340, which included HR-1/2B-1/RBI-3/R-10/SB-5, and a 12/7 K/BB ratio in 47 at bats over 19 games for the Rookie Level Rays of the Gulf Coast League.  As I mentioned before, I think the slightly older, slightly more talented Hager will start out with the Class-A Bowling Green Hot-Rods of the Midwest League, while Martin starts out with the Low-A Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League in 2012.

Honorable Mentions:

Renaldo Jenkins, SS Milwaukee Brewers – (18) – Round: 19 Pick 581 – .253/.340/.313 HR-0 SB-15 (166 ab)

Kenneth Peoples-Walls, SS St. Louis Cardinals – (17) – Round: 4 Pick 140 – .239/.313/.250 HR-0 SB-4 (88 ab)

Johnny Eirman, SS Tampa Bay Rays – (18) – Round: 3 Pick 119 – .254/.328/.424 HR-1 SB-1 (59 ab)

Check back soon as we profile many more Top MLB Prospects and also get our baseball geek on and take a look at some of the later draft picks from the 2011 draft that we think could be big names on the prospect radars in the near future. While you’re here, take a look at Tom Belmont’s Prospect Instinct | Devin Mesoraco and be a step ahead of the game. Thanks for checking Baseball Instinct. We’re working hard to bring you the best of the minor leagues and make the site the best experience it can be. So don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about. Email us now at mailbag@baseballinstinct.com.

Other articles in this series:

2011 MLB Draft | Third Basemen

2011 MLB Draft | Second Basemen

2011 MLB Draft | Shortstops Part 1

2011 MLB Draft | Shortstops Part 2

2011 MLB Draft | Shortstops Part 3

2011 MLB Draft | Catchers

2011 MLB Draft | First Basemen

 


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