I think with the increasing coverage of prospects and the greater availability of stats, people tend to get hung up on looking at #’s at low levels and using that to form a judgement on prospect status. Of course for folks not fortunate enough to be able to see these guys that is mostly what we can see, so detailed write-ups and video like you do is much appreciated.
I was the guy who asked about De La Cruz potentially being a first division starter in the chat, this article is great. For the record I was skeptical before, since Reddick wasn’t viewed as first division starter material almost solely due to his plate discipline issues (often labeled Francouer Jr. in Boston).
As far as Jacobs goes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a big bounce back year in 2013. He grew up football first, and football guys often have wacky development patterns…I’m sure it’s tough to make the necessary adjustments at the pro level without the usual amateur commitment time to baseball growing up. I saw him live once and his defense did look rough, but his batting practice display was real impressive. Like you said his game has serious holes too, so he’d have to come close to his ceiling offensively to play in Boston. Again, good stuff.
Mike, this is a good piece, and I agree with you that Brandon Jacobs was overhyped after his one good season. But if you’re going to ask “What happened to Brandon Jacobs?” then your answer should probably at least mention that he dealt with injury almost the entire season.
I think what happened to Jacobs was that he’s just not very good. I know you liked his swing, but to me it was overly mechanical and it just didn’t look like he could adjust his swing plane in-out, up-down and be able to make contact at higher levels. Juxtapose this with de la Cruz, whose mechanics are not ideal. You can see just in this short vid that he can adjust his swing to wherever he’s pitched in the zone. This and the Vitters vids are probably the best you’ve put up at illustrating why the guy can succeed at the MLB level. Seeing de la Cruz go the other way on the outer half stuff, then turn like that on the inside pitches is impressive to me. Love this guy’s swing, bad mechanics or not.
How closely did you read the piece? This is from the 2nd paragraph…
“However, the hangover from his 2011 success was a nasty one as slightly above average production at the High-A level has caused his prospect stock to crater — Probably unfairly as he battled injuries in 2012.”
I disagree Paul. My Jacobs video is from early in the 2011 season. The Jacobs I saw that July was a much improved hitter who was learning how to make adjustments at a rapid pace. That’s what made him one of my favorites of that season. To you credit, if all I had to go on was my video, we would have made the same assessment.
In 2012, I went for more BP video since in game swings are unpredictable. I’ve found it has been a big plus.
Ah, fair enough. Thanks for the explanation. I’ll be interested to see how he does in AA.
And yes, the BP is good stuff. Some are more instructive than others, like this one, but it always adds something I didn’t know before. Also certainly better than relying on somebody saying anonymous scout X told him so-and-so is the next Mickey Mantle.
As to De La Cruz, I believe it remains true that the Red Sox have never signed and developed an international (amateur) free agent who became a significant contributor for them; Junichi Tazawa is about as good as it gets.