Scouting Report: SS, Erick Almonte

SS, Erick Almonte

Erick Almonte, now 25 years old, likely will not be the heir apparent to Derek Jeter at shortstop. He filled in respectably for one of the American League's top players in April, as the Yankees still managed to build a lead in the Eastern Division. But his range has been called into question and he has not developed into a consistent power threat.

At the highest point of his career thus far, Almonte's first game this season was a 2-for-5 showing with a home run and three RBI against the Blue Jays. The rest of his stint with the Yankees this year, though, has been unremarkable to date (he's back on the Yankee roster in September). He hit no more homers and drove in eight more runs in 90 more at-bats.

After a one-week trip to the Gulf Coast League in late June and early July, the Dominican-born Almonte quietly finished his minor league season at Triple-A Columbus. He battled a knee injury for much of the year. Overall, he has walked 30 times and struck out 78 in a 295 at-bat season. Last September, he was MVP of the Eastern League playoffs as Norwich won the league title.

Long-term, his best shot may be as a utility player – with a lot of third base thrown in.

Hitting: Has the ability to hit for power, but rarely puts string of slugging displays together. Does draw a fair share of walks, but also strikes out quite a bit.

Speed: Average, stole 5 bases in 8 attempts in 2003.

Fielding: Probably will make move to third base, where he should have above-average range and arm strength.

Projection: Best bet would be as a utilityman, capable of filling in around the infield in the major leagues as soon as 2004.

ETA: 2004

Year

Team

Avg.

G

AB

H

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

K

SB

OBP

SLG

2003

Yankees

.263

29

95

25

16

6

0

1

11

8

23

1

.327

.358

2003

AAA-Columbus

.240

48

179

43

26

11

1

4

26

17

46

4

.310

.380

2003

R-GCL Yankees

.240

6

21

6

4

0

0

0

0

5

9

0

.423

.286


Stats as of 9/12/03

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