PP Scouting Report: SS, Andy Cannizaro

Cannizaro Could Be a Good Utility Player

The New York Yankees selected Andy Cannizaro in the 7th round of the 2001 draft out of Tulane University where he set all kinds of records for the Green Wave in Conference USA. Here's a scouting report on Cannizaro. <b>(Free Preview of Premium Content)</b>

Vital Statistics:
Name: Andrew Cannizaro
Position: 2B
DOB: December 19, 1978
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 170
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Place of Residence: Mandeville, Louisiana
How Acquired: Drafted in the 7th round of the 2001 draft out of Tulane University.

Andy Cannizaro has been one of the most reliable utility players in the Yankees' farm system since being drafted back in 2001. Cannizaro, who plays both second base and shortstop, set all kinds of records at Tulane where his father was the coach and is still among the Conference USA career leaders in several categories. He ranks first all time in Conference USA in doubles (82), at-bats (1,030), and in stolen bases with 128 which is 21 more than anyone else in Conference history. He still ranks second in Conference USA in career hits with 350, trailing on Braves' AAA prospect James Jurries, and third in runs scored with 258...only trailing Jurries and Red Sox 3B Kevin Youkilis.

After signing in June of 2001, Cannizaro spent the 2001 season with the Staten Island Yankees and hit .283 and scored 38 runs atop their lineup. He skipped a level in 2002 and went straight to Tampa of the Florida State League where he drove in a career-high 46 runs and stole a career-high 14 stolen bases for the Yankees. Despite hitting a career-low .248 for Tampa, Cannizaro was promoted to AA-Trenton to begin the 2003 season and has spent the last two seasons as a valuable utility player for the Thunder.

Cannizaro hit .276 with a career-high 23 doubles for Trenton in 2003 before returning to the Thunder lineup in 2004 where he set a career-high batting mark with a .314 average, not to mention clubbing a career-high three home runs. Andy, not known for his power or his tools, is one of the team leaders and a general on and off the field. He's one of the scrappiest players in the Yankees' farm system and is not afraid to get his uniform dirty.

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2004

Trenton

.314

328

18

3

44

44

7

36

31

.385

.396

2003

Trenton

.276

369

23

1

39

50

9

26

24

.337

.352

2002

Tampa

.249

366

18

1

46

52

14

38

31

.339

.311

2001

Staten Island

.283

254

9

0

20

38

5

22

21

-

-


* Stats as of 10/1/04

Batting and Power. Power is certainly not the name of Cannizaro's game. With just five career home runs, nobody is going to mistaken him with fellow teammate Mitch Jones. However, Andy has decent gap power and will surprise outfielders that play him in. He has an excellent eye at the plate and is easily one of the toughest outs among all positional players for the Yankees. A career .279 hitter in the minors, Cannizaro has drawn fifteen more walks than he's struck out over his minor league career. He's the epitome of a contact hitter.

Base Running and Speed. Cannizaro does not possess eye popping speed but will swipe a base when needed. While not your prototypical speedy middle infielder, he's a very smart base runner and has the ability to steal double digit bases in any given season.

Defense. Playing mostly shortstop in 2004, he is a very good defensive player that has the ability to play other positions including second base. He has solid range, soft hands, and a strong arm.

Projection. Cannizaro is the kind of gritty player any fan would love to root for, especially with the passion he plays the game. Unfortunately, Cannizaro does not possess enough power to project to be a Major League everyday player. He does however possess a keen batting eye and is good enough defensively to make a Major League roster as a utility player and pinch hitter. Think Lenny Harris.

ETA. 2006. Cannizaro should be on the Columbus roster in 2005 and could be on the Columbus-Bronx shuttle back and forth sometime soon as an emergency backup middle infielder. He could prove to be a valuable part of the bench for the Yankees by 2006.

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