2005 Charleston Position Prospect Review

Tim Battle Had a Good Walk Ratio

We look at the peripherals stats of Charleston hitters from 2005, examining the guys who played a majority of the season with Charleston, those who had a minimum of 150 at-bats with the team and did not collect more than 150 at-bats at a higher level.

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Tim Battle - OF

Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2003 MLB Draft out of McIntosh High School, Battle had a breakout season with the Charleston Riverdogs in 2005. He finally showed the type of power many inside the organization believe he had. But nobody could have expected the leadoff hitter to smack 44.1% of his hits for extra bases, tops on the Riverdogs this past season. While many are quick to point out his dreadful strikeout ratios, the fact is he's also very good at drawing walks. He might not be the ideal leadoff hitter because of his plus power and low on-base percentage, but Battle is a very complete player. With Brett Gardner immediately behind him and the fact that Battle will have to be protected before the 2006 MLB Draft, Battle could move up to AA-Trenton quickly after a short stint with Tampa to begin the 2006 season.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Charleston

.259

.335

.455

.283

.087

44.1

525



Cody Ehlers - 1B

Ehlers was the Yankees' 11th round pick in the 2004 draft out of University of Missouri and split first base and designated hitter duties with Jones this past season. As his peripherals below will show, Ehlers is solid across the board. His posted very good walk ratios in his stops between Charleston and Tampa and his extra-base hit percentages were more than acceptable. Ehlers will have to hit his way into the Major Leagues and he began his road to the bigs in good fashion with his solid year in 2005. Look for Ehlers to begin the 2006 as the starting first baseman/designated hitter for the Tampa Yankees.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Tampa

.240

.295

.388

.122

.072

41.9

129

A

Charleston

.278

.387

.426

.302

.154

31.1

324



Edwar Gonzalez - OF

A free-agent signing out of Venezuela, Gonzalez mired in the Yankees' system as a reserve outfield. He entered the 2005 season with just a career .232 batting average and an alarming strikeout ratio. A promotion of Yosavny-Almario Cabrera from Charleston to Tampa opened up some playing time for Gonzalez mid-season and he responded very well. While his walk ratio still leaves very little to be desired, Gonzalez wound up being one of the team's better clutch hitters. Besides hitting .341 with runners in scoring position, Gonzalez posted a very good extra-base hit percentage. He'll be 23-years old come the start of the 2006 season and he should get some action with the Tampa Yankees.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Charleston

.286

.319

.456

.341

.036

31.0

294



Ryan Haag - UT

Drafted in the 16th round of the 2004 MLB Draft, Haag served as Charleston's backup utility infielder and got off to a horrendous start. He began the year going just 1 for his first 21 and as a result, lost valuable development at-bats. His peripherals weren't any better than his overall numbers but his versatility in the field will keep him in the mix. Haag could begin the 2006 season as the utility infielder for Tampa, but another test in Charleston is not out of the question to see if they can build up his confidence.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Tampa

.232

.368

.286

.200

.176

15.4

56

A

Charleston

.175

.218

.225

.167

.048

21.4

160



Estee Harris - OF

Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2003 MLB Draft, Harris had another somewhat disappointing season in low-A ball. He hit just .216 on the year and finished the season with the second highest strikeout total on the team. But a look at his peripheral statistics show what Harris is capable of achieving once he learns to be more consistent at the plate. The fact is that 43.2% of his hits went for extra bases, a number among the team and league leaders this past season. His good walk ratio, like Battle's, gets overlooked by his high strikeout totals. Projecting where Harris will begin the 2006 season is one of the tough calls. It would seem he could use some more seasoning at low-A ball, but if he has a strong Spring Training, and considering his tremendous peripheral stats in 2005, Harris could find his way into the Tampa lineup to begin the year in 2006.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Charleston

.216

.281

.368

.200

.081

43.2

375



Mario Holmann - 2B

Signed as an International free agent out of Nicaragua, Holmann played with the Dominican Summer League Yankees in 2003 and showed a good combination of an eye at the plate and tremendous speed on the base paths while playing Gold Glove caliber defense. Nothing changed in 2005 as Holmann continued to show all the same great traits. His walk ratio and clutch hitting were phenomenal with Charleston this past season. The only negative to his game is his lack of power. A 12% extra-base hit percentage isn't too good, especially given his speed, and it is a cause for concern. Once Holmann learns to hit the gaps with more power, he'll become an elite second base prospect. As it stands, he'll be Tampa's starting second baseman right out Spring Training in 2006.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Charleston

.271

.367

.303

.343

.121

12.0

277



Ben Jones - 1B

Drafted in the 14th round of the 2004 MLB Draft, Jones had a fabulous year with the Charleston Riverdogs this past season. He arguably was Charleston's most consistent hitter all season long. Jones posted a very good walk ratio and extra-base hit percentage, not to mention he provided in the clutch time and time again. Like Ehlers though, while Jones' all around game is very solid, he doesn't have the one plus tool to make him an elite prospect. He'll have to hit his way into the Major Leagues and he should join Ehlers in Tampa in 2006 as part of the same first base/designated hitter platoon.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Charleston

.288

.364

.455

.328

.081

35.8

475



Grant Plumley - SS

Drafted in the 9th round of the 2004 MLB Draft, Plumley is consistent if he's anything. Plumley posted peripheral numbers that almost exactly match those that he posted with Staten Island in 2004. His one plus tool is defense and the Yankees have been moving Plumley around the diamond to make him more versatile in the field. Plumley's peripherals don't project him as a starting Major League player someday, but he could become a very good utility player. Plumley will most likely begin the year with high-A Tampa, but could reach AA-Trenton by season's end if he winds up being the utility player many think he can be.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Tampa

.250

.306

.286

.265

.067

11.4

140

A

Charleston

.267

.306

.347

.200

.050

23.5

303



Irwil Rojas - C

Signed out of Venezuela back in 2001, Rojas spent his first two professional seasons playing in the Dominican Summer League. Rojas has earned a reputation as one of the best contact hitters in the farm system, entering the 2005 season with 27 more walks than strikeouts. Rojas' peripheral stats exemplify exactly the type of hitter he truly has become. He's a contact hitter with negligible power. Rojas' ability to put the ball in play with solid defense behind the plate will carry him a long way, but his lack of power hurts his overall chances at becoming a full-time catcher at the Major League level. He should be Tampa's starting catcher in 2006.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Charleston

.281

.345

.336

.241

.087

17.5

345



Evan Tierce - OF

Drafted in the 17th round of the 2004 MLB Draft out of Texas State University, the 23-year old Tierce deserves a lot more playing time than he has received thus far. As his peripheral numbers show below, Tierce is as solid as they come. His walk ratios are way above average and so is his extra-base hit percentage, especially for a centerfielder. However, for some reason, Tierce hasn't secured enough attention from the Yankees or enough developmental at-bats. Tierce has earned the right to begin the 2006 season as Tampa's reserve outfielder and he could find his way into Trenton's lineup at some point next season. He could develop into a solid reserve outfielder at the Major League level if he gets a chance to prove it on the field.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Tampa

.206

.333

.324

.286

.150

35.7

68

A

Charleston

.288

.370

.455

.317

.114

28.9

156



Marcos Vechionacci - 3B

Signed as an International free agent out of Venezuela back in August of 2002, Nacci had what many considered a disappointing first full year of professional baseball with the Charleston Riverdogs this past season. He hit just two home runs on the year, but he still had a very acceptable extra-base hit percentage, thanks in large part to his 26 doubles and 8 triples. His walk ratio was solid and he still finished second on the team in runs scored. Nacci, despite the rather low overall numbers, is a priority prospect in the Yankees' farm system. With his move to third base seemingly permanent, Nacci should open the 2006 season as Tampa's starting third baseman.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Charleston

.252

.314

.348

.247

.079

28.3

503



_____________________________________________________

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