Scouting Report: OF, Deangelo Mack

Mack wants to improve his speed

The New York Yankees selected outfielder Deangelo Mack in the 13th round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of the University of South Carolina. His power began to break out in his final year of school and it carried into his debut season with the Staten Island Yankees, where he put up some impressive numbers.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Deangelo Mack
Position: Outfield
DOB: November 19, 1986
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 185
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

"I thought it went pretty well," Mack said of his professional debut season. "I just learned a lot during the first season. I started off kind of slow and just made a lot of adjustments. I ended up having a pretty productive season."

Productive it was as he led the team with a .306 batting average and tied for the team lead with 41 RBI, and finished second on the club with 19 doubles. He also smacked seven home runs and he credits his success with the quick adjustments he made.

"I just had to shorten up my swing and strike zone a little bit," he said. "I guess was overly aggressive to start off the season. I didn't hit too bad but nothing really fell for me.

"I wasn't really dropping the ball to all fields and that was one of the adjustments that I had to make."

Focusing on using the whole field more was one adjustment, so was getting used to being pitched inside more and all of the other nuances of professional baseball, like long bus rides and playing everyday.

But while all of those differences between the professional level and college game were a bit of a surprise, his success in Staten Island was not.

"No I don't think it did at all," he said. "I don't want to sound overly confident but I just felt like I worked hard enough that the success just came through the hard work I put into it and the hard work the coaches put into me."

As good a year as it was, however, Mack understands the hard work has just started. A smallish corner outfielder with limited speed, he has already set the main immediate goal for his development.

"That's actually what I've been working on this whole offseason, improving my speed," he revealed. "I actually have a speed guy that I've been working with since October to get my speed up.

"When I was at [The University of South] Carolina we were more of a power school. I guess we didn't really work on speed as much and that's something I want to add to my game in the offseason."

What he isn't lacking, at least at the lower minor league levels, is power. Despite standing just 5-foot-10, he has some thunder in his swing.

"I just feel like I've always been a physically strong person," Mack opined. "A lot of people look at me and probably say ‘he's not that type of hitter' or whatever.

"I think that's one of the most common misconceptions with me, people don't expect me to hit with power. That's always been one of my biggest upsides."

Hitting 14 home runs in college is no easy achievement and neither is hitting seven in a pitching friendly ballpark in Staten Island, but Mack also realizes his limitations.

"I don't think I'm going to be a 25-30 home run guy or anything, but I feel like I'm going to run into some balls and have some power there," he said. "I'll have a lot of extra-base hits.

"I won't be a slap guy and steal 35 bags. I just feel like that's the type of player I am and that's going to stay there."

That acknowledgment is why improving his speed is so important for his development, so he not only can steal a few more bases but also perhaps slide over and play some centerfield.

"It's kind of a mixture of everything. Speed can help you in all sorts [of aspects] of the game. If I had the opportunity to play three [outfield positions], it would only help my chances."

Not likely to add anymore power in the coming years, he has but one mantra going forward.

"Speed, so I can be able to play all three positions."

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2009 Staten Island .306 232 19 7 41 27 2 21 44 .372 .513


Batting and Power. Despite the home run power he showed in 2009, Mack is actually more of a gap hitter. He has a good eye at the plate and adequate bat speed, but his swing can get a little long at times and he also can get a little pull happy. He does have the ability to shorten up and use the whole field, but it remains to be seen if he can consistently do that. If he can, the good news is he does have opposite field power.

Base Running and Speed. Mack is a below average big league runner who has yet to make an impact on the base paths in college or at the professional level. He doesn't have a good first step and that will limit his stolen base totals, but he is a better runner once he's in motion.

Defense. Mack's lack of speed limits his defensive range in the outfield, but he does have a pretty strong arm. It's not a plus big league tool though and he's probably better suited for left field as a result.

Projection. Mack's sub-par speed limits him to the corner outfield spots for now and his smaller size and subsequent lack of plus power potential will give him stiff competition at those spots. He can hit, has some power, and he's athletic, so if he could build up his speed and add centerfield to his defensive repertoire, he would fit in nicely as a fourth outfielder. Until that speed improves though, he projects best as a big league reserve corner outfielder.

ETA. N/A. Mack could find an outfield spot with either A-ball team in 2010, but the best bet has him starting in Charleston.

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