Thursday, November 29, 2012

Top 20 Prospects: #14 Jacob Anderson OF

#14 Jacob Anderson OF

Born: November 22, 1992 in Chino, California, US (Age 20)
Acquired via: 2011 Draft.1st round,35th overall from Chino HS
Bats: Right, Throws: Right 
Height: 6' 4", Weight: 190 lb.
Baseball America Rankings: Not Listed
Baseball Prospectus Rankings: TBA
FanGraphs Ranking: Not Listed Ranking: #17

2012 Stats and Analysis:
Bluefield (Rk)

Anderson had a season to forget in 2012 with the Bluefield Blue Jays of the Appalachian League. Not only did he put up an “Arencibia like” OBP,(not a good thing) but he also only hit 3 home runs in just under 60 games. That might not be so bad for most players, but Anderson is supposed to possess plus power. Obviously, his 2012 season was a big concern in that department. The low batting average is no surprise as he has always had trouble hitting for average because of how bad his eye is(ridiculous K rate of 33.5% in 2012). If he doesn’t start laying off breaking balls, his career as a prospect won’t last very long. As we’ve said before, take all stats from rookie league players with a grain of salt, as statistics in the lower levels of the minors rarely mean anything, and it’s usually just the player who needs adjusting mentally, not his stuff.

Scouting Report:
As mentioned above, Anderson’s best tool is his power, which was almost non-existent in the home run variety this past season. Making up for the lack of home runs, Anderson did show some good gap power, hitting 17 extra base hits in only 191,2012 at bats. He has a quick swing, but his eye needs a ton of work. That should hopefully come easy for Jacob, as he is known as a player who learns the various aspects of the game very quickly. Anderson has played right and left field since being drafted (played 1st in college as well), but it seems like down the road, he will end up in left field due to his offensive capabilities and average arm. He gets good reads on balls, so all in all his defense is about average.  Anderson also harness’ plus speed, but he has yet to put that on display on the base paths, stealing only 5 bases in his 66 career games. Overall, Jacob Anderson is a toolsy player who will climb the ranks of the minor leagues very quickly if he combines his nice swing with a decent eye that doesn’t strike out a third of his plate appearances.

2013? Projection? ETA?
Barring any changes, I believe Anderson will start the year at extended spring training, and, if he succeeds, move up to Lansing for the final month or two of the 2013 season. When he was drafted, Anderson projected to be like Grady Sizemore. I see no reason why this should have changed. He hasn’t even gotten 250 plate appearances in the MILB, and probably just need’s some getting used to. I see his floor as a 4th outfielder who will give you some decent defense and speed, and provide you with a good power bat off the bench. If all goes right for Anderson, he could be up in the majors by 2016. But, I wouldn’t bet on him being up in Toronto until early 2017 because he has had such a slow start in the rookie league.

Comments and criticisms welcome below!

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