Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Michael Aubrey Report

Michael Aubrey, 1B, Cleveland Indians
Drafted 11th Overall, 2003 Draft, Tulane
Bats L/Throws L
22 YO, 6'1", 195 lbs

Michael Aubrey is one of my favorite prospects. He's a polished, well rounded young player with great offensive indicators. He's the kind of player that makes both scouts and performance analysts foam at the mouth.

He started the season in the Sally League and dominated. He hit .339/.438/.551 with 13 doubles, 10 home runs, and more walks (27) than strikeouts (26) in 218 at bats. He had more difficulty in the Eastern League, but held his own, hitting .261/.340/.425 with 7 doubles, 5 home runs, 15 walks, and 18 K's in 134 at bats.

Obviously he's very good at controlling the strike zone and making contact. His power has been an open question as some see him as more of a Sean Casey than Todd Helton. That may be true. However, he's still a dynamite prospect based solely on his ability to get on base and smack doubles. There are several of this species of first baseman floating around prospect circles these days with Aubrey, Casey Kotchman, and Adrian Gonzalez being notable examples. Sometimes their doubles end up developing into home runs and they become Mike Sweeney, or maybe even Raffy Palmiero-lite. Sometimes they don't develop that way, but they win a few batting titles, becoming John Olerud. Some fail to develop that much and end up being the aforementioned Sean Casey. If I had to guess which is which from among the current trio, I'd peg Aubrey as the Sweeney, Kotchman as the Olerud clone, and Gonzalez as the Casey of the future.

Defensively, Aubrey is gifted first baseman, with great hands and good footwork. He's athletic enough to switch to an outfield corner should he be unfortunate enough to run into a Travis Hafner shaped roadblock. He has an arm that would be above average for a right fielder, witnessed by the low 90's fastball he flashed as a pitcher early in his college career.

ETA: Early 2006
4 Stars



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