Friday, February 11, 2005

Jake Gautreau Report

Jake Gautreau, 2B/3B, Cleveland Indians
drafted 14th Overall, 2001 Draft, Tulane
Bats L/Throws R
25 YO, 6'0", 185 lbs

As was reported by the Compendium, Gautreau was acquired by the Indians for fellow failed first round pick, Corey Smith. The trade is pretty simple. Both had grown stale, and had lost favor in their organization. They both needed to move on.

Gautreau was drafted as a third baseman with hopes of becoming a second baseman in the Jeff Kent mold. Things haven't worked out that way. He's had a lot of health problems, all non-baseball related. He looks to finally be getting his hitting stroke back in order.

2004, Mobile (SL): .259/.351/.462, 13 2B, 10 HR, 31 BB, 52 K, 212 AB
2004, Portland (PCL): .274/.333/.500, 9 2B, 9 HR, 14 BB, 37 K, 168 AB
Career: .269/.346/.442, 85 2B, 49 HR, 159 BB, 353 K, 1367 AB

He started his pro career as a second baseman, but was always struggling defensively. He was a college third baseman, and played there exclusively in 2004. He still isn't particularly gifted defensively, and will likely struggle with the glove no matter where he lands. The best role for him may end up being a utility infielder/pinch hitter. He'll serve as insurance for Aaron Boone and Ron Belliard in 2005. It may be worth his while to pick up an outfielder's glove and add some versatility. I'm a firm believer in the value of a super-utility player who can spend time at a number of positions and allows the manager to give time off to a variety of players, liberally pinch hit exploiting late inning matchups, and basically fill in wherever it is necessary. Gautreau has the kind of bat that would excel in such a role.

ETA: Mid-2005
2 1/2 Stars

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