Thursday, March 17, 2005

J.R. House Report

Today kicks off catcher weekend here at TYBITF. Today through sunday, I'll be reviewing a number of catcher prospects. Things will return to their normal grab-bag state on monday, with a continuing emphasis on players likely to start the year on a big league roster. When the season starts, I'll focus on a lot of prospects who are out because of injury. That's a pretty large, diverse group so there should be plenty of interesting players to talk about.

J.R. House, C/1B, Free Agent
Drafted 152nd Overall (5th Rd), 1999 Draft, HS, Daytona Beach, FL
Bats R/Throws R
25 YO, 5'10", 200 lbs

House is the most depressing prospect report I've researched since Ryan Anderson. House has fallen a long way from his heights as an elite prospect. Back in 2001, Baseball America ranked him as the 21st best prospect in the sport after he hit .348/.415/.586 in the South Atlantic League at the age of 20. He's had his career ruined by injuries. He's had 2 hernias, Tommy John surgery, and most recently he underwent extensive shoulder surgery where they repaired his labrum, rotator cuff, and shaved down a bone. His career as a catcher is all but over thanks to mediocre defense and these health issues. He's done for 2005. When he returns in 2006, he'll be looking for a new employer as the Pirates released him.

2004 Nashville: .288/.344/.508, 21 2B, 1 3B, 15 HR, 23 BB, 72 K, 309 AB
mL Career: .304/.370/.501, 113 2B, 6 3B, 34 HR, 159 BB, 351 K, 1614 AB

When he does resume his career, it will likely be as a platoon, or backup first baseman who spends plenty of time playing front of crowds in Oklahoma City, Charlotte, New Orleans, Syracuse, Columbus, and Memphis (think Bucky Jacobsen lite). It's one thing when an athlete like Quan Cosby who everybody knows is a risk just doesn't hit. It's another, more disconcerting thing when a player that clearly knows how to play and is very talented, has that talent taken away by health problems.

ETA: 2006?
1 1/2 Stars

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