Sunday, April 24, 2005

Matt Craig Report

Matt Craig, 3B, Chicago Cubs
Drafted 96th Overall (3rd Rd), 2002 Draft, Richmond
Bats B/Throws R
24 YO, 6'2", 200 lbs

Craig had a nice 2004 for West Tenn, posting a nice power spike and a slight bump in his walk rate. He struck out a bit more than he had in the past, but it probably is just a result of the increased power and patience, getting deep into counts. He's not a particularly good defensive third baseman, isn't likely to be a very good outfielder either, so with Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee signed to long term deals, he's blocked at his two possible positions.

2004 West Tennessee: .275/.363/.509, 20 2B, 20 HR, 49 BB, 101 K, 375 AB
pre-2005 mL Career: .268/.344/.442, 47 2B, 36 HR, 107 BB, 216 K, 957 AB

He's got some pop in his bat, but that doesn't look like the career record of an everyday corner infielder. That leaves a backup role as his only potential major league role. A switch hitter in that position would be pretty useful, especially when he has a touch of power and the ability to draw a walk. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he grows into a better version of Justin Leone. For now he returns to West Tenn to start 2005. With how terrible the Cubs bench is at this point, he could be real useful in Wrigley real quick.

ETA: Late 2005/Early 2006
2 1/2 Stars

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