Friday, April 08, 2005

Willy Aybar Report

Willy Aybar, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers
Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent, 2000, Dominican Republic
Bats B/Throws R
22 YO, 6'0", 185 lbs

Aybar is the brother of Angels infielder Erick Aybar. He's a very different player though. Erick is a defensive force at short, while Aybar is average at second base. Erick is a free swinger who rarely walks, while Willy has a fairly nice walk rate for his age and level. Willy doesn't have his brother's speed, and scouts don't like him nearly as much. Statheads on the other hand like him a lot, and it is easy to see why.

2004 Jacksonville: .276/.346/.425, 27 2B, 15 HR, 50 BB, 77 K, 482 AB
mL Career: .254/.335/.386, 114 2B, 45 HR, 240 BB, 312 K, 2003 AB

The Southern League is a tough place to hit a baseball, and a 21 year old second baseman who hits that well there has something going for him. Just as hitters who smash their way through the California League tend to become somewhat overrated, batters who do a better than average job in the Carolina League, Florida State League, or Southern League tend to fly under the scouting radar.

Like Delwyn Young, there's been a lot of noise about moving him to third base or an outfield corner. He's probably more capable of staying at second than Young. As with Young, if he sticks at second base, his upside is something on the order or the guy that he's looking to succeed, Jeff Kent. A more modest comparison would be maybe something on the order of a better version of Keith Ginter or in other words, Chase Utley. Maybe Ron Belliard with a less dysfunctional career path?

ETA: Mid/Late 2006
4 Stars

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