Sunday, May 01, 2005

Mitch Maier Report

It ended up that it wasn't only internet problems that shelved me this weekend. I also developed a monster head cold that still has me feeling horrible. I'm not sure why I decided to go work this morning, but I'm starting to regret the decision.

Mitch Maier, 3B/OF, Kansas City Royals
Drafted 30th Overall, 2003 Draft, Toledo
Bats L/Throws R
22 YO, 6'2", 200 lbs

I liked Maier a lot going into the 2003 draft. I liked the idea that my favorite team would draft a catcher with a good lefty bat. When they announced that they were preemptively moving him to third base, I criticized the decision. They did it because Maier's defense was questioned by scouts and he had a lot more athleticism than anybody expects from a catcher. They were pegging him as a bit of a Jason Werth comp. My philosophy would have probably been to play him there until he proves he can't do it.

Well, after the move to third, his defense stunk. He never could get the footwork down and he committed tons of errors and didn't demonstrate much range. This season, they're using him in right field.

2004 Wilmington: .264/.326/.391, 9 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 15 BB, 29 K, 9 SB, 2 CS, 170 AB
2004 Burlington: .300/.354/.432, 24 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 27 BB, 51 K, 34 SB, 10 CS, 317 AB
pre-2005 mL Career: .305/.361/.444, 47 2B, 11 3B, 9 HR, 60 BB, 105 K, 51 SB, 15 CS, 690 AB

He's in the California League, where he started off sizzling hot. He's cooled down a bit, to the point where his .318/.375/.506 line looks like a natural progression from his line with Burlington. He went from one of the worst places in the US to hit a baseball to one of the best.

You don't usually think of a former catcher being a base stealing threat, but Maier clearly has some wheels. I'm not 100% sure where he goes from here. He has some skills and some talent. He also has a nice track record in college. He could blow up and become the future right fielder for the Royals or he could continue to be a middle of the road bat with some speed, naturally ending up as a 4th outfielder in the bigs. It just depends on how well he adjusts.

ETA: early/mid 2007
3 stars



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