2005 Savannah Position Prospect Review

CapitolDugout.com looks at the peripherals stats of the Savannah Sand Gnats' hitters to project development and even give an early forecast where they might be playing in 2006. We'll examine the guys who played a majority of the season with the Savannah Sand Gnats, those who had a minimum of 180 at-bats with the team and did not collect more than 150 at-bats at a higher level.

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Edgardo Baez - OF

Drafted in the 4th round of the 2003 MLB Draft out of high school in Puerto Rico, Baez is a toolsy outfield prospect with enough speed to play centerfield in a pinch and a strong enough arm to play right field. Despite boasting very good walk ratios in his young career, including an above average .110 walk ratio in 2005, Baez has had a hard time making consistent contact. It is not uncommon for him to have three or four game hitless streaks. In fact, he had a season-high seven game hitless streak at the end of July this past season. Still, his solid walk ratio and good extra-base hit percentage are both encouraging signs for a 20-year old in long-season league baseball. Baez should break Spring Training in 2006 as a starting outfielder with the Potomac Nationals.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Savannah

.246

.329

.394

.217

.110

34.5

447



Rogearvin Bernadina - OF

An International free agent signing by the Montreal Expos out of the Netherlands in 2001, Bernadina is a left-handed hitting version of Baez, but with more speed. Like Baez, Bernadina has an exceptional walk ratio, a good extra-base hit percentage (especially for a centerfielder), but hasn't shown enough consistent contact hitting. In fact, Bernadina, like Baez, hasn't hit well enough in the clutch situations either to make that next leap in prospect status. However, the Nationals are going to find it very difficult not testing him in the Carolina League in 2006. Expect Bernadina to break Spring Training with the Potomac Nationals. His eye at the plate is too good to not have a breakout season sometime soon.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Savannah

.233

.356

.369

.192

.152

30.9

417



Seth Bynum - SS

Originally drafted by the Expos in the 38th round of the 2003 MLB Draft out of Indiana University, Bynum decided to go back to school and later signed as an undrafted free agent in 2004. He hit just .236 in two brief stops at A-ball in 2004 before opening the season with Savannah. Bynum's 2005 season was like night and day between his great success in the South Atlantic League and mighty struggles in the Carolina League. He does have very good pop for a middle infielder, evidenced by his extra-base hit percentages this past season. However, he was quite old for the levels he played in this past year. Bynum, depending on what happens with Ian Desmond, could break Spring Training with the Potomac Nationals in 2006. But as of now, he's more of a reserve utility player.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Potomac

.179

.237

.286

.174

.056

40.0

84

A

Savannah

.301

.394

.484

.283

.135

37.5

186



Ofilio Castro - 3B

Signed as an International free agent by the Montreal Expos out of Nicaragua back in 2000, Castro has earned the reputation as a slick-fielding infielder with a good eye at the plate. He has decent gap power, but not enough power for a power hitting position like third base. He has the ability to play shortstop too, displaying good range and a solid arm. Castro's peripherals show that he is a below average offensive third baseman but could be a decent offensive shortstop. However, with no real better options at third base, Castro will most likely break Spring Training as the Potomac starting third baseman in 2006.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Savannah

.261

.337

.362

.252

.104

28.6

403



Brad Ditter - UT

Drafted in the 13th round of the 2003 MLB Draft by the Montreal Expos out of New Mexico State University, Ditter has been a decent reserve utility player in the Nationals' organization. He doesn't have much power at all, but chips in with some timely hits and a good walk ratio. At 25 years old though, Ditter was a little old for the South Atlantic League this past season. Despite playing three games with AA-Harrisburg at the end of the year, Ditter will most likely battle with Bynum in Spring Training for the utility spot with Potomac in 2006.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Savannah

.260

.332

.328

.214

.090

20.7

335



Reginald Fitzpatrick - OF

Drafted in the 5th round of the 2001 MLB Draft out of McNair High School in Atlanta, the left-handed Fitzpatrick has drawn comparisons to Juan Pierre for his speed and slap-hitting style at the plate. His lack of patience at the plate has been the big thorn in his side in his development over the years. Fitzpatrick's rather low walk ratio could be a problem as he climbs to the higher levels. Still, he's going to be given every opportunity because of his speed and defense. He should break Spring Training next season as a reserve outfielder with the Potomac Nationals.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Savannah

.251

.308

.352

.273

.055

24.7

307



Devin Ivany - C

Drafted in the 6th round of the 2004 MLB Draft out of the University of South Florida, Ivany was arguably the biggest surprise in the Nationals' farm system this past season. Ivany hit just .156 in his two minor league stops in his professional debut a year ago before hitting .262 while splitting time with Montz behind the plate for Savannah in 2005. His walk ratio is about par for the course for a catching prospect, but his 38.3% extra-base hit percentage is a very encouraging sign. His 13 home runs this past season were four more than his combined home run totals in his final two years while playing in college. Ivany will be out to prove that his 2005 performance was not a fluke when he'll secure one of the two catching spots with Potomac in 2006.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Savannah

.262

.315

.428

.207

.058

38.3

409



Marvin Lowrance - OF

Lowrance was drafted in the 7th round of the 2004 MLB Draft out of the University of California-Irvine and despite a solid showing with the Vermont Expos in his professional debut, found it hard to crack the Savannah outfield rotation with regularity in 2005. As his peripheral numbers show, he's solid in all categories and wound up being one of the better clutch hitters in a struggling Sand Gnats lineup. Like Fitzpatrick, Lowrance will be battling for the remaining starting outfield spot in Potomac next season.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Savannah

.288

.353

.425

.288

.070

32.8

212



Luke Montz - C

Montz has been an absolute power-hitting machine since being selected in the 17th round of the 2003 MLB Draft out of Hill College. He earned a spot in Savannah's catching tandem this past season after clubbing 10 home runs with Vermont in 2004. Montz responded with an incredible 57.1% extra-base hit percentage in 2005 - a number that was among the minor league's best! Despite an exceptional walk ratio and a patient approach at the plate, he now boasts a career .233 batting average, mostly because he pulls everything. If Montz can learn to go the other way more, his peripherals suggest he could develop into an elite offensive catching prospect. Montz appears ticketed for Potomac in 2006.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Savannah

.224

.324

.466

.214

.127

57.1

343



Steve Mortimer - 1B

Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Washington State University, Mortimer has developed into a better prospect than most would have projected. His transition to the wooden bat has been unbelievable. He hit just five home runs in his last two years of college before thumping seven long balls with Vermont in 2004. Mortimer, as far as peripherals go, is a left-handed hitting version of Luke Montz. His walk ratio and extra-base hit percentage were above average and both are good signs for his future development. And like Montz, Mortimer is going to have to find more holes in the opposing defenses and beef up his average. Mortimer is the clear-cut favorite to be Potomac's starting first baseman in 2006.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Savannah

.244

.348

.405

.293

.123

38.8

328



Douglas Vroman - OF

Drafted in the 35th round of the 2003 MLB Draft, Vroman battled with Fitzpatrick and Lowrance for playing time in the Savannah outfield this past season. Like Lowrance, Vroman's peripherals are very, very solid. He has shown some pop, an exceptional walk ratio, and actually had the highest batting average with runners in scoring position on the team this past season. Vroman, as a late-round pick, is going to have to hit his way to the Major Leagues. He appears to be a slight favorite to secure the left field job with Potomac in 2006 heading into Spring Training, but projects to be more of a reserve outfielder as he progresses.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Savannah

.254

.369

.426

.298

.157

37.7

209



Trey Webb - 2B

The Baylor University product was drafted by the Expos in the 5th round of the 2003 MLB Draft and had a breakout year with Savannah in 2005. Webb, who possesses a nice combination of power and speed, had an acceptable walk ratio with the Sand Gnats this past season and posted an above average extra-base hit percentage for a second baseman. He also provided the type of clutch hitting expected from a player of his experience. Webb, who will open the 2006 season at 24-years old, appears to be a lock as Potomac's starting second baseman next year.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Savannah

.272

.338

.412

.287

.087

32.0

379



_____________________________________________________

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