Evan Chambers Scouting Report (2010)
Pirates centerfield prospect Evan Chambers may be the hardest player to peg in the entire South Atlantic League. With a .236/.380/.387 line including twenty-four stolen bases, he is a player who continues to struggle finding the right balance of patience and aggression at the plate. With over 700 professional plate appearances yielding identical results, is the current version of Evan Chambers the most Pirates prospect followers can hope for?
Physical Projection: at 5’11″, 205 lbs., Chambers is built for explosion. With a strong core and broad shoulders, he’s close to physically maxed out leaving little room for future growth. As with many stout players, he will have to watch his weight as he ages (IE Tony Gwynn and Kirby Puckett) to ensure his tools continue to play as his prospect value would diminish significantly should he need to be moved off of centerfield to a corner.
Hitting: If patience is a virtue, then Evan Chambers must be eligible for Sainthood somewhere. To put it into perspective, of the 30-minutes of video I shot of Chambers over a dozen or so at-bats, I came away with about a minute of usable swing footage whereas a more aggressive hitter would yield the same number of swings in a third of the time. Currently, Chambers leads the South Atlantic League in walks and is unlikely to surrender the title anytime soon. However, there is a fine line between patient and overly passive which Chambers crosses at times leading to a team leading strikeout total.
In game three of the four-game set, Chambers’ bat came to life as he laced line drives to all fields including a towering home run. In discussing Chambers with a scout who was in attendance for the same series, we each came to the same conclusion that Chambers was simply too passive for his own good and the sudden offensive outburst was due to his being more aggressive. It was a glimpse of the player Chambers could be which is enough for me to remain hopeful he will eventually figure it out.
Throughout the series, Chambers swung through a number of average fastballs. He pulled off of the ball slightly causing just enough bat drag to limit his ability to throw the bat head. When he allowed the ball to travel deeper into the strike zone during game three, his hands showed the explosive hands of a high round draft pick. However, his power only projects as average due to size concerns and a swing plane geared more towards line drives/hard ground balls than lift.
Defense: Due to a quick first step and strong routes to the ball, Chambers has the gaps in centerfield covered. He also flashed a strong, accurate throwing arm which could leave him as an above average player at the position in his prime. Chambers’ defensive ability adds to his overall value and gives his prospect status a significant boost.
Speed: With twenty-four steals in thirty-one attempts, Chambers has speed to burn on the basepaths. With an excellent first step, I pulled a home-to-first time of 4.0-4.1 from video leaving him a 70-80 runner which was a pleasant surprise.
A scout I speak to put it best when he said, “Chambers is a guy you want in your organization to just see what he can become.” His present tools and ability to draw free passes are an intriguing combination, but strikeouts and a questionable hitting approach threaten to limit his upside. Chambers is by no means an elite prospect, but be sure to jot his name down as a potential breakout candidate in 2011.
19 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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