Sean Ratliff Scouting Report (2009)
Sean Ratliff‘s tremendous start to the season has turned some heads as the 4th round pick from the 2008 draft works to establish himself as one of the better outfield prospects in the organization. Currently sporting a .307/.351/.506 line, he’s on his way, but Ratliff’s game is not without flaws. While he tortures right handers, his inability to hit lefties leaves him as no more than a platoon partner at this point. Can anybody say Ryan Church?
Physique – At 6’3″, 215 lbs., Ratliff is a formidable presence on the field. He has a “V” shaped upper body with broad shoulders and a thin waist. His lower half is well defined, but his thin calves and quadriceps make me wonder if he can add much more leg strength without losing whatever speed and athleticism he has. His stance is upright and his actions are a bit mechanical at times. He lacks a fluid swing typical of many left handed hitters.
Offense – Ratliff simply mashes right handed pitching. Over a four game stretch I watched him scorch balls off of Andrew Brackman, Casey Kelly, Stolmy Pimentel, and Bryan Price who are all highly ranked pitching prospects. His pitch recognition is solid as he can turn on 90+ MPH inside fastball and sit back on breaking pitches taking them the other way. He does swing and miss a great deal, but at times shows the ability to make adjustments mid swing and rarely misses a mistake.
Versus lefties, however, Ratliff struggles mightily as he is easily fooled by off speed pitches and seems to have a tough time picking the ball up out of the pitchers hand. He struck out a handful of times looking and is susceptible to fastballs on the outer half. A little chatty, he isn’t above giving the home plate umpire an earful either. Due to his picking up the ball late, he will repeat the same swing plane to a variety of different pitches.
Going forward, he needs to be more aggressive with two strikes which might bring down his strikeout totals. Umpires in the Sally aren’t the most consistent around so it’s ultimately his job to protect the plate and make the necessary adjustments.
Defense – An average all around center fielder, he doesn’t do anything to stand out, but makes all the routine plays and can cover ground. Ratliff’s arm is solid average, and his overall defensive skill set is better suited for left field; A place he could excel.
Speed – While not a burner, he moves well for a player his size. He has the wheels to leg out a triple and score from second base on a single up the middle. Ratliff’s running style is a bit mechanical, but he is a smart base runner who makes the most out of whatever speed and athleticism he has.
Going forward, Ratliff desperately needs to improve his 43/12 K/BB ratio before moving up to Port St. Lucie. It wouldn’t be much of a problem at 19, but he’s a 22-year old college player whose all-around game should be a bit more refined. To me, his upside is a right-handed half of a left field platoon, or valuable fourth outfielder. Any ideas of him being more than a mid level prospect within the organization would be misguided at this point. Mets fans, temper your enthusiasm!
24 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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