Tommy Joseph Scouting Report (2010)
San Francisco Giants prospect Tommy Joseph entered the 2010 season with helium having been considered by some to have the best high school power bat in the entire 2009 draft class. After a season in which he posted a .236/.290/.401 line, Joseph’s prospect stock has taken a hit. With sixteen home runs, it’s difficult to question his power, but what about his all-around game? Having played more than half the season as an 18-year old in full season baseball, what can San Francisco Giants prospect followers expect in 2011 and beyond?
Physical Projection: When speaking to a scout about Tommy Joseph, he commented, “Joseph moves around like an old man.” With legs like tree trunks, it’s easy to see why. Listed at 6’1″, 215 lbs., Joseph’s upper body looked noticeably smaller than his lower half. And while he seemed to have a little more room to fill out through his shoulders, his already strong core leaves me wondering how much, if any additional projection is left in Joseph.
At times, his swing looked mechanical and a lack of athleticism is apparent throughout his overall game. Pilates or yoga might be an option for Joseph to increase his agility. However, Joseph’s raw power is real. If baseball doesn’t work out, I can definitely see him as one fantastic lumberjack.
Offense: While he has above average bat speed, Joseph appears to take the same swing at every pitch illuminating major holes which can be seen in the prospect video I took of him. Additionally, his 116/26 K/BB ratio matches the twenty to thirty at bats I witnessed as his approach was hyper-aggressive with a ton of swing-and-miss. An uptick in second half numbers (.260/.298/.466) is supported in my mind by the fact his hitting mechanics were much more fluid late in the season which left him looking comfortable at the plate, instead of lost which was apparent early on. Early in the season, he was amongst the most disappointing prospects I had seen in person. In August, I could see a little of what made him a second round pick.
In general, I see no red flags with his swing mechanics and appreciate his being so quiet at the plate. And while slight, it’s worth mentioning that Joseph has a small weight shift and appears to drift onto his front foot a bit at times.
Defense: Drafted as a catcher, I’m under the impression he is unlikely to stick there over the long haul. With his present agility rating below average, it is likely to only become worse in time. And while his arm was plenty strong for the position (Keith Law graded it a 60 in a recent tweet), Joseph’s mechanics on throws to second base included poor footwork and a tendency to stand straight up instead of fire out towards the base. This not only hurts his pop times, but causes undue stress on the shoulder which could lead to injury. Additionally, his transfer was sloppy which hampered his release. With Joseph appearing a number of times at first base and designated hitter, the San Francisco Giants organization may already see the writing on the wall.
Speed: Joseph’s speed is non-existent. If he breaks through to the big leagues, it will likely be as one of the slowest players around.
Quite simply, Joseph’s prospect value will be dictated by his bat alone as he projects to contribute little in other areas. Having recently turned 19, Joseph’s strong second half is a positive sign considering most prospects his age are freshmen in college or getting their feet wet in short season baseball. Joseph has time, but he’s a three outcomes type of player whose pitch recognition will have to improve considerably to continue progressing through the system. At present, he projects as more of a AAAA superstar than major league contributor.
23 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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