BLUF: Potential middle-of-the-order hitter with average and power.
The Player: Miles Head (3B, Oakland Athletics) – Head joined the A’s after arriving as a piece in the trade that shipped Andrew Bailey to Boston. After improving with a .338/.409/.612 line at Low-A and following it up with a .254/.328/.405 line in his first taste of High-A competition. After the trade to Oakland, Head returned to High-A and smoked 23 doubles and 18 home runs in the high-octane California League before his promotion to Double-A. As a 21-year old in Double-A in 2012, he posted a .272/.338/.404 line in 57 games.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Personal Observation (NYPL 2010, Carolina League 2011), Industry Contacts
Body (6-0, 215): Thick, hulking frame. Has to consistently work on his conditioning and monitor his body. Good strength and while big, can be a quality MLB body with work. Below-average athleticism.
Hit: Excellent natural hitter. Tremendous bat speed, near-elite actually. Gets after it with his swing and doesn’t get cheated. Will chase out of the zone but has bat-to-ball ability to make it work most of the time. Quiet load/trigger and then an explosion of his hands and the bat to the zone. Has potential for plus hit with modest adjustments against more advanced pitchers. Could hit .280+ with good on-base ability and some swing and miss. Grade – 40/60
Power: Natural strength, bat speed and aggressive swing leads to easy in-game power and projection for power utility at the highest levels. Can drive the ball out to all fields and really shows exceptional power to the pull side. Crazy bat speed with lift in the swing to get the ball up and out. Has potential for 20-25 home runs a year with approximately the same amount of doubles. Easy plus now and going forward. Grade (raw power) – 60/60
Arm: Third tool with plus grade. Arm is very strong and fits at third base. Consistent throwing mechanics, even when on the move, leading to good accuracy. Ball has plenty of carry and velocity across the diamond. True third base arm. Grade – 60/60
Fielding: Moved back to third base in 2012 and was solid but there are still skeptics. Shows decent hands and a solid ability to read the ball hit right at him. Struggles moving laterally and gets a little clumsy when he needs to move. Charges the ball okay. Still learning to stay back on some balls and take the big hop, relying on his arm, but that should come with experience. Big questions surrounding ability to improve quickness and side-to-side reads. Projects below-average at the position but bat could allow a team to accept it and move on. Grade – 30/40
Speed: Below-average in every respect. Not a part of his game and how his body develops will determine if he remains simply below average or degrades into the “plodder” range. Current work to improve conditioning and quickness bodes well for holding his own. Grade – 40/40
Summation: Bat-first player but not one without some modicum of defensive hope. Natural hitter with tremendous bat speed. Aggressive, almost violent swinger that takes a huge hack and shows feel for contact. Uses the whole field most of the time but has bouts of being power hungry and pull happy. Can recognize pitches and work counts but will expand the zone and should have some swing and miss at all times. Potential .280 hitter with .340-.350 OBP potential. Will strike out but not excessively. Power should settle in the 20-25 range for both home runs and doubles, making him a legit middle-of-the-order threat. Defense lacks significant projection at third base but he might do enough to stick. Not a complete disaster at hot corner and has arm to play the position. Below-average defender that makes up for it with his bat. Hard worker that will do what’s necessary to improve. Potential solid-average player when all facets are considered.
Relative Risk: High. Poor defensive profile will give him a limited window to establish at MLB level; will have to hit everywhere he goes.
Future: Has impact potential with the bat and could explode on the national scene with a strong return to Double-A in 2013. On a track for late 2014 big league arrival and could have an impact in 2015. Has solid-average projection if he can stick at third base but loses value and looks more like a second-division type if he moves to first base.