Height/Weight: 6’4″, 190 lbs
Acquired: NDFA (1/19/05)
Born: 8/12/88 (Adelaide, Aus)
Why Ranked Here: The Australian Welch has shown gap power from a line drive stroke and an tall thin frame as a teenager. Listed at 6’4” and 192 lbs, he has more than enough room to fill out. Welch has also made lots of contact, striking out in only 14% of his plate appearances. The eight triples hint at Welch’s athletic ability.
2008: He spent two thirds of his time at thirdbase, and one third at first.
Dr. Pangloss Says: Welch’s youth, contact ability and burgeoning power portend well that he could hit enough to hold down a big league job at any of the four corners.
On the Flipside: If Welch shifts to firstbase fulltime, the offensive requirements for a starter at the position grow significantly and there are reasonable questions about whether Welch will develop the power for the position. In 2008, Welch walked roughly once for every four strikeouts so he will need to work deeper counts as he matures.
Projected 2009 Start: Savannah