Top 41: #22 CF Champ Stuart and #23 OF Ivan Wilson

This is a fun pair of toolsy outfielders from the 2013 draft. They’re both raw, athletic types. Either might never hit in advanced-A, or either could figure it out and become an above average MLB contributor. Combined with Brandon Nimmo, these three give the Mets the most upside in centerfield that I can recall in the last 10 years.

#22 CF Champ Stuart

Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Height/Weight:  6’0”/175 lbs
Acquired: 6th rd ’13 (Brevard College)
Born: 10/11/93 (Freeport, Bahamas)
2013 Rank: NA Stats
Why Ranked Here: He has the tools to really play centerfield. If he can hit at all, he’s a big leaguer. If he hits more, he’s a good big leaguer.

It’s pretty rare these days that when I see a Mets prospect for the first time, I think his tools are better than what I’ve read/been told. Such was the case with Stuart.

He has centerfield tools. He can really, really run. His routes in center can be curious, bordering on circuitious at times, but with time and repetition, he will learn to take a more direct path. His arm is easily plus. However, he is still learning how to use it. For example, he was willing to let the thing fly rather than keep his throws down (to allow for a potential cutoff) or hit his cutoff man. This too will come in time.

Stuart is no twig; there’s strength in his arms and chest.

Will he hit enough? At the plate, his hand path seems fine. However, he gets jumpy. Both in the batting practice and game clips from last summer, he made contact with a pitch way out in front of the plate. In BP, for example in the video below, he’s working a very common drill among Mets prospects, placing a ball or two middle away on the front edge of home plate to give himself a target and remind himself that he wants to make contact in that rough area. The game swing shows him lunging after a fastball. At yet in BP, when it all comes together, as it does in the last swing in the video below, he generates plenty of power with his fast hands to put the ball over the wall.
2013:  Food for thought or small sample-size silliness? In 71 PA against younger pitchers in 2013, Stuart hit .328/.451/.466. In 117 PA against older pitchers, he hit .185/.350/.283.

Oh, and he was 11-for-13 stealing bases overall.
Dr. Pangloss Says: Above average Major League Centerfielder
Debbie Downer Says: .220 hitter in advanced-A
Projected 2014 Start: Savannah
MLB Arrival: 2017/2018

 

 

[sny-table rowheader=true columnheader=true]

;G;AB;H;2B;3B;HR;BB;SO;AVG;OBP;SLG;

2013 APP;43;150;36;8;3;1;34;58;.240;.388;.353;

[/sny-table]

 

[sny-table rowheader=true columnheader=true]

;XBH%;SO%;BB%;HR%;BABIP;ISO;

2013 APP;6.4;30.9;18.1;0.5;.380;.113;

[/sny-table]

<hr>

#23 OF Ivan Wilson
Bats/Throws:
 Right/Right
Height/Weight:  6’3”/220 lbs
Acquired: 3rd rd ’13 (Ruston HS)
Born: 5/26/95 (Simsboro, LA)
2013 Rank:  Stats
Why Ranked Here: He’s big, he’s strong, he runs well, plays centerfield for now, has power potential and he struck out 35% of his Gulf Coast League plate appearances in his professional debut in 2013.

At the time the Mets drafted him, MLB.com said, his “combination of tools and athleticism is among the best of this year’s prep outfielders. … with good strength and plus speed. Wilson, …has good power and can hit home runs to any part of the ballpark.

ESPN’s Keith Law called Wilson, “very crude but has big upside, the kind of high-reward pick the Mets should be making more frequently.”

It looks like from the few swings I saw on this video that he has a deep load, and then a small drop in his hands before he attacks the ball. He clearly likes to hit with his arms extended in an almost arm bar. He will need to drive his hands through the ball more in professional baseball rather than relying on nearly straight arms to create leverage otherwise pitchers will bust him in with fastballs.

If everything clicks here, there’s a very good MLB player.
2013:  Wilson made progress over his first professional season in the GCL which began on June 21. He struggled through a .195/.275/.244 July in which he struck out 39 times (!) in 92 plate appearances over 22 games – that’s 43% of the time. In August, he cut that down to 22 strikeouts in 74 plate appearances, a 30% whiff rate as part of a .226/.351/.371 line. He had three extra-base hits in July and a .049 isolated slugging percentage; he had five in August including his first professional homerun and a .141 iso. He drew eight walks in July and upped that to 12 in August in 17 fewer plate appearances.

Wilson played all of his 46 games in 2013 in centerfield. There’s some chance as he ages, he fills out more and loses a step and will be forced to a corner, but that’s some ways away.

In 2013, he was 13-for-15 stealing bases.
Dr. Pangloss Says: A high-strikeout centerfielder with power? That’s an all-star.
Debbie Downer Says:  Or he fills out and cannot stay in center. Or his power does not come. Or he strikes out all the time.
Projected 2014 Start:  Kingsport, barring a monster Extended Spring Training in which he earns his way to Brooklyn
MLB Arrival: 2018 (or never)

Note: Wilson is one of only two players in my Top 25 who I have never seen play baseball live.

[sny-table rowheader=true columnheader=true]

;G;AB;H;2B;3B;HR;BB;SO;AVG;OBP;SLG;

2013 GCL;47;160;35;4;3;1;22;65;.219;.321;.300;

[/sny-table]

 

 

 

[sny-table rowheader=true columnheader=true]

;XBH%;SO%;BB%;HR%;BABIP;ISO;

2013 GCL;4.3;35.3;12.0;0.5;.362;.081;

[/sny-table]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s