Monday, June 04, 2007

Where are they now - Jeremy Slayden

A pretty detailed look at former beesball Jacket Jeremy Slayden.

Slayden does have some speed – being a combined ten for ten in stolen bases in Lakewood and Clearwater is either a display of luck or some skill – but he is clearly a masher. He’s a walks-and-home runs (and sub-par defense) kind of player in the mold of the pre-2004 Oakland A’s. (Recently the A’s have emphasized fielding and speed a little more in their personnel decisions.) This is the kind of player than Billy Beane builds teams around.

Not surprisingly, scouts have been slow to appreciate Slayden’s skills, if they do at all. Top Prospect Alert doesn’t rank Slayden in their pre-season Top Ten or even their mid-season Top Ten. Baseball America pretty much dismisses Slayden’s pro prospects all together. Gregory Golson, an inconsistent hitting speedster who plays in the outfield with Slayden, is rated at a Top Ten prospect by both publications. Golson is an athlete scouts see as having tools and potential. Slayden is all-wrong as a ballplayer, although the stats back him up. The Phillies, seemingly one of the more sabremetric-friendly franchises in baseball, don’t particularly seem to be interested in Slayden’s development either. While Costanzo seems poised to make a run on the Phillies roster in 2008, Slayden seems fated to spending 2008 in Reading and then 2009 in Allentown. If he even gets a chance at playing outfield for the Phillies, Jeremy Slayden will have to wait until 2010 at the earliest.

Tomorrow we’ll talk a little about the 2007 MLB Draft, but I want people to keep players like Jeremy Slayden in mind. Guys like Slayden are unheralded and ignored by scouts, but they perform time-and-again on the field and deserve attention as great ball players. My prediction is that Jeremy Slayden will have a better baseball career than Mike Costanzo. Let’s see if it happens …