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#15 Prospect - Xavier Avery


Tony-OH

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That was my write up on Avery and I'll expand on it here and go into why I've voted for Monantez since 12.

I had Patton #13, so that wasn't a big deal. And I voted for him over Hoes and Bundy as a matter of philosophy in that both are so young and far away that I rate them lower than somebody that I think has a chance to be a solid player at the major league level right now, though not as a full time starter.

However, I think Hoes and Bundy are both justified to be rated higher in my mind because their upsides are higher and if they should reach the major league level, they will be playing at their peak level for a longer period than Montanez.

But I do have to disagree on Avery. The probability he becomes anything more than a fourth outfielder is a major long shot.

Avery has so much to work on and some of those things that need improvement are the hardest to actually improve upon (pitch recognition, plate discipline, etc).

I've seen the Carl Crawford comparison, but 1.) how many potential Carl Crawfords become Carl Crawford-type players? 2.) Is the Crawford comparison mostly a physical/athleticism comparison or do does Avery actually have Crawford's raw power, hand-eye coordination, and baseball skills?

I think the bottom line for me is that Avery is long shot to even become a major league player and a major long shot to actually become a regular contributor at the major league level.

Yes, he's a great athlete and there are a good amount of physical tools to work with, but I would rate him behind somebody that is already a safe bet to be a major league contributor.

Well if your opinion is that he'll be lucky to be a 4th outfielder than you are obviously right not to have Avery at this juncture. In fact, if that's your opinion of him then I wouldn't even put him on your list.

If you don't like a guy you don't like a guy. I made the mistake of listening too much and being fooled by some Appy stats when it came to Pope despite the fact that I had major misgivings after watching him play in Aberdeen and looking over his inability to make contact.

I have yet to see Avery outside of his scouting videos but I have talked with four separate scouts and personnel folks about him and all of them rave over his tools. They may not translate and you may be right, but at $15, I think he's in the right spot because if he does reach his ceiling, he'll be a much better player than Montanez.

I like Montanez as much as the next guy, In fact, when some scouts were still calling him minor league filler, I was already on his bandwagon because I couldn't find any glaring weaknesses in his game.

Saying that, I see his overall shortcomings that will probably limit him to fourth outfielder status which include his slightly below average defense, lack of patience at the plate, and decent, but not overwhelming power.

Out of Montanez and Avery I'd say with 100 percent assurance that Montanez has a batter chance of being a major leaguer because he's already been one, but prospect lists are about who you would rather have and in my mind, I'll take the guy with the higher ceiling over a fourth outfielder because I should be able to find decent fourth outfielder cheaper than a starting center fielder, which is Avery's ceiling.

Really though, it's personal preference at this stage. Some people prefer to have more sure things than upside even if that "sure thing" has a lower ceiling. For me at this stage on the list, I like the high ceiling guys.

For all we know though, Montanez could be Chito Martinez and Avery could be Crawford, and I'll look pretty smart. Or, Montanez will be Payton and Avery will be Darnell McDonald and you'll look smart. Time will tell and it's what makes this stuff interesting.

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Ultimately, Avery's development will be in the hands of coaches, his aptitude to learn and hos work ethic.

I for one hate the idea of having to rely on our MiL coaches to develop him.

Not sure any organization is worse than us in that aspect.

I think we sometimes overstate this issue. We only watch the Orioles, so we only know about their failures in developing HS hitters. But, other teams have similar failures. How many HS draftee hitters did the Red Sox develop and now are on their roster?

Lowrie - Stanford

Pedroia - Arizona State

Youkilis - U of Cincinatti

Varitek - Georgia Tech (drafted by Seattle but played entirely for Bos in MLs)

Ellsbury - Oregon State

So all of their prominent home grown batters are college guys, not HS. But, I'm sure that they've drafted HS guys that didn't develop. Also, note the lack of international players in that group, as well.

Developing high school talent is just difficult, for all teams. We just see ours and assume it's somehow worse.

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Respectfully, I disagree a bit. I agree Avery is a project, but he played an entire summer last year on the HS showcase circuit and more than held his own against the top HS talent around. He faced some great pitching, and while he was inconsistent at times he was able to square-up on the ball and demonstrated solid raw power (particularly in BP, though). I think his level of success, given his poor swing mechanics, is ample evidence that he has solid hand-eye coordination, and the power he generates is primarily through his bat speed (which is a good start, considering his swing plane and path to the ball can both be improved). My issue is how Baltimore tries to shape him. I think they'll likely look at his progress after two seasons and figure out whether it's worth trying to max out his power, or if they should focus on trying to mold him into a speedy slap-hitter that hits towards the bottom of a lineup.

I absolutely agree issues like pitch-ID and strike-zone command will be the most difficult to overcome. Also, solid write-up.

Fair enough. I can go along with this. My negativity of Avery relates mostly to past performance of players like him. I don't have any hard stats to back up what I'm saying, but I do know the attrition rate of players like Avery, meaning athletes needing to be molded into baseball players that are not first round talents is extremely high.

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Fair enough. I can go along with this. My negativity of Avery relates mostly to past performance of players like him. I don't have any hard stats to back up what I'm saying, but I do know the attrition rate of players like Avery, meaning athletes needing to be molded into baseball players that are not first round talents is extremely high.

Absolutely, and you have lots of great insights and really break him down well. As I've said before, I would have gone a different direction with picks 2-4 (particularly because I don't see a need for Hudson and Avery unless you're betting on one of them to fall flat). Shrug. Back to the original point, I don't see tons of upside with any of the remaining prospects, so even though Avery is 4 seasons or so away, I think this is a reasonable spot for him on the list. We'll know a lot more two years from now.

Good posts.

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Well if your opinion is that he'll be lucky to be a 4th outfielder than you are obviously right not to have Avery at this juncture. In fact, if that's your opinion of him then I wouldn't even put him on your list.

If you don't like a guy you don't like a guy. I made the mistake of listening too much and being fooled by some Appy stats when it came to Pope despite the fact that I had major misgivings after watching him play in Aberdeen and looking over his inability to make contact.

I have yet to see Avery outside of his scouting videos but I have talked with four separate scouts and personnel folks about him and all of them rave over his tools. They may not translate and you may be right, but at $15, I think he's in the right spot because if he does reach his ceiling, he'll be a much better player than Montanez.

I like Montanez as much as the next guy, In fact, when some scouts were still calling him minor league filler, I was already on his bandwagon because I couldn't find any glaring weaknesses in his game.

Here is where I'm coming from:

1. I say Avery will be lucky to become a solid 4th OF based on the history of past players like him. That doesn't mean his upside is a 4th OF-type.

2. I see his upside as that of an everyday CF, but I do view that as a major long shot, again based on past players like him.

3. I do believe Montanez can be a solid 4th OF right now. I think Avery's path to the majors will be a long one and I don't think he will reach his upside. This means I think it is much more likely that Avery either becomes a 4th OF or doesn't reach the majors at all. So I go with what I feel is the safer bet.

Saying that, I see his overall shortcomings that will probably limit him to fourth outfielder status which include his slightly below average defense, lack of patience at the plate, and decent, but not overwhelming power.

Out of Montanez and Avery I'd say with 100 percent assurance that Montanez has a batter chance of being a major leaguer because he's already been one, but prospect lists are about who you would rather have and in my mind, I'll take the guy with the higher ceiling over a fourth outfielder because I should be able to find decent fourth outfielder cheaper than a starting center fielder, which is Avery's ceiling.

Fair enough. My take is just a little different...I view the list as who I think will become a better major league player and consider each player's ultimate upside with the chances of that player reaching that upside. Avery's upside is no doubt higher. But since I don't see him reaching that upside, why rank the player who I think will ultimately become a 4th OF type maybe 5 years down the line should he even reach the majors over the guy who I think is a solid 4th OF right now?

Your case of always being able to find a 4th OF is a strong one and if I had to redo things, I would rank Hoes higher though I would still put Bundy on my guys to watch list since he's only thrown 1 inning of professional ball.

Really though, it's personal preference at this stage. Some people prefer to have more sure things than upside even if that "sure thing" has a lower ceiling. For me at this stage on the list, I like the high ceiling guys.

For all we know though, Montanez could be Chito Martinez and Avery could be Crawford, and I'll look pretty smart. Or, Montanez will be Payton and Avery will be Darnell McDonald and you'll look smart. Time will tell and it's what makes this stuff interesting.

Agreed, but again, this isn't so much of a critique on Avery personally. It's the history of players like him that makes me pessimistic of his chances at success. I do understand, given his athleticism and tools that sometimes things just click. Unfortunately, that is few and far between, IMO.

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I think somebody like that is more appropriate for an already good team that really doesn't need him right now and can afford to take a flier on a talented high school kid, even if he doesn't figure to make it for 4 years.

Well then again, maybe he's Crawford II, or better yet, Crawford may be a poor man's Avery.:D

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