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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Ryan Shealy

Last weekend I had a chance to go see the Sky Sox and take a first hand look at Rockies' prospect Ryan Shealy. Shealy was drafted in the 11th round of the 2002 draft out of the University of Florida. He's a 6'5" 240 pound guy and looks every bit of it on the playing field.

He's a right handed hitter and thrower and this season is now 24 years old and in his fourth minor league season. Last year in AA at Tulsa he was named player of the year in the Texas League and hit 29 homeruns and 32 doubles in 530 plate appearances with a 995 OPS. Interestingly, he has a track record of getting hit with pitches and was hit 48 times from 2002-2004 (I can't find his HBP this season) - indicating that perhaps the book on him is try and jam him.

On the down side his walk rate has declined precipitously this season:

2002 5.62
2003 9.12
2004 8.69
2005 18.46

And although he's still hitting .318/.364/.536 in 203 plate appearances, the massive park effects in Colorado Springs have much to do with this. His strikeout rate has also inched up this season:

2002 5.40
2003 5.32
2004 4.31
2005 5.49

But his biggest weakness is that he projects to be far on the left-side of the defensive spectrum. In the game I witnessed he misplayed two balls at first base, not charging one ball aggressively enough and then dropping another.

Hopefully he can improve his plate discipline, cut his strikeout rate a bit, and become, if not good, an adequate first baseman.

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