Prospect Countdown #42 : Jared Foster

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #42 : Outfielder, Jared Foster (photo : Brian Philbrick)

Jared Foster, Outfielder

HT : 6'1
WT : 200
DOB : November 2, 1992 (23), in Lake Charles, Louisiana
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA)
Acquired : Drafted in 5th Round of 2015 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : Unranked


When you fall off the horse, you get back on. It's an old cliche, but what happens when you fall off, the horse kicks you in the face, and then spits at you while trotting away? There's always ups and downs in a baseball career, and for Jared Foster, the downs came on pretty heavy. Just over a year and a half before he was drafted, he was looking at a batting average of .115 in what should be his most promising season, a cast on his leg, and what seemed to be a bench role in college. Luckily for him, and the Los Angeles Angels, Foster turned that all around and is now one of the most promising athletes and prospects in the entire Angels farm system.


SCOUTING REPORT:

It must be said that Foster is likely the best overall athlete in the Angels farm system currently. He had to make a choice between becoming a quarterback at LSU, one of the top football schools in the country, or becoming a pro ballplayer.

This athleticism transcends into every aspect of his game, making him an incredible toolsy player. The highlight tools are evident in the field. He's a natural outfielder and can play three positions with ease. He has an explosive first step, allowing him to range well to both sides, and is equipped with a cannon in the field that is accurate.

Foster also spent time playing the infield while in college, but has yet to see time there as a professional. While at college, he was helped with his double play partner, Alex Bregman, who is an elite prospect with the Houston Astros, and is known for being a phenomenal defender. Foster played the position well, and rarely made mistakes, which could in turn mean versatility in the field.

Balls pop off Foster's bat with ease. He can really crank the ball when he makes contact, but it's become a transition for Foster. He made an adjustment prior to his senior season to have a contact approach instead of taking harsh hacks, which has turned into power to all fields and a higher rate of success in lining balls to the gaps.

Foster is aggressive at the plate, and rarely draws walks or high counts. He has some swing-and-miss in his game, which should cut down as he simplifies even more as a professional. It's likely he'll stay an aggressive hitter with a high load of power upside.

Foster is best when he keeps his game simple and lets the game come to him. As he grows as a professional baseball player, he'll learn to stay within himself more, and could become a very serious threat. The upside and ceiling on a player like Foster is sky high, especially one as athletic as Foster.

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Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

As a senior at Barbe High School, Foster hit .371 with nine home runs, 33 RBI and 15 stolen bases. He committed only four errors as a second baseman. While being a member of the Academic Honor Roll, Foster was a three-sport star at Barbe, being a two-letter winner in basketball and four-letter in football and baseball, earning All-State and All-District selections in both football and baseball, while being named the Louisiana High School All-Star Baseball Team in 2011.

Foster kicked things off at LSU, splitting time between a championship football team where he was the backup quarterback, and two years of time starting and off the bench on the baseball team. Over his first two years, Foster hit a combined .270 with seven doubles, three home runs, 25 RBI, 40 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. He highlighted that with a .346 average in 18 SEC games, and a two-run homer in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional and SEC All-Tournament Team selection.

The biggest struggles of Foster's career came as a junior at LSU, where he collected just seven hits in 43 games. Despite the .115 batting average, four of Foster's seven hits went for doubles and he collected eight RBI and runs scored over the year. His biggest hit came as a bases-loaded, three-RBI double in a win over South Alabama. He also collected one of the biggest catches of the year, diving to save the game in the bottom of the ninth against Texas A&M, keeping the game tied and helping give LSU the opportunity to play in extra innings for a 5-4 win. The play landed on Sports Center's Top 10 Plays of the Night.

Foster highlighted his collegiate career during his senior season, where he hit .278 with 12 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs, 35 RBI, 37 runs scored and 10 stolen bases. He was best during the SEC Tournament, where he went 6-for-12 and collected three doubles and a homer, helping him earn his second SEC All-Tournament Team selection. Four of Fosters 10 home runs came in three weekends against Tulane, Kentucky and Arkansas.

Foster kicked off his professional career with a strong output in the statistical category, finishing his first year with a .259/.307/.392 slash in Rookie Orem. Foster collected 18 extra-base hits, with 10 coming over a 12-game stretch. There was also a 20-game stretch where Foster reached in 18, hitting .325 with a .963 OPS. Seven of the 20 games went for multi-hit games, as well as a game where Foster hit for the cycle - the only in the Angels system last year.

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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Foster excelled in Rookie Ball, and will likely skip over Low-A for a straight shot to the California League where his bat will play out in the offensive friendly parks. If Foster does join High-A Inland Empire, you could expect to see the home run totals amass to large amount, possibly near 20.

Foster has a high load of upside, but the switch needs to flick on. The Angels have time to develop him into the player they desire him to be, which could become a starting role at any outfield position. Likely, Foster plays out as an athletic fourth outfielder with pop, but could become much more.



For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.

This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.



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