Prospect Countdown #34 : Jett Bandy

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #34 : Catcher, Jett Bandy (photo : Jerry Espinoza)

Jett Bandy, Catcher

HT : 6'4
WT : 235
DOB : March 26, 1990 (25), West Hills, California
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
Acquired : Drafted in 31st Round of 2011 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : #28


The Los Angeles Angels have found success near the tail end of their drafts, but maybe the most important in recent years came in the form of Jett Bandy. The young catcher has developed into one of the team's premier prospects at the toughest position. With his makeup, energetic personality, and abilities on the field, he's knocking on the door of becoming the catcher of the future for the Angels, and is one small step away from being a household name among Angels fans.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Bandy has been catching since high school, and has excelled since then as well. He is linebacker sized, with running back movement, which allows him to utilize his big body and cut laterally to both sides while going down to block balls in the dirt. He has quick reflexes and good footwork behind the plate, which allows him to stay mechanically sound and diverse when moving to keep strong reflexes.

There's not many that have an up and down from crouch to full stance as quick as Bandy. His reflexes and feel for catching allow an easy transition from glove to baseball. Bandy uses his strong arm and a quick snap to keep the running game honest, but it is only enhanced by his throwing mechanics. You'll be hard tested to find a better mechanical catcher in the minors. With his body strength and quick snap, he can also throw from his knees, keeping runners in place around all the base paths.

At the plate, Bandy has a short and compact swing from the right side. He keeps his bat through the zone during his swing, which allows for high marks in contact and line drive qualities. He uses his entire frame to gain strength, and power has come as he's full developed into his adult body. Though his offense lacks behind his defense, he is not a liability at the plate. There's still some rawness but it's deteriorated with time and become a very polished and established swing.

Bandy has a strong knowledge of the strike zone from catching, but uses an aggressive approach to his advantage. Though his discipline has improved over the years, his strikeout rates have increased slightly over the past two years, Bandy's free swinging allows for early contact and keeps the fielders on their toes at all times.

Something that goes unnoticed in the box score is Bandy's energetic reputation, and ability to keep his team loose in the dugout, clubhouse, and in the field. He builds strong relationships with his pitchers, gaining their trust, which gives them a better feel on the mound. How he handles his staff, mixed with his defensive talents, can help carry him to the top and make him an every day catcher at the highest levels.

VIDEO : Major League Baseball

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


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Bandy began his professional career by gaining his frequent flyer miles, all while putting up fantastic numbers. Though he was a fill in at the upper levels, Bandy spent time between both Rookie Ball affiliates, Double-A and Triple-A, with his primary stop being in Tempe, where he reached base in 40 of his 46 games, while batting .307/.394/.477. Over his first 20 pro games, he held a .999 OPS.

In his second pro season, Bandy hit .247/.318/.386, while throwing out 29% of runners. His best stretch came in 20 games, beginning in June, where he hit .311/.407/.486 with eight extra-base hits, 12 RBI and 17 runs scored. Over the stretch, Bandy reached base in 17 of the 20 games.

In another streaky season, Bandy hit Double-A, with a reasonable slash for the pitcher friendly season. He finished the year batting .241/.303/.376 with 17 doubles. Once again, Bandy found a 20 game stretch, this time, seeing a .364/.429/.582 slash, picking up seven of his 17 doubles.

Bandy improved his numbers with a second chance in Double-A the following season, batting .250/.348/.413. The most drastic change came in his power numbers where he belted 13 home runs, just three less from the prior three seasons combined. Bandy finished the year strong, hitting .283/.389/.457, with nine home runs over his final 56 games.

This past season, Bandy jolted offensively in a hitter friendly league, finishing with a .291/.347/.466 slash with 11 home runs and 21 doubles. A poor June brought his numbers down by a large margin, after he combined for a .324/.383/.502 slash in his first two and final two months. Bandy was rewarded with a pair of games at the Major League level to end his season, where he played in two games, picking up his first career hit - a home run.

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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Prior to the signing of Geovany Soto, Bandy was the planned backup catcher for the Angels this upcoming season. After the signing, Bandy fell back to third in the depth charts. Pending injury, or a strong Spring Training, he could and should be back with the Major League club next season.

The future seems to be fair for Bandy, as a backup catcher with some starting potential depending on how the bat plays out at the Major League level. If all things play out, and Bandy is a starter over time, he should be one of the best draft picks in Angels history, being the seventh lowest draft pick to reach the Majors with the Angels - with only two having a 1.5 WAR or higher according to Baseball Reference.



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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