Andrew Daniel, Infielder
HT : 6'1
WT : 195
DOB : January 27, 1993 (23), San Diego, California
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of San Diego (San Diego, CA)
Acquired : Drafted in 11th Round of 2014 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : #32
Play high school baseball in Southern California, check. Play college baseball in Southern California, check. Play minor league baseball in Southern California, check. All the dream check marks are being checked off for Andrew Daniel, with one large one missing - play Major League Baseball in Southern California. Daniel was originally a project draft pick for the Los Angeles Angels, but is now beginning to show he has the tools and talent to potentially help the big club in upcoming years.
Daniel is best known by the baseball term, "bulldog." He grinds out on every play, offensively and defensively, finding ways to be successful. There's many more tools, but players such as this find ways to continue their careers day-in and day-out, and Daniel fits the mold perfectly. One guarantee is that he will gain your immediate attention upon seeing him play live.
At the plate, Daniel has a simple and compact swing from the right-side. He keeps a steady path throughout his swing, allowing the bat to spend the majority of it's time through the strike zone creating good contact points. He can get the barrel to the bat, when mixed with his bat plane, creates even more optimal contact points. More than anything, Daniel has above-average hand-eye coordination.
Daniel saw his power numbers come down drastically upon seeing more advanced pitching, but it has more to do with his swing. As he stays compact, he is more in tune for line drives than loft and power. He does have some pull strength in his frame and swing, but is best set to be a gap-to-gap hitter.
The best asset to Daniel's offensive game is his simple approach. He goes to the plate not trying to do too much or too little. You rarely see him over matched because he lets the game come to him as opposed to chasing after the game. He has a decent knowledge of the zone, and will draw a fair amount of walks.
In the field, Daniel is a little bit of a question mark. He's known as a natural second baseman, but has been moved around the infield - mostly third base - trying to really find his best placement in the field. He has enough arm to play both positions, but not enough range to become a shortstop. He uses his athleticism in the field as opposed to footwork, which will need to change to make him impactful defensively at the upper levels.
Daniel has some speed to his game, but nothing that will blow you away. He has quick feet which allows him to be quick in short burst, but not necessarily on the long hauls. He will be able to nab a few bases here and there, but will likely never be known as a threat on the base paths.
Something Daniel doesn't get many marks for, but deserves to is his baseball IQ. He's a very smart baseball player, and makes the right decisions while in the field and at the plate. When watching Daniel play baseball, it nearly looks like second nature to him. This should allow him to continue advancing, even to the Major League level when his tools are mixed in.
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Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher
Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher
At Rancho Bernardo High School, Daniel made a name himself as one of the best players throughout California. Rancho Bernardo won a pair of CIF Championships during Daniel's time as a prep player, the first title coming his junior year where he hit .488 with 13 home runs, 38 RBI and 14 stolen bases, helping him be named Palomar Player of the Year and First-Team All-League, All-State and All-CIF selections. Daniel followed his junior year with a similar senior season, batting .368 with 10 home runs, 39 RBI and 15 stolen bases, once again helping his team to a CIF Championship, and being named to First-Team All-League and All-CIF honors.
As a freshman at San Diego, Daniel was a breakout star hitting .339/.394/.487 with a team leading 18 doubles and second best 45 RBI and 112 total bases. Daniel highlighted the season with a 4-for-6 performance against Lipscomb where he a home run and brought in a career-high five runs in. He was named a Freshman All-American by multiple outlets including Louisville Slugger, NCBWA and Baseball America, along with earning WCC All-Freshman honors and an All-Conference selection.
In a small sophomore slump, Daniel collected a .265 average in his second collegiate year with eight doubles, four home runs and 24 RBI. Six of Daniel's 56 hits came against Brigham Young, where he went 6-for-10 with a double. Despite the lessened season in the statistical category, Daniel helped San Diego to a WCC Tournament Championship and NCAA Regional berth. Following the college year, Daniel was named a Cape Cod All-Star as an outfielder.
Daniel burst back onto the scene as a junior in his final year of college, batting .369/.421/.554 with 20 doubles, five home runs and a trio of triples. Daniel collected 43 RBI, scoring 51 times and stealing 13 bags of 19 attempts. Daniel finished his collegiate career with a 16.89 strikeout percentage, while only striking out 10.81% of the time as a junior.
Once again, Daniel brought attention to his name with a strong season, this time being his professional debut. Upon becoming a pro, Daniel hit .340/.408/.510, leading Rookie Orem in runs scored (49), hits (88) doubles (20), RBI (39), stolen bases (13) and total bases (132). Daniel never had a stretch longer than two games of not reaching base, and held a 17-game on-base stretch mid season. Maybe most impressive was Daniel getting onto the scene, beginning his season going 10-for-20 with three doubles and a home run.
Daniel split time between both Single-A affiliates last season, finishing the year with a combined .264/.329/.422 slash, 34 doubles, six triples, nine home runs, 71 RBI and 60 runs scored. In a 80 game stretch between May 1 and August 2, Daniel was one of the most impressive bats in the system batting .300/.357/.489 with 38 extra-base hits in 307 at bats (one every 8.07 at bats).
Daniel will likely return to High-A to begin next season, where he can begin to polish his game more and more. There is a small road block ahead of Daniel, and it's still yet to be seen exactly what position he'll be playing in the future. A return to the California League could do the bat some good, all while he figures himself as a player more.
Every organization has a group of guys who may not have a high draft pick attached or much money invested, but they continue to impress and progress. Daniel could easily be one of those guys for the Angels, and it could take him all the way to the top as a grinding infielder who could play multiple positions and be a fantastic bench piece that could turn into a starter with time (see: Giavotella, Johnny).
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This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.