Mid-Season Scouting Report: Gregorio Petit

In 2001, the Oakland A's acquired a good-fielding shortstop named Mark Ellis. Despite Ellis' acumen at short, the A's moved him second because he was blocked by Miguel Tejada at short. That move was a big success for Ellis. Slick-fielding Stockton Ports middle-infielder Gregorio Petit may be following that same path. Paul Rathert has a mid-season scouting report on the Venezuelan product inside...

Gregorio Petit's 2006 Stats Through 7/11/06





























Physique: Petit is only 5'10" and weighs 160 pounds, but his frame will allow him to put on a good 20 pounds or so, especially in his upper body. He appears to have filled out a bit already. He has a solid lower half, but doesn't lack quickness. Petit has a "live body", as they say, and he brings a lot of energy to the field.

Defense: Petit is stellar with the glove. He is admittedly more comfortable at shortstop, but moved over to second base after Cliff Pennington arrived last season in Kane County and even played some third base. The two have made a great double-play combo over the last calendar year and they may continue to advance together through the system.

Petit takes pride in his defense and seems on pace to become another in a long line of solid-fielding Venezuelan middle-infielders. He has a plus-arm and solid footwork from both second and short. Petit has soft hands and being a former shortstop playing at second base gives him plus range at the position and arm to spare.

Offense: Petit has a longer swing, but has gotten better at using the whole field. Along with many Ports hitters, he has been struggling this year at the plate. Petit got hot in the second half last season and may be poised to do so again. He will drive mistakes and is improving with his pitch recognition, although this is still an area of development for Petit. Sometimes hitting homeruns can be his worst enemy, as Petit tends to over-swing when he tries to swing for the fences. He strikes out too much right now for a non-power hitter. When he is at his best, he is going the other way or up the middle.

Petit projects as a lower third of the order hitter and will provide average production for a second baseman. If he does eventually bulk up a bit, his power numbers will improve. He has some speed, but it's not a primary part of his tool set.

Overview: Petit seems to be locked-in at second for the duration of his stay in the A's system as long as the organization is higher on Pennington at short. He is a tireless worker, who will do anything asked of him to make sure his goal is realized. His experience playing for the Caracas Leones during the Venezuelan Winter Leagues this past winter was an invaluable experience and should be something that he repeats again this winter.

Petit has a high baseball IQ and he tends to be a quarterback on the field, and he uses his good baseball instincts to increase his naturally good range. Petit is also a good team player. He took the move to second in stride, but the move may or may not be permanent.

At second he is blocked in the A's chain by Kevin Melillo, but he may break in as a back-up infielder in 2009.With his ability to play both middle infield positions, Petit could be looking more at a bench role in the majors than as a full-time player. If Petit can hit a little bit, his fielding will make him a valuable addition to a major league team.

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