School: Pensacola Junior College, Florida
Selected 2010 stats
Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)
Dustin Mattison (17): The former 38th round pick has advanced all the way to Triple-A and appears to be knocking on the door to the big leagues. A top notch athlete, Chambers originally went to school at Mississippi State to play football. A regular during his sophomore year, his gridiron career ended after an assault charge.
It worked out for the Cardinals because they were able to nab him out of Pensacola Junior College. With Chambers having been a defensive back in the SEC, it is a given that he has fantastic speed. He has not used that to his advantage in the stolen base department but it allows him to cover a lot of ground in the outfield. The 24-year-old has solid average arm strength that allows him to play any of the three outfield positions.
At the plate, he has gap power and the ability to hit to all fields. His pitch recognition is improving and is beginning to have a good feel of the strike zone. Against some of the top prospects in the game, he hit .333/.377/.455 in the Arizona Fall League. Though he appears blocked by Jon Jay at this time, Chambers has the look of a potential future leadoff hitter.
Message board community (18): Adron Chambers made one of the biggest jumps on this year's community list, going from #29 up to the #15 spot. The thing that makes Chambers so appealing as a prospect is that he is still improving. After playing mostly football in college, Chambers efforts to focus solely on baseball seem to be paying dividends. Chambers has improved his batting average, on-base-percentage, and his slugging (along with his OPS of course) in each of his first 3 full seasons. He continued on that improvement continuum this fall while in the Arizona Fall League by improving on two of his critics' biggest complaints - stolen bases and slugging.
Some defensive questions remain regarding Chambers. His speed is a strength and allows him to cover a lot of ground but he has played mostly center field and many question whether his arm is strong enough for there or right field. If only able to play left field, his value to the organization diminishes significantly (not much demand for low power left fielders - no matter how much speed they have - Carl Crawford not withstanding).
2011 will be interesting for Chambers. With a good spring and opening to the season, he has possibly moved up to a position of being the first outfielder to be called up in case of injury or other need. If nothing else, it will be interesting whether he can continue his straight upward trajectory without any setbacks. - CariocaCardinal
Brian Walton (18): I was not on the Chambers bandwagon prior to 2010. His rise began with a .370 on-base percentage with Palm Beach in 2009 followed by a strong winter ball season in Colombia. Chambers improved to .376 with Springfield this summer and to a .390 OBP in his late-season Triple-A debut.
In just 18 games in the Arizona Fall League, Chambers maintained his OBP at .377 and jumped to an .831 OPS. What impressed me most was his 10-for-10 success rate in stolen bases. While Chambers led the entire minor leagues with 19 triples and swiped 21 bags in 2009, his success rate at the latter was just 64 percent. If he has refined the art of base stealing and continues to grow all aspects of his game, Chambers could evolve into a top of the lineup threat, a rare commodity for the Cardinals in recent years.
Chambers' hitting coach both with Springfield and in the AFL, Derrick May, could have been speaking for both of us as he commented on the improvements in the outfielder's all-around game.
"He was one of those guys that was kind of under the radar," May observed. "One thing with him was that he was always confident about his abilities ever since he signed. He has come along so quick because he's got a lot of talent. He's got good bat speed. He's got good speed on the bases. He has a good arm and defensively, he is getting better. He is coming around."
The Cardinals rewarded that progress with a 40-man roster spot this fall, essentially replacing Daryl Jones both on the roster and in the organizational pecking order. Expectations are higher for Chambers in his return to Memphis, so his response will be very closely monitored.
Our 2011 top 40 countdown continues: To see our entire list of 40 Cardinals prospects, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.
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