Top 50 Prospect Profile: Steve Garrabrants

<p>The new year is here, and the <b> Top 50</b> debuts in two days.&nbsp; The Top 50 will feature profiles, commentary, and analysis from the staff, Diamondbacks coaches and officials, as well as experts.&nbsp; Today, in the final days, we take a look at scrappy second base prospect <b>Steve Garrabrants</b>.</p>

Vital Statistics:

Name Steve Garrabrants
Position Second Base
Age 23
Height 5'10"
Weight 170
Bats Right
Throws Right
'04 Club Hi-A Lancaster JetHawks, Double-A El Paso Diablos, Triple-A Tucson Sidewinders

Garrabrants was taken in the 42nd round in the 2000 draft out of Moon Valley (AZ) High School by the Minnesota Twins, but elected to go to Arizona State University instead.  He flourished there and moved up to the ninth round in 2003 where he was taken by the Diamondbacks.  A scrapping sort of player, great defensively and always hustling, he rocketed through the D'Backs minors this season, likely a result of his training at ASU, regularly regarded as a Major League player factory.  

Batting and Power:  A prototypical #2 hitter, nothing about Garrabrants' stats really stands out.  In 546 minor league at bats he's hitting .273 with 11 homers and 47 stolen bases.  Thirty of those steals came in his first year with the Short Season Yakima Bears (Northwest League) where his top college program skills put him far ahead of most of the players there.  

"He does all those little things," Bill Plummer said of Garrabrants, "moving runners along, making contact, bunting, breaking up the double play as well as he turns the double play.  He's just a baseball player, and I mean that as a compliment."

Garrabrants biggest weakness might have been exposed in his time at El Paso, where he hit nearly .400 against left handed pitching, but just .176 against righties.  Though he's moved from Rookie Ball to Triple-A in just one year, don't expect him in the BOB soon, he'll likely spend another two years adding strength and fine tuning a swing that some feel could be shorter.

Steve Garrabrants Avg. At Bats HR RBI K/BB SB/CS
Hi-A Lancaster JetHawks (California League) .270 215 3 30 49/22 11/3
Double-A El Paso Diablos (Texas League) .250 112 2 12 29/10 6/3
Triple-A Tucson Sidewinders (Pacific Coast League) .400 20 1 4 2/2 0/0

Base running and Speed:  Garrabrants has good, but not great speed.  What he does have is smarts, and he reads pitchers very well.  According to Plummer Garrabrants didn't make a single base running error in his first season of pro ball, fantastic, but almost what you'd expect from a veteran of the ASU program.   

Defense:  Stellar defense is not a gift, it's earned, and Garrabrants is a worker.  His arm is solid, but he has one of the quickest releases in baseball and he's fearless.  He'll take the hit turning the double play, throw his body all over the field, and play as smart defensively as he does offensively. 

ETA:  Garrabrants needs time and seasoning, but his progress will be quicker than many players who have more tools than he does because he's a real student.  Expect a cup of coffee in '06, and a regular role as a utility player in '07.

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