Tigers Prospect Profile #29: Brandon Loy

Brandon Loy flashed an impressive glove as West Michigan's everyday second baseman, but didn't do quite as much with the bat. Can Loy make improvements at the plate, or could his defense carry him to the show?

Brandon Loy
Position: Shortstop
Height: 6-0
Weight: 180
Born: 5/3/1990
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Acquired: 2011 MLB Draft, 5th Round
Ranking History: #20 (2011)

Background
Loy was the Tigers fifth round pick in 2011 and debuted with five games in the GCL before spending 12 games with High-A Lakeland late in the year. With Lakeland, Loy posted a .220 batting average with a double and five walks in 48 at-bats.

The Tigers let him settle into the professional game with a full season at Low-A West Michigan in 2012 as he hit .240 with 45 walks and 119 strikeouts. He knocked 21 doubles, five triples and even managed two bombs. He topped off his line with 21 steals while transitioning to second base for much of the year.

Scouting Report
Loy walks a fine line as a prospect with decent floor and little ceiling while holding a difficult overall profile. He is a glove-first infielder with little offensive potential and his glove may not be of high enough quality to carry him.

Loy's glove work at shortstop draws praise from scouts and most believe he can be an above-average defender with solid range, good instincts and soft hands. He has the arm for the left side of the infield. As a second baseman he made adjusted quickly and showed the footwork to handle all plays as well as the pivot. His ability to make such a smooth transition last summer lends further to his utility profile.

At the plate, Loy lacks a standout tool. He has a decent approach with solid pitch recognition skills, but his barrel control seemed to regress at the pro level. He showed less of an ability to make consistent contact and when he did, good velocity knocked the bat out of his hands. He has a good feel for situational hitting and can move the ball around to play old-school baseball.

Power is not a significant part of Loy's offensive game but he will find the occasional double as he finds a gap or gets aggressive on the bases to make things happen. He has the speed necessary to be a threat for 15-20 stolen bases a year and has the instincts for a high success rate.

Loy isn't a flashy player. His profile is very difficult and has little room for error as he moves up the ladder. His ceiling rests as a very good utility player and his floor sits in the up-and-down utility player range. That's not a big window for big-league success, but he should get there at some point, thanks to his glove and ability to handle the bat.

Performance

Level

Team

AB

AVG

2B

HR

RBI

SO

BB

OBP%

SLG%

A

West Mich.

499

.240

21

2

39

119

45

.301

.315


Health Record
Loy has been free of significant injury during his amateur and professional careers.

Projection
Loy's 2012 season wasn't flashy but the Tigers liked his progress in the field after being asked to increase his versatility and they felt he made some progress at the plate in the second half. As he moves up the ladder he will need to show more consistency at the plate, including an ability to handle quality velocity and high-level professional breaking balls. Loy is a utility infielder through and through and that projection is unlikely to change as he polishes his game and moves up the ladder.

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