#35 - Antoan Richardson
|Date of Birth: 10/08/1983||Position: CF||Height: 5'8"||Weight: 165||Bats: S||Throws: R|
Acquired: Drafted in the 35th Round (#1062 Overall) of the 2005 Draft
|Augusta - Low-A||.292||.381||.366||.747||418||78||122||17||4||2||28||54||73||66||9|
The Giants could have their own version of Ichiro in Antoan Richardson. He is a prototypical leadoff hitter with lots of speed on the basepaths and in the outfield. He hits for average and draws walks. He's small and doesn't display a lot of power hitting. Though the comparison is a stretch for a low level minor leaguer and an All-Star in two major leagues it is not without merit. Richardson has patterned his game after Ichiro since he was a teenager.
Richardson played a major role in the success of the Augusta Greenjackets in 2006. He batted .292, third best among the regulars on Augusta's roster. He led the team in stolen bases, combining with South Atlantic League MVP Eugenio Velez to steal over 60 bases each. He heated up the second half of the season, hitting .388 in July while he kept stealing bases.
Richardson had three hits in their sweep of the opening round of the SAL playoffs but fell quiet offensively like the rest of his teammates in the championship series, where he only had one hit in the 11-1 blowout win over eventual Sally League champion Lakewood.
He made the jump from a short-season league to a full length minor league season for the 2006 campaign with no threat to his endurance. He was at the top of the lineup and stealing bases consistently for the Greenjackets. The switch hitter bats well from both sides of the plate, .279 against left-handed pitching and .299 against right-handers in 2006.
The young man from the Bahamas has been a leader statistically and in social standing since his college days. He was Mr. Commodore at Vanderbilt University for the 2004-2005 athletic seasons, an award given to a graduating senior student-athlete who best represents their team, the student-athlete body, and the campus community. Richardson was an Arizona League post-season All Star for a rookie Giants club that won the AZL championship in 2005.
Richardson needs to cut down his strikeouts to make it in the major leagues. His strikeout to walk ratio in 2006 yielded more strikeouts than walks and in 53 games in the AZL in 2005 it was almost even. He also needs to improve his hitting with runners on base. He had 28 RBI in 2006, not great for one of Augusta's top hitters. He hit .316 with the bases empty but only .259 with runners on and .253 with runners in scoring position.
He has the tools to succeed as a leadoff hitter and the speed to hold down the centerfield job in San Francisco. He is still a few minor league seasons away from the majors but could emerge with the big club once he solves the few problems with his game.
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