Marlins Top 50 Prospect Countdown #33

The Marlins used a 1st Round choice on OF Chip Ambres. So far he has shown occasional glimpses of his abilities but he hasn't shown consistency. Learn more about this talented prospect in the latest edition of the Marlins Insider's Top 50 Prospect Countdown.

Florida Marlins Prospect Spotlight Countdown #33

Chip Ambres
Vital Stats:
Position: OF
DOB: December 19, 1979
Birth Place: Beaumont, Texas Height: 6'1 Weight: 190 lbs.
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Acquired: Drafted by the Marlins in the 1st Round (27th overall) in the 1998 amateur draft

Overview:
Ambres is now going into his 6th season in the Marlins organization after being their 1st Round selection in the 1998 draft out of Westbrook High School. The selection of Ambres was a decision that was made by the former front office, however, that management group had the same belief in drafting "tools" prospects out of high school. Ambres is a prospect that is high on natural skills and athletic ability rather than actual baseball production. In high school, Ambres was an option quarterback who was accomplished enough to receive a full scholarship to attend Texas A&M.
Despite his tremendous athletic ability, Chip has not been able to translate that into success in the minor leagues. Scouts however are still very hesitant to give up on him partly because he has had his development stunted due to injuries. He had nagging hamstring and knee injuries during his first few years which limited his playing time. Then late in 2002 he suffered a broken leg which delayed the start of his 2003 season and effected his over-all conditioning for the season.
The main reason why most scouts refuse to give up on Ambres is that they love his make-up just as much as his athletic ability. Ambres is considered one of the hardest working, most intelligent, and most likeable individuals in the Marlins organization. Plus, when he has been healthy he has shown tremendous ability and certain levels of marked improvement.

Batting:
Chip has tremendous plate discipline which is evidenced by his high walk counts. The biggest weakness he has right now is that he has trouble making consistent enough contact. He just swings through too many pitches. Although, at times he has shown that he is better than that. His outstanding showing in 2002 in the Arizona Fall League got the attention of a lot of scouts.
Ambres hasn't shown a tremendous amount of power to this point but in 2003 there were indications that it was finally coming around.

Base running and Speed:
Ambres is a plus speed runner but his leg injuries have taken some of his speed from him. Despite those injuries, Chip still runs very well. Reason probably being is that his legs are extremely well built. A lesser athlete might've been even more effected but Chip has bounced back well considering the nature of his 2002 broken leg injury.

Defense:
Ambres is a very fine fielder. His speed gives him good range to track down a lot of balls others wouldn't get. He also takes good approach angles and is equally adept at both coming in and going out on fly balls.
His only weakness in the field is that his throwing arm is considered below average. Because of this, he projects as a LF, where his weak throwing arm will not be as much of a detriment.

Projection:
2004 is a crucial year for Chip Ambres. For the first time in several years he will go into the season 100% healthy. He will be expected to finally come through on his potential and improve his offensive consistency and overall power and break through on his first round talent. He is still only 24 years old, and the Marlins still being intrigued with his talents, are willing to be patient with him.

Estimated Time of Arrival:
Chip received an invitation to participate in Spring Training with the big club in 2004. He handled his time on the expanded roster well by getting 2 hits in 5 at bats against major league pitching. He was optioned back down to Triple A Albuquerque for the 2004 season. It is very likely that if he shows progress this season he could end up being called back as part of the 40 man roster and the chance to compete for a roster spot in 2005.

Year

Team

AVG

R

HR

RBI

2B

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2003

Carolina

.258

75

10

55

23

9

72

81

.376

.439



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