2003 Scouting Report: 1B, Craig Brazell

Craig Brazell was the Mets' 5th round selection in the June 1998 free agent draft from Jefferson Davis HS in Montgomery, Alabama. He was drafted as a catcher but moved to 1B in 1999. He periodically suffers from sore knees that plagued him a bit this season. He also missed time from Bell's Palsy.

Craig Brazell had a combined 60 extra-base hits in 2002 at St. Lucie and Binghamton. Brazell has 24 extra-base hits in 2003. His K-rate remained steady in 2003 at 1 K per 4.84 AB vs. 5.02 in 2002. If he remains at Binghamton, Brazell is likely to improve his K-rate as the season progresses. For a power hitter, his K-rate is very solid. And, bodes well for him to be a consistent .270-.280 hitter. His BB-rate of 1 BB per 31.2 AB represents a slight improvement. Again, if he remains at Binghamton that BB-rate is likely to improve. And, it represents an obvious improvement over 1 BB in 130 AB at Binghamton in 2002.

The surprising thing about Brazell is that his approach to hitting is not as poor as the terrible BB-rate and K/BB ratio might suggests. He doesn't swing at many pitches out of the K-zone. To maintain a high batting average (hitting over .300 in 4 out of 7 stops) though Brazell will need to do a better job of fighting off tough pitches with 2 strikes on him otherwise a .300 BA is very unlikely. He could hit .300 consistently like Garrett Anderson has if he can get his K-rate in the 1 K for every 6 AB range.

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2003

Binghamton

.320

322

103

13

62

44

2

17

66

.355

.506

2002

Binghamton

.308

130

40

6

19

14

0

1

28

.343

.508

2002

St. Lucie

.266

402

107

16

82

38

2

13

78

.292

.463

2001

Cap City

.308

331

102

19

72

51

0

15

74

.343

.586

2000

Cap City

.241

406

98

8

57

35

3

15

82

.279

.369

1999

Kingsport

.385

221

85

6

39

27

6

7

34

.422

.548

1998

Kingsport

.298

47

14

1

6

6

0

2

13

.340

.468


*Stats as of 7/20/03.

Batting and Power. Brazell already has excellent power. He continues to fill out nicely. He has hit well 5 of his 6 seasons in the minors. While Brazell doesn't draw many walks, he doesn't swing at many pitches out of the strike zone and gets into a fair number of favorable counts despite the lack of walks. Brazell hit 24 extra-base hits this season giving him a solid XBA despite missing time with sore knees and Bell's Palsy. Brazell is likely to develop better patience at a slow pace, but should be a very solid hitter at first base.

Baserunning and Speed. Brazell does not have great speed, but does not clog the base paths either.

Defense. Brazell, a converted catcher, has made strides to improve his defense. He's pretty solid when his knees aren't bothering him.

Projection. Starting first baseman.

ETA. Could be ready before the end of 2004.

Corner Infielders Team
Craig Brazell AA - Binghamton Mets
Josh Pressley AA - Binghamton Mets
David Wright A - St. Lucie Mets
Jay Caliguiri A - St. Lucie Mets
Aaron Baldiris A - Capital City Bombers
Ian Bladergroen A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Shawn Bowman A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Stacy Bennett A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Johan Camacho R - Kingsport Mets


COMMENTS


First base is the organization's weakest position. Brazell is about what the Mets have in the long season leagues although Baldiris can also play 1B. In the short season leagues, Bladergroen is off to a solid start with Brooklyn and Johan Camacho at Kingsport plays fine defense, but his bat needs to develop. Ricky Olivaros with the Mets team in the Venezuelan Summer League has been shifted 1B, but he's a bit old for that league.

1. Aaron Baldiris (3B )could challenge Wright for the top 3B prospect especially if he fills out and add some power. He has already begun moving up the Mets prospect rankings. He has begun to show a better XBA at Columbia. Although Wright and Baldiris are pretty much the same age, keep in mind that Baldiris missed a year and a half of development. Baldiris also has more potentially useful physical development ahead of him than Wright has also. Baldiris will be rule 5 draft eligible after 2003.

2. David Wright (3B), the top 3B prospect, is very advanced as a hitter. Wright is advanced in every phase of the game and his work ethic will guide him through the Mets system. A hard-nosed player who will provide leadership on an off the field. Wright won't be rule 5 draft eligible until after 2004.

3. Shawn Bowman (3B), the Mets' 2002 12th round selection, signed to late to play in 2002 yet was able to win a job at Brooklyn at 18 years of age despite not having rookie league experience. His start was delayed by participation in the Junior World Series for Canada where he led all participants in RBIs. He is a fine defensive player who projects to hit for power. Bowman won't be rule 5 draft eligible until after the 2005 season.

4. Stacy Bennett (3B) can also catch and play first base.

5. Craig Brazell (1B) is the top power-hitting prospect in the organization. He needs to work on his approach, but is clearly a 30 HR plus with the body to fill out further and hit even more home runs. Brazell is already on the 40-man roster. The Mets were able to slide him thru the rule 5 draft when he was first eligible after 2001. Thus, he has 2 more option years left as 2003 was his first year on the Mets 40-man roster.

6. Ian Bladergroen (3B) is an intriguing draft and follow prospect that BaseballAmerica rated among the top 20 draft and follows and considered him to be a round 6 thru 9 type draft pick. He has great power and good plate discipline. Bladergroen will be rule 5 draft eligible after 2005.

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