Final 2004 Scouting Report: 1B, Jabe Bergeron

The New York Mets signed rookie free agent Jabe Bergeron in the summer of 2004 after a tryout. Bergeron went to a small school that was not on most scouts schedule to see and tried out for both the Mets and Red Sox. Despite his entire family being Red Sox fans, it was the Mets that offered him a contract where he then began his professional baseball career in the NY-Penn League with the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Jabe Bergeron
Position: First Base
DOB: December 19, 1981
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 230
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Jabe Bergeron was slated to be Brooklyn's starting first baseman in 2004 as the Mets were waiting for Jim Burt to sign but sent him down to Kingsport after bringing Tyler Davidson down from Capital City to bolster the Cyclones' lineup. After getting in just four games with the Cyclones, Bergeron was sent to the Appalachian League to man first base for the K-Mets and quickly showed people why he thought his bat would carry him as a prospect. In his first 28 games with Kingsport, Bergeron showed excellent power, clubbing five home runs in his first 103 at-bats.

Despite not showing the patience he was known to have (he walked just four times), Bergeron was promoted to Capital City to help out at first base after Ian Bladergroen was lost for the season due to injury. Sharing time with Andrew Wilson at first base for the Bombers, Bergeron was an quick success story. In Capital City he showed the same power but more patience at the plate and jumped from an undrafted free-agent to decent prospect in less than 200 professional at-bats.

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2004

Capital City

.292

72

21

5

17

18

0

18

23

.440

.569

2004

Brooklyn

.111

9

1

0

1

0

0

1

4

.273

.222

2004

Kingsport

.291

103

30

5

16

15

1

4

25

.318

.476


* Stats as of 10/1/04

Batting and Power. Bergeron has Major League possibilities with his bat speed and good power. A big kid, Bergeron has power to all fields. He uses the whole field, driving the ball to the opposite field if the pitcher pitches him outside. He's a good contact hitter and showed good patience at the plate in the South Atlantic League. He projects to hit 20 home runs at the Major League level.

Base Running and Speed. As is the case with most first basemen his size, Bergeron is not about to win any races in the foreseeable future. He does however appear to have decent speed for a guy his size.

Defense. Bergeron can pick the ball out of the dirt with the best of them but does not have exceptional range in the field. He has fair hands and will be somewhat of a project defensively as he progresses through the minor league system.

Projection. At this point, Bergeron is a work in progress defensively. But he has the offensive skills to help him advance in the farm system. He has the look of a right-handed version of Brett Harper and could become a second-tier first base prospect if he can duplicate the same offensive success at the higher levels.

ETA. N/A. It's not really fair to estimate a timetable on a rookie free-agent after just 184 professional at-bats. He has enough game offensively to make scouts sit up and notice as he matures. He should be in Hagerstown in 2005 as part of a first base platoon with Jim Burt.

First Basemen

2004 Team

Craig Brazell

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Brett Harper

AA - Binghamton Mets

Jay Caligiuri A - St. Lucie Mets
Ian Bladergroen A - Capital City Bombers
Andrew Wilson A - Capital City Bombers
Tyler Davidson A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Jim Burt A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Jabe Bergeron R - Kingsport Mets
Felix Cerda R - Kingsport Mets
Mike Carp R - Gulf Coast Mets


Comments

The Mets have some decent first base prospects, especially at the lower levels. The first base prospect that seems to have the highest ceiling at this point is the Bombers' Ian Bladergroen. But don't count out Brett Harper, the son of a former Major Leaguer, as a legit first base prospect. He has the pedigree and tremendous work ethic to make it all the way to Shea Stadium. And though just early, Mike Carp from the Gulf Coast League Mets has the potential to be a rising star among the Mets' prospects in the coming years. Here's a quick breakdown the Mets' first base prospects:

1) Craig Brazell - Brazell is a good defensive first baseman with excellent power and a good stroke at the plate. His only downfall in his development has been his lack of walks. A contact hitter, Brazell has the potential to be a starting first baseman in the Major Leagues. The question is will the Mets be the team to give him that opportunity.

2) Brett Harper - The son of Major League catcher Brian Harper, Brett is a very good hitter. He hits for power and is a very patient hitter. He hits the ball to all fields and only needs to continue his hitting prowess and work on his defense at first base to become a very good prospect at first base. Brett went to the Arizona Fall League this fall to face better pitcher and work on his defense. He's out to prove that his season in St. Lucie (.350-9-55) was not a fluke.

3) Jay Caligiuri - Caligiuri is more of a project at first base after coming up through the low minors as a third baseman. He can hit for power as his 18 home runs in less than 400 at-bats in the Florida State League (a notorious pitchers' league) this past season indicate. He's a very patient hitter, willing to take a walk. He's going to have to demonstrate more consistent contact at the plate and better defensive skills before garnering more attention as a first base prospect.

4) Ian Bladergroen - The "Blade" was Mr. Everything for the Bombers before a wrist injury prematurely ended his hot hitting for the Bombers this past season. Despite playing in just 72 games for Cap City this season, he still wound up third on the team in RBI with 72. He can hit for power and average. He uses all fields and is the best defensive first baseman for the Mets among the 1B prospects playing in the long-season leagues.

5) Andrew Wilson - Wilson can flat out hit. He has very good gap power and increasing home run power as he matures. The problem is where is he going to play? Wilson was the Bombers' first baseman after Bladegroen was lost for the season with a wrist injury but also played 2B, 3B, OF, and even played one game at catcher. He was tested as a catcher in the Instructional Leagues this past September. He has the look of a really good utility player down the road that can fill in at first base if need be.

6) Tyler Davidson - Davidson is a monster physically, standing 6'4" and a very athletic 240 lbs. He routinely puts on a show at batting practice, crushing balls all over the outfield fence. The problem has been transferring that same success in BP during actual games. He's a very good hitter with awesome power and is an adequate defensive player at first base. At 24 years old, Davidson needs to show he can duplicate his lower level success at the higher levels before he can make that leap into next level of prospects.

7) Jim Burt - The son of former New York Giants nose tackle Jim Burt, Burt is a very strong guy. Not very tall (5'11"), Burt is a workout maniac in the gym. He split time at 1B with Davidson at Brooklyn this season after being selected in the 19th round in the 2004 draft. He's a good defensive first baseman that can hit for power and has excellent speed for a guy his size.

8) Jabe Bergeron - An undrafted rookie free-agent signing, Bergeron is an adequate defensive first baseman with fair range. Like Davidson, Bergeron is a really big kid with very good power. He uses the whole field when he hits and has power to all fields. He demonstrated that power by hitting five home runs in a cup of coffee with the Bombers late in the season.

9) Felix Cerda - Cerda is a good defensive first baseman that looked lost at the plate in Kingsport this past season in his professional debut. Not built like a traditional first baseman (6'0", 170 lbs), Cerda does not possess nearly the same power that the other Mets' 1B prospects have.

10) Mike Carp - Carp was drafted in the 9th round of the 2004 draft out of high school and is already drawing comparisons at a young age to David Wright for his approach to the game and at the plate. He's a powerful left-handed batter that uses all fields and has very good patience at the plate, especially for such a young hitter. He has very good power projection as he fills out.

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