Final 2004 Scouting Report: 3B, Shawn Bowman

The New York Mets selected Shawn Bowman in the 12th round of the 2002 draft out of high school. Growing up as a shortstop in Canada, Bowman has made a smooth transition to the hot corner. So much so, Bowman has drawn early comparisons defensively to the great Brooks Robinson. Here's a scouting report on the hot-shot rising star, Shawn Bowman.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Shawn Bowman
Position: Third Base
DOB: December 9, 1984
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 190
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Shawn Bowman grew up in Westminster, British Columbia (just outside Vancouver) and began playing baseball when he was five years old. Growing up in hockey country, Bowman's first love was always baseball despite his father playing semi-pro hockey as a young man. Bowman grew up playing shortstop and was part of the Canadian Champion winning team when he was fourteen years old before his team went on to win the World Junior Championship against teams like the United States and Korea.

Drafted in June of 2002, Bowman did not sign until mid-August because his team was playing for the Canadian Junior National team that summer and the Mets took the opportunity to watch his progress closely before making him a contract offer. After missing his chance to make his professional debut in 2002, Bowman began his professional career in Kingsport last year. Drafted as a shortstop, the Mets moved Bowman over to third base. "They said I had an infielder's hand but not shortstop feet. I like it better that short. It's a more reactive position and I like that", Bowman told NYfansonly.com.

After an inauspicious debut with the K-Mets, Bowman was sent to Brooklyn to finish off the 2003 season where he instantly began making fans and scouts alike to sit up and take notice of his dazzling defense. Despite his great ability at third base, Bowman struggled big time at the plate in 2003. "The Met coaches thought I struggled last year because I was getting under the ball too much and I was lunging at the ball and that moving my hands up would correct it", said Bowman. And correct it, he did.

In 2004, Bowman was promoted to low-A ball to play with the Capital City Bombers. After not hitting a home run in his first taste of professional baseball in 2003, it didn't take Bowman long to go yard in '04. Bowman went deep in his first game with the Bombers on his way to an offensive breakout in his sophomore pro season, clubbing 19 home runs and becoming one of the team leaders. As good as his year was offensively, Bowman's defense is what is turning heads. ""He's a great defensive player, including a very above average glove, good arm strength, good accuracy, terrific commitment, and he's a good teammate. He has the potential to be a good offensive player", said Bombers' Manager Jack Lind.

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2004

Capital City

.258

396

102

19

69

66

5

39

121

.338

.449

2003

Brooklyn

.203

138

28

0

5

10

2

10

49

.260

.268

2003

Kingsport

.121

33

4

0

3

2

0

1

13

.216

.152


* Stats as of 10/1/04

Batting and Power. Bowman will not be confused with David Wright as a contact hitter. Bowman has a decent batting eye but is not the contact hitter that Wright has become. He strikes out a bit too much and will need to work on his pitch recognition and selectivity at the plate. That said, what Bowman lacks in contact hitting he more than makes up with power. At just 19 years old, Bowman hit 19 home runs in his first taste of long season baseball. Bowman has very good power projection and has the chance to hit for more power than David Wright as he matures.

Base Running and Speed. Bowman is a good base runner with decent speed. He picks his spots to steal bases but is not a true threat on the base paths.

Defense. Bowman is all about the defense. ""Hands down Bowman is the best defensive third base prospect I can ever remember seeing", says one NL scout. "In fact, if he continues to better himself at the plate, he's got the defensive skills to move David Wright over to first base, that's how good that kid is." Another scout says Bowman reminds him of the legendary defensive third baseman, Brooks Robinson. Enough said!

Projection. Bowman projects to be a starting third baseman at the Major League level, period! He does not make enough contact to hit in the first four spots in the lineup, but with his power, he seems like a lock for the #5 spot in a Major League lineup someday. He's a blue-chip prospect all the way.

ETA. 2007. Bottom line? Bowman will not be rushed as the Mets seem more than happy to have David Wright at the hot corner for the next few years. Bowman has the work ethic and the talent to make the Mets make some difficult choices in a couple of years however. He'll be in St. Lucie next season and should be in AA-Binghamton by 2006. Depending on his offensive maturity, the rest is up to Bowman.

Third Basemen

2004 Team

Rodney Nye

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Chris Basak AA - Binghamton Mets
Aarom Baldiris A - St. Lucie Mets
Jay Caligiuri A - St. Lucie Mets
Shawn Bowman A - Capital City Bombers
Grant Psomas A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Travis Garcia R - Kingsport Mets
Nick Evans R - GCL Mets


Comments

Even after David Wright making it all the way to Shea Stadium, the Mets have some good third base prospects, especially at the lower levels. Shawn Bowman leads the pack and could eventually force the Mets to move David Wright to another position down the road. Nick Evans looks like a good power hitting third basemen that has a chance to be special prospects down the road. Here's a rundown of the Mets' third base prospects:

1) Rodney Nye - After being the Mets' 7th round pick in the '99 draft, Nye just completed his sixth minor league season with the Mets. It's not clear whether or not he'll be back with the Mets in 2005. Nye's been a solid minor leaguer but does not fit in the Mets' plans.

2) Chris Basak - Originally drafted as a shortstop, Basak had the unenviable task of replacing David Wright at third base in Binghamton after Wright was promoted to Norfolk this past season. Basak is a solid player that can play 3B, SS, and 2B. He could prove to be a very useful utility player for the Mets.

3) Aarom Baldiris - Baldiris is an excellent contact hitter but does not provide the power needed from a power hitting position. With Wright locked in at third base and with Shawn Bowman on the horizon, Baldiris needs a new position. He could make a move to second base to get his bat into the lineup and give the Mets a decent second base prospect.

4) Jay Caligiuri - Originally drafted as a third baseman, Caligiuri has played some first base as well. If Baldiris does move to second base next season, chances are Caligiuri will be the everyday 3B for Binghamton. He's got good power potential and a good eye at the plate. He could become good trade bait at some point.

5) Shawn Bowman - A defensive wizard at third base, Bowman has the talent to be as productive as David Wright someday. He has excellent power projection and is only going to get better as he matures. He's the top 3B prospect in the Mets' system and one of the best third base prospects in all of baseball.

6) Grant Psomas - Like Bowman, Psomas was drafted as a shortstop and immediately moved to third base to begin his professional career. Psomas has intriguing power but will have to hit his way through the system to make some noise as a prospect.

7) Travis Garcia - Drafted in the 21st round of the 2003 draft out of Iona College, Garcia has decent power and a good eye at the plate. Like Psomas, Garcia's a little old for his level and is going to have to produce at the higher levels to be considered a legit prospect.

8) Nick Evans - Drafted in the 5th round of the 2004 draft out of high school, Evans has the chance to be a very special prospect in the Mets' farm system. He has big time power potential but needs some work defensively. He's the Mets' second best third base prospect behind Bowman, but has the potential to make a name for himself in a couple of years.

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