Scouting Mets' Prospect # 6: Jamar Hill

The New York Mets drafted Jamar Hill in the 48th round of the 2001 draft out of Santa Anna College. An Alaskan product, Hill has some of the best overall raw skills at the outfield position. Ranking #6 among the Mets' Top 50 Prospects, here's a scouting report on Jamar Hill. <b>(Free Preview of Premium Content)</b>

Vital Statistics:
Name: Jamar Hill
Position: Right Field
DOB: September 20, 1982
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 200
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Say one thing about outfielder Jamar Hill: he doesn't cheat himself. A workout junkie, the 21-year-old outfielder is perpetually trying to improve his strength, speed and agility, running, performing yoga and dabbling in boxing. He's also always looking to raise the bar on his own performance goals – most players won't admit to setting numeric objectives before each season, but Hill has no qualms about revealing his magic numbers.

Of course, perhaps that's because he didn't just meet that goal – 15 home runs in 2004 – he obliterated it, blasting 26 long balls and collecting 89 RBI for Single-A Capital City. "You might laugh at me, but I'm shooting for 40 home runs next year," Hill said. "Any time you begin a new league, a new level, I need to feel it out. But I want to get into it to get something done. I want to go right after it. I think my average will be pretty good if I have that mindset."

Kingsport manager Mookie Wilson has compared Hill to big league veteran Reggie Sanders – "Without the injuries," Hill cautions – and the talented young outfielder has his eyes set on starting 2005 at Double-A Binghamton. Anything can happen, but he actually appears more likely to begin the season at Single-A St. Lucie. That might not be so bad: after all, Hill grew up in Alaska (his house was next to a baseball field), so a summer in Florida wouldn't be the worst thing.

Regardless, the organization is expecting a good showing from the player who edged Victor Diaz and Lastings Milledge as InsidePitchMagazine.com's 'Mets Minor League Hitter of the Year.'

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2004

Capital City

.272

459

125

26

89

83

20

36

110

.334

.492

2003

Capital City

.300

20

6

0

1

0

0

1

6

.364

.350

2003

Kingsport

.241

170

41

6

26

22

14

10

45

.280

.418

2002

Kingsport

.295

200

59

8

31

34

7

22

48

.374

.505


* Stats as of 10/1/04

Batting and Power. Hill has a great deal of raw power generating from his athletic physique. A workout junkie, Hill is always trying to improve his strength, speed, and agility. He blew away his preseason goal of 15 homeruns for 2004 and has set the lofty goal of 40 homeruns for 2005. Confident in his power game, Hill has spent the last couple of seasons focusing on making more contact at the plate. He strikes out a bit too much but when he does make contact, it is usually for extra bases. Hill started focusing on driving the ball more to right center in 2004 and it served him well as he hit .313 the second half of the season. He still has a little way to go to gain some more consistency at the plate.

Base Running and Speed. If Hill is anything, he is athletic. He has above average speed and is a decent base stealer. He will have to learn how to reach the pitchers better and improve his 65% career stolen base success rate.

Defense. Hill is a very good defensive right fielder with good range and a very good arm. He's not as good as Ambiorix Concepcion or Carlos Gomez are defensively at the same position, but very few ballplayers are. His quickness and innate baseball instincts serve him well in the outfield.

Projection. Jamar Hill has been told his game resembles Reggie Sanders and that comparison is actually dead on. Like Sanders, Hill has plus tools in both the speed and power departments and has 20-20, if not 30-30 potential down the road. He's build like Sanders and is aggressive like Sanders at the plate. Hill only hopes that the Sanders comparison doesn't also extend to being injury prone. Hill is a true student of the game and is always looking to improve. His fantastic work ethic combined with his raw abilities project him to be a starting corner outfielder at the Major League level and a very good run producer, hitting somewhere around fifth in the lineup.

ETA. 2007. Hill's original goal was to reach the Majors by the time he was 23 years old. Repeating a year at Kingsport has hurt his original timetable. With several good outfield prospects climbing the minor league ladder, the Mets may have to challenge Hill sometime soon. He'll need at least two more years of seasoning before he is ready for the Major Leagues. The safe bet is to expect Jamar Hill to begin the 2005 season in St. Lucie and possibly end the year at AA-Binghamton.

Outfielders

2004 Team

Victor Diaz

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Prentice Redman

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Jeff Duncan

AA - Binghamton Mets

Angel Pagan AA - Binghamton Mets
Wayne Lydon AA - Binghamton Mets
Ron Acuna AA - Binghamton Mets
Bobby Malek AA - Binghamton Mets
Alhaji Turay A - St. Lucie Mets
Jonathan Slack A - St. Lucie Mets
Joseph Jiannetti A - St. Lucie Mets
Lastings Milledge A - Capital City Bombers
Jamar Hill A - Capital City Bombers
Ryan Harvey A - Capital City Bombers
Rashad Parker A - Capital City Bombers
Caleb Stewart A - Capital City Bombers
Ambiorix Concepcion A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Corey Coles A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Dante Brinkley A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Derran Watts A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Seith Pietsch R - Kingsport Mets
Carlos Gomez R - Kingsport Mets
Joshua Wyrick R - Kingsport Mets
Jesus Gamero R - Kingsport Mets


Comments

Two years ago, the Mets were really devoid of any real threat in the outfield among their prospects. They currently have a handful of legitimate outfield prospects, players that could become full-time starters at the Major League level. While Victor Diaz and Prentice Redman are the closest to the Major Leagues, Lastings Milledge, Jamar Hill, and Ambiorix Concepcion give the Mets a very athletic look in the future. The Mets could have a very, very good outfield down the road.

1) Victor Diaz - AAA-Norfolk Tides - Diaz, making the switch from second base to right field in 2004, looked pretty comfortable in the field and at the plate. There's never been a question about his bat (he has won two minor league battle titles), just his attitude and defense. It will be interesting to see if the Mets make the commitment to Diaz in their outfield after a very good AAA debut in 2004, or use him as a trading piece for an established Major League talent.

2) Prentice Redman - AAA-Norfolk Tides - Redman does a little bit of everything well. He can run, hit, hit for power, and possesses speed. The problem is he doesn't any one of them very well. His future at the Major League level is as a reserve outfielder.

3) Jeff Duncan - AA-Binghamton Mets - Once patrolling centerfield for the Mets, Duncan was demoted all the way down to AA this past season. With Cameron tied up for the next two seasons, and with Milledge right behind him (or ahead of him in many ways), Duncan needs a change of scenery with a new organization.

4) Angel Pagan - AA-Binghamton Mets - Pagan is developing into a very good reserve-type outfielder that can play all three outfield positions and can hit at the top or bottom of the lineup. He make very good contact at the plate, has excellent speed, a good arm, and brings good enthusiasm into the clubhouse.

5) Wayne Lydon - AA -Binghamton Mets - Lydon is all about the speed. With 227 stolen bases the last three seasons, Lydon's a light-hitting defensive player that has a knack for the stolen bases. His ticket to the Majors is as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner.

6) Bobby Malek - AA-Binghamton Mets - There's a reason the Mets made Malek their 4th round selection in the 2002 draft. Malek is a very good defensive player that possesses a rare combination of power and speed. After struggling last season after elbow surgery, Malek regained his college form in 2004, hitting 14 home runs and stealing 15 bases. Malek still has the potential to be a starting outfielder at the Major League level. 2005 could be a breakout year for Malek.

7) Ronald Acuna - AA - Binghamton Mets - A very good contact hitter and excellent defensive player, Acuna's lack of power is his downfall as a prospect. He has just 5 HRs in his last 1,441 minor league at-bats. He's a 4th or 5th outfielder at the Major League level.

8) Joseph Jiannetti - A-St. Lucie Mets - Originally drafted as a 3B, the Mets moved him to 2B back in 2002 and then moved him to the outfield in 2004. Jiannetti is a nice hitter with decent pop. He's got the potential to be a reserve outfielder or as a possible utility player.

9) Jonathan Slack - A-St. Lucie Mets - Slack is a good defensive centerfielder much in the same mold as Lydon. Good defensively, decent hitter, great speed, and not much power. He's got the look of a possible reserve outfielder.

10) Alhaji Turay - A - St. Lucie Mets - The talent is there. A good defensive player, Turay has big time power potential and excellent speed. He has 30-30 potential and is easily one of the Mets' best run producing prospects....WHEN HEALTHY! Turay has to put together a full, healthy season before he becomes an elite prospect, but he does have that kind of talent.

11) Jamar Hill - A - Capital City Bombers - Hill, with 26 HRs & 20 SBs in 2004, had a breakout season this past year and showing the promise he displayed in Kingsport back in 2002. If he can duplicate the same success at St. Lucie in 2005, Hill could make that leap into one of the better outfield prospects in all of baseball.

12) Lastings Milledge - A- Capital City Bombers - Already considered the Mets' top prospect after the Mets trade Scott Kazmir, Milledge had a very good first year of long-season baseball. Milledge does it all: power, speed, defense, hitting, etc. He strikes out a bit too much, but could learn more selectivity as he matures. Easily the top outfield prospect for the Mets!

13) Ryan Harvey - A - Capital City Bombers - Harvey certainly gets overlooked by many despite being a very solid outfielder. Harvey, the Bombers' lone All-Star in '04, does a little bit of everything. Currently, he has the look of a reserve outfielder at the Major League level but he could be a late bloomer much in the same manner Jason Bay was. He's one to keep an eye on.

14) Rashad Parker - A - Capital City Bombers - Parker's a defensive and speed replacement at the minor league level. There's no reason to expect anything else.

15) Caleb Stewart - A - Capital City Bombers - Stewart is a big kid that moves very well. He has a very good batting eye and decent power. He could develop into a Major League starting outfielder down the road.

16) Ambiorix Concepcion - A - Brooklyn Cyclones - The player formerly known as Roberto Solano, Concepcion is a five-tool talent that has the raw ability to be an elite outfield prospect for the Mets. Voted by Baseball America as the top prospect in the NY-Penn League this year, Concepcion reminds scouts of Vladmir Guerrero at the same point in development.

17) Corey Coles - A - Brooklyn Cyclones - Coles had a tremendous start to the 2004 season for Brooklyn and then had a disasterous finish. At 23, he's going to have to have some success at higher levels before we get too excited about him.

18) Dante Brinkley - A - Brooklyn Cyclones - Brinkley is a nice player that can do a little bit of everything. He has the look of a future reserve outfielder.

19) Derran Watts - A - Brooklyn Cyclones - Has more speed than Brinkley, a better arm, and is better defensively. But has a long way to go to become legit outfield prospect.

20) Carlos Gomez - R - Kingsport Mets - Gomez was a wide-eyed 18-year old kid playing rookie ball this past season, but has the raw talent to be a special prospect. He's got a cannon for an arm, good batting eye, and developing power. He could be atop this list next year along with Lastings Milledge and Jamar Hill as the Mets' best outfield prospects.

21) Seth Pietsch - R - Kingsport Mets - A little old for the Appy League, Pietsch is a strong kid with good power and speed. He needs to show some success at the higher levels.

22) Joshua Wyrick - R - Kingsport Mets - Wyrick, an 11th round pick in the 2004 draft, had a decent professional debut. He's a speedster with great range.

23) Jesus Gamero - R - Kingsport Mets - Has an excellent batting eye and developing power.

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