Scouting Mets' Prospect # 3: 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. Bowman ranks #3 in our Top 50 Mets' Prospects.

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

Take a deep breath and read this slowly: third base prospect Shawn Bowman is so graceful in the field that he could one day force the Mets to slap a first baseman's glove on David Wright, who has already drawn accolades as a young Scott Rolen.

That's right. You can wonder all you want about second base, pitching or the outfield, but the Mets appear to have their future well set at the hot corner - probably a sentence that's never been written before in the club's history. Should all work out according to plan, Mets fans can forget about ever watching the likes of Pumpsie Green, Butch Huskey and Jeff McKnight at third base – Bowman, who was compared by one scout to Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson (!), could be the one that settles it once and for all.

"Hands down, Bowman is the best defensive third base prospect I can ever remember seeing," said another National League scout. "That's how good that kid is."

A product on Westminster, British Columbia, Bowman began playing baseball when he was five years old despite growing up in hockey territory. Originally a shortstop, a 14-year-old Bowman played on the Canadian club that defeated teams like the U.S. and Korea in the World Junior Championship.

Drafted while playing for the Canadian Junior National team in 2002, Bowman did not sign until mid-August and thus missed a chance at making his professional debut that year. He would lace up his cleats for the first time as a pro in 2003 with Kingsport of the Appalachian League, and was quickly converted to a third baseman. "They said I had an infielder's hand, but not shortstop feet," Bowman told us. "I like it better than short. It's a more reactive position and I like that."

Obviously. In a brief cameo at Brooklyn at the end of 2003, Bowman first started raising eyebrows among fans and scouts with his dazzling defense around the hot corner, although his offensive struggles (just .203 in 138 at-bats) tempered any great expectations.

Mets coaches tinkered with Bowman's stance at the plate to reduce pop-ups, moving his hands up to cut back on Bowman's lunging, and the adjustment did the trick. Bowman homered in his first game with Single-A Capital City last year and didn't look back, clubbing a career-high 19 home runs in his sophomore season and establishing himself as a team leader.

"[He has] terrific commitment, and he's a good teammate," Bombers manager Jack Lind said. "He has the potential to be a good offensive player." Though Bowman may never duplicate the hitting prowess that sent Wright from Double-A to Shea Stadium in 2004, he still has the opportunity to develop into a solid offensive player. Bowman may actually wind up producing more power than Wright, which – if the two are ever combined at the major league level – could prove to be a devastating double-whammy for National League pitchers.















Capital City






































* 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


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 have chances 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.

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories