First Baseman, Craig Brazell

Craig Brazell was the Mets' 5th round selection in the June 1998 free agent draft from Jefferson Davis HS in Montgomery, Alabama. Brazell's season was shortened when he dislocated his knee. Brazell rested the knee and was expected to recover sufficiently to participate in the Florida Instructional League. At the time, Brazell was leading the league in home runs and RBIs by a wide margin. Brazell had 49 extra-base hits in about 330 at bats.

Brazell has great power projection and many of the 30 doubles and triples also project to be home runs as Brazell fill out. Brazell added 10 lbs of muscle to his frame after this 2000 season.

He was in the midst of a 2 month hitting tear in which he had lifted his batting average by 64 points from a season low of .244 in mid-May. He finished 2nd in the batting title race at Kingsport in 1999. Despite repeating the SAL, Brazell saw his K-rate worsen from about 1 K per 5 at bats to about 1 K per 4.8 at bats. His walk rate improved, but is still at a level to be cause for concern.

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

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 10/31/01

Batting and Power. Brazell already has excellent power. At 6'3 ½" , 195 lbs., his power is projectible. So he is likely to hit for tremendous power as he fills out. He has hit well 3 of his 4 years in the minors. But, he serious lacks patience that is likely to be exploited when he reaches AA and AAA.

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

Defense. Brazell is a converted catcher and is still learning the position. He was converted to first base in 2000.

Projection: Potentially a starting first baseman.

ETA: N/A. It's too soon to project how quickly Brazell might move through the system. He can hit, but his lack of patience is something of a concern.

First Basemen Team
Jorge Toca AAA - Norfolk Tides
Aaron McNeal AA - Binghamton Mets
Earl Snyder AA - Binghamton Mets
Brett Harper A - Capital City Bombers
Tyler Beuerlein A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Jay Caligiuri A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Andres Rodriguez R - Kingsport Mets
Jason Wendt R - Kingsport Mets
Aaron Balderis R - Kingsport Mets


COMMENTS


1. Craig Brazell is the Mets top prospect at first base. He has enormous power potential. Although his season was cut short by a knee injury, his 19 home runs projected to nearly 30 home runs had he remained healthy. Brazell add another 20-25 pounds of useful muscle to his frame. Brazell provides the Mets with a left-handed power hitter the farm system and the Mets desperately need. And, the system generall lacks good power hitters. Brazell performed at this level with virtually no protection in the order.

2. First base is one of the weak positions in the Mets farm system. Jorge Toca is at an age where he can no longer be considered a prospect. Aaron McNeal was claimed off waivers from the Astros farm system. Caligiuri, Beuerlen, Harper, Wendt, and Balderis have all been converted from other positions. Balderis missed the entire season with an injury. Harper and Caligiuri are considered primarily as third basemen while Beuerlein is a catcher who did play 1B and OF at Grand Canyon College.

3. Rodriguez recently joined Kingsport from the Mets Dominican Summer League team and may be the other first base prosect to watch.



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