2002 Scouting Report: Catcher, Michael Jacobs

Michael Jacobs was the Mets 38th selection in the June 1999 draft. He attended Grossmount Junior College. Jacobs is a hard-nosed player who is considered something of a gamer by the Mets organization.

Jacobs, a left-handed hitter, more than held his own in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) with a .273, 3 HR, 8 RBI in 44 at bats. Given the limited at-bats, Jacobs showed power and an ability to drive the baseball to the opposite field. His AFL OPS of 0.847 is also in line with his numbers at Gulfport in 1999 and Kingsport in 2000.

Jacobs has shown excellent power with 16 doubles and a triple. Since becoming a regular about 6-weelds ago, Phillips has raised his BA by more than 50 points. His ratios have declined this season: 0.6 BB per 10 AB; and 2.1 K per 10 AB. Normally, a substantial decline in BB/AB ratio raises a flag regarding how well a hitter adjusts to a level. In this case.

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2002

St. Lucie

.238

399

95

10

53

50

2

23

82

.283

.366

2001

Cap City

.278

180

50

2

26

18

0

13

46

.328

.383

2001

Brooklyn

.288

66

19

1

15

12

1

6

11

.364

.409

2000

Cap City

.214

56

12

0

8

1

1

6

19

.290

.304

2000

Kingsport

.270

204

55

7

40

28

6

33

62

.371

.485

1999

Gulfport

.333

147

49

4

30

18

2

14

30

.391

.476


*Stats as of 8/14/02.

Batting and Power. Jacobs projects to be a solid with at least 15-18 HR power potential. His role will be dictated by his power.

Base running and speed. Jacobs is slow, but runs the bases with some aggressiveness.

Defense. Jacobs has a strong arm, and will be an adequate at best catcher.

Projection. Backup or platoon catcher. Long-shot to be a starter.

ETA. Late 2004.

Catchers Team
Jason Phillips AAA - Norfolk Tides
Justin Huber A - St. Lucie Mets
John Wilson A - St. Lucie Mets
Brett Kay A - Capital City Bombers
Jim Anderson A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Brandon Wilson R - Kingsport Mets
Yunir Garcia R - Kingsport Mets


COMMENTS


For the Mets farm system, catching is one of its strongest positions. Jacobs, Wilson and Kay played together at St. Lucie hampering the development of each player. Even given considerable time at DH, each lacked sufficient ABs to develop. Wilson has since moved to Binghamton and Kay to Columbia. Huber, the Mets top catching prospect, was promoted to St. Lucie. For the most part, Huber serves as the DH. Brandon Wilson is another high ceiling catching prospect.

1. The surprising promotion of Huber to St. Lucie means that he will have handled most of the Mets pitching prospects between Spring Training and stints at Kingsport, Columbia and now St. Lucie. The most important task a catcher has is to handle a pitching staff. Thus, the Mets will be content to promote Huber through the system, providing that he improves his handling of a pitching staff.

2. Jason Phillips is ready and projects to be at least a very good back up catcher. More likely, Phillips should develop into a solid starting catcher. Mike Piazza and Vance Wilson block Phillips' road to Shea Stadium. Phillips or Wilson should eventually be dealt.

3. Michael Jacobs, a left-handed hitter, performed well in the Arizona Fall League, and his ratios suggested he would not have been overpowered by AA pitching. As both Jacobs is Rule 5 draft eligible, the Mets might be hiding him. Jacobs is a rare commodity; a good hitting catcher who bats left-handed.

4. Brett Kay is another potentially solid all-around catcher with superior small ball skills to Phillips.

5. Jacobs and Wilson both have good bats, and could be productive reserve catchers.

6. Brandon Wilson has the most power of any catcher in the system.

7. Yunir Garcia has been a pleasant surprise, since he didn't show much offense when playing for the Universidad de Carabobo - the Mets VSL team.



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