Scouting Mets Prospect #32: Sean Ratliff

Outfield production is one of the bigger needs in this farm system which is why the Mets selected Sean Ratliff with the 4th round pick in the 2008 draft. Ratliff came a long way in his second season, showing a strong blend of power, defense and overall baseball acumen. Check out his scouting report to find out how and why he will continue to contribute.

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Vital Statistics
Name: Sean Ratliff
DOB: February 24, 1987
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 185
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Status: 4th Round (2008) – Stanford

"For me, this season was a good experience of learning how to make adjustments on the fly and learning how to deal with playing every day for 140-plus games. I think I only missed five or six games the whole year so it's a grind on your body and you realize how conditioned you have to be, but I think I handled it well," outfielder Sean Ratliff explained.

Handled it well is a bit of an understatement given the stretches of scorching offense Ratliff provided at the heart of the Sand Gnats order, especially at the start of the season. He hit .346 through his first 26 games and then went on a torrid stretch in which he hit .552 with eight doubles, two home runs, six RBI and ten runs in the final week of April.

That production was the result of dedicated work to revamp his swing and find a solid approach to build his offensive game. The numbers continued the following month when he hit .321 with three home runs. He battled through swings of production the rest of the season, but eventually led the club with 15 home runs, 68 RBI, 11 steals to go with a .265 average. The numbers were the end result of his work ethic according to Sand Gnats hitting coach Rob Ellis.

"Sean's the type of guy who takes a lot of pride in what he does and has a very open ear to suggestions, but is comfortable in doing what he wants to as well," said Ellis. "He makes appropriate adjustments and I think it showed this year especially in the numbers the put up."

Ratliff's swing remained his season-long priority as it was during his first season in Brooklyn in 2008. The consistency and execution of his swing and developing a more consistent approach to make a more complete hitter were things he and Ellis worked on throughout the year.

"I think Sean has a lot of bat speed in his swing and a lot raw power potential in my mind. I think just cutting down the swing a little bit and concentrating on the middle of the field I think will fix things a bit and likely cut his strikeout numbers in half," said Ellis. "That could allow his average to go up 10 or 15 points. Now it's a matter of going into games and trusting the new things he is trying with two strikes."

In light of his work, Ratliff pieced together one of the most productive seasons of any outfielder in the farm system. Ranking among the leaders in home runs and RBI eventually garnered Ratliff a late-season promotion to St. Lucie where he hit .286 (8-for-28) with six RBI in seven games. It was a positive end that Ellis feels should carry into next season.

"I saw that growth throughout the year," said Ellis. "Sean's had more experience than some of our guys having played ball at a high collegiate level, but he's a guy who knows his swing well and is a very tedious worker as far as his swing his concerned. I think that will carry on to next year."

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2009

St. Lucie

.286

28

8

0

6

3

0

0

10

.286

.357

2009

Savannah

.265

468

124

15

68

64

11

31

131

.312

.451

2008

Brooklyn

.229

201

46

7

22

32

1

18

67

.300

.388



Batting and Power: Ratliff boasts excellent natural power, but his advancement as a hitter will come with an improved contact stroke. His load does get long at times, but he generally keeps his weight back and drives through the ball authority. A more open stance and better bat control give him excellent plate coverage and the ability to drive the ball to all fields, but a greater up the middle approach should transform him from a streaky power to a more well-rounded one. He is an intelligent hitter who can make adjustments on the fly and adapt them in a short period of time. Repetition and time should bring out a greater compliment of offensive tools.

Base Running and Speed: For an outfielder with a sizable, strong frame, Ratliff actually possesses very good complimentary speed. His speed can be classified as average for his position, but a good first step, fluid running motion and well-timed aggressiveness on the bases make him a very sound base runner. Such acumen allows him take an extra bases when available and his good sense of timing will make him a low double-digit stolen base threat.

Defense: That speed plus good instincts make him a very sound defender who can comfortably slide around all three outfield positions. He reads the ball very well and uses that first step to run down balls with a flair for the big play. He spent much of the season in centerfield out of necessity, but average arm strength and lack of ideal athleticism for the positions pins him best in left field.

Projection: Ratliff demonstrated much of the growth the organization anticipated in his second season. He enters the 2010 season in excellent position to increase his value, but he needs to tighten up a wide strikeout-to-walk ratio that could slow down his progress in the Florida State League. He needs to demonstrate he can become a better contact to back up his best tool—his raw power. Cutting down on the strikeouts should alone help his batting average climb into the .270s. Such an increase, compared with his raw power, should be enough to get him looks as a possible power source off the bench. However, there is still plenty to be discerned when he hits the higher levels.

ETA: 2012. Ratliff did not receive the expected start in St. Lucie in 2009 as anticipated which pushes back his arrival by one year. It could hedge back to late 2011 if he gets to a hot start in 2010 and spends considerable time in Binghamton this upcoming season, but best bet is that he spends another two full seasons on the farm before getting a look in New York.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nTo discuss all of the scouting reports, head to the Subscribers Forum
\r\n
\r\n
\r\nVital Statistics
\r\nName: Sean Ratliff
\r\nDOB: February 24, 1987
\r\nHeight: 6'3\"
\r\nWeight: 185
\r\nBats: Left
\r\nThrows: Left
\r\nStatus: 4th Round (2008) – Stanford
\r\n
\r\n\"For me, this season was a good experience of learning how to make adjustments on the fly and learning how to deal with playing every day for 140-plus games. I think I only missed five or six games the whole year so it's a grind on your body and you realize how conditioned you have to be, but I think I handled it well,\" outfielder Sean Ratliff explained.
\r\n
\r\nHandled it well is a bit of an understatement given the stretches of scorching offense Ratliff provided at the heart of the Sand Gnats order, especially at the start of the season. He hit .346 through his first 26 games and then went on a torrid stretch in which he hit .552 with eight doubles, two home runs, six RBI and ten runs in the final week of April.
\r\n
\r\nThat production was the result of dedicated work to revamp his swing and find a solid approach to build his offensive game. The numbers continued the following month when he hit .321 with three home runs. He battled through swings of production the rest of the season, but eventually led the club with 15 home runs, 68 RBI, 11 steals to go with a .265 average. The numbers were the end result of his work ethic according to Sand Gnats hitting coach Rob Ellis.
\r\n
\r\n\"Sean's the type of guy who takes a lot of pride in what he does and has a very open ear to suggestions, but is comfortable in doing what he wants to as well,\" said Ellis. \"He makes appropriate adjustments and I think it showed this year especially in the numbers the put up.\"
\r\n
\r\nRatliff's swing remained his season-long priority as it was during his first season in Brooklyn in 2008. The consistency and execution of his swing and developing a more consistent approach to make a more complete hitter were things he and Ellis worked on throughout the year.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think Sean has a lot of bat speed in his swing and a lot raw power potential in my mind. I think just cutting down the swing a little bit and concentrating on the middle of the field I think will fix things a bit and likely cut his strikeout numbers in half,\" said Ellis. \"That could allow his average to go up 10 or 15 points. Now it's a matter of going into games and trusting the new things he is trying with two strikes.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn light of his work, Ratliff pieced together one of the most productive seasons of any outfielder in the farm system. Ranking among the leaders in home runs and RBI eventually garnered Ratliff a late-season promotion to St. Lucie where he hit .286 (8-for-28) with six RBI in seven games. It was a positive end that Ellis feels should carry into next season.
\r\n
\r\n\"I saw that growth throughout the year,\" said Ellis. \"Sean's had more experience than some of our guys having played ball at a high collegiate level, but he's a guy who knows his swing well and is a very tedious worker as far as his swing his concerned. I think that will carry on to next year.\"
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n AVG.

\r\n

\r\n AB

\r\n

\r\n Hits

\r\n

\r\n HR

\r\n

\r\n RBI

\r\n

R

\r\n

\r\n SB

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

K

\r\n

\r\n OBP

\r\n

\r\n SLG

\r\n

\r\n 2009

\r\n

\r\n St. Lucie

\r\n

\r\n .286

\r\n

\r\n 28

\r\n

\r\n 8

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 6

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 10

\r\n

\r\n .286

\r\n

\r\n .357

\r\n

\r\n 2009

\r\n

\r\n Savannah

\r\n

\r\n .265

\r\n

\r\n 468

\r\n

\r\n 124

\r\n

\r\n 15

\r\n

\r\n 68

\r\n

\r\n 64

\r\n

\r\n 11

\r\n

\r\n 31

\r\n

\r\n 131

\r\n

\r\n .312

\r\n

\r\n .451

\r\n

\r\n 2008

\r\n

\r\n Brooklyn

\r\n

\r\n .229

\r\n

\r\n 201

\r\n

\r\n 46

\r\n

\r\n 7

\r\n

\r\n 22

\r\n

\r\n 32

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n 18

\r\n

\r\n 67

\r\n

\r\n .300

\r\n

\r\n .388


\r\n
\r\nBatting and Power: Ratliff boasts excellent natural power, but his advancement as a hitter will come with an improved contact stroke. His load does get long at times, but he generally keeps his weight back and drives through the ball authority. A more open stance and better bat control give him excellent plate coverage and the ability to drive the ball to all fields, but a greater up the middle approach should transform him from a streaky power to a more well-rounded one. He is an intelligent hitter who can make adjustments on the fly and adapt them in a short period of time. Repetition and time should bring out a greater compliment of offensive tools.
\r\n
\r\nBase Running and Speed: For an outfielder with a sizable, strong frame, Ratliff actually possesses very good complimentary speed. His speed can be classified as average for his position, but a good first step, fluid running motion and well-timed aggressiveness on the bases make him a very sound base runner. Such acumen allows him take an extra bases when available and his good sense of timing will make him a low double-digit stolen base threat.
\r\n
\r\nDefense: That speed plus good instincts make him a very sound defender who can comfortably slide around all three outfield positions. He reads the ball very well and uses that first step to run down balls with a flair for the big play. He spent much of the season in centerfield out of necessity, but average arm strength and lack of ideal athleticism for the positions pins him best in left field.
\r\n
\r\nProjection: Ratliff demonstrated much of the growth the organization anticipated in his second season. He enters the 2010 season in excellent position to increase his value, but he needs to tighten up a wide strikeout-to-walk ratio that could slow down his progress in the Florida State League. He needs to demonstrate he can become a better contact to back up his best tool—his raw power. Cutting down on the strikeouts should alone help his batting average climb into the .270s. Such an increase, compared with his raw power, should be enough to get him looks as a possible power source off the bench. However, there is still plenty to be discerned when he hits the higher levels.
\r\n
\r\nETA: 2012. Ratliff did not receive the expected start in St. Lucie in 2009 as anticipated which pushes back his arrival by one year. It could hedge back to late 2011 if he gets to a hot start in 2010 and spends considerable time in Binghamton this upcoming season, but best bet is that he spends another two full seasons on the farm before getting a look in New York.
\r\n
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