HT: 6-2 WT: 190 POS: C
Bluefield Orioles(49 G, 166 AB, .277/.368/.434)
Brendan Monaghan made his professional debut in 2007 after three years at St. John's University. He showed good contact skills and plate discipline in college, but lacked much power. He split time behind the dish at Bluefield with fellow prospect Dustin Black.
While Monaghan's hit tool and plate discipline remained solid in his professional debut, he showed more gap power than even the Orioles anticipated. He looked especially strong both early and late in the season. He struggled against left-handers in a small sample size, which is a statistical indicator of his ability to sit on his younger competition's breaking stuff.
Monaghan projects to hit for average at higher levels and be able to maintain a solid OBP. Some scouts believe there is even some projectable power left in his athletic frame. He has above-average speed for a catcher, though he's no threat on the bases, and managed to rack up three triples in August.
Monaghan isn't built like a typical cather, but he was a reliable target who will be able to remain behind the plate. He earned praise for his work with young pitchers and held runners at bay with average arm strength and good footwork and transfer skills.
Monaghan is probably ready for a shot at full-season ball and he may start 2008 in low-A Delmarva. He's likely to split time with Dustin Black again and their relative prospect statuses should spark debate among the most ardent minor league observers. At this point, Monaghan's profile projects as more of a backup than a starter, but he has time to develop in any number of ways. He could continue to add power or further refine his on base skills and move up on the organizational depth chart. With his advanced approach and the relative lack of catching depth in the O's system, Monaghan could get pushed quickly if he responds favorably to Perdue Stadium's harsh offensive environment.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via e-mail at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com