HT: 6-3 WT: 210 POS: OF
Delmarva Shorebirds - (104 G, 371 AB, .288/.377/.531)
Director of Scouting Joe Jordan drafted Brandon Tripp in the 21st round of the 2003 draft but was unable to get him to sign with his employer- the Florida Marlins. Three years later, after Tripp had a solid career at Cal State Fullerton, Jordan finally got his man in the 12th round. Tripp was always noted for his athleticism, but he struggled in his 2006 debut. Some adjustments to his swing mechanics led to a breakout in 2007, when he was the top hitter in the Shorebirds lineup.
Brandon Tripp offers solid contact skills and slightly above-average power potential. Though he struck out 112 times in 2007, he tend to make hard contact and a high line-drive rate should keep a lot of his contact falling in for base hits.
As impressive as Tripp's 2007 season was, Perdue Stadium's run-suppressing environment didn't do him any favors. He hit a monstrous .335/411/.569 on the road. Tripp also had a noticeable platoon split, but most in the organization feel that he's good enough to hit against lefties at higher levels.
Tripp has a tick above-average speed, but he's never been much of a threat on the basepaths.
Tripp is a good defender in right field with a strong arm. He'd actually be a decent defender in centerfield, if not for the presence of Danny Figueroa, and his athleticism stands out in a corner.
The Orioles let Tripp stay at one level in 2007 to ensure that his breakout was for real. The downside is that he is now entering his age 23 season and he will be starting in high-A Frederick. This season, the organization won't hesitate to move him up as his performance warrants advancement. As a result, he could be knocking on the door by mid-2009. Tripp has the upside of a solid regular, but most observers at least see the possibility of him becoming a good fourth outfielder.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via e-mail at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com