Name: Logan Forsythe
DOB: January 14, 1987
A supplemental first-round pick in 2008, Forsythe was to be counted on heavily at short-season Eugene with other top picks yet unsigned. After going 3-for-9 through his first three games, Forsythe broke his thumb diving into the first base bag. That helved him until the middle of August – costing two months of developmental time.
"I didn't get a chance to see (Logan) Forsythe because they only played three games and it's the middle of the third game and he got hurt," Eugene manager Greg Riddoch said. "But everybody raves about him, he's our Olympic third baseman, good makeup, good enough arm, good hands and good bat, really never got to see him play so the big problem as I see it next year is which one (Forsythe or James Darnell) goes to Lake Elsinore and which one goes to Fort Wayne?"
Coming back, he struggled in nine games with the Arizona Rookie League Padres, going 6-for-26.
Despite a .231 average in Arizona, he managed to get on base at a .429 clip and was hit by five pitches across two leagues and 15 games.
Understandably, it was hard to get a read on him because of the lack of playing time.
"He was kind of tough because I only saw him for a few games," AZL Padres manager Jose Flores said. "As much as they want to say they were 100%, you could still see that there was still some soreness in his thumb.
"On the offensive side, obviously he was coming off a thumb injury. He looked a little long on the swing, but then again that's only maybe 12 games, if that. I know that he's probably going to get a little bigger and a little stronger as he gets going down in his career, again, for a guy to move the way he does at third is what impresses me the most."
"Like what I saw in Logan," AZL Padres hitting coach Bob Skube said. "He's a talented young player that I'm really excited about being able to work with him. He's got a lot of talent."
He moved on the Padres Instructional League where he gave a taste of the type of hitter he can be. Forsythe consistently made hard contact – hitting the ball to all fields and with power.
While the power was absent during league play, the third baseman has a strong frame that should add muscle and homer power as he matures.
He has a compact stroke that consistently produces a level swing through the hitting zone. He creates good separation with his hands and explodes forward through the hitting zone with his hands and torso.
Forsythe's hands are relaxed and his bat head doesn't have far to travel after the trigger, allowing him to get his hands inside the ball and hit the ball where it is pitched.
He can turn on the inside fastball just as well as he goes the other way on outside pitches. He has already shown the ability to hit the ball with power to the opposite field and that should improve as he adds muscle.
Sound in all phases of the game, Forsythe is a heady player with instincts and smarts. He does all the little things well and is constantly looking to improve.
"Understands hitting, very diligent in his approach, really is a student of the pitcher that he's going to be facing that day, really wants to get as much information as he can about that pitcher and studies him before his at-bats, watches from the dugout really well; understands hitting very well," Skube said. "Came from a college where the hitting coach, I respect everything that I've heard about him. But he's going to be a – I would anticipate Logan being a high average 20 to 30 doubles a year, middle-of-the-order kind of guy that plays great defense. I think he'll carry that through every level he plays at."
The third baseman has a solid understanding of the strike zone, enhanced by his ability to allow pitches to travel deep. He is able to recognize pitches and the spin of the ball before committing. With great bat control, he will put the ball in play more often than not.
"What I like about Logan is that he knows the game, and he's a competitor, and he's going to come out to play and do the best that he possibly can that night, whether it's offensively or defensively," Flores said. "I like his footwork around third base, he's got a nice arm, he moves well, he reacts to balls well at third."
The Arkansas alumnus is an average runner that will swipe a few bags each year. He also takes advantage of sleeping outfielders with head's up base running. Rarely will he be caught out of position because of his in-game savvy.
Forsythe plays a very good third base with plenty of arm to make all the throws. The Tennessee native reads the ball well off the bat and moves well laterally and coming in on the ball. He sets his feet before each throw and has good balance to deliver accurate tosses to first base. Because of his athleticism, he is a candidate to move off the hot corner – with second base and the outfield mentioned as possibilities.
"How is his stick going to come? Again, it's going to take some time because he didn't get enough at-bats for him to see what he can do," Flores said. "But I know he can drop the ball to the other part of the field, which is what everybody always looks for. If you can drop the ball 380 feet to the opposite field, you can definitely pull the ball down the line or to the left side of the field, so he has a pop there."
Conclusion: Forsythe showed the promise of a potent bat at the Padres Instructional League. When healthy, he is a contact hitter that has maturing pop. The power numbers will continue to increase and his ability to be patient with a consistent and clean approach put him ahead of the curve.
Lacking game experience hurt him in year one but the injury isn't one that will hamper his future. He must continue to add weight to his frame, especially if he hopes to stick at third base, as the third is a premier power position.
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