Third-rounder Cole Stobbe put up a nice first season in the pros and looks to build on that in 2017.

The Phillies selected high school prospect Cole Stobbe in the third round of the 2016 Draft and went against conventional wisdom in announcing him as a shortstop.

In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter what position a team announces a player as when they draft them. Cole Stobbe may have a difficult time sticking at shortstop, and it seems like he's destined to play at third base, but the Phillies are interested in seeing what he can do at short. His first pro season at the position was decent, but certainly not spectacular. He was eighth in the Gulf Coast League in errors committed and finished with a .932 fielding percentage.

Stobbe's problem at short isn't that he can't field, it's in the limited range that he offers. Besides the errors, there were just too many balls that got past him because of a limited range. That problem could be solved with a move to third base. While his arm is a little weak to stay at shortstop, he does have enough of an arm to play at third, and his range wouldn't be exposed nearly as much as at short.

In drafting Stobbe, the Phillies got the type of player who doesn't necessarily have spectacular skills at any one part of the game, but he has solid skills in pretty much every facet of the game. He also would seem able to take at least one or two of those skills and make them into something special, but the problem is, that with such a young player, it's hard to figure exactly which skills will be the ones.

Right now, the easiest part of Stobbe's game to project is his power. He's got above-average power, but can sometimes rely less on his raw power than he does on trying to hit the ball out of the park when he gets into games. Once he settles in more and starts to trust his raw power, his line drive swings are going to produce the power to drive the ball while not overswinging at pitches. In 148 at-bats with the GCL Phillies last season, Stobbe hit four home runs, producing a slugging percentage of .405 on the season. As a high school senior, Stobbe hit 14 home runs, putting him among the top longball artists in the high school ranks. Most scouts project him as a guy who can get somewhere close to a 20 home run per year guy in the majors.

Stobbe's line drive approach allows him to hit the ball to all fields and his power should be enough that he can take the ball out to all fields once he puts things together. In his first season, the power was all to his pull-side, which isn't out of the ordinary for a young hitter.

On the basepaths, Stobbe has average speed, but has good instincts that allow him to grab an extra base here and there and swipe second in the right situations.

There were some comparisons made to Colorado's Trevor Story, who put up impressive numbers in his first season with the Rockies, hitting 27-72-.272/.341/.567 after having one of the hotter arrivals in the majors that a player could ever hope to have. It would be a big plus if Stobbe gets to that type of power, but then again, his ability to hit for a slightly higher average might offset some of the power drop from Story's numbers.

Cole Stobbe 2016 Stats
2016 Phillies 44 168 148 23 40 8 0 4 13 3 6 14 30 .270 .337 .405
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/2/2017.

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