Scouting The Prospects: Michael Durant

Michael Durant could have gone on to play college ball at Fresno State. Instead, he signed with the Phillies after the 2005 Draft, but has showed slow progress in his early opportunities.

Let's start by keeping in mind that Michael Durant is still just 19 years old. This is a kid with a lot of upside and tremendous potential, but he's also a work in progress. If he's going to realize that upside and potential, the Phillies will need to continue working with him and allowing him to develop at his own pace. So far, it appears that everybody involved is showing patience.

Gulf Coast League 0 2 .226 11 31 3 7 2 0 2 1 3 14 .294

2006 Prospect Ranking: 47

Status: Durant is going to move slowly through the organization. His 2006 numbers weren't anything to get too excited about and it appears that he's destined for another short-season league in 2007, although he'll probably move up a step and play at Williamsport next year after extended camp.

Scouting Notes: At times, Durant looks like a guy who simply swings hard in case he hits it. He's got to realize and be comfortable with the fact that he's got natural power and he can let things happen naturally rather than force them. When he lets his mechanics fall into place, Durant looks impressive, but all too often, he doesn't do that. Instead, he presses and tries to hit monster homeruns rather than just putting the bat on the ball and letting nature take its course.

Durant finished his debut pro season (2005) second in the Gulf Coast League with 56 strikeouts. His at bats per strikeout ratio remained about the same in 2006, as he struck out once every 2.21 at bats compared to every 2.25 at bats in 2005. He has to cut down on his big swing if he's going to be an effective hitter.

Analysis: Give Durant at least one more season - possibly two - before we really begin to worry. You truly do have to remember that this is a 19 year old kid who will fill out a little more and will also develop more maturity and discipline.

Durant is locked in at first base and he's a decent defensive first baseman.

Keep an eye on Durant in 2007 to see if he can start to put it all together at the plate. He's likely to start the year in extended camp and then be a part of the first team that the Phillies field in Williampsort when they begin play later in the summer.

Look for our 2007 Top 50 Phillies Prospects rankings to hit the site beginning in January, 2007.

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