Top Prospect #49: Darin McDonald

Darin McDonald had a lot of options coming out of high school. He could have gone to college to play either baseball or football or sign with the Phillies. Surprisingly to some, McDonald chose the Phillies.

Darin McDonald is a talented athlete. There is no doubt about that. What some people do doubt is whether he chose the sport that he is most talented in to be his livelihood. There are plenty of people around who think McDonald is better suited for the football field than the baseball field, which isn't to say that he can't make it in professional baseball.

If his debut summer is any indication, the Phillies have lots to look forward to and can be thankful that McDonald chose baseball over football. The signing meant passing up a scholarship to Idaho State to play football, but it also meant that the family tradition continued. McDonald's father and two older brothers played professional baseball and that's probably a good part of the reason why the youngest McDonald chose baseball. Another factor could have been that in McDonald's senior season, he hit an astonishing .515 and really improved his draft prospects; probably enough to sway his decision.

Darin McDonald's Career Stats

'06 Gulf Coast 0 15 .266 37 128 13 34 7 0 5 7 31 .331

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 12th round of the 2006 Draft out of Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, Colorado.

Batting and Power: McDonald doesn't show a lot of power. He is a little bit of a project offensively, since he needs to learn some plate discipline. It will likely take him another season - at least - in the short-season ranks until he is ready to move to Lakewood.

Baserunning and Speed: McDonald has some speed, but hasn't been able to convert it to stolen bases. He was thrown out three times in eight attempts last season in the Gulf Coast League. If he learns a little better technique on the bases, he may steal a few more bases, but won't ever be a major base stealing threat.

Defense: There is plenty for McDonald to learn defensively and he made six errors last season with the GCL Phillies. The good news is that he has a decent arm and had six outfield assists.

Projection: Keep in mind that this is a kid who is fresh out of high school. He's not going to be a fast mover, but is worth the time that the Phillies will invest in him. Eventually, he'll develop into a much better player than he is now, but it's going to take time.

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