Phillies Prospect #56: Welinson Baez

At one time, Welinson Baez was a highly touted infield prospect that the Phillies thought would be pushing for a spot on the Major League roster by just about this point in his career. Instead, he's langishing and falling off the radar.

This is a free preview of prospect profiles that our premium users get as part of their Insider subscription. For more information on the other great offers that are part of our Insider subscription, click the link at the bottom of the article.

Acquired: Signed as an amateur free agent in August, 2002.

B: T: R  /  Height: 6' 3"  /  Weight: 190 lbs  /  Birth Date: July 7, 1984

2007 Team/League: Clearwater (63 g), Lakewood (62 g)

Positions Played in 2007: 3B (124 g)

When the Phillies initially scouted and signed Welinson Baez, nobody imagined that he would have sunk as far as he has on the list of Phillies prospects. The theory was that by about this time, Baez would be pushing his way toward the majors and had a shot at being among the top ten prospects in the organization. After languishing in the Gulf Coast League for two and a half seasons, Baez still had a bright future because he was so young and the Phillies had figured that it might take him a little time to adjust to life in the pros. Now though, he's yet to show the type of potential that the Phillies expected and it's hard to find too many in the organization that now believe he's going to ever reach that promise.

Batting and Power: The real problem with Baez offensively has been his strikeout numbers. For a guy with little power, his 315 strikeouts over the past two seasons are way too high. The Phillies never expected power out of Baez and they haven't gotten it, but they also haven't found the plate discipline that they thought he would develop over time. Even with a career average of .245 and a high strikeout rate, Baez has a career .321 on-base percentage, which isn't all that bad considering his drawbacks. It's frustrating to think about what Baez might be able to do if he were able to generate some walks and cut down on his strikeouts. After slashing 34 doubles in 2006, he dropped to 22 last season in twenty extra at bats, taking away another potentially promising part of his offensive game.

Baserunning and Speed: Baez has slightly above average speed, but he is a savvy baserunner and doesn't make too many mistakes on the bases.

Defense: After shuttling Baez back-and-forth between shortstop and third base, the Phillies have simply planted him at third base for the past two seasons. His defense is another drawback and even settling into one position hasn't helped his development. The other disappointing aspect is that Baez has worked hard to improve his defense and it just hasn't helped.

Projection: Baez is going to need a real turn around if he's going to put himself back on the radar. There is so much for him to work on that it just doesn't figure to be likely that he's going to become a real prospect. His big saving grace right now is that he's still just 23 years old and has time to turn things around, but considering that he's put honest work into his development over five minor league seasons and it hasn't helped, you have to wonder if it's going to click.

Welinson Baez' career stats

2003 GCL Phillies 3 17 .246 41 142 20 35 6 1 3 12 37 .317 .366
2004 GCL Phillies 4 18 .234 51 171 24 40 7 2 3 21 62 .320 .368
2005 GCL Phillies 2 6 .267 15 45 6 12 4 1 1 8 14 .400 .533
2005 Batavia 6 37 .324 45 170 34 55 14 1 2 22 45 .408 .524
2006 Lakewood 6 51 .232 122 427 48 99 34 3 5 41 158 .305 .368
2007 Lakewood 3 22 .219 62 215 28 47 9 2 5 23 71 .289 .321
2007 Clearwater 6 30 .238 63 231 25 55 13 2 1 19 86 .296 .390
Minor League Totals - 5 Season(s) 30 181 .245 399 1401 185 343 87 12 20 146 473 .320 .388

Stats courtesy of The Baseball Cube.

Find out how you can become a Philly Baseball News Insider and get a complimentary one-year subscription to Sports Illustrated. Find out how you can become an Insider!

Phillies on Scout Top Stories