Phillies Prospect #39: Karl Bolt

While some teams were scared away from Karl Bolt because of his military commitment, the Phillies felt he was worth taking a shot on in the 15th round of last June's draft.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 15th round of the 2007 Draft.

B: R T: R / Height: 6' 3" / Weight: 220 lbs

Birth Date: August 16, 1985

2007 Team: Gulf Coast League Phillies

Positions Played in 2007: 1B (47 g)

School: U.S. Air Force Academy

Had he made a different decision on what to do after high school, Karl Bolt likely would have been taken much higher than the 15th round of the 2007 Draft. Some scouts admitted that because of his service commitment, they simply advised their teams to pass on Bolt and go after other, more draftable players. The Phillies spent some time getting to know Bolt and were impressed enough with his approach to the game that they made a commitment to him to work with him through the time that he has to give back to the Air Force and they grabbed him in the 15th round.

"When the Phillies talked to me, they seemed willing to work with me on my situation," explained Bolt after the draft. While they won't get his full attention right now, Bolt is dreaming of being a big leaguer some day and the Phillies have promised to be patient.

Batting and Power:  Bolt simply loves to hit. He's got raw power and worked very hard to develop above average plate discipline because he was smart enough to know that he would have to find a way to force pitchers to throw him fastballs and getting ahead in the count is Bolt's strategy. As he matures, it's not at all out of the question that Bolt could develop into a player who could project to hit 25-30 home runs at the big league level. With his strong discipline and the fact that he keeps getting better at hitting curves and change-ups he should be able to project to hitting at around the .265 or .270 level down the road.

Baserunning and Speed: While he's not a guy that has outstanding speed, Bolt does have adequate speed on the basepaths and won't clog things up when he's on base. He had a career-high 10 stolen bases in his senior season at Air Force and stole bases at a 59% clip that season. As he faces pitchers with better skills at holding runners on base, he's likely to have a more difficult time stealing bases, but the Phillies aren't stressing that part of his career right now.

Defense: In the Air Force, Bolt was most comfortable in right field. The Phillies decided that he wasn't strong enough in the outfield and put him at first base with the Gulf Coast League Phillies. He handled the position well and it's unlikely that the Phillies will seriously consider moving him off of that spot in the future. For a pretty big guy, Bolt is pretty athletic and can make plays to his right at first base. He's also developed a knack for scooping balls out of the dirt. If they do move him back to the outfield, he's got a slightly above average arm and is at least an adequate defensive right fielder.

Projection: At this point, the Phillies don't know exactly what they have in Karl Bolt. He's got a lot of talent, but his military commitment will be sure to slow down his progress. For his part, Bolt doesn't want to interrupt his commitment and isn't prepared to ask out of his scheduled service time and the Phillies don't appear to be looking for any exceptions from the military. The best we can hope for is that Bolt can find the time to get enough at bats to keep progressing and it figures that he will find time to fit in playing in the Phillies farm system.

What else you should know about Karl Bolt : 

  • Karl Bolt is the second player ever drafted out of the Air Force Academy. Mike Thiessen was drafted by Arizona in the 2001 Draft.

Karl Bolt's career stats

2007 GCL Phillies 8 31 .256 57 207 28 53 10 4 1 18 34 .336 .459

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