Phillies Prospect #37: Jeremy Slayden

Jeremy Slayde faced a lot of injuries in college, but has been healthy so far in his professional career. The big bat still hasn't completely shown itself, but Slayden figures on being a formidable prospect.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 8th round of the 2005 Draft.

B: L R: R / Height: 6' 0" / Weight: 185 lbs.

Birth Date: July 28, 1982

2007 Team/Level: Clearwater (High-A)

Positions Played in 2007: RF (79 g), LF (5 g)

School: Georgia Tech

Batting and Power: As far back as his high school days, Jeremy Slayden showed off a natural power stroke. He set home run records in both high school and college. There isn't anything fancy about Slayden's approach to hitting; see the ball, hit the ball. In the minors, Slayden hasn't shown quite the power that many thought he would show, but his home run totals have gone up every season, although his at bats per home run totals were the highest in his debut season in 2005 at Batavia. Over three seasons, Slayden has averaged .294 in the Phillies organization.

Baserunning and Speed: The good news here is that Slayden has also increased his stolen base numbers each season. The bad news is that he doesn't have a great deal of speed, but he is one of the smarter baserunners you can find and he's only been thrown out once in 14 attempts. He also knows how to take an extra base here and there.

Defense: While his speed isn't the greatest, if Slayden can get to a ball, he's going to catch the ball. Slayden has a slightly above average arm and has played in both left and right field. Originally, he was figured on being in right field, but injuries to his shoulder forced him to move to left field and he immediately fit in well there. Now, he's healthy and is back to throwing well enough to play in right field, but his arm isn't what it was prior to his college injury.

Projection: Not only did Slayden suffer a shoulder injury, but also had a back injury in college that cost him time on the field. He's been healthy since then, but some believe that the  injuries had taken a toll on him and he's not quite the prospect that some thought. Right now, Slayden is showing enough to still be a legitimate prospect and is moving through the system at a steady pace and figures to be at Double-A Reading in 2008. He'll turn 26 in July and it will be interesting to see if the Phillies push him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley later in the season if he's having a good season in Reading.

Comparison: Last season, one scout mentioned that he saw some of the same skills in Slayden that he saw in Jason Michaels. Slayden has better defensive skills and is a more athletic player than Michaels could hope to be. Even though he's a left-handed hitter, Slayden can simply tear up left-handed pitching and is pretty solid against righties as well, meaning that he shouldn't need to be platooned as Michaels generally is in Cleveland.

What else you should know about Jeremy Slayden: 

  • His 37 career home runs in high school were the second most in Tennessee high school history, just one behind Todd Helton.
  • Hit 18 home runs in his freshman season at Georgia Tech, setting a school record for freshmen.
  • Was originally drafted in the 20th round of the 2001 Draft by San Diego and then again in the 18th round of the 2004 Draft by the Oakland A's.

Jeremy Slayden's career stats

2005 Batavia 9 36 .268 54 194 35 52 11 0 1 28 45 .373 .464
2006 Lakewood 10 81 .310 107 400 65 124 44 3 5 41 89 .381 .510
2007 Clearwater 14 73 .287 118 432 71 124 24 4 7 60 96 .376 .458
Minor League Totals 33 190 .292 279 1026 171 300 79 7 13 129 230 .377 .480

Stats courtesy of The Baseball Cube.

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