Tigers Prospect Profile #20: Brandon Loy

Brandon Loy is the latest addition to the organization that fits the bill of being an excellent defensive shortstop, but having questions about his bat. After coming out of Texas as a more advanced player and being selected in the fifth round, could Loy move quickly up the ladder?

Brandon Loy
Position: Shortstop
Height: 6-0
Weight: 180
Born: 5/3/1990
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Background
The Tigers fifth round pick in 2011, Loy comes from a big time college program, Texas, and he has enough skills to be a potential big league player.

The Tigers didn't sign Loy right away, partly because of his run with the Longhorns in the college baseball playoffs, and then to give him a rest before a 17-game cameo in pro ball.

After a little warm-up in the Gulf Coast League, Loy played 12 games at High-A Lakeland. He only hit .220 over that span, but he did draw five walks and only struck out eight times, showing an advanced feel for the game after being thrust into such and advanced environment. Beyond his offense, Loy showed the defensive potential that had drawn so much praise as an amateur.

Scouting Report
Loy is a strong defender with outstanding instincts that allow his solid-average speed to translate to plus range to both sides. His hands are soft and consistent. Loy's footwork is one of his strengths and is far more polished than you'd expect from an amateur player. His arm is easily an above-average tool with frequent 60 grades from scouts.

Loy's bat falls far short of matching the promise he shows with the leather. He has an ability to make contact with solid barrel awareness and a simple swing, but he lacks the strength to drive the ball and doesn't always swing at pitches he has a chance to do something productive with.

Loy projects as a bottom of the order hitter that posts a very modest average, handles the bat well, can move runners and generally makes life somewhat tough on opposing pitchers. He has enough speed and good enough instincts to steal some bases when he does get on base.

Loy's development as a prospect is entirely dependent on any advancement he makes with the stick. If he hits at all he has a chance to be a solid big leaguer at shortstop. If the bat never comes he will need to develop some defensive versatility to warrant a spot on a big league bench.

Performance

Level

Team

AB

AVG

2B

HR

RBI

SO

BB

OBP%

SLG%

R

GCL Tigers

15

.333

1

0

3

2

4

.474

.400

A+

Lakeland

41

.220

1

0

2

8

5

.304

.244


Health Record
Loy did not have any significant injuries during his amateur career and he has been healthy since signing his first pro contract.

The Future
The Tigers will have a decision to make with the defensively polished Loy this spring. After getting his feet wet at Lakeland last year, logic says the club sends him back to High-A to try and develop his bat further and allow him to gain experience. If he shows well in spring training, The Tigers could opt to push him to Double-A to allow room for the promotion of someone like Dixon Machado to Lakeland.

Regardless of where he starts the 2012 season, Loy will likely require at least two full minor league seasons to develop his offensive game and be ready for a big league challenge. If pushed too quickly, he could stagnate offensively and never be more than a .220-.230 hitter with few secondary offensive skills.

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