Tigers Scouting Report #47: Manuel Joseph

Manuel Joseph was not a heralded signing back in 2012, but put up a strong showing in his debut, and with a move to center field in 2013, excelled in the field and on the plate. While many years away still, could the Tigers have a future leadoff hitter and center fielder in Joseph?

Manuel Joseph

Vitals

Position: Outfielder
Date of Birth: 5/16/1994 (2014 Opening Day Age: 19)
Height/Weight: 5-11/165
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2012
Ranking History: #66 (2013), #47 (2014)

Background: Signed out of the Dominican Republic as a 17-year old before the 2012 season, Joseph debuted in 2012 with a .295/.370/.435 line in the DSL while playing most of his games at shortstop. A move to the outfield in 2013 and more growth at the plate (.338/.407/.464) elevated Joseph's prospect stock.

Performance:

2013 Manuel Joseph Stats - Hitting
TEAMABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOSBCSBAOBPSLG
DSL Tigers 22237751523482032245.338.407.464


Scouting Report

Body: Small, compact frame; wiry strength; excellent athleticism; good body control and coordination; some room for projection.

Hit:Improved setup and load from 2012 to 2013; gained consistency; shows above-average bat speed; likes to swing the bat early and often; doesn't recognize spin well and will get out front on CH; some scouts thought he was too aggressive at the plate; has feel for the barrel that lets him square a lot of balls; plus speed can help turn balls in play into hits; feel for hitting is encouraging but approach has to catch up to play at upper levels; conservative projection as average hitter now, pending development of approach and pitch recognition. Grade – Present 3/Future 5

Power: Good bat speed; ball doesn't jump off the bat though; limited physical projection for significantly increased strength; power not likely to be part of his game; will pick up doubles and triples because of speed; very little home run projection. Grade – 2/3

Speed: Very good runner; shows plus times down the line; dramatically improved instincts on the bases in second season; gets good jumps and gets up to speed quickly; speed played well in OF; has body type to maintain plus run through physical maturation and beyond.Grade – 6/6

Defense: Had some feel for SS and played there occasionally in 2013; took to CF very quickly; reads/routes improved consistently throughout the season; showed ability to take more direct lines to the ball late in the year; aggressive defender that likes to make plays; speed and rapidly improving instincts allow for defensive projection; could be plus defensively at peak. Grade – 4/5+

Arm: Enough arm for left side of the infield if he moves back there; arm plays well in CF though throwing mechanics are still being molded to fit OF profile; average raw strength with projection for accuracy and improved consistency with more mechanical development. Grade – 4+/5

Other: Good instincts for the game; desire to improve; gets high marks for quality makeup; aggressive approach to the game.

Final Word

Summary: High-end athlete; very raw player; has projection for quality hit and glove; power won't be part of his game; plus run that impacts the game on the bases and in the field; offensive approach is very, very aggressive and will need to develop to reach hit projection; energetic player; potential top of the order hitter and quality prospect.

Risk: Extreme risk; no stateside performance on resume; extremely aggressive hitting approach needs development.

Projection: Potential speedy leadoff type that fits the CF profile; good runner and versatile defender off the bench as a more likely outcome.

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