Tigers Scouting Report: C Shane Zeile

After signing a couple of weeks ago, Shane Zeile got a brief pro cameo in the Gulf Coast League. Curious about the skill of the nephew of former big leaguer Todd Zeile? Find out inside.

Shane Zeile


Position: Catcher

Date of Birth: 6/14/1993
Height/Weight: 6-1/195
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: 2014 MLB Draft, 5th Round
Ranking History: N/A

Background: Nephew of former big leaguer Todd Zeile, Shane is an impressive athlete that shows good defensive prowess. Been inconsistent as a collegiate hitter, leaving question marks about his ability to hit against pro pitching.

Scouting Report

Body: Average body; room for additional strength; needs to strengthen throughout and must prove durability; previously repaired torn labrum in left shoulder.

Hit: Quick bat; hits from a deep crouch; stays low throughout swing and doesn’t pop up or change his sight line; largely pull approach; difficulty staying on pitches away and must learn to use opposite field to greater degree; bat-to-ball is solid; pitch recognition is developing and will be tested against quality pro breaking stuff; knows the zone but is still willing to expand to hit the ball; won’t strike out much; doesn’t project to walk much; see ball-hit ball approach; potential solid-average bat in the end; .275-.280 hitter. Grade – Present 4/Future 5

Power: Only to pull side; ball doesn’t jump of his bat; contact isn’t loud; line-drive swing that work from CF to LF line; no power to opposite field at present; will occasionally drive one to the wall and over; power is decidedly below-average with minimal projection barring significant changes to swing mechanics or strength. Grade – 3+/4

Speed: Fringe runner; still moves pretty good for a catcher; may slow down a small amount once the grind of catching takes over; hasn’t caught much so hasn’t been impacted much physically; intelligent on the bases; like to get aggressive and make things happen; won’t steal many bases but will take extra bags and will swipe if you fall asleep. Grade – 4+/4

Defense: Somewhat raw; has taken to certain aspects quickly; other aspects are still developing; very good blocking balls and keeping all types of pitches in front of him; moves well laterally to block; drops down rather than popping up; smothers the ball; quick transfer from glove to hand; footwork is still sloppy at times but is coming along nicely with only two years behind the dish; glove still has some drift to it and he tends to move a lot behind the plate; needs to settle in and provide a more consistent/confident target to the pitcher; potential above-average glove with game intelligence and savvy. Grade – 4+/5+

Arm: Raw arm strength is above-average; most throws exhibit this strength/velocity; footwork prevents high-end accuracy at this time but that should come with game experience and confidence in skills; arm should play as an asset and will control running game with further refinement of other tangential skills. Grade – 5/5+

Other: Bloodlines; very heady player; grinder type; very aggressive on the field; doesn’t sit back and wait for things to happen; makes things happen at all times; intense competitor; total package plays to higher level than raw tools suggest; potential leader from behind the plate.

Final Word

Summary: Developing skill set; glove projects to be carrying tool with above-average potential as a defender and above-average arm; projects quality MLB backstop from a defensive standpoint; hit could play to solid-average in time; power and speed will be below-average; high-energy player that impacts the game in a variety of ways.

Risk: High risk; Not a very refined player given college experience; requires growth in all areas of his game.

Projection: Likely slower developmental track that could require a year at each full-season level; 2018 ETA at present but that’s nothing more than a guess; has skills to be a glove-first backstop that hits in the lower third of the order and generates offensive value from his batting average and minimal gap power.

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