Tigers Scouting Report: OF Ross Kivett

The Tigers snagged Kansas State outfielder Ross Kivett as an experienced senior in the 6th round of the MLB Draft and quickly signed him to an underslot contract. What does Kivett bring to the organization?

Ross Kivett


Position: Outfielder

Date of Birth: 10/19/1991 (2014 Opening Day age: 22)
Height/Weight: 6-1/195
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: 2014 MLB Draft, 6th Round
Ranking History: N/A

Background: Drafted in the sixth round as a college senior after turning down the Indians as a tenth round pick in 2013, Kivett signed quickly for roughly half of his allotted slot value; inking for only $110,000. He was assigned to short-season Connecticut to start his pro career.

Scouting Report

Body: Looks bigger than listed height (6-foot-1); high waste; thicker lower half with good strength; upper body lacks muscle definition or mass; athletic movements in the field.

Hit: Simple setup and swing; gets the bat to the zone in the same manner almost every time; very good pitch recognition; rarely chases out of the zone; can stay on the ball and use the entire field; willing to work deep into counts; bat stays in the zone a long time; consistent line drives from line to line; ball doesn’t jump off the bat but has enough to drive it to the outfield; just a little swing and miss in the game and will swing through some pitches in the zone at times; handles velocity pretty well; solid hitter but peak is likely short of average. Grade – Present 4/Future 4+

Power: Doesn’t have much thump; won’t drive the ball out of the park but can drive it to the gaps at times; well below-average power overall; will have to consistently hit doubles to keep pitchers from being too aggressive with him; potential for 15-20 doubles and 5-6 home runs a year with regular playing time. Grade – 3/3

Speed: Average down the line and underway; gets out of the box well thanks to a simple swing and consistent finish to the swing; gets up to his top-end speed quickly; speed can play up a little bit on the bases with solid instincts; not a significant stolen base threat but could steal 10-12 bases; speed isn’t a significant factor defensively; athletic enough to maintain speed going forward. Grade – 5/5

Defense: Infield days should be behind him; not a clean OF defender; lacks speed and arm strength to truly profile in CF; gets a good jump on the ball and tracks it pretty well; won’t chase down gappers because top-end speed doesn’t allow him to close; more of a LF profile; plays hard; can handle other OF spots in a pinch; average ceiling in LF; fringe profile in CF. Grade – 4+/5

Arm: Below-average raw strength; ball doesn’t come out cleanly; gets rid of it quickly to make up for lack of strength; lacks carry; accuracy is solid; left field arm. Grade – 4/4

Other: Intelligent; high energy player; loves being on the field; carries himself very well and interacts well with his teammates.

Final Word

Summary: Not a flashy overall profile; lots of fringe to average tools; no carrying tool; fringe hit; well below-average power; average run; glove fits best in left field and arm is below-average; center field ability and infield ability are often overstated; utility profile is suspect because defense won’t hold up across multitude of positions; assertive player with good energy/effort.

Risk: Low risk; low ceiling player; minimal potential for tool growth as a professional; nominal development remaining.

Projection: Difficult to see an MLB profile; more of a strong org player that will move around and do what the team/organization needs him to do; will hit for some average, get on base and play hard to make things happen; polish should allow him to reach Double-A quickly, possibly by the end of 2015, where he should reach his peak and contribute for an extended period of time.

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