At the Park Scouting Notes: Mike Gerber, Christin Stewart and AJ Simcox

Get more in-depth scouting notes from the early season performances in Lakeland. In this edition, TigsTown's senior lakeland correspondent James Chipman focuses in on position players A.J. Simcox, Christin Stewart and Mike Gerber.

Mike Gerber (OF) - High-A Lakeland

Dates observed: 4/7/16, 4/8/16 and 4/9/16 vs Tampa Yankees

 

Gerber has a large, accurate 6 foot, 190-pound frame, with minimal projection remaining.

At the plate Gerber has an open and slightly crouched stance. There is fairly quiet pre-load activity and solid-average bat speed. Gerber's quick, compact swing yields a great deal of natural loft. He has above-average power that plays average in-game, and copious amounts of loud contact in game situations (including the no doubt homer in the video clip). Over the series he showed modest patience; although lefties gave him noticeable trouble with breaking balls. Out of the box Gerber is an average runner (4.28-4.33), that has a solid second gear. His solid instincts and aggressive behavior yield the occasional extra base (including a single that he stretched into a double in the above video clip). Overall, Gerber is an average defender, with an average arm. He gives the Tigers a potential solid-average fourth outfielder -- a definite win considering Gerber's 15th round draft pedigree.

 

 

Christin Stewart (OF) - High-A Lakeland

Dates Observed: 4/7/16, 4/8/16 and 4/9/16 vs Tampa Yankees

 

Stewart features a short, stocky and generously listed at 6 foot, 205-pound frame. At the plate Stewart offers a crouched parallel stance. There is quiet pre-load activity with quick hands and above-average bat speed. He has great bat-to-ball ability, and a solid approach, but Stewart occasionally struggled with spin throughout the series. Stewart's batting practice is a treat to watch as he flashed his legit plus power that plays above-average in-game (notice the no doubt homer in the video clip that was hit off the roof of a building in right center field at Henley). Out of the box Stewart is a below-average flat-foot runner that sort of trots around the bases, so he's not an asset there. Stewart's defense is undoubtedly well below-average, thanks to late reads and adventurous route running. His arm-strength appeared below-average in the small sample size of throws that I saw, as well. Regardless of his shortcomings defensively and on the base-paths, Stewart's power, potential average hit tool and left-handedness give him an easy MLB everyday regular ceiling in left field.

 

 

AJ Simcox (SS) - High-A Lakeland

Dates Observed: 4/7/16, 4/8/16 and 4/9/16 vs Tampa Yankees

 

Simcox is the owner of an accurately listed 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame. Still just 21-years old, there's reason to believe that he can fill out and bulk up a bit. At the plate he has a straight up and parallel stance. There's a little wiggle pre-load, but nothing crazy; with below-average bat speed and an awkward swing plane that yields bottom of the scale power. His approach is quite advanced, resulting in numerous long at-bats throughout the series. That coupled with his ability to barrel the ball and utilize the entire field make it easy to project a potential above-average hit tool. Simcox showed slightly above-average speed (4.20-4.27), turning on the jets after the turn to leg out a triple thanks to some aggressive base-running. Over the series Simcox showed fringe-average range and average arm strength. He had a throwing error and booted a routine play opening night. Even during fielding drills he lacked the soft hands and polished footwork that would typically accompany a quality professional shortstop. Overall, my initial impression is more of a utility infielder type in Simcox -- something that certainly could improve as I get more looks this season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Chipman is TigsTown's Senior Lakeland Correspondent, covering the organization up close from Florida. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @J__Chipman.


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