Whitecaps Media Department

TigsTown Detroit Tigers Scouting Report #19: Shortstop A.J. Simcox

The Tigers snagged A.J. Simcox just under three years ago as an overslot signing as a 14th round draft pick - the slick-fielding shortstop has moved up the ladder quickly - could he be ready to compete for a starting job up-the-middle in the near future?


Position: Shortstop

Date of Birth: 6/22/1994

Height/Weight: 6’3/185

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: 2015 MLB Draft, 14th Round


Scouting Report

Body: Good frame; looks the part of modern day middle infielders; lean with solid strength; above-average athleticism; coordinated; still gaining some strength, but minimal projection remaining at his age.


Hit: Simple swing; minimal load; sends bat head to the strike zone quickly and with above-average bat speed; swing path consistently angles toward ground throughout, including low finish; most batted balls are on the ground or have minimal elevation; works middle of the field; lacks strength to drive ball consistently; singles hitter that likes to swing; knows strike zone and will take pitches, but rarely works walks as hitters will come into zone and force him to hit; potential below-average hitter in .250-.260 range; minimal OBP support from walks or other sources. Grade – Present 3+/Future 4


Power: Improved strength over last two years; still lacks strength for consistent home run power; will find gaps with line drives, but those will be harder to come by at higher levels; swing not geared for power; well below-average present power with some potential for added doubles. Grade – 3/3+


Speed: Above-average raw speed; gets out of the box and down the line well; will show better than above-average at times once underway; potential to steal bases; instincts need development to get better jumps and read plays better around him; could steal 10-15 bases per year with regular playing time. Grade – 5+/5+


Defense: Legitimate shortstop with big league tools; good first step quickness and strong instincts that allow him to make proper first movements the majority of the time; fluid and athletic; handles all plays with ease; moves well to both sides, charges with sound technique; picks appropriate times to stay back for better hop; knows how to play the position; soft hands; above-average defensive package; strong arm; will need to develop skills at third base and second base to augment overall profile. Grade – 5+/5+


Arm: Above-average raw strength; shows velocity from all angles; good accuracy with limited movement off the target; can make throws from deep in the hole and on the run; throws well without momentum on pivot. Grade – 5+/5+


Other: Intelligent player; puts in additional work before most games; hard worker; MLB bloodlines.


Final Word

Summary: Light offensive player; hit tool driven profile at the plate; lacks on-base potential or power; above-average runner with chance to steal bases; above-average glove and arm that play well at the 6; solid all-around instincts; knows the game well, as you would expect from a player with an MLB father.


Risk: Low risk; Polished player that only needs game reps at higher levels to be ready for MLB role; minimal projection across profile.


Projection: Low ceiling player that relies on glove, speed, and arm strength to carry profile; chance to hit for some average, though largely empty; needs to demonstrate ability to develop defensive versatility; potential as backup/utility infielder at highest level, possibly in the Andrew Romine vein.



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