Prospect Profile: Vincent Blue

The Tigers don't have a lot of 5-tool prospects in the organization - but Blue is certainly one of the few that exist. After finishing up a solid season for West Michigan in '04, find out where Vincent is heading in the future.

Vincent Blue
Position: Outfield Height: 6-2 Weight: 180
Born: 2/8/1983 Bats: Left Throws: Right

Background
A 10th round choice out of Lamar High School in 2001, Blue fit the stereotype of the raw, 5-tool, high school player who so many teams have taken a chance on over the years. Blue finished his high school career being named a Texas High School All-Star, after a stellar season in which he finished near the top of his conference in many offensive categories. Vincent struggled to make contact during his first two seasons in the Gulf Coast League as a teenager, but lost in the shuffle was above average plate discipline for someone his age. During the 2003 season, Blue began to breakout as a complete player in the New York-Penn League, and continued to develop with a .260/.328/.326 line with West Michigan in 2004. While those numbers are not awe-inspiring, they do demonstrate improvements in many facets of Blue's package.

Scouting Report
Vincent combines moderate, raw power potential with above average speed and solid plate discipline to provide a very good base from which to build a major league player. Blue's speed has not been evident on the base paths while he is still learning the finer points of professional base running. A step back in 2004 with regards to his stolen base success rate, may cause alarm, but with more experience should come better timing and an understanding of better situational running. Since first debuting as a professional, Blue has maintained solid control of the strike zone and continues to work himself into favorable counts as he moves up the ladder. This strike zone judgment, combined with his emerging power could yield an exciting player down the road. Homerun numbers have remained low for Blue, but in 2004 his production of doubles spiked, suggesting a possible emergence of some power. Vincent is noticeably more muscular than earlier in his career, and the expectation is that this added bulk and maturity will yield higher homerun results once out of the pitcher friendly environments of the Midwest and Florida State Leagues. Defensively, Blue provides above average defense and a strong arm. His speed allows him to cover ground in centerfield, and he takes an advanced approach to tracking fly balls. His arm will be more than adequate as a centerfielder, and it could continue to get stronger as he fills out in the coming years.

Performance

Year

Team

AB

AVG

2B

HR

RBI

SO

BB

SB

CS

OPS

2004

West Michigan

497

.260

19

2

43

97

49

19

11

.654


Health Record
Vincent has had no major injuries at this point in his career.

The Future
Vincent is likely to begin 2005 with Lakeland, attempting to build on a solid campaign in 2004. With the likelihood that he could be flanked by Brent Clevlen and Garth McKinney in the outfield, Blue will get every opportunity to show off his speed in chasing down balls to the gaps. In yet another league that is notoriously tough on hitters, don't expect staggering production in 2005, but instead look for improvement in his walk and contact rates, as well as improved judgment on the bases. With nobody immediately blocking his progression through the minors, it is possible Blue could see time in Erie before the close of the 2005 season. There is still a lot of polish needed on Blue's game but potential exists to be at least a league average player. It will likely be two to three years before you might hear rumblings of Blue's arrival in Detroit, but keep your ears open.


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