Tigers Prospect Profile #22: Brandon Douglas

An unheralded newcomer to the organization via the 2008 draft, Brandon Douglas quickly made an impact throughout, contributing in just one half of a season to four different teams, excelling at every stop. Where will Douglas be headed to next?

Brandon Douglas
Position: Shortstop
Height: 6-0
Weight: 185
Born: 8/27/1985
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Douglas has a very long track record of success at nearly every level of athletics that he's ever participated. In high school, Brandon lettered for the varsity team in baseball, football, basketball, and track. In 2003, he set the I-35 High School rushing record with 2,027 yards on the ground. He also All-Conference and All-District honors in baseball, along with being named to the All-Iowa News Association and Iowa Coaches Association baseball teams.

Staying in his home state and attending Northern Iowa, Douglas red-shirted his freshman year, then came out blazing during his sophomore campaign. In 54 games, he registered a .370/.424/.488 line, finishing as the first freshman to lead the team in hitting since 1988. He was selected to the All-MVC team as a shortstop, and even logged an impressive eleven three-hit games.

Douglas' success continued into his second season on the field, as he again posted a fine batting average (.339) while leading his team in slugging (.500) and maintaining his standing as the All-MVC shortstop. Brandon's third season was his true coming out party, as he hit a whopping .396 with 25 doubles and ten home runs in 54 games, while being named the MVC Player of the Year and a 2nd Team All-American at shortstop. On the back of that great performance, the Tigers selected Brandon in the 11th round in 2008.

After signing quickly, the Tigers assigned Douglas to the Gulf Coast League to start his professional career, before quickly promoting him (after only seven games) to Oneonta. His tour in Oneonta continued in July before injuries required a promotion to West Michigan, and then later to Double-A Erie for five games as well. For the summer, Douglas hit .328/.360/.445 over four levels and despite only playing half the season in the New York-Penn League, he finished ranked 5th in the circuit in triples.

Scouting Report
As you would expect with the son of a coach, Douglas has an excellent feel for the game and displays very good instincts in the field and on the bases. He is an average runner with average range to both sides at shortstop. He occasionally flashes a slightly above-average arm, but it's generally more solid than anything. From a defensive perspective, he may slide to the other side of the keystone down the line, but he is likely to get plenty of opportunities at shortstop in the early going. Maintaining his ability to play shortstop will aid in his versatility and could allow him to climb the ladder at a quicker rate.

At the plate, Douglas has a quick bat and a sound, repeatable stroke. He has enough strength for some good doubles power, and he could add more without affecting the rest of his game in a negative manner. He drives the ball from gap-to-gap, and has a knack for hard contact. He doesn't swing and miss often, and has a very solid understanding of the strike zone. He projects to hit for average and modest power, but when combined with everything else he brings to the table, that makes for an enticing package.

He won't wow you with tools when you see him at the ball park, but he does a lot of things well and has a great head for the game, with allows all his tools to play up a notch. The whole is better than the sum of the parts, and he is a nice middle infield prospect who has the polish and intelligence to move quickly.














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Health Record
Douglas battled hamstring injuries during his red-shirt sophomore season at UNI, but he has not had any further issues with his legs to date. Douglas works hard at his craft and is in good physical condition. He should be a pretty durable player.

The Future
Douglas' ultimate landing spot on Opening Day 2009 is a difficult one to project. After showing well after being moved aggressively to cover injuries in 2008, he could land anywhere from West Michigan to Erie with a strong spring. West Michigan seems the most likely destination, with a probably opening at shortstop and a team in need of some additional offense. His leadership, heady play, defensive abilities, and sound bat should allow him to excel right out of the gates in his first full season of pro ball. There are a ton of middle infield prospects ahead of him on the rungs of the organizational ladder, but by the end of 2009, he could distinguish himself as a player to watch down the road.

Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.

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