Scram joined the Tigers as an 18th round pick in the 2006 first-year player draft, signing out of Oklahoma State University. The selection came on the heals of a solid junior season that saw Scram hit .363 in 57 games for the Cowboys, earning 2nd Team All-Big 12 honors along the way.
After signing, Scram came out of the gates strong with a good showing at short-season Oneonta. His .281/.362/.409 line opened some eyes and was backed by 12 doubles, two home runs, and six triples; good enough for fourth in the NYPL. The Tigers promoted Scram to the Midwest League the following season, where he continued his solid hitting with a .327 average and 14 steals in 73 games before earning a promotion to High-A Lakeland. Scram was named to the Midwest League mid-season All-Star team, and earned MVP honors in that game.
At Lakeland, Deik continued hitting at a solid clip, posting a .283/.355/.454 line in the season's remaining 41 games. For the year, he finished with 23 doubles, ten triples, and five home runs, to go along with stealing 21 out of 29 bases.
The Tigers continued to advance Scram in 2008, pushing him to Double-A Erie for his first taste of truly advanced pitching. Though his average dipped to .253 in 131 games, Scram started to bring some power to his game with 24 doubles and 13 home runs. He also improved his base stealing success rate, swiping 14 bags, while only being caught three times.
Scram returned to Erie in 2009, and improved in nearly every phase of his game. He maintained his average by hitting .252 last year, but improved both his walk rates and slugging; ripping 20 home runs to go with eight triples and 24 doubles. Scram also continued show improved base running success; stealing nine bases against just two unsuccessful attempts.
Some things have changed with Deik over the years, as he's gone from a speed-oriented player with little power, to a more well-rounded offensive threat capable of changing the game in multiple ways.
Scram is still an above-average to plus runner, though he has better straight-line speed than base stealing speed. His instincts on the bases have improved, but he still lacks the good jumps and reads to make him a serious threat. He uses his speed better in the outfield, as he covers ground to both sides. Instinctually, he is a bit rough in the outfield as well, and while he can handle center field, he is a better defender in left field.
At the plate, Scram has some holes in his swing and struggles with good breaking balls, but he also demonstrates a willingness to work counts and try to get in favorable hitting situations. He has maintained his ability to draw walks as he has moved up the ladder, which helps offset some of his swing-and-miss tendencies.
With the increased power over the last two years, Scram has begun to look more like a solid fourth outfield option at the big league level. For him to become a potential regular, he would need to improve his contract rates and show he can handle center field full time.
Performance Level Team AB AVG 2B HR RBI SO BB OBP% SLG% AA
Scram has not sustained any significant injuries throughout his collegiate or professional careers. He is a durable player that plays hard everyday and shows a willingness to play through the daily aches and pains of a long professional season.
Scram is going to enter spring training as a near lock for the Erie roster, with some potential for a promotion to Triple-A Toledo. There are likely three priority prospects ahead of him in the Toledo outfield with Casper Wells, Wilkin Ramirez, and Brennan Boesch, but if one of them sneaks onto the Detroit roster, there will be an opening for Scram in Toledo.
Despite only reaching Double-A, there isn't much left for Scram in the minor leagues. He's likely reached his ceiling as a fourth outfielder with an array of solid skills. The Tigers have several potential fourth outfielders, so Scram will either have to have a breakout year to force his way into the picture, or his best chance at a big league job may come with another organization.
Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.