Tigers Prospect Profile #5: Scott Sizemore

It's not every day that a big league club will let an experienced former All-Star walk away via free agency, and hand his position over to an untested rookie that had yet to get a single big league at-bat. But that's exactly what happened with Scott Sizemore. Why are the Tigers so confident Sizemore can fill those shoes?

Scott Sizemore
Position: Second Baseman
Height: 6-0
Weight: 185
Born: 1/4/1985
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Background
Sizemore was the Tiger fifth round pick in the 2006 draft out of Virginia Commonwealth, the same school that produced Tigers catcher turned third baseman Brandon Inge. Sizemore was a standout offensive performer at VCU, but thanks to a merely solid spring against a mediocre college conference, his stock fell in the draft.

During his debut summer, Sizemore hit .327/.394/.435 for Oneonta, playing in 70 games. His line included 22 extra-base hits, and he was subsequently named the TigsTown Oneonta Player of the Year.

With a logical promotion to West Michigan in hand for the 2007 season, Sizemore was in line for his full-season professional debut. In a tough offensive environment, and dealing with the long grind of the 140-game season, Sizemore hit just .265 with 33 doubles, though he did manage to walk more than he struck out.

The Tigers sent him to Lakeland to start the 2008 season, and he was showing well offensively with a .286 average and solid peripherals, before a wrist injury ended his season after just 53 games with the Flying Tigers.

Back healthy for the 2009 season, Sizemore made the trip to Double-A Erie for his first test against truly advanced competition. With Erie, Sizemore torched the Eastern League to the tune of a .307/.402/.535 line with 17 doubles and nine home runs in just 59 games. He walked nearly as much as a struck out, and he forced the Tigers to promote him to Triple-A.

Once in Toledo, Sizemore did not slow down one bit. In 71 games at the minor leagues highest level, he hit .308/.378/.473 and swiped 14 bases in 15 attempts.

The Tigers sent Scott to the Arizona Fall League for additional work, but after just a few games he was sent home after a severe ankle injury while turning a double-play.

Scouting Report
Sizemore doesn't have a standout tool, but he does just about everything well. His best tool is his ability to hit for average, and he should hover around .300 once he settles into the big league routine.

In addition to his ability to hit for average, Sizemore has average to slightly above-average pop in his bat, and he can find the gaps regularly while also stretching over the fence at times. His bat is quick and he laces line drives with regularity.

Sizemore is a solid-average runner with good base running instincts, and average range defensively. There are times that his range is limited because he doesn't always read the ball well off the bat, but he can get to most balls with relative ease. His hands are solid and he makes all of the routine plays at second base. Though his arm was widely considered below average as a shortstop, he has enough arm for the keystone and he holds his own on tough pivots.

Sizemore is a heady player with excellent poise and makeup. He is an even keeled player that doesn't get rattled in the field or at the plate. He does well to compartmentalize the various aspects of the game, and doesn't let one aspect impact another.

Sizemore doesn't project as a star, but he should be a solid big league second baseman, with a bit of an offensive bent. He's ready for the big leagues, and he should hit immediately.

Performance

Level

Team

AB

AVG

2B

HR

RBI

SO

BB

OBP%

SLG%

AA

Erie

228

.307

17

9

33

46

35

.402

.535

AAA

Toledo

292

.308

22

8

33

49

29

.378

.473


Health Record
Sizemore is another significant injury from earning the dreaded ‘injury prone' tag that hampers many players. After his wrist injury in 2008, Sizemore appeared to be back on track before his ankle injury last fall set him back again. Sizemore has healed well both times, and he hasn't lost any ability after either injury. Though the injury prone tag is looming, both of Scott's injuries have been a bit freak in nature.

The Future
The minute the Tigers chose not to offer arbitration to Placido Polanco, Sizemore was in line to take over the starting second base job in Detroit, with the expectation that he would be healthy for Opening Day. There was nothing left to prove in the minor leagues for Sizemore, and this was a perfect opportunity to inject some youth into the lineup.

Sizemore is likely to have an up and down 2010 season, but on the whole he should hit for a decent average, show some pop, and play average defense at second base. As mentioned, he's never going to be a star, but he can be an offense oriented second baseman in the mold of former Braves player Marcus Giles.

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