PP 2004 Scouting Report: OF, Bubba Crosby

The Yankees acquired Bubba Crosby from the Dodgers in the trade that sent Robin Ventura to the West Coast. Crosby was the Dodgers' first-round pick in the 1998 draft and is a former high-school teammate of Lance Berkman. With good speed, a good eye and decent power, Crosby should be able to make a splash in the majors but, for this 27-year-old, time might be running out. 

Vital Statistics:
Name: 
Richard Stephen (Bubba) Crosby
Position: Outfielder
DOB: August 11, 1976
Place of Birth:  Bellaire, Texas
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 185 lbs
Bats:
Left
Throws:
  Left
How Acquired: Via trade (along with RHP Scott Proctor) from the LA Dodgers for 3B Robin Ventura.  Drafted by the Dodgers in the first round of the 1998 amateur draft.

When the Dodgers drafted Crosby out of Rice University in June of 1998, they were expecting a player that could hit for power, average and run.  He hit .394 for Rice with 25 homeruns and 91 RBI in just 58 games, but since turning pro, Crosby never put together a season even remotely resembling that kind of production.  That is, until 2003.  

Crosby went on a tear to start the season and was hitting over .400 for a while.  The breakout earned him a promotion to the Dodgers in late May.  He got a hit in his first major-league at bat (a pinch-hit, RBI single on May 29), but then he got no hits in his next 11 at bats and was sent down to make room for the returning Daryle Ward.

Coming into 2003, Crosby was considered a bust.  He had never shown the power that he displayed in high school and at Rice, and he couldn't consistently hit for average.  His excellent 2003 campaign has given his career new life, however, and he would be a good fourth or fifth outfielder for most teams.  

Crosby's best tool is his command of the strike zone.  He doesn't strike out much and puts the ball into play with authority.  Crosby is a line-drive hitter that uses all parts of the field and his speed to get on base.  He used to be more of a threat to steal bases, but he has suffered several minor hamstring injuries that may have cost him a step.  The injuries may be a result of his all-out style of play.  Crosby plays hard and is always running to beat out ground balls.  While still playing for Rice, he was compared to former major-leaguer Lenny Dykstra for this.

The only real problem with Crosby is his advanced age.  He's been in the minors for five seasons now, while a lot of players that were taken with him in the '98 draft (Pat Burrell, Mark Mulder, Sean Burroughs, Austin Kearns, C.C. Sabathia, J.D. Drew and Jody Gerut, to name a few) have already reached the majors.  Crosby's chance to have a real impact on the majors is probably already gone and, at best, he can only hope to be a reserve at this point.

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2003

Columbus Clippers .302 63 2 2 8 9 3 6 12 .366 .460
2003 Las Vegas 51's .361 277 24 12 57 57 8 25 47 .410 .635
2003 Los Angeles Dodgers .083 12 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 .083 .083
2002 Las Vegas 51's .262 279 12 9 36 26 3 19 47 .312 .409
2002 Jacksonville Suns .260 150 6 2 20 14 7 11 23 .317 .367
2001 Las Vegas 51's .214 42 2 0 5 5 1 1 8 n/a .310
2001 Jacksonville Suns .302 384 22 6 47 68 22 37 60 n/a .432
2000 Vero Beach Dodgers .266 274 13 8 51 50 27 31 41 n/a .460
1999 San Bernardino Stampede .296 371 21 1 37 53 19 42 71 n/a .377
1998 San Bernardino Stampede .216 199 9 0 14 25 3 17 38 n/a .281

*Stats as of 9/7/03

Batting and Power: A good eye, quick swing and good contact abilities are Crosby's trademarks.  He doesn't have serious power and only projects to hit around 10-15 homeruns a season, if that many.  He could hit around .280 in the majors, however.

Base Running and Speed:  Crosby used to have 25-steal potential, but hamstring injuries and possibly a disinclination to steal bases have hindered that.  He is a very good baserunner however and still has good speed.  He hit nine triples this season.

Defense: In college, Crosby was a centerfielder, but he's played mainly left field as a professional.  He has a good glove and an adequate arm.

Projection:  Reserve outfielder.  He's been compared to Mark Kotsay, but I think that might be a bit generous.

ETA: 2004.  Crosby is ready for the majors right now.  The problem is that he may not have a chance to play there if he stays in the Yankees' organization.  The Yankees already have five outfielders signed for 2004: Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui, Bernie Williams, Kenny Lofton and Ruben Sierra, and there doesn't appear to be room for Crosby unless someone gets hurt.

Outfielders

2003 Team

Mike Vento

AAA - Columbus Clippers

Bubba Crosby

AAA - Columbus Clippers

Mitch Jones

AA - Trenton Thunder

Kevin Reese

AA - Trenton Thunder

Kevin Thompson AA - Trenton Thunder
Tommy Winrow A - Tampa Yankees
Andy Brown A - Tampa Yankees
Bronson Sardinha A - Battle Creek Yankees
Rudy Guillen A - Battle Creek Yankees
Matt Carson A - Battle Creek Yankees
Erold Andrus A - Battle Creek Yankees
Melky Cabrera A - Staten Island Yankees
Edwar Gonzalez A - Staten Island Yankees
Edwin Cabrera R - GCL Yankees
 

COMMENTS


As it is currently constituted, the New York Yankees outfield is as weak as it has been in recent years. Power has become a huge problem outside Sardinha and Guillen. There are, though, a decent amount of quality defensive players that the organization loves.

1. Bronson Sardinha - Moved from shortstop to left field where he continues to improve and has a good arm. Above-average runner who sprays the ball and projects to a 20-25 HR player.

2. Rudy Guillen - Collected forty-four extra-base hits (29 doubles, 4 triples, 13 homers) in 2003 while driving in 79. Excellent potential, is still young, and has the ability to hit for high average.

3. Kevin Thompson - Great defensive player who adds tons of speed (caught just 8 times in 55 attempts with the Thunder in 03‘). Doesn't strike out and is extremely patient.

4. Kevin Reese - Line drive hitter who can steal. Struggled with Columbus and was sent down to Trenton where he had a .272 average, .328 OBP, 27 steals in 32 attempts, and 13 doubles in 309 ABs. Lacks power.

5. Matt Carson - One of the top defensive players in the organization, but strikes out way too much (100 times in 432 ABs last year).

6. Mitch Jones - Hit or miss: 131 SO and 23 HR in 463 AB.

7. Jason Grove - Left-handed hitter doesn't have great power, but can hit for average.

8. Erold Andrus - Switch-hitter needs to improve judgment of the strike zone.

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