Name: Hector Made
DOB: December 18, 1984
Height: 6' 1"
When the Yankees signed Hector Made in July of 2001 as 16 year old, they already saw big things down the road for him as an offensive and defensive shortstop. And, from day one in the Dominican Summer League, Made showed off his skills. Despite his under 150 pound frame, Made was much like former Yankee prospect, Joaquin Arias with his thunderous wrist power. He batted over .280 in the Dominican Summer League in 2002 and was graduated to play in his first season on U.S. soil in 2003.
At the plate in 2003, Hector Made had an OK season with the Gulf Coast Yankees. Although his batting average was a dismal .236, Made showed excellent power, blasting 5 home runs in 178 at bats. There was his speed to be impressed with, as well as his ability to put the ball in play. He even got a short stint late in 2003 with the Staten Island Yankees. His time was limited and his stats were not that indicative of anything. Despite putting up numbers that hardly screamed star prospect, the Yankee's Minor League administration was extremely confident in the teenager, Made. With that being said, they were prepared to send him to the low A Midwest League in 2004. However, they would do some offseason work with him to cut down on his swing, sacrificing some power they thought he would eventually regain as his body physically matured. They leveled out his uppercut swing and improved upon his plate coverage. These changes proved to be incredibly helpful to the young shortstop's performance in 2004.
Made's performance in the Midwest League with the Battle Creek Yankees proved to be just what the doctor ordered in terms of transforming him into one of the top prospects in the organization. The 20 year old batted .289 with 5 home runs with 30 doubles. Not to mention, he also swiped 12 bases. The offseason adjustments did take some of his power away but it only makes him a stronger prospect for the future. When asked who he thought was the most overlooked, Battle Creek Manager, Bill Mosiello had this to say to PinstripesPlus.com. "No doubt, it is Hector Made. Guys from Baseball America and other places call me up and ask me about all these other guys they think are sleepers but they never ask about Made. I mean, he is a 19 year old talented shortstop with some pop in his bat. Made really blew me away. I can't believe he doesn't more attention. He will be the shortstop in Tampa next year. No doubt in my mind."
Batting and Power. Hector Made's offensive potential is perhaps what intrigues the Yankees the most about him. In his first season on United States soil in 2003, Made blasted 5 home runs in the Gulf Coast League. He was among the league leaders in that category. However, he only hit to the tune of a .236 batting average. So, the Yankees made some adjustments in Made's swing with the hope that he could sacrifice some of that power and produce a higher batting average hitter. Their plan worked in 2004 as he hit .289 in Battle Creek. He hit the same amount of home runs but in nearly three times as many at bats also. However, with a calendar year gone by, Made may be able to combine that power and batting average in the upcoming 2005 season. When he first came to the Yankees, Made was a wiry kid with a huge uppercut stroke and quick wrists. They cut down that uppercut, out of control swing and the long terms results could be outstanding. He has shown the mark of a good prospect by making the necessary adjustments at the plate. He has closed up his wide stance to level out his swing and also has greatly improved his plate coverage. Although he is still quite pull-oriented, he showed signs of good pop the other way in 2004. Even though he is still not patient at the plate, he does make consistent contact. Hector has the potential to be a .280+ hitter with 20 home run power. 2005 could be an enormous step for him offensively in Tampa.
Base running and Speed. Here is yet another one of Hector Made's big time tools. He has plus speed and has learned to utilize it on the bases. Hector stole 12 bases in 2004 in 22 attempts. He does have the potential to be a 20 stolen base guy in the future but will just have to get more experience. Maturity and experience are one of the few things standing in the way of Made. But, his speed is certainly a huge asset for him in his all around game, particularly at shortstop.
Defense. The common thought around the Yankee organization is that Hector Made has all the tools, including defensive ability. However, the idea for Hector is to remain under control. Control in the field will be pivotal according to Defensive Coordinator, Andy Stankiewicz. "The only problem with him is that he can get out of control sometimes," Stankiewicz told PinstripesPlus.com. "He can make a tremendous play but he just needs to stay in control." But, despite committing 33 errors in his first full season, his coaches don't seem to be worried about him. "I know he made a lot of errors this year but look at Jeter in his first full season where he made over 40 errors," his manager in Battle Creek, Bill Mosiello said. Made has the arm and the range to be an everyday shortstop but he simply needs to know when to put a ball in his pocket rather than making an acrobatic play. That is where the vast majority of his errors come from. He just needs to slow himself down and make the plays. With some more maturity in 2005, Hector could be able to make this adjustment. He has the tools with his above average arm and great range.
Projection. At this point, there are mixed feelings outside the organization on just how good made could be. However, considering the comments from within in the organization and his raw ability, the young shortstop has monstrous potential. Once he is able to find his balance of average and power, he could blossom into an fantastic offensive shortstop. He has plenty of time to develop at his age so there is absolutely no rush.
ETA. 2008. The 2005 season will have Hector Made playing shortstop for the High A Tampa Yankees. Then, if all goes well, he will be headed for AA Trenton in 2006. In all likelihood, the Yankees will not look for any mid-season promotions for Made because they want to bring him along slowly. They will have him taking it one level at a time. With that in mind, Made should be up in AAA Columbus by 2007 at the age of 22. Then, if he is still in the organization, he should be ready for big league action in 2008.