Yankees Scouting Report: Chase Weems

The Yankees drafted catcher Chase Weems in the sixth round of the 2007 MLB Draft out of Columbus High School in Georgia. Battling mononucleosis and subsequent stomach ulcers, he signed too late to make his professional debut last season. Here's a scouting report on Chase Weems.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Chase Weems
Position: Catcher
DOB: January 17, 1989
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 170
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

"He's a good receiver," Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees Director of Amateur Scouting, said of Weems upon selecting him. "There's zero question about catch and throw, that part wouldn't even be an issue. He is a leaner kid who is just starting to fill out and get stronger.

"He's athletic, he's a left-handed hitter with a plus arm. If we turned him around, he's throwing 92-93 MPH and he hits home runs. We think we've got a guy who has a chance to be very good."

Losing nearly 25 pounds after being drafted, it took him a while to regain his strength and put the weight back on, so much so the Yankees had no rush in getting him into game action this past season.

He didn't get into his first game action until the Instructional League in Tampa this past Fall, and even then, he still felt quite drained.

"I think losing the weight was [draining]," he admitted. "Losing that much weight, I never knew it would take that much out of you because all I did was sit around when I was sick. Now putting it back on I feel like a whole new person."

Getting back to within a pound of his original weight down in Dominican Instructs, he finally began to feel like his normal self.

"Down in Tampa I was just so drained from being sick," he continued. "I think down in the Dominican I was 100 percent. I think anybody could tell I was feeling it because it was the first time I felt like that in a while. I was happy to be out on the field feeling 100 percent.

"I'm okay with how it went. I was just down getting my feet wet, getting acclimated, letting everything sink in and see how everything went."

Starting his professional career a little bit behind schedule, the effects of the weight loss were felt a bit more at the plate than behind it as he quickly impressed everybody with his defensive game.

"What I like about him is he wants to learn," said Julio Mosquera, the Yankees catching coordinator. "He's always asking questions and always willing to work on different things, and he has gotten better since I saw him the first time. We had to tweak his receiving and his stance a little bit and he also told me he never had any coaching before and that he's all ears right now.

"I like him. He's got good tools and he's got a great arm. He's a kid that wants to work hard. He wants to work, he wants to learn, and he will because you've got to want this. It doesn't get any better when you want it. He wants to do it.

"He's a forgotten guy but I like him a lot. He's going to be special because he's going to get stronger. He's got a body like Benito Santiago. I always tell him that. He was thin but real strong with tremendous arm strength."

Happy to finally be back to his original weight, he realizes his quest to get stronger can't end there. With an eyes towards his professional debut season in 2008, he wants to get even stronger.

"That's my main priority right now, putting on extra weight before Spring Training," Weems revealed. "I want to be bigger so as the season goes on, if I lose weight, I'll be down to the weight I'm used to being instead of being down to what I was like when I was sick. Hopefully I'll put on more weight and keep on keeping it on."

Originally committing to play for the University of Alabama prior to signing with the Yankees, he hit .354 with four home runs in his junior year before winning the 2007 All-Bi City Baseball Player of the Year with one of the best offensive seasons in school history.

A slugger in his senior year of high school, he is just now getting used to facing some of the better pitchers in professional baseball and sees himself more as a scrappy hitter at the current time.

"That's how I look at myself now," he admitted. "Coming out of my senior year in high school I wasn't like that. I'm kind of like that now. If there's a guy on first and I hit a ground ball, I'm not going to pout about it and [stroll] down to first, I'm going to bust my butt and just try and get on base just so there's somebody on base for the next guy behind me.

"I think hitting for power is everybody's dream but right now it's getting on base for me. Look at Posada, he's a great hitter who is gap-to-gap and he'll hit home runs too. He's somebody I would love to resemble someday."

Possessing great makeup, a mature approach at the plate, and a competitive streak that won't quit, team officials are excited about watching his offensive progress over the upcoming years.

"I'll tell you what, he's a great worker, he's a great competitor, and he's got great aptitude," said Yankees hitting coordinator James Rowson. "He learns well, right now that's the biggest thing. When he's working he asks a lot of questions, he wants to get better, and he learns things rather quickly.

"Whatever he's working on he shows a knack to pick things up quickly. He looked great in the DR when I was down there. I was real happy about his progress just seeing him from the mini-camp to seeing him in the DR, you could see in just a couple of weeks his improvement and his ability to grasp the system and make adjustments rather quickly.

"He's a competitor, he's going to compete every time regardless of the situation. You can expect him to compete as hard as he can."


Batting and Power. Despite no professional experience thus far, outside a few Instructional League games, he has the patient approach at the plate of a seasoned big league veteran. He sprays balls all over the field, working mostly from left-center to right-center, and does whatever he can to get on base. He has the look of a high-average hitter who will draw quite a few walks and has developing power. A doubles hitter right now, it may take a little while for him to get used to the plus velocities of professional pitchers, but as his strength and bat speed improves, he could become an adequate power hitter.

Base Running and Speed. Weems is quite agile and athletic for a catcher. While he doesn't project to be a huge factor on the base paths, he does have the look of an above-average base stealer for a catcher, and his innate baseball knowledge and hustle should make him a good situational runner in the pros.

Defense. Weems is known for his plus arm strength and prowess throwing out potential base stealers, especially with his quick release and accurate throws. He is also very good at blocking balls in the dirt. A bit raw receiving the ball however, he has already made some progress in that area of his game and it should only get better with more professional coaching. With makeup off the charts and a high baseball intelligence, there's little worry inside the organization with his ability to work with his pitchers.

Projection. Weems' overall defensive game - especially with his blocking and throwing skills - as well his mature approach offensively, safely projects him to be a backup big league catcher at minimum. An extreme competitor willing to go the extra mile, how he matures physically and gains strength over the years will be the ultimate deciding factor if he develops into a starting catcher. Improving his receiving skills and the power in his bat will be the two biggest roadblocks in achieving that goal but he has the tremendous work ethic to accomplish that feat.

ETA. 2012. Weems seems destined to begin his professional career in the Gulf Coast League in 2008 and should be on a one level per year track through the minor leagues.

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Chase Weems
\r\nPosition: Catcher
\r\nDOB: January 17, 1989
\r\nHeight: 6'2\"
\r\nWeight: 170
\r\nBats: Left
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\n
\r\n\"He's a good receiver,\" Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees Director of Amateur Scouting, said of Weems upon selecting him. \"There's zero question about catch and throw, that part wouldn't even be an issue. He is a leaner kid who is just starting to fill out and get stronger.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's athletic, he's a left-handed hitter with a plus arm. If we turned him around, he's throwing 92-93 MPH and he hits home runs. We think we've got a guy who has a chance to be very good.\"
\r\n
\r\nLosing nearly 25 pounds after being drafted, it took him a while to regain his strength and put the weight back on, so much so the Yankees had no rush in getting him into game action this past season.
\r\n
\r\nHe didn't get into his first game action until the Instructional League in Tampa this past Fall, and even then, he still felt quite drained.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think losing the weight was [draining],\" he admitted. \"Losing that much weight, I never knew it would take that much out of you because all I did was sit around when I was sick. Now putting it back on I feel like a whole new person.\"
\r\n
\r\nGetting back to within a pound of his original weight down in Dominican Instructs, he finally began to feel like his normal self.
\r\n
\r\n\"Down in Tampa I was just so drained from being sick,\" he continued. \"I think down in the Dominican I was 100 percent. I think anybody could tell I was feeling it because it was the first time I felt like that in a while. I was happy to be out on the field feeling 100 percent.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm okay with how it went. I was just down getting my feet wet, getting acclimated, letting everything sink in and see how everything went.\"
\r\n
\r\nStarting his professional career a little bit behind schedule, the effects of the weight loss were felt a bit more at the plate than behind it as he quickly impressed everybody with his defensive game.
\r\n
\r\n\"What I like about him is he wants to learn,\" said Julio Mosquera, the Yankees catching coordinator. \"He's always asking questions and always willing to work on different things, and he has gotten better since I saw him the first time. We had to tweak his receiving and his stance a little bit and he also told me he never had any coaching before and that he's all ears right now.
\r\n
\r\n\"I like him. He's got good tools and he's got a great arm. He's a kid that wants to work hard. He wants to work, he wants to learn, and he will because you've got to want this. It doesn't get any better when you want it. He wants to do it.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's a forgotten guy but I like him a lot. He's going to be special because he's going to get stronger. He's got a body like Benito Santiago. I always tell him that. He was thin but real strong with tremendous arm strength.\"
\r\n
\r\nHappy to finally be back to his original weight, he realizes his quest to get stronger can't end there. With an eyes towards his professional debut season in 2008, he wants to get even stronger.
\r\n
\r\n\"That's my main priority right now, putting on extra weight before Spring Training,\" Weems revealed. \"I want to be bigger so as the season goes on, if I lose weight, I'll be down to the weight I'm used to being instead of being down to what I was like when I was sick. Hopefully I'll put on more weight and keep on keeping it on.\"
\r\n
\r\nOriginally committing to play for the University of Alabama prior to signing with the Yankees, he hit .354 with four home runs in his junior year before winning the 2007 All-Bi City Baseball Player of the Year with one of the best offensive seasons in school history.
\r\n
\r\nA slugger in his senior year of high school, he is just now getting used to facing some of the better pitchers in professional baseball and sees himself more as a scrappy hitter at the current time.
\r\n
\r\n\"That's how I look at myself now,\" he admitted. \"Coming out of my senior year in high school I wasn't like that. I'm kind of like that now. If there's a guy on first and I hit a ground ball, I'm not going to pout about it and [stroll] down to first, I'm going to bust my butt and just try and get on base just so there's somebody on base for the next guy behind me.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think hitting for power is everybody's dream but right now it's getting on base for me. Look at Posada, he's a great hitter who is gap-to-gap and he'll hit home runs too. He's somebody I would love to resemble someday.\"
\r\n
\r\nPossessing great makeup, a mature approach at the plate, and a competitive streak that won't quit, team officials are excited about watching his offensive progress over the upcoming years.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'll tell you what, he's a great worker, he's a great competitor, and he's got great aptitude,\" said Yankees hitting coordinator James Rowson. \"He learns well, right now that's the biggest thing. When he's working he asks a lot of questions, he wants to get better, and he learns things rather quickly.
\r\n
\r\n\"Whatever he's working on he shows a knack to pick things up quickly. He looked great in the DR when I was down there. I was real happy about his progress just seeing him from the mini-camp to seeing him in the DR, you could see in just a couple of weeks his improvement and his ability to grasp the system and make adjustments rather quickly.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's a competitor, he's going to compete every time regardless of the situation. You can expect him to compete as hard as he can.\"
\r\n
\r\n
\r\nBatting and Power. Despite no professional experience thus far, outside a few Instructional League games, he has the patient approach at the plate of a seasoned big league veteran. He sprays balls all over the field, working mostly from left-center to right-center, and does whatever he can to get on base. He has the look of a high-average hitter who will draw quite a few walks and has developing power. A doubles hitter right now, it may take a little while for him to get used to the plus velocities of professional pitchers, but as his strength and bat speed improves, he could become an adequate power hitter.
\r\n
\r\nBase Running and Speed. Weems is quite agile and athletic for a catcher. While he doesn't project to be a huge factor on the base paths, he does have the look of an above-average base stealer for a catcher, and his innate baseball knowledge and hustle should make him a good situational runner in the pros.
\r\n
\r\nDefense. Weems is known for his plus arm strength and prowess throwing out potential base stealers, especially with his quick release and accurate throws. He is also very good at blocking balls in the dirt. A bit raw receiving the ball however, he has already made some progress in that area of his game and it should only get better with more professional coaching. With makeup off the charts and a high baseball intelligence, there's little worry inside the organization with his ability to work with his pitchers.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. Weems' overall defensive game - especially with his blocking and throwing skills - as well his mature approach offensively, safely projects him to be a backup big league catcher at minimum. An extreme competitor willing to go the extra mile, how he matures physically and gains strength over the years will be the ultimate deciding factor if he develops into a starting catcher. Improving his receiving skills and the power in his bat will be the two biggest roadblocks in achieving that goal but he has the tremendous work ethic to accomplish that feat.
\r\n
\r\nETA. 2012. Weems seems destined to begin his professional career in the Gulf Coast League in 2008 and should be on a one level per year track through the minor leagues.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

\r\n

Get both magazines by upgrading today!
\r\n

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine, including our special Yankees Prospects Guide, PLUS the special 84-page Scout.com Prospects Guide covering all 30 farm systems, included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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