A 30th round pick out of Palomar College, Brenden Webb signed for an over slot bonus of $250,000. He spent 2010 as part of Bluefield’s outfield and posted some good numbers, although they may not look all that impressive on the surface. His .227 batting average is somewhat misleading, as his 13.9% walk rate actually gave him an above league average .348 OBP. His unusually low LD rate of 7% and .298 BABIP should jump next season.
Webb has a chiseled build and strong frame. His above-average arm and speed play at any outfield position. Though he’s spent all of his time in the minors monitoring center field, right field is likely where he’ll end up. He’s a good athlete, but his actions aren’t always so smooth and his routes to the ball could use some improvement.
His 25.1% K% is likely a result of his inability to identify or make contact with off-speed stuff, though he’s a tremendous fastball hitter. Webb makes hard contact and demonstrates solid gap-to-gap power, which is likely to translate to home runs as he matures. He stole just 5 bases in 2010, but his above-average speed should lead to increased totals in the future.
The Orioles invested in a high reward, potential 5-tool player in Webb. He’ll open 2011 with the Shorebirds and if his LD% normalizes, his BABIP should rise and as a result, we’ll see an increased batting average. If that happens, Webb could be in for a breakout season.