Aaron Baker has come over to the Orioles from the Pittsburgh Pirates in return for Derrek Lee and will be assigned to Frederick. He is a former Oklahoma State Cowboy and a 2009, 11th round draft pick by Pittsburgh.
Baker is a a broad shouldered Texan that looks more like a football player than baseball player, as he is a former catcher. He stands out for his raw power and solid defensive abilities at first base.
He needs to maintain contact and improve his plate discipline in order to advance against higher level pitchers. If he gets hold of a pitch, he can mash it out of most minor league stadiums. He has the typical power hitter lag between the hips/torso ratio, helping to produce that torque power into the swing.
Baker tends to gear up a bit too much with the hands and leaves himself with an elongated swing through the zone. This is not an issue with the bat speed at this stage, but as he advances through the system pitchers may expose this issue. He will have to keep his hands closer to the starting point and compact his swing in order to remain at least an average contact hitter.
In the field, Baker seems very fluid for someone his size and his strong arm would make me tinker with the thought of giving him a shot at 3B to increase his value.
Overall, he is a true power threat on the corner. If he can improve his approach and maintain the contact skills, he could be inline as an everyday player. Although, if he can’t correct the long swing there’s a strong chance he turns into an organizational player.