Throughout the season, Orioles Nation will highlight prospects as we see them play or are given reports by Scouts and people within the baseball industry. Our staff will have eyes on the Orioles’ prospects at all times, and you can find the latest updates for them in the Prospect Watch.
Mike Yastrzemski – OF
The grandson of the great Carl Yastrzemski is probably enough of a reason to take a chance on a college athlete that put up decent numbers at Vanderbilt. While Mike will certainly not reach the talent that his grandfather displayed, he could prove to be a useful resource for a farm system starving for position-player talent.
Yaz is a small-statured player, standing only 5’8″ and weighing 180 lbs. He is the true definition of your grinder-type. I talked to a scout about Yaz in July, and he told me that Yaz was “the type of player to succeed on guts more than his tool set”. The scout went on to say that he loved his work ethic and thought it was a solid pick by the Orioles. After watching him play for a few months, I tend to agree.
Let it be clear – He does not have the greatest tool-set. I would say the bat is average across the board. Yaz displays a line-drive stroke, good compact swing and does not attempt to overexert himself at the plate. I loved his ability to use the entire field, and I mean that quite literally. Check out the bunt below!
This is just the type of player he is. I do not foresee anything besides fringe-average power out of him and he probably lacks the power necessary to play corner OF. But he does display solid plate discipline, which has been evident since his time back at Vanderbilt. Overall, the bat is decent enough to probably move him all the way to AA-Bowie eventually. The defense is good, if not plus. He has average arm strength, but displays good tracking skills and solid awareness to go along with plus route running. I think he can play CF in a pinch, but is most likely reverted to being a corner outfielder due to not having that pure athleticism that an up-the-middle player usually has.
In the future, I would not expect Yaz to be anything more than a high-level minors player unless something significantly changes. However, crazier things have happened, and bloodlines are always fun to follow. I expect him to begin the year in Delmarva and eventually push his way to Frederick – and maybe Bowie if things go well. At the very least, I can assure you that he will work his best to prove that he has talent alone outside of his grandfather’s bloodline.