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Prospect Watch: Xavier Avery

Prospect Watch: Xavier Avery

PostPost #1 by Tucker Blair » February 2nd, 2012, 12:12 pm

Prospect Watch: Xavier Avery
In the second addition of Prospect Watch, I want to talk about a raw, but talented Outfielder. Xavier Avery has all the physical gifts to be a very good player at the MLB level, but will he ever be able to fully put it all together?

Avery, 22, was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft out of Cedar Grove HS (Georgia). At 5'11' 180lbs, he has the prototypical body of a speedster. Stealing bases has always been one of Avery's strengths, as he has stolen 117 bases throughout his four year minor league career. He is widely considered one of the fastest people in the Orioles system, and projects to be an above average fielder as well.

Of course, fielding and base running are not the problem when it comes to Avery. His plate discipline and overall approach are the problem. Avery has a career batting line of .265/.324/.355. While not terrible, it is certainly not the line one would expect when you think of a potential "lead-off" or speedster type of player.

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus had this to say about Avery in his latest prospect ranking:
"Speedster held own in Double-A, but approach is a mess, as is swing."

As you can see, it is widely known that Avery has much work to do before he gains access to the MLB. However, there are some positives to his game. He has never faltered extensively when moved to the next level, and is usually a year behind his competition in terms of age. He has plenty of time to grow still, and it seems that the Orioles are in a position to not rush him with Adam Jones still patrolling CF.
Unfortunately, his career K% of 22.7% in the minors is a telling sign still needs to learn how to stay off the junk and figure out how to hit the off-speed stuff.
Add that with his career BB% of 7.9% and you can get a better picture of why he has trouble getting on base.
After watching him on occasion at AA last season, and from what I saw in the AFL games broadcasted, he still has much work to do in the above areas mentioned.


Overall, Xavier Avery has plenty of upside, but his on-base skills will determine whether he becomes anything more than a 4th OF. He does not have the power(13HR in four seasons), like Adam Jones, to get away with such a high K% and low BB%. Avery will most likely start the 2012 season in AA or AAA, depending on whether the Orioles deem him necessary for the next level. He is certainly a guy to watch in the future though.

*Credit as usual to Fangraphs and Baseball Reference for the statistics*

http://entoriole.blogspot.com/2012/02/p ... avery.html

I like Avery, and think he has a TON of natural ability to play this game. I hope to see some improvements this season. I would very much enjoy him stepping up and taking control of AAA this season at some point.
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Re: Prospect Watch: Xavier Avery

PostPost #2 by osforlife » February 2nd, 2012, 5:43 pm

I'd give him another year at Bowie unless he competley destroys AA pitching. Matt Angle will patrol Norfolk's center field.
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Re: Prospect Watch: Xavier Avery

PostPost #3 by Zach » February 2nd, 2012, 6:04 pm

I agree with osforlife on this one. I think he made some strides in Arizona this fall, but would like to see him start out the year in AA to see how much he retained. If he starts real hot then move him up and let the development continue. Provided we don't trade Jones this season there is no reason to rush him.
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Re: Prospect Watch: Xavier Avery

PostPost #4 by Tucker Blair » February 2nd, 2012, 6:09 pm

I think you guys are right about him staying at AA. I would love for him to force their hand and make them put him in AAA though.

An OF at AAA of Angle and Avery would be fast as hell!! I'd like to be a pitcher on the mound with those two guys patrolling out there!
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Re: Prospect Watch: Xavier Avery

PostPost #5 by ofahn » February 3rd, 2012, 10:56 am

Ditto x 3.

I would require Avery to produce at least 250 ABs at AA before making any decisions. IMO he should be hitting at least .300/.375/.450 with a K ratio of LESS than 15% to advance to AAA. He should also not be promoted from Bowie if he has not developed a solid feel for CF and an understanding of what is expected from a ML CFer.

We have time with this guy. Let's not rush him. I would rather see him as a productive member of the Class of 2014 than another poorly developed talent.
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Re: Prospect Watch: Xavier Avery

PostPost #6 by Tucker Blair » February 3rd, 2012, 2:05 pm

ofahn wrote:Ditto x 3.

I would require Avery to produce at least 250 ABs at AA before making any decisions. IMO he should be hitting at least .300/.375/.450 with a K ratio of LESS than 15% to advance to AAA. He should also not be promoted from Bowie if he has not developed a solid feel for CF and an understanding of what is expected from a ML CFer.

We have time with this guy. Let's not rush him. I would rather see him as a productive member of the Class of 2014 than another poorly developed talent.

I don't know if he ever becomes a .450 SLG guy honestly.
But I agree with you on the most part. Even if his OBP is not that high, he need to just prove that he can be more efficient at getting on-base.
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Re: Prospect Watch: Xavier Avery

PostPost #7 by thezeroes » February 3rd, 2012, 5:53 pm

For Xavier Avery to garner a .300/.375/450 slash line in 250 Plate Appearances he would need about the following:
PA 250
AB 221
66 Hits
16 Doubles
2 Triples
5 Home Runs
22 Walks
33 Strike outs
.299 BA
.382 OBP
.457 SLG
.839 OPS
I threw in
1 Sac HIt
2 Sac Flys
2 HBP
Just for good measure.

This is totaly do able in my opinion.
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