Profile: OF - 6'3" - 240lbs - BT:L - TH: L - 2011 Age: 23
• Hit: 35-40
• Power: 55-65
• Eye: 55-65
• Range: 40-40
• Hands: 50-50
• Arm: 45-45
• Run: 30-30
A massive power hitting outfielder coming out of high school in Canada, it seems like Weglarz has been on the Indians prospect radar forever. A product of the 2005 draft, he quickly signed with the Indians for $415,000 and at just 17 years old, reported to the Indians Appalachian League team where he struggled to a .660 OPS in 166 plate appearances. Unfortunately his 2006 was eventually lost to a broken hand after a total of two plate appearances.
At 19 Weglarz finally got healthy and got on track. He'd go on to post a .891 OPS in 2007, his first full year almost exclusively with the Lake County Captains, one of the Indians A Ball affiliates. Since that time, he's yet to have a season in which he's posted an OPS below .800 despite being somewhat young for his level on average.
Though his swing can get long leading to some exploitable holes, he'll punish mistake pitches and the ball really jumps off his bat. He's strong enough to take a less-than perfect pitch and drive the ball with authority, and even though he strikes out a lot, he's got an exceptional eye at the plate and will draw a lot of walks.
Defensively he's below average pretty much across the board and at his size will almost certainly never be an asset in the field. Long term, it's likely that he'll project as a DH.
Since a disappointing pro debut back in 2005, Weglarz has been one of the more consistent Minor League players you'll find. He's posted an OPS of at least .800 in every season and has never posted an ISO lower than .160 and never had a walk rate lower than 13.4%. And really, had he not been undone by a hideous .245 BABIP in 2009, his numbers would look even more consistent.
His swing simply doesn't lend itself to high contact rates and as a result, he's always going to swing an miss more than you'd like. That propensity to strike out a lot, combined with being a fly ball hitter and slow afoot will hold down his BABIP and as a result, his average. Still he has a very good eye, doesn't chase many bad pitches, and should manage to be a plus offensive contributor regardless.
Given that his swing issues have persisted through five Minor League seasons, we can pretty safely assume that he's never going to hit for a phenomenal average at the MLB level and strikeouts will likely be a constant issue. Still, his ability to draw plenty of walks while hitting for plus power give him a chance to be a Jack Cust-type of hitter.
Corey Ettinger is a Senior Writer for Baseball Digest as well as a proud contributor to both 612Sports.net, 312Sports.com, and 313sports.com. He also provides extensive analysis of the American League Central Division at his own blog, AL Central In Focus. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @Coreyettinger for the latest updates, random thoughts and general tomfoolery.