Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Prospect Profile: Tony Wolters
Profile: SS - 5'10" - 155lbs - BT:L - TH:R - 2011 Age: 19
• Hit: 30-55
• Power: 25-50
• Eye: 35-60
• Range: 55-60
• Hands: 55-65
• Arm: 60-65
• Run: 50-55
Wolters, who played his high school ball in the baseball hotbed of southern California was the Indians 3rd round pick from last years draft despite many feeling he had supplemental first round talent. He fell largely because of signability concerns, but the Indians managed to pry him away from a commitment at his home town San Diego State with the largest bonus of the third round, 1.35m
In the field Wolters is a solid defender with average/plus range that he gets more from strong first step quickness and impressively smooth footwork - very natural infield actions that are difficult to teach - than impressive speed. Combine that with what are very smooth hands and a plus arm and you have the makings of an above average defender who can project going forward, though if he adds too much bulk and loses range, he might profile better at second base, where his defense should be legitimately plus.
Offensively, Wolters is still very raw, but he's drawn rave reviews for his work-ethic and simple love of the game and he's got a lot of projectability with a solid, if unorthodox swing with good hand speed and good power potential with an upper-cut swing. He's going to need to learn to keep his hands inside more consistently because his swing can get long, and he could stand to quiet his lower half. However Wolters has shown an ability to lay off pitches and take walks, taking consistently professional at-bats, even if he still has difficulty handling professional pitching.
Wolters did debut last year, but got just 21 plate appearances, hardly enough to eve come close to meaning anything.
Wolters bat is a long ways away, but scouts love his work ethic and trust that he'll eventually hit even if he has quite a long ways to go. He's got the upside to play solid/average or maybe even slightly above in most offensive regards, but in all likelihood projects a bit lower. That's not a problem of course, because middle infielders aren't expected to provide league average offense. His Upside would seem like a .270/.350/.400 hitter, and I'll take that 10/10 in the middle infield, especially when it comes with his defense. Even if he ends up somewhat worse, which I tend to expect, he still has the tools to be a good Major Leaguer.
Corey Ettinger is 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.