Profile: 3B - 6'2" - 200lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 26
• Hit: 45-50
• Power: 50-55
• Eye: 30-50
• Range: 40-40
• Hands: 45-45
• Arm: 50-50
• Run: 30-30
A 9th round draft pick of the Indians way back in 2006, Goedert has had an incredibly long, hard journey toward his Major League dreams. He signed quickly in 2006 and the Indians sent him to their short-season A ball team, Mahoning Valley where he was relatively unimpressive to begin. That was likely the result of a labrum injury. He'd go on to have surgery to fix the problem in the off season.
Still, he went on to post a fantastic sophomore campaign and looked like he could wind up on the fast track to the Majors. Unfortunately for him, that all changed when his the shoulder began to effect his swing in 2008. Suddenly Goedert was having trouble swinging pain free, could get extension, and lost significant bat speed.
Thankfully after a lot of work the past two seasons, Goedert's swing finally looked healthy again in 2010. He looked to have regained some bat speed and was doing a better job keeping his hands in, helping him get to the point of attack quicker while getting the bat head out front where he could once again hit for power. His numbers jumped and he'd go on to lead the Indians in home runs.
As of now, Goedert's swing looks fairly clean. I'm not in love with his lower half and he has a bit more movement down there than I'd like to see. Other than that his swing is fairly clean outside of a tendency to open up a bit too quickly on off speed stuff, though that's not that terribly unusual. He gets through the ball quickly and his swing is fairly flat, resulting in his strong line drive rates. He's more of a pull hitter and wont use the opposite field as much as you'd like and, as said before, despite having a solid eye, he has a tendency to get caught out on his front foot too often.
Despite having a solid arm, Goedert is has both poor range and below average hands. I don't see him ever sticking as a MLB third baseman and it seems more likely that he'll slot in either as a first baseman or DH. He doesn't offer anything on the bases, but he won't run himself into too many outs either.
The two spikes in his performance in 2007 and 2010 are obviously quite notable with the significant valley that were the 2008/2009 seasons stuck between. When healthy Goedert can be relied on to lash line drives and rack up a better than average number of extra base hits and he projects for above average home run power as well. His strike out rates jumped a fair amount in 2011 which will hurt his ability to hit for average, but again, much of that should be off set by his increased line drive ability. His solid/average eye also bears itself out well.
He's probably best suited to a first base job, but for the time being, the Indians seem committed to Matt LaPorta there, though if LaPorta doesn't come around, and Goedert continues to hit, the team may be forced to reconsider their options. However I worry that while playing at first may mask some defensive inefficiencies, his bat will struggle to play up at that position. It's also possible that they view him as a backup corner infielder and right handed bat off the bench - a role I think would suit him well.
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.