HT: 6-4 WT: 230 POS: 1B
Delmarva Shorebirds - (129 G, 480 AB, .269/.340/.440)
A 38th round draft and follow from the 2005 draft, Chris Vinyard has emerged as one of the organization's better prospects. Unfortunately, he's already all the way down the defensive spectrum, so he has to really rake to make it to Baltimore.
Vinyard combines decent bat speed with brute strength to have above-average power. There's not much projection left, but his power is plenty enough if he consistently squares the ball. He strikes out quite a bit, which is a trade-off for his power, and will likely come at the expense of his batting average in the long run.
Vinyard hits better against lefties than righties and is a well below-average runner. Perdue Stadium hurt his overall numbers and his power output should look better in 2008, even if it's just superficial.
Despite being a catcher at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Vinyard has little defensive value to speak of. Now a first baseman with limited range, it's up to Vinyard's bat to get him to the majors. He did make a reasonable 9 errors in nearly 80 games at first base, so he should be able to handle baseball's easiest position if his bat forces the issue.
It doesn't get much tougher than trying to make it to the majors as a right-handed first baseman. So, while O's fans might get excited at their first real first base prospect in a while, Vinyard's numbers will have to come up significantly if he is destined for a major league career. He has the raw power to get it done and his stats should look better in Harry Grove Stadium in 2008. He's at least two years away from making noise in Baltimore.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via e-mail at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com