MLB Draft 2011 Prospect Profile: Jason Esposito, 3B, Vandy

Summary

Jason Esposito may be one of the best examples of high floor low ceiling type player in this draft.  He has average tools across the board.  His best tool is probably his ability to hit for average which projects to be average to slightly above average but his power potential has been slightly exposed this year.  Some were seeing some above average type power last year with the old bats, but with the new bats, it seems much more likely that he tops out with average power.  He is a slightly below average runner on the paths and won't steal many bases in the professional level.  He has a strong enough arm for third base and may even have enough range to play at short at times in the majors.

He's not going to wow you with anything he does but he won't disappoint you either, which is a good thing.  He's just a solid ball player. 

Floor

I don't like to sound repetitive by saying that a guy's floor is minor league depth, but that is true for every prospect.  With Esposito, he might have a slightly higher floor where he comes up and helps the big league club when there are injuries. He has the skills already to project into that kind of player easily.  And being that he has a strong arm and good range, he can help in several spots along the in-field.

Ceiling

Because he doesn't have any stand-out tool he doesn't project to be much of a star, just a solid every day player at probably second base or short-stop.  He doesn't have the phenomenal defensive ability to a good short-stop but could hold down the job on a bad team.  He profiles best at second both defensively and with the bat.  Althoug, second base is going to undersell his arm. But, his ceiling is as a solid every day player. 

Will the Astros pick him? If so, where?

His high character profile and potential to play up the middle defensively will probably attract Bobby Heck and make him a possible target in the second round.  He has slipped out of the first and in some out of the supplemental picks, so that isn't out of the question.  The problem is that he profiles too similarly too several guys in the system.  Good defense, strong arm, high character, average power...sound familiar?  It's all over the system!  He's basically an older Jonathan Meyer.

Where is projected to go right now?

Deep Leagues has him at No. 28 to the Braves

Everyone else has him outside of their first round

Bibliography (Scouting Reports and Video)

After the jump

Keith Law says:

He's a good athlete with some raw power but a slider-speed bat that has been exposed this year against better-quality pitching. Esposito's swing and setup have changed over the last few years; he had a soft front side as a freshman that he cleaned up, but now has a high leg kick that interferes with his timing to go along with the bat speed question. He's a very good defensive third baseman with quick reactions and an above-average arm.

Jonathan Mayo says:

The infielder can square up some balls but hasn't always hit consistently. His swing is a little choppy at times, but there's still enough power potential for people to remain interested. While he's played shortstop at Vandy, most feel he will have to move to third base as a pro. He's gotten a bit thicker in his lower half and has stiffened a bit, impacting his range, his speed -- which grades out as a tick below average -- and perhaps his performance at the plate.

 

He's got a plus arm and could be a very solid third baseman, especially for a team that thinks his power will play at the next level, though being advised by Scott Boras could temper some teams' excitement.

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