2012 MLB Draft Profile: Joey DeMichele, 2B/3B, Arizona State

Summary

It's tough to get information on guys that are not in the top 100. So, unfortunately I'm going to do a little bit of scouting on my own from video in conjunction with a few reports I could find.

Joey DeMichele goes along with a theme we have been pointing out lately with guys who stand out because of production rather than for tools. He's not the Tyler Naquin hitter, but he's a guy that puts the barrel of the bat on the ball and hits for a high average. The problem is that his production often gets overshadowed since he plays with a much higher profile in Deven Marrero. Despite that, he is still regarded as the best hitter on the team and won the Pac-10 hitting crown last season as a sophomore. Baseball America also named him a 3rd Team All-American. So, he comes supporting his own list of accolades.

The bat is what will get him drafted. He just hits. He has good bat speed from the lefty side, probably considered above-average by most, but it doesn't wow you. His swing is tailored primarily for hitting gap to gap, but he can pull one every now and then. He hits lots of doubles and triples but he's not a big time home run hitter. Because he has the ability to get a lot of extra-base hits, he's the clean-up hitter for the Sun Devils. He doesn't strike out much either. He draws his share of walks as well. He has pretty good pitch recognition as well, but can get a little heavy on his front foot on off-speed stuff.

Defensively, he plays a combination of second and third base. He's not a really fast guy, enough to steal a few bags, but it limits his range some at 2B. At 3B, his range is a little more appropriate, but his arm fits better at 2B. Either way, he can play both and not be a liability at either position. However, he likely won't be a standout at either position. He's not a big guy at 5-11 and around 190 pounds, so he won't outgrow 2B to force him to 3B. If he stays at 3B, it's because a team thinks he can develop a little more power and his arm can handle the hot corner very well.

Floor

His ability to hit for average and maintain a good OBP, I think his floor is pretty high. The ability to hit and play decent defense at both 2B and 3B, can be very valuable off the bench for a few years. I'm trying to think of a floor type that we all could be familiar with in our system, and best I can come up with is something like an Andy Simunic with better power.

Ceiling

I don't think he has any All-Star selections in his future, but I think he could provide some good seasons as an everyday second baseman or third baseman depending on how his defense or power develop. His highest ceiling is definitely as second baseman where his power projection is much more attractive where he could hit around 10 bombs in a good season. A guy who can play average defense at 2B with that kind of power an a near .300 average can be valuable.

Projected Draft Round

Not much to go on as I haven't seen him rated anywhere except one site had him at 92. Jim Callis said in a chat last month that he thinks he will get popped in the 5th round.

Will he sign?

He's a high floor type without a ton of tools, he doesn't have much to gain from a senior season at Arizona State. His best bet as a 21 year old junior to move through a system as a prospect is to go ahead and sign. However, he grew up as an Arizona State fan, so he may have some unfinished business if the Sun Devils don't accomplish everything he wanted to this year. But, with Marrero likely to sign as well, he may not have the team to accomplish more next year.

Bibliography after the jump

Bullpen Banter

Arizona State junior second baseman Joey DeMichele is an offensive-minded middle infielder and the Sun Devils cleanup hitter. He has a strong, line drive swing with surprising, legitimate power due to above-average bat speed.He makes consistent contact and shows great pitch recognition, giving him one of the best hit tools I've seen this spring. Outside of his bat though, DeMichele is nothing special. At best, he's an average defender and doesn't flash much speed. Regardless, his pure hitting ability is tremendous and should get him mid-round draft consideration this June.

Baseball America Chat

Jim Callis: He's more productive than toolsy but he profiles as an offensive second baseman with sure hands. I think he's a fifth-rounder or thereabouts, but college players who have proven they can hit often have upward mobility.

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