Welcome to the third installment of the UpAlongFirst.com official prospect list. Here are numbers seven and eight.
7. Reese Havens- INF
THROWS: R BATS: L
COLLEGE: University of South Carolina
ACQUIRED: 22nd pick (1st round) of 2008 Draft
It has always been about injuries for Havens. Ever since being drafted out of South Carolina, Havens has failed to play a full season. With less than 800 pro at-bats, Havens is far behind on experience in the minors and at 25, he only has so much time left. However, there is a reason why Havens is on this list. Havens has a smooth, natural swing. His bat naturally generates power, as well as hits to the gap, making him an all-around hitter. In his third season in the minors, Havens hasn’t really given fans a major glimpse of what could be coming. None of the numbers stick out at you, but when you see his swing, it just looks like the swing of a big league hitter. Let’s take a look at a video of him by Toby Hyde:
As you can see, his swing is golden. This is what makes him so high on the list because if he didn’t have this characteristic, he would already be in the washed-up, injury-ridden category. There is something there, he just has to stay healthy and earn the experience needed to show it.
On the diamond, things have gotten more and more promising for Havens. After playing below average at shortstop for most of his career, the Mets moved Havens to second, where he has played extremely well when taking into account his lack of experience at the position.
I mentioned Havens’s unspectacular numbers. Here they are:
|2010||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-A+||32||140||4||9||19||0||3||14||33||.312||.386||.592|
|2011||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-A+||61||255||17||6||28||2||0||29||64||.288||.373||.455|
|A+ (3 seasons)||A+||114||508||23||17||61||3||3||65||96||.252||.363||.435|
|AA (2 seasons)||AA||76||317||17||12||38||2||2||33||74||.301||.379||.505|
|A- (1 season)||A-||23||97||6||3||11||3||1||11||27||.247||.340||.471|
Hopefully, Havens will be able to stay on the field this year. This will be a key year for him tha could make or break his career. If he stays healthy, he could earn significant time in Buffalo, and maybe even a September call-up in New York. If not… well there may not be another chance for Havens to step up and show what all this buzz was really about.
8. Kirk Nieuwenhuis- OF
THROWS: R BATS: L
ACQUIRED: 100th pick (3rd round) of 2008 Draft
Nieuwenhuis is the definition of a five-tooled player as Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com described last year:
“Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Nieuwenhuis can do a little bit of everything on the field — he’ll hit for average, he has a bit of power and he has a little speed — but none of the tools will jump out at you. He plays the game the right way, and his effort helps him maximize his abilities on the field. Nieuwenhuis is just about ready to help out in New York, and he’ll head to Triple-A — waiting for that call. “
Kirk is a big, strong athlete who is not only well-rounded at the plate, but also in the field. He has a big of speed, as well as potential for power at the big league level. Down in the minors, he is stealing about 15 bases per season, as well as hitting 15-20 homers. Here are his numbers:
|2009||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A+-AA||131||583||145||38||17||73||17||5||57||127||.282||.364||.479|
|2010||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-AAA||124||566||141||43||18||77||13||7||41||132||.274||.327||.475|
|AA (2 seasons)||AA||102||469||127||38||17||62||14||8||34||102||.298||.348||.521|
|AAA (2 seasons)||AAA||83||354||83||25||8||31||5||2||43||98||.269||.363||.448|
|A- (1 season)||A-||74||319||79||15||3||29||11||7||29||70||.277||.348||.396|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||123||547||132||35||16||71||16||4||53||118||.274||.357||.467|
In the field, Kirk is a stud. He isn’t one of the top minor leaguers as far as speed is concerned, (although he can steal a few bases) but he has a very good range in center field. He can really accelerate out there, which will likely keep him at the center field position for his career. He also has a nice arm in center.
At the plate, he continues to develop. As I mentioned earlier, he can hit for power, along with his decent batting average. I can definitely see Nieuwenhuis as a 20-25 home run hitter in his career, much like Lucas Duda. But unlike Duda, he can package his speed as well as talent with the glove to become a Hunter Pence-like player.
The list so far (click to view posts):
7. Reese Havens
9. Cesar Puello
Come back on Monday for numbers five and six!