Prospects at the Low-A and Short Season levels are typically very raw. Fortunately, you can often find the players with the most upside in these levels. Here are some scouting notes on three prospects, one in the New York Penn League, and two in the Sally League.
Chris Bostick, 2B, Oakland Athletics
A product of Rochester, NY, Bostick probably didn't see as much scouting as he should have. The A's nabbed him in the 44th round in the 2011 draft, signed him, and now have a legitimate prospect. Bostick has a line drive stroke, and quick hands at the plate. There's some swing-and-miss in his game, but he has the ability to battle through counts and wait for pitches that he likes.
Bostick should develop average power down the line and has the tools to stick at second base. He isn't a burner, but rather an average runner, whose speed plays up because of strong instincts on the base paths.
Overall, he has the potential to become a 6 player, a perennial all-star who hits .300 every year and plays average at second base. Not too shabby for the 44th round.
Jordan Akins, OF, Texas Rangers
The Rangers took Akins in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft and he's been statistically awful ever since. Tools define Akins, and he's very far from reaching his potential. At the plate, Akins struggles to find pitches he can barrel, but when he does, the ball goes far. He shows above-average power potential, but I'm not sure he'll ever become even an average hitter.
Akins is an average-to-slightly-above-average runner on the basepaths, but he gets strong reads on balls in the outfield and has solid instincts on the field. He's shown a solid arm, and it looks to be about average at this point.
At this point I'm not as high on Akins as others are, but his potential is obvious. I think that if he makes it to the show, his bat will not allow his power to shine, and we can reasonably expect averages south of .250 with 20 home runs per year. He'll have to improve his approach if he wants to make it, but his defense will also give him some additional value.
Maikel Franco, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies
Don't let the numbers fool you, Maikel Franco is a real prospect. He shows above-average power potential, and has tremendous bat speed. I've seen him plenty of times, and he has the arm to stick at third base, but I'm concerned about what'll happen to his range as he fills out.
Franco's defense will always be his biggest weakness, as he is capable of becoming an average hitter with 25 homer pop. As he picks up plate appearances his approach should improve. He plays at a position where offense is at a premium, so his approach will be a big key for him going forward.