Eric Stamets, Shortstop
Speed and defense. Eric Stamets is the fastest prospect with the best glove in the Angels farm system. This isn't just our opinion, but the opinion of every scout, coach, and professional who has seen him. Stamets has an outstanding future with the Angels organization. We give you a look at who this young man is, and what makes him so special.
Something outstanding about Stamets game is his ability to read pitches. You rarely see him swing and miss, and he makes contact the majority of his at bats. He has a short swing with a slap hitting motion, creating a lot of balls pulled the left field line and down the middle of the infield. Stamets does have the ability to hit the gaps well though.
When Stamets hits to the gaps, he shows off his incredible speed. When we say incredible, we mean it. He is the fastest shortstop in the Angels system, and if it wasn't for Billy Hamilton of the Cincinnati Reds, he'd be possibly the fastest shortstop prospect in Minor League Baseball. Stamets has the ability to steal 20-30 bases in the Major Leagues currently. He will get the green light more often with an aggressive coach, and will most likely show it during Spring Training with Mike Scioscia, an aggressive base running coach.
Stamets has hardly any power. He will hit a home run every so often, but don't expect more than ten, or more than five necessarily.
Stamets defensive game is flawless. This is where the comparisons to Erick Aybar happen, because of his defense. He has great range in both directions, and has an arm to back it all up. It is something special when a prospect comes out of the draft with this great of defense. He is a potential Gold Glove Award winner of the future.
Stamets was thrown right in to Low-A out of the 2012 MLB Draft where he was taken in the sixth round. In his first season of professional baseball, he had zero struggles. His batting slash was .274/.323/.347, and he struck out just 13% of his plate appearances. Stamets showed why he was such a great asset to the Angels system middle infield early.
This past season was Stamets first full season as a professional, and exceeded his own expectations. Stamets dropped his strikeout percentage by two full points to 11%. Stamets showed he has good gap power with 28 doubles, and brought all of his batting numbers up to .281/.335/.375. Stamets also showed his speed, stealing 16 bases over the season.
EXPECTED OF THE FUTURE:
Stamets is slightly older than another Angels middle infield prospect, Taylor Lindsey. He has put up almost identical numbers, and is a level behind Lindsey. We bring this up because it makes for an easy comparison. The Angels will most likely send Stamets to Double-A out of Spring Training for the 2014 season. Age is on their side, so there is no need to rush Stamets through the system.
Along with that, Stamets estimated time of arrival to the Major Leagues is 2016 when he will be 25-years-old. We expect Stamets to be an above average shortstop in the Major Leagues, possibly being compared to current Angels shortstop, Erick Aybar.
For more information on the Los Angeles Angels and their prospects, follow @ScoutAngels, and for to the minute updates on the Angels, follow our site publisher, @TaylorBlakeWard.