Saturday, February 27, 2010

Top Prospects #8: David Lough

#8 David Lough

Age: 23
Pos: OF
HT/WT: 5-11/180
B/T: L/L
Drafted: 11th Round, Pick #336 of 2007 Rule IV Draft
College: Mercyhurst College (PA)
ETA: 2010

David Lough was a multiple sport athlete while he attended Mercyhurst College, but a Royals scout liked what he saw in Lough on the diamond and so he was drafted in the 11th round of Dayton Moore's first official draft. He could wind up being the first Moore drafted player to impact the Major League roster if you don't include the 2006 draft. After being drafted Lough was viewed as less developed than other hitters from the class and so instead of going to Idaho Falls he was sent to the Appy League where he posted a triple slash of .337/.380/.477. The following season the Royals sent him to full season ball in Burlington, Iowa where his numbers decreased to a line of .268/.329/.455.

Moving into the 2009 season Lough made a couple of adjustments in his stance that enabled him to shorten his swing. Somehow Lough's numbers improved dramatically in the 2009 season at Wilmington and even after a promotion to Springdale continued to improve. Perhaps, this can be attributed to a high Babip but even his luck removed lines of .303/.356/.453 at Wilmington and .317/.363/.510 at Springdale represent improvements. Maybe the simple answer is that David Lough finally turned the corner and put his above average tools to use after getting some at bats under his belt. After all compared to most drafted prospects Lough was fairly new to the game after playing soccer and football much of his life.

Speaking of tools, Lough has them. He is an extremely athletic player that has a solid average arm, with above average range in the outfield that I expect to continue to improve as he gets more innings under his belt. Lough can also has above average speed even though he has only succeeded in stealing 37 out of 57 bases, thus far in his pro career. Lough doesn't have any obvious weakness in the tool shed but he has to improve his numbers against left handed pitching. So far in his career his triple slash against lefties is a paltry .239/.310/.327. If Lough can't improve his splits he will probably be stuck as a platoon outfielder for much of his career. But if he can improve against same side throwers then I envision him as a more athletic David DeJesus with less on base ability and a little more power.

Lough should begin the season in Omaha, but according to him this has yet to be determined and will be decided in Spring Training. So I guess it is also possible that the Royals send him back to Springdale to prove that his 2009 numbers there weren't a fluke. Either way he should be facing triple competition by the all star break and if he continues to hit he should at least receive a September call up in 2010.

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