Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Prospect Countdown: #28 Brett Eibner

28. Brett Eibner Centerfielder

Age: 24
Position: OF
Height: 6-3
Weight: 195
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted in the 2nd Round of 2010 Amateur Draft
From: The Woodlands, TX

Paden Bennett (28):  I love Brett Eibner. I said it.  Although there hasn't been much to love so far in his brief career.  Eibner has always been appealing to me because of his athleticism, his power, and his ability to see pitches.  He has shown the ability to draw walks in his 2 seasons of A ball and also has raw power.  This is a big season for Eibner, he has to show an ability to hit for a decent average somewhere in the .250 range while also maintaining his good power and plate discipline.

Joe Cox (29): Eibner is a natural athlete and former 2nd round pick in the 2010 amateur draft.  Coming into 2012, Eibner was a prospect on the lookout for Kansas City if he could continue to display power and an ability to take walks, while providing solid defense in the outfield.  The problem with Eibner in 2012 was that he took a step back in his first season at high A, and at 24 is running out of time considering his level.  He was able to hit 15 home runs in 423 at bats, but struck out a robust 34% of the time.  Clearly Eibner is going to have to hit over the Mendoza line if he wants to have a bounce back season in 2013.  

Damion Mandalas (NR): Since Kansas City's high-A affiliate returned to Wilmington in 2007, only ten players have hit double digit home runs. Only five times during that span has a player hit more home runs than Eibner's 15 in 2012. There is no doubt that he offers power. However, as has been previously stated, he has to make strides with the bat. Eibner has one more season before he will be eligible for the Rule V draft if he is not protected. Due to his arm, there is a chance that another organization could take him with the idea of transitioning him to the mound (though I find this extremely unlikely). Either way, we need to see big strides from Eibner in 2013. 

Dan Ware (27):  Eibner is still on my personal list of favorites in the minors.  Ever since his days at Arkansas mashing walk-offs and firing his 97 mph fastball from the mound, he was indeed fun to watch, especially during the College World Series.  Since being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft, he hasn't lived up to expectations.  He's a definite 4 tools player: above average runner, great defender in center, good arm and great power.  Last season in Wilmington, he posted a HR/OFB% of 13.9.  Just a shade under his 2010 percentage, but well above the Carolina League average.

The only problem with Eibner is that he is a below average contact hitter.  Although, scouts have said he has good plate discipline, in that he doesn't swing at pitches outside the zone all that often, his long and violent swing make for a lot of swing-and-miss.  I do believe this will be the deciding year for Brett on whether a move back to the mound will be necessary.

Total Points: 9

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