Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’0” 190 lbs. DOB: 9/25/91
(Inland Empire): .281/.335/.375 with 4 HRs and 16 SB
According to many scouts within and outside of the Angels organization, Eric Stamets has the best combination of fielding and speed in the Angels organization outside of Mike Trout.
Defensively, Stamets has the potential to be a gold-glove winning shortstop. He has incredible range and a strong, accurate arm. His glove could play in the Majors right now, and by the time he is ready for the Majors, should be above average at the position.
In terms of speed, Stamets has the potential to steal 20-30 bases at the Major League level. In 2013, he successfully stole 16 bases in 20 attempts (80%), and with an aggressive manager could push that number up.
The only knock on Stamets is his batting. He has short swing with a slap motion and makes plenty of contact. While he only walked 6% of the time, he rarely swung and missed. In 2013, he dropped his strikeout rate by 1.5% from the year before, only striking out in 11.5% of his ABs all while facing better pitching. Stamets doesn’t really have power as part of his game. Gap doubles and a rare HR are what he brings. But, as a bottom of the order catalyst with speed, he has potential.
How Stamets plays out depends a lot on his bat. Defense alone make him a candidate for at least a bench spot, and if he can maintain or improve the bat, he has the potential to force the Angels to make a decision with Erick Aybar sometime by 2016. Look for Stamets to start the season in Double-A Arkansas, where he will continue to work with his 2B partner Alex Yarbrough in 2014.
For an interview we conducted with Eric Stamets, please click here.