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Prospect Ranking

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34. Nate Schierholtz - OF - NYM

Schierholtz is a tools-guy - he has power, above-average speed, and a rifle arm - but just going by that generic description sells his minor league performances short. He's a career .305/.353/.504 hitter, which is impressive considering he's generally been on the young side of every league he's been in. He's also getting better, as he had the ninth-best OPS in the International League last season. After a mid-season call-up, the Mets asked him to concentrate on hitting for power. He responded with the best power surge of his career.

He'll need to work on his on-base percentage if he wants to be an elite player, but the good news is that he's drastically cut back his strikeout rate in recent years. It will probably take him a while to adjust to the majors until he controls the strike zone better, but his improved contact indicates that he isn't just a wild hacker.

His defense is a work in progress, but most scouts think he'll learn to take better routes to fly balls and use his speed to his advantage.

It remains to be seen if he'll get a chance as a Met, though. Schierholtz has been discussed as the centerpiece for a possible Johan Santana deal.

Prospect Ranking

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418. Nate Schierholtz - OF - SFG

Eh. Take a base on balls, buddy.

Exaggeration? Maybe just a touch, but the overall point stands. If Schierholtz were playing for the Mets or Yankees, he wouldn't be an afterthought in the prospect world.

Of course, when your last All-Star outfielder came up around the same time as the Atari 2600, maybe your organization doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Nate Schierholtz: Underrated? Overrated? A steaming bowl of doubles and just-right porridge? I'd rather see him start over Dave Roberts, Rajai Davis, and Fred Lewis, even if he struggled as bad as Rich Aurilia did in Aurilia's first season. Looks like it's back to Fresno, though....