The MWAH prospect countdown marches on with an unexpected gem from the late rounds of the 2012 draft.
Position: 1B Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6'0" Weight: 225 lbs.
Age: 23 Born: 9/5/89
2012 Season Stats
Rookie: 325 PA, .338 AVG, .443 OBP, .586 SLG, 21 2B, 0 3B, 15 HR, 57 RBI, 52 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS, .368 BABIP
Contact – B. For a power hitter, Hinkle actually makes an exceptional amount of contact. He hit for average while playing at Kansas State and that trend continued in the very hitter friendly Pioneer League. He shouldn’t have any problem hitting for average, especially if he ends up skipping Burlington and going straight to the Cal League.
Power – B. Hinkle didn’t hit for a ton of power until his senior year at Kansas State. But seeing his swing and build, Hinkle’s power really is authentic. So his 20+ doubles and 15 homeruns in 70 games in the Pioneer League were not entirely surprising. This power should remain consistent through the higher levels of the minors.
Discipline – B. Hinkle perfectly fits what Dipoto was searching for in this last draft. They’ve left behind the raw but toolsy high schoolers in favor of more refined college players. Hinkle is exceptional at controlling the strike zone. I’m not convinced his OBP will remain so high as he progresses, because he was clearly over-prepared for Rookie Ball, but until he proves incapable of drawing a walk, I’ll assume he can and will.
Speed – D. Usually, this category wouldn’t bother me because Hinkle is a first baseman and those guys in general aren’t fast. But if Hinkle wants to carve out a role with the Angels in the future, chances are he’ll need to learn to play the outfield. Under no circumstance can I envision Hinkle being a good defensive outfielder.
Arm – B-. Hinkle’s arm is well above average, and he’s left-handed which helps his case for a potential move to the outfield.
Performance – B. I consider this year a success for Hinkle. For starters, he posted very good numbers at Kansas State, second, he was drafted and signed, and finally, he posted very good power numbers in Rookie Ball and drew walks. In a system full of free swingers, seeing hitters like Hinkle come in is a breath of fresh air.
Projection – C-. Hinkle’s 23 years old, so physically he’s done maturing, so to an extent, what we see is what we are getting, which isn’t necessarily bad in this case. He’s not a prospect that’s going to excite a ton of people, but if he lives up to his billing as a power hitter that makes good contact and gets on base, I see no reason why he couldn’t grace a major league roster as a corner outfielder, first baseman, DH or even a power bat off the bench. Mike Trout, he is not, but he could definitely be a Daric Barton or Russell Branyon type of role player.
(*As always, the above scouting report is provided by Scotty Allen of LA Angels Insider)