Hitting Prospect Addendum: Kyle Skipworth

Next, I’m going to look at the only first round pick throughout this series.  Kyle Skipworth was drafted in 2008, and early comparisons to Joe Mauer were made.  So far, things have not worked out like that though.  After the jump, we’ll take a look into why his numbers are floundering.

The main thing that sticks out is easily the massive amount of strike outs.  This seems to be both a contact issue, as he has a high K Swinging%, and an aggressive issue, as he has a low BB%.

The scouting report on him was that he should hit for both a high BABIP and high power, and neither of those happened either.  His BABIP was below league average (.314) and he had just a paltry LD% of 15%.  Now BABIP is a rather volitale stat, and hopefully he can come back next season and show the strong skill set he’s suppose to have.  Power wise he wasn’t great but for an 18 year old he wasn’t terrible either.  He’s certainly looking like he’ll develop into the .150-.175 ISO range, putting him at average to slightly above average power.

It currently looks like he will be forced into a platoon, though for a catcher that’s far from a bad thing as we’ve seen with the John Baker/Ronny Paulino platoon.  Against left handed pitching, he had just a .068/.089/.205 line with a 0.05 BB/K.  It’s a terribly, terribly small sample size at just 45 PA but he also did terribly, terribly bad in that small sample size though he did still show power.

Defensively, things weren’t too good either.  He played 555 2/3rd innings (64 games) last year and allowed 73 PB+WP as well as 77 SB (16% CS%).  He is very much expected to stick at catcher but he’ll have to improve there.

Now, he was also injured, which played a part (especially in defense/stolen bases).  He was suffering from a hyper-extended elbow for most of the entire season before shutting it down in August.  And at just 20 years of age for this coming season, he’ll have a long time to figure things out.  But as of this moment, things don’t look too pretty.

Tags: Kyle Skipworth Miami Marlins

  • Moti


    Our FO gets plenty of well-deserved credit. However, I feel as though our drafting has been horrendous. Obviously, most drafts in professional sports are a crapshoot and luck plays a huge role. Brett Sinkbeil, Aaron Thompson, Jeff Allison, Matt Dominguez (Jayson Heyward went 2 spots after him! imagine having Heyward+Stanton), and of course Kyle Skipworth. Bust after Bust after Bust in the first round. Did they find some gems in later rounds? I guess. But it seems to me the FO has not been criticized enough when it comes to their drafts. The baseball draft doesn’t have as much fanfare as the NFL’s, but it’s just as important (or should be) to baseball fans. My main point is while Larry Beinfest, Mike Hill, and company deserve a lot of credit, I think they have been undercriticized.

    • Michael Jong


      I wouldn’t jump on Dominguez just yet (after all, John has him ranked as our second best prospect, and he still should be a solid player). Other than that, the players you mentioned have not done well, absolutely. I think you can give the front office a free pass on Allison, what happened to him was very different to just normally busting. I think Sinkbeil is the most egregious bad pick for the FO in the first round.

      Gets me to a general point about our strategy. We’re very well-known for going with prep arms in the first round. Whenever I see draft analysis, it never surprises anyone when the Marlins get a high school pitcher in the mid-first round. The problem is that high school pitchers have traditionally produced the lowest average WAR over their team-controlled years. College hitters are usually the best, followed by high school hitters then college pitchers.

      The times when the Marlins went hitter this decade haven’t been as bad. Hermida busted, but was at least serviceable most of the time. Dominguez still has a bright future. Skipworth right now looks like the only awful player. But arms are always inherently more risky due to injury risk and how much more difficult it is to pitch in the bigs than hit.

      Moti, I think you bring valid concerns in regards to the draft. Chad James is highly regarded, but he hasn’t pitched any yet. We’ll see how he turns out. We have a few other guys like Volstad who are still trying to pan out. Draft’s a crapshoot, but I don’t think the Marlins’ strategy is giving them the best chances. But what do I know? John, got a take on this?