Prospect #14: Utility IF, Tommy Edman
Previously Ranked 20th in preseason, 13th in July reranking
Drafted in the 6th round of the 2016 draft
THE QUICK WRITE UP
All five of these players are a virtual coin flip then I don't know what to call the almost identical rating that I'd give Sosa and Edman. Maybe, as Tony La Russa used to say, "Tied for first" is the only proper way to put it. Sosa is younger than Edman and at a higher level than Edman and that usually gets the tie breaker in these situations for me, but I just love how steady and reliable Edman is. Much like with Sosa, it took Edman a second to get going in Springfield to start the season, but once he did he hasn't stopped hitting.
From that same April 27th date that we selected for Sosa, but until July 10th, Edman has hit 284/338/384/722 with 16 doubles and three home runs in 268 at-bats. Again, not much slug, but he has a hit in 50 of the 65 games that he's played in and he's successfully stole 14 of the 15 bases that he's attempted to steal. If you break Edman's season down to a 40 game sample size from May 24th to July 9th, he's hit 333/367/435/801 with nine doubles, 1 triple, and two home runs in 168 at-bats. He's done this while only striking out 21 times. There will never be much power for Edman to access, but his contact tool and plate coverage appears to get better and better. He''s a good defender at three positions and he might be ideally suited for short stop.
WHY TO GET EXCITED
Tommy=Scrappy. Scrappy=Cardinals' Nation wet dream.
Edman was aggressively promoted during the 2017 season. He spent the majority of the second half in Springfield and he struggled there. That might have been the end of his chances if he were a lesser baseball player with a lesser baseball mind. But Edman is smart. He's athletic. He didn't let his struggles in 2017 dictate his direction in 2018.
His error total is high, but I love watching him play short stop. I think that he's beyond-average there and I don't think that he'd hurt a major league club if he had to play the position right now.
He's taken well to playing both third and second.
Edman went to Stanford. As a former baseball player, I can tell you that nearly all of us are stupid. Edman is one of the few exceptions to that rule.
He's had a great second half of the season.
Aside from his scrappy... ness, Tommy Edman is just "solid." He does everything that you'd want an utility middle infielder to do.
Edman is a great base runner. On top of that, he's also a great base stealer. One of the rarities in the organization.
WHY TO BE CAUTIOUS
One thing that concerns me about Edman is that he's become more of a pull hitter this season. Now, if the results stay where they are at then I'm fine with it. Chances are, however, that the results will change.
He's the most league average player in the history of league average.
They are errors and they don't matter (rightfully) like they used to but Edman has had a spike in errors on the seaosn. Many of these have come at short stop, as well. I believe that this is because of the emphasis that he's but on getting better at third and second, but it's still a statistical fact and one worthy of a little caution.
Again, Edman has taken well to both third and second, but there is still work to be done.
If you are looking for a prospect that could be an all-star of a Gold Glover or a Silver Slugger, then Edman probably isn't the best candidate for you.
**FANCY AND CLEVER WAY OF SAYING THAT HE'S LIKE DANIEL DESCALSO OR GREG GARCIA OR ANY OF THE LINEAGE OF CARDINALS' UTILITY INFIELDERS BUT WITH A BETTER GLOVE**
Thanks to Fangraphs for supplying the stats.
Thanks For Reading!!