Angels Prospect Countdown: #26 – Jared Foster

Jared Foster

In 10 words or fewer: Backup QB at LSU switches to baseball, gets drafted.

Position: OF | Age (2016): 23
Bats: R | Throws: R
Height: 6’1″ | Weight: 200
2015 Rank: Unranked

LEVELPAAVGOBPSLGHRK%BB%SBBABIPwOBA
Rookie251.259.307.392616.7%6.4%13.290.315

2015 prospect countdown

OFFENSE

Contact – C.  Foster has a little bit of a funky pre-swing hitch and load that causes him to finish his swing off-balanced. Once thought to be a bad thing, guys like Ichiro and Adrian Beltre put that notion to sleep. Still, when Foster misses, it sort of makes him look a little more silly than other players. In his first season of professional ball, he had his fair share of swings and misses. Still, he isn’t terrible in this department as of right now, and you have to figure the Angels minor league coaches and coordinators will be working with him on this, right?

Power – C+.  There’s some raw power to Foster’s swing. His raw, unrefined approach has prevented his from capitalizing on his quick hands, and immense strength. So the numbers don’t pop out as of yet, but it’s entirely possible they do with some refinement.

Discipline – C-.  Without having focused solely on baseball until this year, it’s not actually bad. Most collegiate players come into professional ball with a good idea of ball and strike, the ability to work the count and reach base. It comes from experience of playing against advanced competition that most prep players (with the exception of California) don’t necessarily have the advantage of. Foster is basically coming in as an old prep player. There’s the possibility for growth here, but we’ll see.

Speed – B+.  It comes with the territory of being as good of an athlete as he is. I have my doubts as to whether Foster will every steal more than 30 bags a year, but if he doesn’t mind being thrown out 10 times, he’d reach that goal. There’s still of refinement in reading pitchers that comes with experience, which Foster needs. But the possibility of a plus runner is certainly present.

DEFENSE

Arm – B+.   Foster was predominantly considered a 2B in college, but towards the end, began to shift to the OF. This is due to his arm strength. It’s just one of those things that would be wasted at 2B. Foster has the arm strength to be a solid MLB RF. He’s spent most of his time in CF and the arm certainly works out there as well. Both strong and accurate.

Fielding – C.  Playing up the middle has always come naturally for Foster. Given his athleticism, you have to figure than in conjunction with playing 2B, he probably played his fair share of SS in high school. So of course, playing CF never presented an issue. It’s when he slid out to LF that things got hairy. Absolutely needles errors, he just did not look comfortable at first. I saw two catches he made in which if it weren’t for the fact that he’s as fast as he is, there’s no way he would’ve caught the ball, based on bad reads and late reactions. This will improve with time. I think.

Range – B.  Above average for a CF, but oddly enough, kind of below average for a LF, which doesn’t make a ton of sense, but would if you got the chance to watch him. This will be interesting to watch. I wish he would’ve stuck with 2B, bit given the glut of 2B the Angels just drafted and still have in their system from the last wave, there’s little reason for him to play there.

OVERALL

Performance – C. The numbers just don’t match the talent, yet. But the fact that he was drafted, and wasn’t completely overwhelmed in Rookie Ball has to count for something. Next year should be a bit of a make or break year for Foster though. It’s what happens with senior signs. There’s no margin for error or time for development. It’s perform now and get dropped. It’s what happened with Kole, the Angels scooped him up in the 8th round and he went on to borderline stardom in the majors.

Projection – B+.  And here we arrive at the entire reason why Jared is ranked in the Angels Top 30, aside from the weakened state of the system. If it all works out right, Jared could turn into an above average MLB starter. One who plays good OF defense, can hit for average, has plenty of pop, and can run the bases. Basically, Kole Calhoun. But there’s a lot that has to go right before that happens. Still, it isn’t difficult to see Jared’s across the board talent land him in the high minors with the chance for promotion someday.

What to expect in 2016 – Typically collegiate prospects have the opportunity to move straight to the Cal League after Rookie Ball, but given Foster’s need for refinement, I expect the Angels to move him to the Midwest League for next year where he’ll be pushed.

Most Likely Scenario – Plays a solid OF and offers enough upside and athleticism to carve out a long role as OF depth among the several systems he’ll play in.

Grade as a Prospect – C.  A ton of athleticism, but no numbers yet. A run of the mill prospect until further notice.

Estimated Time of Arrival – 2020. Kind of ridiculous though, because by that time he’ll be 27. Hardly considered a prospect at that age anymore.

Scott Allen

About Scott Allen

Scott is a writer for The Outside Corner and writer/prospect expert at Monkey With A Halo can be followed on Twitter @ScottyA_MWAH

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