Prospect: David Fletcher
Level: AAA Salt Lake
Age: Entering Age 24 season in 2018.
Height: 5’10” – Weight: 175 lbs
*20-80 scale. 20 is not existent, Major League average is 50. Good Major League is 60. Great Major League is 70. The best I’ve ever seen is 80. These aren’t given very often.
Floor: AAAA player.
Ceiling: Starting 2B in major league baseball.
Likely Outcome: Steady utility infielder in major league baseball.
Summary: David Fletcher is a smaller stature player that just seems to come up big when the spotlight is on him. His diminutive size is more than made up for in his play, and the manner in which he endears himself to teammates and fans alike. He’s a solid defensive shortstop, with a steady glove, decent arm and good footwork. Scouts think he profiles better as a second baseman at the next level, and while I don’t disagree, I think it should be noted that Fletcher could likely succeed anywhere you put him on the field.
He plays the game at 100% and will rarely make mental mistakes.
Sure, his ceiling isn’t high. He doesn’t figure to ever be a future hall of famer right now. But he does profile to be employed as a major league baseball player for a long time. Guys like Fletcher tend to stay in the game longer than others. They do all the little things right. Fletcher’s bat isn’t as bad as advertised. He isn’t a power hitter, but he has a very short, simple, compact swing that lends itself to a contact and line drive oriented approach. This is the sort of bat that will not need a ton of adjustment in the major leagues. He could be of value from the beginning. David keeps it simple. He makes contact and drives the ball into the gaps.
He did a rock solid job in AA and continued to play very high quality defense at SS and 2B in AAA. But AAA pitching did expose some flaws in Fletcher’s early count approach, or more specifically he was being a bit more aggressive with the bat than we’d like to see from more of an on-base oriented player. So David will need to shore that up before being promoted to the big stage. But everything about him suggests that David will be able to make those adjustments this season.
He’s climbed the ladder so quickly that it’s easy to forget that last year was just his second full season of professional baseball. To make it to AAA that quickly is fantastic. You have to think that’s what the Angels were hoping for when they selected him in the 6th round out of Loyola Marymount.
What to expect: Fletcher should spend most, if not all of next season in AAA. He needs to improve his approach at the plate and get on base more frequently. The hitter friendly environment in Salt Lake doesn’t benefit players of Fletcher’s ilk, so the numbers that we see him put up will likely be authentic. I’d love to see Fletcher up with the angels in a utility role at some point next season, because fans are gonna love this guy. But if it takes one more year, I could understand why.
Estimated Time of Arrival: Late 2018. David’s age 24 season.