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May 202010

So far, I’ve looked at some guys who are really potentially top-notch prospects. Today, I look at Brandon Laird, whose ceiling isn’t nearly as high. Still, he could be a useful player, and is making his case early in 2010. His statistics:

Year Age Tm Lg Lev G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2007 19 Yankees GULF Rk 45 178 168 27 57 14 1 8 29 6 26 .339 .367 .577 .945
2008 20 Charleston SALL A 122 506 454 71 124 31 1 23 86 40 86 .273 .334 .498 .832
2009 21 Tampa FLOR A+ 124 501 451 53 120 20 4 13 75 39 75 .266 .329 .415 .744
2010 22 Trenton EL AA 37 158 144 23 41 7 1 7 36 12 23 .285 .335 .493 .828
4 Seasons 328 1343 1217 174 342 72 7 51 226 97 210 .281 .337 .477 .814

The man is pretty good at hitting home runs, doesn’t strike out a lot, and plays third base. That’s the good news. The bad news is he doesn’t have amazing on base skills, doesn’t hit for a high average, and grounds in to tons of double plays. However, he has been remarkably consistent across minor league levels. If you discount his terrible April and May in Tampa, he’s basically hit .275/.333/.490 across all levels. He’s also remarkably consistent against both right-handed and left-handed pitchers: .278/.330/.461 against left-handers, .282/.338/.475 against right-handers. His K and BB rates are also consistent through all levels.

Laird’s start in Trenton is encouraging because its a confidence builder. Take a look at his RBI’s – he leads the Yankee system, including the majors, and is also first in the Eastern League. Normally, I wouldn’t quote the statistic, but I think that his success in games will lead to increased confidence, which could help him take his game to another level. Laird has the raw power skill to be an effective major league player. He has shown flashes of huge power, but generally hasn’t kept it going for any lengthy period of time. One day in August, we might wake up and realize that Laird is slugging .550, and on track for 30+ home runs. That’s the track he is going to take to become a major league starter. And it all starts with confidence. There’s nothing really holding Laird back from becoming the next Vinny Castilla.

More than likely, Laird figures in the Yankee picture as a bench player. I think he can do a lot of good in that role. Power off the bench can help swing games, and Laird is helped by not having a platoon split. He is currently playing both 1st and 3rd, but I don’t think its unreasonable for him to play a little left field in the future. That’s a pretty useful player – Juan Miranda with more versatility.

So yeah, pretty good rebound year for Brandon Laird. After you get passed the higher ceiling guys, he’ll hold up well in next week’s prospect ranking. I honestly think he’s a pretty safe bet to make the majors in some capacity. Good for him.

One Response to “Rising: Brandon Laird”

  1. LAird has hit and hit with power right from the beginning.I believe he’s led every league he’s been in in euther HR’s or RBI’s or was right t up there at least.He has a slid arm and a good hands.
    I see no reason why his upside isn’t top notch.Many of the guys rated above him, based on “Tools” will never see the Major leagues and he has a chance to develop into a Mike Lowell type player.Lowell was another guy with limited upside and he was better than most players and won quite often.
    I like his pedigree and I like that he flatout hits everywhere he’s ever played.  (Quote)

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