By Julian Mininsohn @jmininsohn
Organization: Seattle Mariners
Current Team: Jackson Generals
College: California University of Pennsylvania
Drafted: 2013: 23rd round No. 687 Overall
With the length of the MLB draft and hundreds of players selected it is hard to find definite value, especially in the later rounds. When someone is drafted No. 687 overall and wins the Triple-A baseball home run derby, it is a sign that as a General Manager you’ve found some late-round fortune. It is exactly what the Seattle Mariners organization has in Kyle Petty of the Jackson Generals.
Strengths: The kid can straight rake. In just four minor league seasons Petty has combined for 23 home runs and 137 RBI’s. Before getting called to play for the Generals, Petty was hitting an impressive .327 with the Bakersfield Blaze. He also has posted no lower than a .315 OBP in all of his minor league stints. Not only does Petty have power, but has 40 stolen bases in his career; a definite strength once on the base pads. On the other side of the ball, Petty serves as a utility guy that can play first base, third base and outfield.
Comparisons: One knock on Petty is that is he strikes out a lot. He has struck out 265 times in four short seasons. However, you musty swing the bat to hit the ball. Simple, but true. With Petty, you take the strike outs if it means home runs as well. Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is a comparable example to Petty. The criticism of Davis is even though he has tremendous power he does swing-and-miss a lot too. But, he isn’t nicknamed “Crush” Davis for no reason. And with more experience, Petty could be crushing pitches at the major league level as well.