With the latest round of cuts yesterday, it appears Michael Bourn is closer to making the big league team out of camp. Bourn has generated a bit of buzz this spring, I wrote a profile on him a while back, and in my prospect grades, I gave him a B-, noting his great speed, but his fringy offensive skill set. I’m going to attempt to turn this into a poll and see if we can get some idea of what people are thinking. I’ll give my thoughts and rationale under the poll, so you can vote before reading my take on it.
Go here to vote, then come back and keep reading.
To me, Bourn is a really risky guy going forward. As I have highlighted in the past, he’s going to realistically need a .400+ OB% to be an offensive asset in the majors, which will allow him to utilize his speed. Defensively, he seems fine, but he has very little power, and the small dimensions of Citizens Bank Park will likely rob him of a few doubles and triples because of the narrow power alleys. The Phillies can’t really be sure what they have in him, so it seems unlikely they’d just turn over an everyday job to him. At the same time, there is an argument that says he should be getting regular AB’s in Ottawa, but to me, I don’t know what benefit that will be. If they view his offense as fringy, is it really going to improve batting against a lot of minor league mercenaries in AAA? He hasn’t shown any power since his days in Low A, and that probably won’t change. As it is, he’s probably a valuable 5th OF now, able to play defensively at any of the 3 OF positions as well as pinch run in later innings. You also have the notion that other teams may value him because of his speed and defense, and a team like Florida has been mentioned as a possible suitor, mainly because they have no good in house options.
Anyway, I’m curious as to what people think, so please vote, and if you’d like, leave feedback in the comments section.