Name: Gauntlett Eldemire
DOB: 2/28/89 (22 as of April 1, 2011)
Weight: 195 lbs
Drafted: 6th round, 2010 ($140,000 bonus)
Pre Draft Report: Gauntlett Eldemire was selected by the Phillies in the 6th round of the 2010 draft following his junior season at Ohio University. As a high schooler in suburban Cleveland, Eldemire hit .582 as a senior with 34 RBI and 23 SB. After getting to Ohio, Eldemire started 45 games as a freshman before playing in the Great Lakes Summer League. His first exposure to a wooden bat league was not particularly good as he mustered just a .136 average over 22 ABs. During his sophomore season, Eldemire was invited to try out for the U.S. National Team (he bowed out due to a leg fracture) and was First Team All-MAC after hitting .313 with 21 HR and 11 SB. He followed this up with a senior season that saw him hit .398 with 16 HR, 55 RBI, and 16 SB.
Heading into the 2010 draft, Baseball America ranked Eldemire 4th among prospects in Ohio and 93rd nationally. As expected, their writeup was very high on tools, with the usual disclaimers for strike zone judgment and rawness. It noted above-average raw speed and power and expected him to get picked in the first three rounds.
ESPN’s scouting report was similar, noting the plus speed and power could have him go as high as the 2nd round, but noted a long swing and poor pitch recognition could limit him to a reserve role. It also graded his arm at a 45 which partially offset his speed and range as a centerfielder.
MLB.com also provided a pre-draft report (with video) and summarized Eldemire’s prospects as follows:
There may not be a better athlete in this Draft class than Eldemire, who looks like wide receiver just as much as a center fielder. He has the speed and instincts to stick in center and, since getting over a wrist injury, he’s settled in with the bat, too, hitting for both average and power. As a player who profiles to hit high in the batting order at the next level, he’ll have to learn how to draw more walks, but that won’t keep a team from taking this toolsy college outfielder off the board early.
Eldemire eventually fell to the Phillies in the 6th round, in part due to a wrist injury suffered early in the 2010 season.
Career Synopsis: Eldemire had wrist surgery shortly after signing and did not play organized ball in 2010. He did reportedly participate in the Florida Instructional League.
Scouting Report: Below is an assessment of Eldemire’s raw tools, rated on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale. The grades are my estimation based on what I’ve read and those I’ve talked to. The second number is a future projection, the first number is the current assessment
Hit For Average: 50
Hit For Power: 55/60
Throwing Arm: 50
Summary: Having no pro data to go on, this is basically forecasting his college performance, which is also tough because he did not play at a big time school in a great conference. That said, he has tons of tools, and he’s just a bit more raw than your typical college player. His hit for average tool may be underselling him a tick, but I’ll wait to see how his approach looks. As a centerfielder, he should provide excellent defensive value.
Upside: Eldemire is not unlike the slew of toolsy outfielders the Phillies have recently brought into the system, with the main difference being that he was a college selection. He’s very difficult to project for a number of reasons: no professional plate appearances, coming off surgery, limited wooden bat experience, etc. By all accounts, Eldemire’s upside is that of a big league regular with 20/20 potential (maybe a RH version of Curtis Granderson?). But like many of the young outfielders in the system, Eldemire seems to be an all-or-nothing proposition. The tools are there to be a significant presence in a major league lineup, now it’s a matter of seeing if his skills can develop enough to get him to meet that potential.
Updated: 07 March 2011