Name: Anthony Hewitt
DOB: April 27, 1989
Height: 6′ 1″
Drafted: Drafted in the 1st round (#24 overall) in the 2008 draft, $1,380,000 signing bonus
Pre Draft Report: Hewitt is a giant boom or bust pick. Hewitts raw tools are off the charts highlighted with plus speed and power that some scouts have put an 80 on. The problem is his ability to make contact, he has struggled against good fastballs and has no recognition of breaking balls. Scouts praise his work ethic and leadership ability and any team willing to draft him will have to sign him away from a Vanderbilt commitment. Hewitt played shortstop for his high school team but lacks the instincts to stay there and will shift to third base or the outfield where he could play center or right. Hewitt could be a pack of the first round pick.
Career Synopsis: Hewitt made his debut after signing for the Phillies GCL team. He posted the highest walk rate of his career with 7 BBs in 124 ABs to go along with 55 Ks. His final line for the year was .197/.256/.299. On tools alone Hewitt was rated the #13 prospect in the GCL, but scouts confirmed that he was eons away. He was rated the #14 prospect in the system by BA and #11 by Baseball Prospectus.
In 2009, Hewitt was held back in Extended Spring Training before being assigned to Williamsport. There his struggles continued, he showed some promising signs hitting 7 HRs, and cutting down on his K rate, but his walk rate also plummeted and his stat line was only raised to .223/.255/.395. Baseball America rated him the #11 prospect in the NYPL and noted that the Phillies would likely move him off third base to the outfield.
2010 saw Hewitt playing the outfield for Lakewood. All of his gains made in Williamsport were wiped away by his line as his K rate went up and his walk rate continued to plummet. His final line of .202/.243/.327 earned him a return trip to Lakewood in 2011. He made some improvements in 2011 with his K rate decreasing slightly and a slight uptick in his walk rate. Additionally his power showed up as well as his base stealing as he stole 36 bases in 41 attempts. His final line of .240/.281/.405 was a large improvement on his 2010 campaign.
In 2012 Hewitt moved up to Clearwater. In a much tougher hitting environment Hewitt put up roughly the same line from Low-A without the steals. He posted a .241/.281/.387 line with a career high 18 walks in 411 ABs, positioning himself for a possible jump to AA in 2013.
Scouting Report: Below is an assessment of Hewitt’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: 30
Hit For Power: 50/60
Throwing Arm: 70
Summary: Hewitt has plus raw tools across the board but he lacks the tools to translate them to game action. Even though his hit tool is lacking his power still has shown through in game action. His speed is also a plus tool though his base running ability as been up and down and his hindered by his lack of one base skills.
Upside: Despite all of his shortcomings Hewitt is still only 23 years old and has been making small progressions in each of his years in the minor leagues. His pitch recognition tool is easily a 20 as evidenced by his strikeout and walk numbers. In his 5 seasons in the minors his season high walks total is 18 in 429 PAs (his walk total in his first 4 years in the minors is lower than Larry Greene Jr’s debut season total). His defense is poor despite good defensive tools. If he keeps making small improvements he could eventually reach the big leagues as a bench outfielder with some pop and speed. He will likely move to AA in 2013 but playing time is not necessarily a guarantee for him going forward.
In their 2008 Phillies Top 30 write up Baseball America remarked that it might take 2,000 ABs for Hewitt to unlock his potential, currently he has 1,645 in the minor leagues, the question is whether he will even be a small fraction of his potential by the time he hits 2,000.
Profile updated: 10/15/12