I’ve been around the Phillies complex regularly for almost four years now and have a pretty solid grasp of their system, especially their rookie ball team in the Gulf Coast League. That’s where I first got eyes on Peter Lavin back in 2011.
Before you get too excited, Lavin is not a kid that is going to shoot up prospect lists and become a saving grace for this farm system. He is a kid who plays the game hard everyday, is easy to root for and deserves a little fanfare. Too often people get all caught up in what a player can’t do instead of looking at what he can do, so let’s take a look at what Lavin CAN do.
He plays above-average defense in center and on a regular basis tracks down balls that seemed destined for extra bases once they leave the bat. Lavin possesses good speed and while this allows him to get to some of these balls, it’s his reads he gets off the bat and his solid routes to the ball that really make the difference. The arm is fringe-average, but it’s accurate and not often have I seen him make a mistake throwing the ball.
Offensively is what I really enjoy about his game. Rarely will he give away an at-bat. There is a plan in place when he steps in the box and he tends to execute that plan more often than not. Lavin understands the strike zone and he does a good job of making pitchers work to get him out. There is some decent bat speed in his swing and when a pitcher makes a mistake he has shown the ability to capitalize. For the most part his power is gap to gap, but he has enough in-game pop to occasionally hit one out like he did in Clearwater yesterday. Another thing I like about Lavin’s game is his situational hitting. He controls the bat well and is able to put the ball in-play regularly, allowing him to have productive outs that help the team to score a run or even win the game.
Overall, Lavin has a high baseball IQ and while none of his tools will stand out he does most things well. It’s players like Lavin that you will miss if you’re just scouting the box scores. When you see him live he is a kid who will do something night in and night out that will make you notice him. He is off to a nice start at High-A Clearwater this season and I hope he can continue to hit throughout the season.