2013 Cubs Prospects in Review: Logan Watkins

Logan-Watkins1aFor some reason, I was thinking that Logan Watkins was drafted in the 3rd round in 2008. He did sign for $600,000, which was probably 2nd round money considering the Cubs draft order that year (maybe even higher at that time), but he lasted until the 21st round. He had a strong committment to Wichita State.

Watkins weighs 175 pounds and stands 5-11. He's right-handed and bats left-handed. He turned 24 years old on August 29th.

Performance

The 2nd baseman had been better than league average at the plate prior to this season. Last year he had a very good season hitting .281/.383/.422. His wRC+ was 130. His first season of AAA didn't go as smoothly. He hit .243/.333/.379, which was good for a 90 wRC+. He was called up to Chicago at the beginning of August.

After beginning his MLB career with 2 hits in 6 plate appearances, he's managed just 1 hit in his last 19. He's walked twice and struckout 10 times. Watkins has typically had a walk rate above average and has mostly kept the ball in play. His 40% strikeout rate so far at the MLB level is nothing to be concerned with yet. The sample size isn't very large.

At AAA, he walked in 8% of his plate appearances, which was down from the 12.9% a year ago at AA. Watkins doesn't have a lot of power, but it's better than Matt Szczur's. He began his career with no home runs in his first two seasons and had just 6 of them over his first four. Those seasons totaled 1447 plate appearances. He's hit 17 over the last two seasons in the minor leagues (1060 plate appearances).

It's been a disappointing season for Watkins, but he was still deserving of the call up.

Scouting

A recent scouting report for Watkins is difficult to find. He was drafted as a SS and has played 106 minor league games at the position. From what I recall, he was a below average fielder at the position at the time of the draft, which explains why he was promptly moved away from shortstop. He's also been an above average fielder at 2nd base and can play all over the field. He won't hit for much power, but has shown good discipline in the minors and could keep the ball in play. He has above average speed and has swiped more than his fair share of bases in his career. He stole 28 last year at AA and 21 the year before. He stole only 10 this year, though. While he won't hit a lot of home runs, his ISO is much improved over the early part of his professional career.

Outlook

Watkins will get a shot to stick with the team, but his role will depend on a couple of things. First, he's going to have to hit better than he has so far and second, I'm not as certain about Darwin Barney's role with this team as a lot of Cubs fans might be. Barney has hit so poorly this season (57 wRC+) that he makes Starlin Castro's 2013 offensive performance look impressive.

I'm not convinced because I don't really know if it's possible to be so good at fielding that you can ignore how awful a hitter he is. Barney will be arbitration eligible after the season. How much do the Cubs really want to pay someone who is quite possibly the worst hitter in Major League Baseball? Can his fielding really be so awesome that you can overlook that?

If the Cubs decide they can't overlook that, Logan Watkins will likely get an early shot in the spring training to win that job.

2013 Cubs Prospect Reviews

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