Stocky build; big upper body for being a relatively short player; former running back in high school; plenty of strength; had ankle wrapped prior to the game on 7/1/13, stated he was fine.
07/01/13; multiple more
Lancaster JetHawks (High A, Astros)
Way too many mistakes on defense really makes me question whether he can stay at second base. On top of that, after those fundamental mistakes he’s been seen sulking back to the dugout and inside the dugout. At times he can look lethargic and simply not interested on defense,which can lead to those said mistakes. It’s tough to scout DeShields because one minute he’s dropping what should be a routine pop-up and the next he’s stealing second base while the pitcher is trying to pick him off of first. Don’t want to call out his “want”, but it seems he needs a little push in the rear end to get going, especially defensively. Regarding his passive approach at the plate, DeShields himself said the Astros as an organization want him to take a lot of pitches every time he leads off an inning, so that could explain a lot in that aspect of his game.
Simple, balanced stance; flat-planed swing designed for contact; quick trigger allows him to let the ball travel deep into the zone; plus bat speed; good hands; swing oriented to hit the ball up the middle and the other way; strength helps him fight off better velocity; tracks off-speed extremely well for the level; may have the best eye in the Cal League; can get out on his front foot on occasion; shortens up with two strikes even more; approach is already advanced; the potential is there, but hitters hit and I’d like to see him swing the bat a little more often.
Strong bat; swing mechanics aren’t designed for power, however; due to his solid upper body, may be able to muscle a few out to his pull side at the highest level; will rack up the doubles and triples because of solid gap approach and pure 80 speed; over-the-fence power will never be a big part of his game.
3.7 on a jailbreak bunt; didn’t go all out to first on any regular groundballs; getting caught stealing a lot more this season which could be due to better catchers or simply bad jumps; has an awesome second gear, especially going first to third and second to home; recently stole home while the pitcher was intentionally walking a batter; plus athlete allows plus-plus speed projection for many years.
Well below average with the glove at present; hasn’t shown feel for the position; while he’s lightning fast, he could be a little stiff for the position and needs to work on his agility; range is just okay; gets to some tough plays; footwork can get a little out of whack; can stab at the ball with his glove on even some routine plays; depending on how he matures physically in his prime, he may need to move off of the position, possibly to CF; needs to lean out a little bit if he wants to stick. Still a long way to be league-average in my book.
Below average arm; has trouble throwing to first after ranging up the middle; okay for second base but would not play at the left side of the infield; can sling the ball sidearm on occasion; will limit his defensive profile if moved to the outfield.
DeShields is an interesting prospect; a physical presence at second base which doesn’t exactly fit the profile. The hit tool could become plus assuming he begins to attack pitchers more often, without sacrificing his solid plate approach/on-base ability. His speed is fantastic and could become a huge weapon for him at the major-league level. Unfortunately, those two tools are most likely his only plus potential weapons going forward. The defense is too much of a question mark to overlook at this point and the negative marks on his makeup could end up lowering his ultimate ceiling as a player.