Prospect Retro: Darryl Strawberry

An article by posted on February 14, 2012

I was looking around my university’s library this afternoon and I came across one of the best books I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s a book called The Scouting Report: 1983. Just as the title implies, the book is a compilation of scouting reports on every Major Leauge Baseball player going into the 1983 season, and it is co-authored by our very own Ralph Kiner.

It just so happens that 1983 was The Straw’s rookie season, but luckily the book still included the promising prospect of the Mets. Here is what they had to regarding Strawberry’s going into his rookie season:

Hitting:

DARRYL STRAWBERRY OF, No. 18 LL, 6-6, 190 lbs Born: 3-12-62 in Los Angeles, CA

As a minor league hitter, Darryl Strawberry was powerful and productive and had few flaws. He swings easily, but the ball jumps off his bat. He has enough power to hit balls out to right and left-center field. He can, and does, hit the ball to all fields, but as he matures, he probably will pull more.

He likes the ball low and out over the playe where he can take best advantage of the power in his long arms. Off-speed pitches will pose problems for him until he adjusts to the major leagues. He walked frequently in the Double A league–100 times in 129 games last season–but also strikes out too often–145 times. Strawberry should become a solid No. 3 or 4 hitter.

Baserunning:

Darryl has exceptional speed, and was the fastest player in the Mets’ minor league organization last season. He knows how to use his speed, and stole 45 bases last season. He is a threat to steal virtually anytime that he is one base.

Fielding:

He has better than average range, and a powerful arm, though his throwing accuracy is weak. He has good instincts and appears to know how to play the game. With increased playing time in the majors that he is expected to get, Strawberry has the potential to develop into a better than average outfielder.

Overall:

Thus far, on the minor league level, Darryl Strawberry has proven that he is capable in the five key areas. He can hit, with power, run, throw and catch. He appears to have the potential to be above average in four of those areas–all except throwing. He has also demonstrated an ability to hit well in clutch situations, and rises to he occasion. Strawberry has star potential.

As a Mets fan and prospect lover, who was not old enough to witness this time in Mets history, I just love reading things like this.

It is a time capsule of information that gives a perspective with hindsight removed. The are only so many things you can conclude by looking at a player’s baseball card, but something like this gives you those extra details that make it special.

And to their credit, in a time when following prospects wasn’t a very popular practice, they sure nailed Strawberry’s future on the head.

I am definitely considering buying the set of this series for myself, so I can place them in my house when I am older, and hopefully when my future son his older he will want to pick it up and enjoy it as much as I am right now. Amazing stuff.

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