We’ve been neglecting the hitters of the world of late so I thought it would be time to break out the bats. And, if I’m going to give you a hitter, then we might as well start off with a bang. Bottom line: Dennis Raben is one of a handful of flat out mashers in this 2008 draft class, a group he firmly entrenched himself with after an outstanding summer in Cape Cod. Unfortunately, the lefty slugger is currently missing time in his college season with back problems, but I certainly hope he’s back soon and not hampered. He’s got some power in his bat that is a real rarity. Take a look at his scouting report and video after the jump…
Dennis Raben, RF, Orleans Cardinals (Miami-FL)
Tool – Present/Future Grades
Hitting – 50/55
Power – 70/70
Speed – 45/45
Fielding – 50/50
Arm – 60/60
Physical Description – Large, extra strong, muscular frame. Wide shoulders and is a true physical specimen. Thick legs, muscular arms. Probably maxed out physically but as big as he is, that’s fine. Has the look of a slugging big leaguer already. Well proportioned athlete, doesn’t look overly muscled despite his size. Looks like Chipper Jones.
Hitting – As confident a hitter as you’ll see. Good swagger at the plate. Short, powerful stroke with great extension. Long follow through with very little effort through the zone. Ball just explodes off his bat. Smooth, compact swing. Shows ability to use the whole field but doesn’t seem quite committed to it yet. Stays closed, on the ball and lets his hands do the work. Tends to chase the ball up and out of the zone. High setup with his hands, stance looks somewhat like David Justice. Very relaxed at the plate with an aggressive approach. Doesn’t take bad swings. A little pull happy right now and must learn to deal with pitches on the outer half. Looks like he was born to hit, not many things to go array in his swing. Needs some refinement in his approach.
Power – Pure power hitter with plus plus power right now. Hits towering home runs, light tower power. Has the tendency to overswing and doesn’t need to. Can produce 400 foot + home runs with a flick of the wrist. Power is game playable, not just BP power. Can drive the ball out in any part of the park. Has a slight uppercut and produces tremendous loft. Future 40 home run threat.
Speed – A slightly below average runner, simply too large a frame to be much more than that. Gets decent enough reads in the outfield to have average range. Not a base stealing threat.
Fielding – Projects to be a big league average right fielder. Covers a good amount of ground and shows ability to make decent reads. His routes aren’t always the best but he fits the bill neatly in right field.
Arm – Plus arm strength. Not always the most accurate arm but shows excellent online carry. Has history on the mound, and has good natural throwing mechanics. Could be a weapon.
Notes – Fiery, emotional player who sometimes can let that get in his way. Can’t stand to lose. Power could be game changing at the pro level, profiles as a middle of the order slugger.
Adjusted Overall Future Potential: 65
Present Group: P, Future Group: A
Projected Role: Middle-of-the-order hitter, perennial all-star in right field
Draft Projection: Between picks 10 and 20 (would be 5-10 if not for injury)
Overall Comparison: David Justice (with slightly better pure hitting ability)