Vitters still a work in progress 

November, 4, 2009
11/04/09
11:58
AM ET
There's always discussion among scouts behind the plate at Arizona Fall League games, and often it's one scout who is seeing a player for the first time asking another one who saw the player regularly during the season if the player was any different. (Often, teams have multiple scouts cover the six-team league, with a scout bearing down on just two particular squads, so it's usually talking between people in the same organization.)

One player who has been generating a lot of that kind of discussion is Chicago Cubs third-base prospect Josh Vitters.

Vitters was the third overall pick in the 2007 draft, and there have been positives and negatives about his performance as a pro. He hit .328 with doubles power in short-season ball in 2008 and started 2009 at low Class A, hitting .316 and slugging .535 before being promoted to the high Class A Florida State League, where he struggled in 50 games to end the season, batting just .238 with little power.

Let's start with the positives: Vitters has a smooth swing from the right side with good bat speed and raw strength, especially in his hands and wrists. He's short to the ball with a small load, yet still squares up and hits the ball with authority, partially because he gets good leverage with his lower half. You look at the swing, and the potential is not difficult to see. The ball jumps off the barrel when he makes good contact.


To get a full scouting report on Josh Vitters, plus a profile of up-and-coming Cubs reliever Blake Parker, you must be an ESPN Insider.

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