Tigers Scouting Report #26: Ben Verlander

Verlander spent 2013 in Connecticut

The younger brother of Tigers' ace Justin, Ben Verlander was snagged in the 13th round of last summer's amateur draft. He may not have the ceiling of a future ace, but he's a strong prospect in his own right.

Ben Verlander

Vitals

Position: Outfielder
Date of Birth: 1/31/1992 (2014 Opening Day Age: 22)
Height/Weight: 6-3/170
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: 2013 MLB Draft, 14th Round
Ranking History: #26 (2014)

Background: The younger brother of Tigers ace Justin Verlander, Ben was a sly choice of the club during the 2013 draft. He started out strong during his professional debut but faded down the stretch as the toll of a long college and professional season wore him down.

Performance:

2013 Stats - Hitting
TEAMABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOSBCSBAOBPSLG
Connecticut 2562956122429145963.219.273.328


Scouting Report

Body: Physical presence; impressive physical projection; natural strength is evident; has room to hang more; very athletic; well coordinated; not as physical as older brother, but still very projectable; MLB body.

Hit: Raw hitter; lacks experience; swing has consistency in load; will get long to the zone at times but shows some aptitude for correcting issues on the fly; approach needs work; will chase spin and soft out of the zone; handled velocity well when observed; can turn it around; needs to trust hands and work oppo more frequently; potential for fringe hit. Grade – Present 3/Future 4+

Power: Has strength and bat speed for power projection; can drive it to pull side; has oppo pop but doesn't trust hands enough to work that way consistently; will develop all-fields power with experience; ball doesn't have high trajectory off the bat; lower finish to the swing; more line drive oriented; could still profile for 25+ doubles and 15+ home runs; hit tool development will dictate power; raw power could improve along with game power due to professional training regimen. Grade – 4/5+

Speed: Consistently showed average times down the line; gets after it; surprisingly fast given size and physicality; athletic enough to maintain speed; still learning to use wheels in OF and on the bases; could be small part of game. Grade – 5/5

Defense: RF profile is legitimate; moves well; has range to gap and line; could be above-average to plus later in developmental arc; reads are a half-tick late right now; inexperienced; high effort defender; lots of potential; could handle CF in a pinch but not every day. Grade – 4/5+

Arm: Big arm strength; fits RF profile; worked upper-80s to low-90s as pitcher; arm action is a little long but makes up for it with velocity; accuracy was sporadic during pro debut with inconsistent footwork as the culprit; throws carry well; potential weapon; easy plus with potential to play better with improved accuracy and experience. Grade – 5+/6+

Other: Very smart player; very raw in the field and at the plate; 2013 was first full season as position player; lots of potential on both sides of the ball; development could come slow; baseball bloodlines; knows how to act; some leadership potential; enjoys the game; potential late bloomer.

Final Word

Summary: Very raw for college product; profile requires substantial projection; will need at least grade jump in most tools; hit tool utility will be deciding factor; potential for solid pop; defense could play to near plus level with rifle arm; no blatant weaknesses in game; needs experience; good intelligence; hard worker; good bloodlines.

Risk: Extreme risk; Smart kid; has bloodlines; still very inexperienced as position layer; no full-season resume; high flameout potential.

Projection: Potential solid everyday player; huge risk to reach ceiling; more likely useful bench outfielder that hits a bit and can defend across the outfield; full-season debut in 2014 with West Michigan; has breakout potential but things might not click quite yet; just getting Abs/reps this year would be a successful season considering required development.

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