Prospect Profile: Cory Middleton

Middleton's 04 home was Joker Marchant

Moving on with the prospect profiles, next up on the list is another recent draftee, a youngster who makes his home on the left side of the infield, carrying plenty of potential, both with his bat and in the field.

Cory Middleton
Position: Third Base/Shortstop Height: 6-1 Weight: 195
Born: 10/3/1985 Bats: Right Throws: Right

Background
Taken in the 10th round of the 2004 Draft, Middleton came out of Escambia High School as a shortstop and pitcher with a long track record of success. Middleton led not only his team in nearly every offensive category in 2004, but also all of Florida's District 1, sporting a nifty .478/.578/1.105 line with 11 homeruns and 37 RBI in just 25 games. On the mound, Cory was second on the team in ERA with a 2.43 average, striking out 44 in 32 innings. The high point of Cory's pitching exploits this past season was tossing a no-hitter against Hartselle High School of Alabama. Cory's efforts at the plate and on the mound helped lead his team to a 20-6 record, and earned him a selection on day one of the MLB Draft.

Scouting Report
Middleton fits the mold of the new-age shortstop, standing 6-foot-1 with plenty of room to add strength and become a presence in the lineup. Cory's a very athletic player who uses his quickness and natural abilities to his advantage in the field. Above average range, good hands, and quick feet could keep Middleton at short, but an average arm may cause him to move to third, where he did play regularly in the GCL. A move to third would be feasible because of his quick release and great defensive instincts, despite only moderate arm strength. Offensively, his mechanics need refinement and consistency, but those can be helped with professional instruction. Cory often gets too spread out at the plate and has trouble repeating his swing from one pitch to the next. Gap power is already evident, and he could generate even more homerun power as he fills out his wiry frame. Middleton needs to refine his strike zone judgment to become a successful hitter, but that should come with maturity and further experience. Until he gains consistency at the plate, and settles at a position in the field, Middleton will get by on his grit and heady play. An intelligent player who is always giving maximum effort, Cory will create opportunities for himself to succeed.

Performance

Year

Team

AB

AVG

2B

HR

RBI

SO

BB

SLG%

OPS

2004

GCL Tigers

145

.234

5

4

10

32

5

.366

.654


Health Record
Cory has had no major injuries at this point in his career.

The Future
Middleton will likely start the 2005 season with Oneonta of the New York-Penn League, where he should see most of his time at shortstop with Wilkin Ramirez back in the fold. However, the organization could very well have him split time between the two left infield spots in order to rest Ramirez in his first season back. First and foremost, Middleton needs to improve his strike zone judgment in order to make strides with the rest of his offensive package. Added strength over the offseason will yield more power potential, although it may not be evident in the spacious confines of the NYPL. Don't expect huge numbers out of Middleton in 2005, and keep in mind that he is only 19, but he still garners mention as someone to keep any eye on.

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