Philadelphia Phillies Top 10 Prospects
Index of Top 10 Prospects for all 30 Major League Teams
By Josh Boyd
1. Marlon Byrd, of
Age: 24. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 220. B-T: R-R. Drafted: Georgia Perimeter JC, 1999 (10th round). Signed by: Steve Gillispie.
Strengths: Byrd removed all of his limitations in 2001 and now offers average to above-average tools across the board. He resembles a young Kirby Puckett, but dont be fooled by his stocky frame. Byrd is a fitness freak with a rock-solid physique. He has a quiet, compact stroke, and the ball jumps off his bat to all fields. He stays back on offspeed stuff and is an intelligent hitter with a decent idea of the strike zone. Like Puckett, Byrd uses his instincts well in center field and gets good jumps in all directions. The Phillies call him a managers dream because he never stops striving for improvement.
Weaknesses: A year ago, Byrds below-average speed and below-average arm relegated him to left field. He got himself on a long-toss program and improved his throwing. He also worked on his running, resulting in 30 steals. His power was in question, so he built up his upper-body strength and slugged a career-best .555. He doesnt have as much baseball experience as the typical 24-year-old prospect because he lost two years to his leg injury, but hes quickly making up for lost time.
The Future: Byrd has rapidly emerged as the Phillies center fielder of the future. He has already caught manager Larry Bowas attention with his work ethic. Adding him to an outfield with Pat Burrell and Bob Abreu would give Philadelphia two potential 30-30 men in the lineup.
Copyright 2001 Baseball America. All rights reserved.|
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.