- Full name Maicer Eduardo Izturis
- Born 09/12/1980 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela
- Profile Ht.: 5'8" / Wt.: 185 / Bats: S / Throws: R
- Debut 08/27/2004
Organization Prospect Rankings
Included by the Indians in a trade with the Expos for Scott Stewart in January 2004, Izturis responded with a breakthrough season. He led all minor league switch-hitters with a .338 average, and he ranked fifth among all batters in making contact (17.8 plate appearances per strikeout), earning his first major league callup. He seemed to be a candidate to start for the renamed Nationals in 2005, but new general manager Jim Bowden signed Cristian Guzman to a four-year, $16.8 million contract before dispatching Izturis and Juan Rivera to Anaheim for Jose Guillen. The younger brother of Dodgers shortstop Cesar Izturis, Maicer excels at putting the bat on the ball and is a good bunter. But he has little power and won't develop any, so he'll have to prove his 2004 average and on-base percentage were no fluke if he's to play regularly in the big leagues. Hitting a soft .206 for Montreal didn't dispel doubters. Izturis' speed is just average, so he's not much of a basestealing threat. He stands out most on defense--though he's not as good as his brother--with good range and an average arm. With all the shortstops in Anaheim, his best chance of finding regular work in the majors is as a utilityman.
After spending the previous three seasons as the top shortstop in the Indians system, Izturis was moved to second base last year because of repeated injuries to his throwing arm. He had shoulder surgery in 1999 and elbow problems in 2000. Like his brother Cesar, a Dodgers shortstop, Izturis is a standout with the glove who makes defense look easy. He has great hands and fielding mechanics, plus good speed. But Izturis missed so much time with injuries that he's just starting to catch up in his development. Last year was the first time in his four years in the organization that he was injury-free. Izturis runs well enough to steal bases, but that's the extent of his offensive contributions. He lacks power, strength and patience. He needs to have another healthy year in 2002 to get his career back on track. He'll be the starting second baseman in high Class A or Double-A.
The Izturis family churns out shortstops, as Maicer's older brother Cesar is the Blue Jays' No. 3 prospect. Maicer might have as high a ceiling as any player in the organization, but he missed a large chunk of the 1999 season following shoulder surgery and barely played in 2000 because of elbow problems. When healthy, Izturis has drawn comparisons to fellow Venezuelan Omar Vizquel. He is a solid all-around player who can run, throw and hit. He has great hands, reads balls well off the bat and moves to the ball well. His arm is both strong and accurate. Offensively, he makes consistent contact and is a basestealing threat. Izturis' lack of durability has been a problem, costing him most of the last two years. He needs to get stronger in order to hold up for an entire season, and he could also stand to develop a dose of pop at the plate. Having played a total of just 67 games at Columbus over the last two seasons, Izturis may head back to low Class A at the start of 2001. Vizquel's contract expires after the 2002 season, but Izturis might not be quite ready at that point.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive SS in the Pacific Coast League in 2004
- Rated Best Hitter for Average in the Cleveland Guardians in 2001