- Full name James Kyle Farmer
- Born 08/17/1990 in Atlanta, GA
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Georgia
- Debut 07/30/2017
Drafted in the 8th round (244th overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013 (signed for $40,000).
View Draft ReportFarmer was a four-year starter at shortstop for Georgia and also played shortstop for USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team in the summer of 2012. A reliable defender, Farmer doesn't run well and has had a solid, unspectacular bat throughout college, batting .308 with 18 career home runs. The 6-foot, 205-pounder was announced as a catcher when drafted, and he has an above-average arm which is his best present tool.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Farmer's big league debut in 2017 encapsulated the Dodgers' magical summer. Hegot his first big league at-bat when he entered as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 11th inning of a July game against the rival Giants. With the Dodgers trailing 2-1 and runners on first and second, Farmer lined a full-count fastball down the right field line for a walk-off, two-run double and was promptly mobbed by his new teammates at second base as Dodger Stadium shook with the noise of the crowd. Farmer, who was college teammates at Georgia with Dodgers lefthander Alex Wood, is a former shortstop who converted to catching after the Dodgers drafted him. It took time, but he has developed into a solid defensive catcher with quick feet, a clean exchange and accurate throws, although his arm strength is just average. At the plate, Farmer has good knowledge of the strike zone and a compact, righthanded swing that produces a lot of line-drive contact. He began to elevate and hit a career-high 10 homers in 2017. Farmer isn't flashy but has produced at every level. He is ready to be a big league backup catcher.
Farmer spent four years as Georgia's starting shortstop but didn't have the range to stay at the position as a professional, with his bat too much of a question mark for him to go to third base. When the Dodgers drafted him in the eighth round in 2013 and signed him for $40,000, they moved him to catcher. Farmer controls the running game with quick feet, a good exchange and accurate throws that help his average arm play up. He threw out 42 percent of basestealers in 2015, which he finished at Double-A Tulsa. Farmer is athletic for a catcher, but his blocking and receiving need to improve. He also made 23 starts at third base, keeping his infield ability fresh. Farmer is a smart hitter who understands his strengths, with a mature knowledge of how pitchers will attack him. He has a simple swing, doesn't strike out much and hits line drives to all fields. He hit just three home runs in 2015, and his power grades as below-average. Already 25 years old, Farmer could develop into a backup catcher who can occasionally fill in at third base.
Farmer was a four-year starter at shortstop for Georgia when the Dodgers signed him for $40,000 as an eighth-round pick in 2013. They immediately put him behind the plate. Farmer showed good bat-to-ball skills in 2014 at low Class A Great Lakes, where he rarely struck out, though his whiff rate spiked and overall production dropped precipitously once he got to high Class A Rancho Cucamonga in June, a red flag for a player who turned 24 before the season ended. Farmer has good pitch recognition, but he doesn't walk a ton, and his well-below-average power makes him mostly a gap hitter. Farmer did a solid job for a first-year catcher of throwing out 30 percent of basestealers, with quick feet and an above-average arm, though his release is long. He has the hands to catch, but his receiving and blocking are raw. Farmer is likely headed back to the California League and projects as a backup catcher.
Farmer had a solid career at Georgia, setting a school record for fielding percentage by a shortstop. He's a capable, surehanded infielder with solid athleticism who profiles best as a utility infielder. The 6-foot, 195-pounder had a solid junior season but hit just .211 with wood in the Cape, and likely lacks the power to be an everyday third baseman. He's more of a gap hitter who needs to be a bit more selective after drawing just eight walks as a junior. He's a below-average runner who can play shortstop as a reserve but likely is not an everyday option as a pro. Some scouts would like to try him behind the plate.
Minor League Top Prospects
A four-year starter at shortstop for Georgia, Farmer was an inexpensive senior sign because scouts were confident he didn't have the range to stick at the position in pro ball. But like many range-challenged Dodgers infielders of the past decade, such as Russell Martin and Carlos Santana, the organization thought Farmer had a chance to be a productive catcher. His work in Great Lakes reinforced that belief. Offensively, Farmer stood out most for his ability to work counts and his ability to drive the ball with gap power once he gained an advantage. Defensively, he needs to shorten his arm stroke, but he has quick feet that helped him throw out 32 percent of basestealers. He showed solid blocking skills and has quiet hands behind the plate. While old for the MWL, Farmer enjoyed a highly successful first full year considering his position switch.