- Full name Stephen Anthony Head
- Born 01/13/1984 in Raymond, MS
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 220 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Mississippi
Drafted in the 2nd round (62nd overall) by the Cleveland Guardians in 2005 (signed for $605,000).
View Draft ReportHead has had one of the best careers in Mississippi and Southeastern Conference history as a two-way star for three seasons. He falls into the next tier behind the all-time great two-way SEC players such as Tennessee's Todd Helton and Florida's Brad Wilkerson because he's not as athletic as those lefthanded sluggers. He has similar raw power, though, thanks to a big, strong frame. Head's body isn't great, but some scouts expect it to firm up as he focuses on hitting as a pro and eschews the mound, where he gets by on a high 80s fastball, guile and competitiveness. Still, he's two saves away from tying the Rebels' career record. Head's average has tumbled this year as SEC coaches worked around him to keep him from beating them, and he's become more impatient and tried harder to hit home runs. He has enough strength to hit them with a more patient, level approach, and profiles to hit 20-30 homers annually in the majors. Most scouts expect him to become a better hitter after he gives up pitching, and he should fill out in his upper body. Head is also a good fielder at first base with soft hands.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Head was better known on the mound than at first base during his amateur career, setting the career save mark at Mississippi. Projected as an early first-rounder in 2005, he fell to the Tribe in the second round after concerns about his ceiling emerged. There were no such concerns during his pro debut, after he hit six homers in 10 games at Mahoning Valley and later held his own in high Class A. But Head took a major step backward in a return trip to Kinston last season, showing only flashes of power and an inability to make adjustments on the fly. Head's swing has tendency to get long through the zone and he struggles with pitches on the outer half. He has the ability to turn on inside pitches or mistakes left up in the zone, but he hasn't shown much beyond pure pull power. He's a below-average runner but a plus defender with good range, soft hands and footwork around the bag. With Michael Aubrey's status uncertain because of injuries, Head was seen as Cleveland's first baseman of the future entering 2006. But now there are a lot of questions about him, and he'll try to answer them in his third stint in high Class A this year.
Head projected as more of a pitcher coming out of high school and starred as a two-way player at Mississippi. He set the Rebels career saves record with 26, and his 165 RBIs were three shy of another school mark. He entered 2005 projected as an early first-round pick, but dropped to the Indians in the second round because of concerns about his power ceiling. He signed for $605,000 and hit six homers in his first 10 pro games. Head has the strength to hit balls out of the park, generating most of his pop with his lower half. He destroys inside pitches and his long arms enable him to cover the outer half. If he maintains a consistent approach, he can hit for average with 20-30 homers annually. He's a solid defender at first base, with soft hands and good range. Head's upper body isn't great, but he should fill out with more conditioning. He needs to tighten up his strike zone and identify breaking balls better. He also tends to get a little long in his swing and becomes too pull-conscious at times. He's a below-average runner. By jumping Head to high Class A after 10 pro games, the Indians displayed their faith in his advanced bat. He could return there to start 2006 or move up to Double-A if Michael Aubrey isn't healthy.
Minor League Top Prospects
Head hit six homers in 10 games at short-season Mahoning Valley after signing as a second-round pick in June. He didn't tear up the CL in quite the same fashion, but he was able to adapt easily to high Class A pitching in his pro debut. He has big-time power potential thanks to an easy, level approach and quick hands from the left side. Head still tends to become too pull-conscious at times, which adds length to his swing. He should improve as a hitter now that he doesn't have to worry about pitching after starring in both roles at the University of Mississippi. Though he was a two-way player, Head isn't very athletic. He has decent range, good body control, soft hands and an above-average arm at first base.