- Full name John Logan Forsythe
- Born 01/14/1987 in Memphis, TN
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Arkansas
- Debut 05/04/2011
Drafted in the C-A round (46th overall) by the San Diego Padres in 2008 (signed for $835,000).
View Draft ReportForsythe ranked second on Team USA with six steals and third with a .309 batting average (trailing only cinch first-rounder Pedro Alvarez and Brett Wallace), but he came down with a stress fracture in his right foot at the end of last summer. After having surgery in November, he wasn't able to train as he normally would, resulting in a hamstring pull this spring. Forsythe uses his legs in his swing, and the hamstring injury affected his stroke in the early going. Once he healed, he again began drilling line drives into the gaps and making a push for the second round. Scouts believe he'll have average power in the big leagues and liken his approach to Mike Lowell's, so he should provide enough offense to stick at the hot corner. If not, he's versatile enough to also have played second base, shortstop and left field for Team USA. The 6-foot-1, 208-pounder is more athletic than most third basemen. He has an above-average arm, moves well and is a solid-average runner with good instincts.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Forsythe ranked second in the minors with 102 walks in 2009, and he might have approached that total again last year had he not missed five weeks early in the season. He still managed to lead the Texas League with 75 walks. Forsythe broke his right hand in late April after he punched a bat rack in frustration, but in San Antonio's suppressive Wolff Stadium, he had much to be frustrated about. He batted just .189/.300/.245 in 55 home games. The Padres shifted Forsythe from third base to the keystone to free up an organizational logjam, allowing James Darnell to play third in Double-A, Vince Belnome to play there in high Class A and Edinson Rincon to man the position in low Class A. Despite leading TL second basemen with 15 errors, Forsythe showed plenty of range and a strong arm. He played all over the infield as an amateur, and his line-drive stroke profiles best at second base. With a quick bat and discerning eye, he ought to hit for a modest average. The ball carries off Forsythe's bat, though he has just gap power that could translate into 12-15 home runs in the big leagues. He's a below-average runner, but San Diego encouraged him to run more frequently and he stole a career-high 17 bases. Forsythe will contend with Drew Cumberland to be the organization's second baseman of the future, and he'll have a head start on him when he begins 2011 in Triple-A.
A torn thumb ligament knocked Forsythe out of action just three games after he signed for $835,000 in 2008. Healthy last season, he ranked second in the minors in walks (102) and sixth in on-base percentage (.429). Drafted 23 places ahead of fellow college third baseman James Darnell, he has stayed one step ahead of him in pro ball. He's not overwhelming in any area, but Forsythe has a solid base of tools. He features a short, balanced swing and isn't afraid to wait for his pitch, even if he falls behind in the count. He has the natural strength to hit for average power for a third baseman. His range, hands and arm are all plus tools at the hot corner. He's a solid-average runner and earns praise for his calm demeanor. Some observes think Forsythe's line-drive stroke will translate more into doubles than homers. His power declined noticeably in Double-A, though that's partially attributable to San Antonio's unforgiving ballpark. In 33 Texas League road games, he batted a steady .316/.444/.439, posting an OPS more than 230 points higher than his home mark (.647). The Padres' logjam at third base might push Forsythe to another position-- second base, the outfield or even catcher--but no move is imminent. He figures to be a top-of-the-order hitter wherever he lands, and he'll likely reach Triple-A Portland in 2010.
Forsythe hit .309 for Team USA's college national team after his sophomore season, trailing only 2008 firstrounders Pedro Alvarez and Brett Wallace, and the coaching staff regarded Forsythe as the club's leader. He has dealt with myriad injuries in the past two years. He had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot following the 2007 season, and then pulled a hamstring as a junior. After signing for $835,000 as a supplemental first-round pick, he tore a thumb ligament diving for a ball three games into his pro career, requiring surgery. The lower-body injuries were especially damaging because Forsythe relies on his legs to hit. He has a short, compact swing and hits the ball to all fields, and he handles breaking pitches well because of strong balance. Though he's a physical 6-foot-1 and has good strength, Forsythe has a line-drive swing that doesn't produce natural loft, leading some to project him to have below-average power. He earns high marks for his defense, with good feet and hands to go with an above-average arm at third base. He's also versatile enough to have played second base, shortstop and left field for Team USA. He's a good athlete and a solid-average runner. If healthy, Forsythe will open 2009 in high Class A.
Minor League Top Prospects
The third pick (supplemental first round) in the Padres' college-heavy 2008 draft class, Forsythe was the highest-drafted member of that group to start the year in Lake Elsinore. He proved too good offensively for the league, posting a stunning .472 on-base percentage before earning a midseason promotion to Double-A. He fits best as a No. 2 hitter who has average speed. "He still needs to make some adjustments offensively, but he is patient and stays off of bad pitches," Rancho Cucamonga manager Keith Johnson said. "I like his even keel. He just has the demeanor of a big leaguer." He's skilled in all parts of the game but not overwhelming in any one area. He has a good arm and excellent range at third base, but lacks the power (his is average at best) normally associated with the hot corner. He played second base, shortstop and left field for Team USA, so he has the versatility to move if needed.
Forsythe started to get back on track this year after a disappointing debut in 2008, when the Padres made him the 46th overall pick. He dealt with foot and hamstring injuries in college and a sprained thumb ligament in his first taste of pro ball, but he was healthy this season. Forsythe has a short, smooth swing and a good feel for the barrel, so there's little doubt he'll be able to hit for average as he moves up the ladder. He's a confident hitter with good strike-zone recognition. He also is a steady defensive player at the hot corner, with good range and hands and plenty of arm for the position. The big question with Forsythe will be his power, which is average at best. After slugging .504 in high Class A, he dropped to .377 in the TL. . If he can't produce the pop for third, he could play second base or serve in a super-utility role.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the San Diego Padres in 2011
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the Texas League in 2010
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the San Diego Padres in 2010
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the California League in 2009
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the Texas League in 2009