- Full name Jason Orville Pridie
- Born 10/09/1983 in Phoenix, AZ
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Prescott
- Debut 09/03/2008
Drafted in the 2nd round (43rd overall) by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2002 (signed for $892,500).
View Draft ReportThe athletic Pridie is one of the few high school position players in this year's draft with five-tool ability. He is a good lefthanded hitter with power potential, though he has a hitch in his swing that will need to be corrected. He runs a legitimate 6.7 seconds in the 60 and his speed plays well on the bases. He also pitches up to 92 mph, evidence of his arm strength. His outfield skills are solid. None of his tools may be as impressive as his instincts for the game or his versatility. He is ahead of the game for his age and can play almost anywhere on the field. He almost singlehandedly led Prescott High to the Arizona 4-A title this year, pitching the last three innings and winning the game in extra innings with a three-run homer. One of the few players to elude Arizona State, Pridie committed to Vanderbilt. Pro ball is an attractive option as his brother Jon is a rising prospect in the Twins system and has extolled the virtues of signing out of high school.
Organization Prospect Rankings
The prospect world almost forgot Pridie, whom the Rays drafted sandwiched between B.J. Upton and Elijah Dukes in 2002. Sidetracked by knee problems and by getting Rule 5ed by the Twins--he nearly made their 2006 roster--he didn't reach Triple-A until 2007. Pridie, whose brother Jon once was a Minnesota farmhand, was a crucial piece in the six-player Delmon Young-Matt Garza trade in November. Pridie is a well-rounded player, and his best present tool is his center-field defense. He has plus speed and range to go with a solid, accurate arm. Offensively, he has a smooth swing that generates at least average pop to all fields. He's a good teammate who plays with energy. A career .327 on-base percentage and high caught-stealing totals (10 in 36 tries last year) reflect how Pridie's aggressiveness can get the best of him at times. His home run totals could jump if he becomes more selective. Pridie has more present ability and upside than Denard Span, the other in-house candidate to replace Torri Hunter. If it all comes together, Pridie has a chance to make good on his early-career comparisons to Steve Finley.
A sprained right knee limited Pridie to 29 games in 2005, and when he didn't tear it up in the Arizona Fall League, the Devil Rays gambled by not protecting him on their 40-man roster. Minnesota crossed up Tampa Bay, however, taking Pridie in the major league Rule 5 draft. He can't be sent to the minors in 2006 without clearing waivers and being offered back to the Rays for half his $50,000 draft price. Tampa Bay has a ton of outfield depth in the majors and minors, so the Twins could work out a deal for his rights that would allow them to send him down. Pridie's brother Jon pitched in Minnesota's system from 1998- 2004. Jason pitched in high school as well and still boasts plus arm strength, but his sweet swing has made him a full-time outfielder since he signed as a second-rounder in 2002. In his last full season, he topped the low Class A South Atlantic League in runs in 2004. At his best, Pridie has drawn favorable comparisons to Steve Finley from both an offensive and defensive standpoint. He strikes out too much when he gets pull-conscious, and the Devil Rays were trying to get him to focus on making contact and using the opposite field more often. He has solid-average speed to go with excellent instincts in center field.
After Pridie wore down markedly during the second half of 2003, his first full pro season, the Devil Rays sent him back to low Class A Charleston. He showed improved stamina and power while leading the South Atlantic League in runs. The younger brother of Twins minor league righty Jon Pridie, he possesses one of the best pure strokes in the organization, combining balance at the plate and the ability to use his hands. His biggest weakness is that he tries to pull too many pitches instead of hitting to the opposite field, though he has shown the ability to do so in the past. He's an above-average runner, which serves him well on the basepaths and in center field. He could use his speed more often if he'd learn to draw more walks. His instincts and aggressiveness are assets on defense, and the former high school pitcher's arm ranks among the best in the system. Part of the Rays' tremendous outfield depth, he's ready for high Class A in 2005.
Pridie discovered how exhausting a first full pro season can be. After leading all short-season players in hits in his pro debut, he was dragging by the end of 2003 and saw his average drop 106 points. The younger brother of Twins minor league righthander Jon Pridie, Jason is a natural hitter with good balance at the plate and above-average power to the opposite field. He tinkered with his swing throughout last season before settling on the same smooth stroke that got him into pro ball. His speed is another plus, and he has excellent instincts and aggressivenss on the basepaths and in center field. His strong arm, which threw low-90s fastballs in high school, is yet another asset. In addition to adding some overall strength, much of which will come with maturity, Pridie needs to handle the ups and downs a little better. He's his own worst critic and tends to get down on himself, which can lead to extended slumps at the plate. Pridie also needs to make better contact against breaking balls and improve his overall plate discipline. He went 27 straight games without a walk, something a potential leadoff hitter can't do. That said, Pridie is making progress and will take the next step up the ladder to high Class A in 2004.
The younger brother of Twins pitching prospect Jon Pridie, Jason was the 43rd overall pick in the 2002 draft. He led all short-season players with 116 hits, becoming only the sixth player in modern Appalachian League history to reach the century mark. Pridie is a pure baseball player with great instincts and the combination of speed and hitting ability to wreak havoc near the top of the lineup. He has been clocked at 4.0-4.1 seconds to first base from the left side of the plate, and blankets center field. He also is a capable middle infielder and has a plus arm that produced low-90s fastballs last spring in high school. He makes excellent contact and can drive the ball to all fields. A minor hitch in Pridie's swing could be exposed at higher levels. He needs to draw more walks in order to become a classic leadoff hitter. Several scouts compare Pridie to Boston's Johnny Damon and say he could progress through the minors at a similar rate. He got some work at third base in instructional league, which could provide a solution to the organization's outfield logjam, but he's ticketed for the outfield in Charleston in 2003.
Minor League Top Prospects
The 43rd overall pick in the 2002 draft, Pridie hit .366 in his pro debut but made little progress over the next four seasons. But he went on a tear after a late-June promotion to Durham, helping to propel the Bulls to the Southern Division crown. Pridie has surprising strength for a 6-foot-1, 190-pounder and he shows above-average power, especially to the opposite field. Though he has a quick lefthanded bat and isn't afraid to use the whole park, he's not a patient hitter and struggles against quality lefthanders, so he may never hit for a high average. An above-average runner, Pridie has the speed to play a competent center field and a solid arm. "When I first saw him, I marked him down as a marginal prospect," a scout from an NL team said. "But after seeing him for a few games, I crossed that out and made him average. I think he's a fourth outfielder on a good team, a regular on a second-division club. He really impressed me, but he straddles that line."
The brother of Twins pitching prospect Jon Pridie, Jason had little difficulty making a name for himself in the Devil Rays organization. Pridie put together a 20-game hitting streak and placed third in the batting race. He also became only the sixth player in modern Appy League annals to record more than 100 hits in a single season. The scrappy Pridie is a solid contact hitter with excellent speed, clocking consistently at 4.0-4.1 seconds to first base from the left side of the plate. He made adjustments between at-bats and showed signs of developing into a true leadoff hitter, though he needs to draw more walks. Pridie sprays the ball to all fields and covers center field from gap to gap with ease, albeit with a below-average arm. Two managers compared him to Johnny Damon. "He's got a magic wand," Smith said. "He finds all the holes with his bat. He also enjoys himself and he's a hard worker. He plays like a pro."
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the International League in 2008
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the Minnesota Twins in 2008
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the Tampa Bay Rays in 2005