- Full name Steven Wayne Tolleson
- Born 11/01/1983 in Spartanburg, SC
- Profile Ht.: 5'11" / Wt.: 185 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School South Carolina
- Debut 04/28/2010
Drafted in the 5th round (165th overall) by the Minnesota Twins in 2005 (signed for $157,000).
View Draft ReportThe son of former big leaguer Wayne Tolleson, Stephen has tried to live up to South Carolina's recent shortstop tradition. The players who preceded him at short included three first-round picks: Adam Everett, Brian Roberts, Drew Meyer. Tolleson seems unlikely to go that high, though he has enough athletic ability and savvy to go in the first five rounds. Tolleson's father was a defensive stalwart who hit .241 in his eight seasons in the big leagues, and most scouts expect Stephen to be a better hitter. He has wiry strength and uses the whole field. He's also patient and has adapted well to hitting toward the top of the Gamecocks lineup, drawing more walks and becoming an efficient basestealer despite his average speed. He has too much power for his own good sometimes and loses sight of the fact he's not a power hitter, selling out in his swing trying to hit home runs. Tolleson's glove isn't as good as his father's, especially at shortstop, where he usually doesn't have enough arm to make the play in the hole. Most scouts believe he profiles better as a second baseman (where he could be an above-average defender) or utility infielder.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Tollseon is the son of ex-big leaguer Wayne Tolleson, who spent parts of 10 seasons in the majors as a lighthitting utility infielder. Tolleson is more physical than his father and projects to be a better hitter, thriving in 2008 despite missing time with a broken index finger. His tools grade out as average across the board except for his power, which is below average. However, he can drive some balls into the gaps and stayed strong through the Arizona Fall League, where he ranked among the league batting leaders. Of more concern are Tolleson's range and hands at shortstop, as they both grade out a bit short to play everyday. He's a better fit at second base and also has seen time in center field. His best-case scenario would be a career akin to Ryan Freel's. Tolleson hits more than the typical Twins utility infielder (such as Nick Punto or Matt Tolbert), but defense and speed often garner more time in that role for Minnesota. Added to the 40-man roster during the offseason, Tolleson will work on his defense and try to keep his offensive momentum in Triple-A in 2009.