- Full name Nathaniel Joseph Spears
- Born 05/03/1985 in Fort Myers, FL
- Profile Ht.: 5'11" / Wt.: 180 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Charlotte
- Debut 09/06/2011
- Drafted in the 5th round (134th overall) by the Baltimore Orioles in 2003 (signed for $215,000).
Organization Prospect Rankings
With a solid season in high Class A, Spears continued to make steady progress through the system. He batted first or second for Frederick all season as the Keys won their first Carolina League title since 1990. He has no outstanding tool but is a complete baseball player, a slap hitter who moves runners over and does the little things to make a team better. He centers the ball on the bat well but isn't expected to produce much power. Spears has good speed and baserunning instincts, plus he's an average defender. He played most of the season at second base but can fill in at shortstop. There aren't a lot of glaring weaknesses to Spears' game, but at age 20 he already is what he is. He strikes out too much and doesn't walk enough to be a leadoff man, and unless he can add some power he'll probably end up as a utility player. He'll take the next step to Double-A in 2006.
The Orioles penciled Spears in for the shortstop job at Rookie-level Bluefield in 2004 after he made his debut in the Gulf Coast League, but he played his way onto the low Class A roster in spring training. He spent most of the year at second base, but the organization says he could play shortstop down the road. He earned comparisons to David Eckstein from several scouts, all of whom said he has better tools and could be much better with the bat. He centers the ball on the bat well and stays inside the ball even when pitchers pound him inside. He handles situational hitting like bunting and moves runners over well. He profiles as a No. 2 hitter and could steal 15-20 bases a year. He may not have enough arm for shortstop, but could play there occasionally even if he settles at second because he has average range and excellent hands. Like Eckstein, he earns praise for his determination and feel for the game. He should open the 2005 season in high Class A.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the Eastern League in 2010