- Full name Michael Gregory Rouse
- Born 04/25/1980 in San Jose, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 190 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Cal State Fullerton
- Debut 06/09/2006
Drafted in the 5th round (151st overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2001.
View Draft ReportA redshirt sophomore, Rouse missed the 2000 season when he transferred from San Jose State to Cal State Fullerton. He was a rare college player who wasn't released from his scholarship so he could play immediately at his new school. He shook off the rust last summer in the Cape Cod League and had a strong season. He got off to a slow start as he battled to win the starting shortstop job, but he seized the role with his bat and became the team's top hitter and RBI man. He had a solid year defensively, but his lack of lateral movement probably will push him to second base in pro ball. He projects as a fourth- to eighth-rounder.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Not only did Rouse watch Bobby Crosby cement himself as Oakland's shortstop in 2004, but he also was unable to fill-in for an injured Crosby in late April. Rouse missed the entire first month after spraining his right ankle during fielding drills in big league camp. Once he returned, he put up his usual solid numbers. Rouse understands his role offensively, hitting for a decent average, getting on base and showing occasional pop and OK speed. He's susceptible to breaking balls and after having no previous trouble with lefties, batted just .209 against them last year. Rouse doesn't cover a lot of ground at shortstop and his arm is average at best, but he's fundamentally sound and makes all the plays he gets to. He looked good in a handful of games at second base in 2004. Rouse got down about being blocked by Crosby, and scouts saw a lack of effort at time. He projects as no more than a utilityman with Oakland at this point and might be best served by a change in scenery. He'll return to Triple-A to begin 2005.
A Big West Conference rival of Bobby Crosby at Cal State Fullerton, Rouse came from the Blue Jays in a November 2002 trade for Cory Lidle. After missing half of 2002 with a broken hamate bone in his right wrist, Rouse returned to Double-A last year and hit with more authority. When Crosby was unavailable, Rouse took over at shortstop and starred for Team USA at the Olympic qualifying tournament. With great hands and exceptional ability to read the ball off the bat, Rouse is a solid defender at shortstop. He has excellent focus, which helped him lead Texas League shortstops with a .967 fielding percentage. He handles the bat well, gets on base and runs OK. The A's believe he can reach double figures in homers. Rouse doesn't have the arm or range to make plays in the hole, and he'll probably wind up at second base. Oakland also wanted him to get stronger over the offseason. Rouse is ready for Triple-A and may get time at second base. The A's envision him as an everyday middle infielder, though he'll have to fight off Mark Ellis ahead of him and Omar Quintanilla behind him to earn that status in Oakland.
The A's acquired Rouse in the offseason from the Blue Jays, as GM Billy Beane and former assistant J.P. Ricciardi, now Toronto's GM, got together for another deal. In doing so, the A's completed their set of Big West Conference shortstops, as Rouse (Cal State Fullerton), Bobby Crosby (Long Beach State) and J.T. Stotts (Cal State Northridge) all played in the league in 2001. Crosby was the league's player of the year and is the best prospect of the trio. Rouse has had a quick trajectory, though, already having some Double-A success as a Blue Jay. He had a strong pro debut in 2001 and his bat has been his best tool. Rouse has good power, especially pull power, for a shortstop from the left side. He's fairly disciplined by other organizations' standards but could use more patience to fit in with the A's. His swing can get long at times, though when he shortens up and is more consistent, he's an above-average offensive player. He hit well after missing time in 2002 with to a broken hamate bone in his right wrist. His range at shortstop is the question defensively. He has a solid arm but doesn't cover enough ground to play short on turf. The presence of former rivals Crosby and Stotts should push Rouse to second base.
Rouse was an unknown commodity coming into 2001. After a standout freshman season at San Jose State, he transferred to Cal State Fullerton, but the Spartans didn't release him from his scholarship and Rouse had to sit out all of 2000. He impressed Titans coaches with his work ethic during his year of inactivity and helped lead Fullerton to the 2001 College World Series, leading the team in RBIs. After signing, he excelled in high Class A. Rouse has a sound swing, getting his whole body into the ball and making adjustments to offspeed stuff. He surprised Toronto's scouting staff by showing power to all fields and better defensive tools than expected. He has adequate hands and range at shortstop, but his arm is better suited for second base, especially as young Latin shortstops Manuel Mayorson, Raul Tablado and Juan Peralta work their way up the system. Rouse will learn the nuances of his new position in Double-A this year.