- Full name Gavin Wright
Organization Prospect Rankings
For the first time in three years, Wright avoided injuries and got past low Class A in 2002. Shoulder, wrist and hamstring problems hampered him in 2000-01, and he seemed to lose his enthusiasm in his second year at Michigan. Wright played with passion last year, however, performing consistently throughout the South Atlantic League season and batting .316 in the Texas League playoffs. As he has gotten stronger, Wright has lost a step but still runs above-average. His defense and arm are plus tools as well, and he's equally capable in center and right field. The key for Wright last year was working with minor league hitting coordinator Pat Roessler to get his entire body in sync during his swing. He also changed his approach, enabling him to make more contact. Wright doesn't try to hit homers but shows power to the opposite field. He just needs to add a little more patience at the plate. Set to return to Double-A, he's a 20-20 player in the making.
Wright entered 2001 as the Astros' best center-field prospect, but he continued to display a penchant for getting hurt and the club drafted Charlton Jimerson. Wright has played just 204 games in three pro seasons since signing as a draft-and-follow, and he has yet to progress past the Midwest League. He injured his shoulder and wrist in 2000, and his hamstring last year, when he wasn't as impressive in his MWL encore as he had been in his debut. Speed remains his best tool, though he wasn't as quick last year after adding some weight. The upside potential remains for a .275 hitter with 20 homers and 40 steals, but Wright has to synchronize his upper half and lower half when he swings. He also needs much improved plate discipline after regressing in that regard last season. Some scouts thought he lost his enthusiasm and didn't play hard on a regular basis in 2001. He's not ready for Double-A so he'll have to spend a third year in low Class A, though he'll probably get a change of scenery and be assigned to Lexington.
The Astros don't have much in the way of minor league outfield depth, which isn't a major problem because the big club is stacked with Moises Alou, Lance Berkman, Richard Hidalgo and Daryle Ward. The exception in the system is Wright, who strained his right wrist and hurt his right shoulder in center-field mishaps last year, injuries that limited him to 43 games. He's a line-drive hitter with stolen base speed and home run potential. If all goes well, he could be a 20-homer, 40-steal guy. Wright projects as a .275-.280 hitter who could bat leadoff if he tightens his strike zone. He's also the best defensive outfielder in the system, getting good jumps and using his wheels to make up for an adequate arm. Though he missed much of 2000, he'll probably move up to high Class A this year.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the Houston Astros in 2001