- Full name Jeffrey Dale Liefer
- Born 08/17/1974 in Fontana, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'4" / Wt.: 220 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Long Beach State
- Debut 04/07/1999
- Drafted in the 1st round (25th overall) by the Chicago White Sox in 1995 (signed for $550,000).
Organization Prospect Rankings
It's getting to the point where it may be now or never for Liefer, who has spent most of the last four seasons at Triple-A or Double-A without establishing himself as a big league player. Liefer long has been the best lefthanded hitter in a system heavy on righthanders, but he hasn't used that to his advantage. He has impressive potential as a power hitter, which he showed with 32 homers last year at Charlotte, but has failed to homer in 124 at-bats with the White Sox. He never has received regular playing time, however, getting most of his at-bats when he was wasting the first half of the 1999 season on the Sox bench. Liefer was drafted as a third baseman but since elbow surgery has been limited to first base and occasional starts in the outfield. Liefer's run-production stats argue for him to finally get a look as at least a platoon player for the Sox, but that won't happen unless something happens to Paul Konerko or Frank Thomas.
Background: Leifer signed late after being drafted as a third baseman and did not debut until 1996. He was a DH most of 1997 due to elbow surgery that first moved him to left field, then to first base in 1998. Strengths: Leifer has the organization's best lefthanded power potential. The ball explodes off his bat when he is zoned in at the plate. Leifer has plenty of athleticism and range to become an above-average defensive first baseman. Weaknesses: Leifer's elbow problems have cost him his defensive flexibility, though the White Sox hope that eventually the elbow will be strong enough to allow him to play some left field. He will need to continue to build up repetitions at first base to improve his overall defense. The Future: Without his injury history, Leifer might have been a primary contender to replace Albert Belle in left field. The organization loves his bat and power but will have to juggle him with its other young corner prospects.