- Full name Matthew Christopher Dean
- Born 12/22/1992 in Edmond, OK
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 220 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School The Colony
Drafted in the 13th round (409th overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011 (signed for $737,500).
View Draft ReportDean wasn't at his best on the showcase circuit last summer, but he redeemed himself with a strong spring and established himself as the best prep third-base prospect in the draft. Few high school players can match his batting-practice fireworks. With his bat speed, the loft in his righthanded swing and the room to add strength to his 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame, he projects to have plus power while hitting for a solid average. Dean has average speed but figures to lose a step as he fills out. He gets the job done at shortstop and has an above-average arm, but he'll move to the hot corner after he either turns pro or attends Texas. As with most coaches' sons--he plays for his father Martin at The Colony HS--Dean earns praise for his work ethic and competitiveness. His strong commitment to the Longhorns may make him difficult to sign.
Organization Prospect Rankings
While he wasn't rewarded with a spot on the 40-man roster, Dean had his best season at high Class A Dunedin in 2015, tying for first in the Florida State League with 14 home runs. He was signed for a well above-slot $737,500 in the 13th round, mostly for his power potential, but he had to make more consistent contact first. He still has trouble with offspeed stuff, particularly from lefthanders, but he has improved his approach and brings a consistent mentality to the ballpark every day. He has length to his swing with the leverage and strength to drive the ball to all fields when he makes contact. Dean has moved down the defensive spectrum from third base to first as well, though he returned to the hot corner after Mitch Nay got hurt at Dunedin. He's athletic and has plus arm strength but struggles with footwork and the speed of the game at third, which prompted the move to first. Dean has earned a spot at Double-A New Hampshire for 2016.
Dean signed for a well over-slot $737,500 bonus in 2011, the equivalent of supplemental first-round money. He had a lackluster professional debut at Rookie-level Bluefield in 2012, striking out in one-third of his plate appearances while struggling defensively at third base. He made significant offensive alterations, moved to first base and had a strong bounceback season in a repeat of Bluefield, and he led the Appalachian League in batting. Dean previously committed to swinging early, making him susceptible to breaking stuff. He widened his hitting base and stopped striding, which quieted his head, helped him lay off breaking pitches and drive the ball to all fields. He showed his commitment to improving by keeping a journal tracking every pitch he saw on the season. He has plus raw power to all fields and an athletic, strong build, and he could have plus power production if he makes more contact. His swing still has some length, however, and his batting average was propped up by an unsustainable average on balls in play (.436), so he projects as an average hitter. A good athlete with fluid actions, average speed and a plus arm, Dean could be an above-average defender with plus range at first. He'll make his full-season debut at low Class A Lansing.
As an amateur, Dean grabbed scouts' attention with his physical frame and projection. He didn't wow them on the showcase circuit, but a strong senior season made him the top third-base prospect in the 2011 draft class. His strong commitment to Texas scared teams off and dropped him to the 13th round, but the Blue Jays were able to sign him for $737,500. Like many high-priced Toronto draft picks, Dean had a modest pro debut at Bluefield in 2012. He has a lot of work to do with his hitting. He tends to jump at the ball rather than letting it travel deep, and he has too much head movement. He has been able to get his upper and lower half in sync better, after he used to be an upper-body pull hitter. He has plus power to all fields but won't tap into it unless he makes adjustments and more contact. A shortstop in high school, Dean should develop into a good defender at third with a plus arm, though he made 24 errors in 47 games last season. He's an average runner who may lose a half-step as he matures physically. Dean's progress in the spring will determine his 2013 assignment, and he may need time at Vancouver before he's ready for full-season ball.
Dean had a lackluster summer on the showcase circuit, but he rebounded with a solid spring at The Colony (Texas) High to emerge as the top third-base prospect in the 2011 high school class. Nevertheless, his commitment to Texas drove him down draft boards. The Blue Jays took him in the 13th round and signed him away from the Longhorns at the Aug. 15 deadline with a $737,500 bonus. He signed too late to make his pro debut, though he did get his feet wet in instructional league. Dean has a good, strong frame with broad shoulders and room to fill out. His lower-half mechanics need a small adjustment--he has a leg kick that can get things out of sync--but his upper body works well with his swing and he has above-average raw power to all fields. He also projects to hit for solid average. Dean has loose actions and played shortstop in high school, but he'll shift to third base as a pro. He should be a good defender, and his above-average arm should make for a seamless transition to the hot corner. He projects as a tick below-average runner once he matures physically. As the son of a coach--he played for his father Martin in high school--Dean earns typical praise for his work ethic and competitiveness. He'll probably spend time in extended spring training before getting his first pro assignment to Rookie-level Bluefield or Vancouver in June.