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Dustin Fowler Elevates His Stock



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Dustin Fowler (Photo by Tomasso De Rosa)[/caption]

NEW YORK—Coming out of West Laurens High in Dexter, Ga., the word on Dustin Fowler was that the talented outfielder was headed for Georgia Southern. That he enrolled in summer school strengthened that belief.

And while many organizations turned their attention away from Fowler, the Yankees remained interested.

"Kendall Carter and Darryl Monroe liked him and stayed on him when he went off the beaten path,” scouting director Damon Oppenheimer said of Fowler, an 18th-round pick in 2013. "They didn’t slow down”.

Carter, a pro scout these days, was a national crosschecker, and Monroe, an area scout, stayed on top of Fowler.

"He realized he didn’t want to (go to school), that he wanted to sign,” Oppenheimer said of Fowler, who signed for $278,000. "It wasn’t chump change, but it turned out to be pretty good.”

There is no doubt about that. Less than four years later, the 22-year-old is a legitimate prospect after batting .281/.311/.458 with 12 home runs and 88 RBIs at Double-A Trenton in 2016.

While Clint Frazier, whom New York acquired from the Indians in the Andrew Miller trade last July, has received a lot of attention, Fowler has progressed steadily.

"He has a chance to be a regular major league outfielder, maybe not a star, but an everyday guy,” said a scout who has followed Fowler, a lefthanded batter who is 6 feet and 195 pounds.

Two years ago the Yankees exposed outfielder Jake Cave to the Rule 5 draft. Last season they dealt Ben Gamel to the Mariners.

Scouts who know all three believe Fowler’s ceiling is higher than either Cave or Gamel.

Fowler plays center field now and might stick there because he has speed and an above-average arm. Of course, Jacoby Ellsbury has four more years on his contract, so the Yankees aren’t taking applications for a new center fielder.

YANKEE DOODLES

• Eric Duncan, a Yankees 2003 first-round pick who spent seven seasons in the system, will serve as high Class A Tampa hitting coach after two years as a part-time hitting coach at short-season Staten Island.

Duncan will work with former big league infielder Jay Bell, who will manage Tampa.

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Baseball America Prospect Report — May 1, 2018

Dustin Fowler is on a tear and much more in today's BAPR.

— George King covers the Yankees for the New York Post

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