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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Chad Tracy

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 5/22/80, Age: 22, Bats/Throws: L/R, Height: 6’2’’, Weight: 190. Acquired: Diamondbacks - Drafted in the 7th Round of the 2001 Draft (East Carolina). 2001 Stats: (Rookie - Yakima) .278 AVG, 36 AB, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 SB, 3 BB, 5 K, .333 OBP, .306 SLG; (Low-A - South Bend) .340 AVG, 215 AB, 11 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 3 SB, 19 BB, 19 K, .393 OBP, .447 SLG. 2002 Stats: (AA - El Paso) .373 AVG, 306 AB, 24 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 1 SB, 21 BB, 28 K, .408 OBP, .516 SLG.
    Chad Tracy was a seventh round draft pick out of East Carolina last season, and he has done nothing but hit at every level since that day. In fact, if anything, Tracy has gotten hotter at each step of the ladder. After warming up with a .639 OPS in Rookie ball (only 36 ABs), Tracy put up an .840 OPS in close to half of a season in the Midwest League in 2001. The Diamondbacks apparently thought quite highly of him, sending him up two steps to the Texas League, and he has responded with a staggering .924 OPS so far this year. Tracy is a classic “see ball, hit ball” hitter, exhibiting extremely low walk and strikeout totals. He is not really reminiscent of a Vlad Guerrero-type hitter, because he has not shown a great deal of power so far, but 35 doubles in what amounts to one season’s worth of at-bats illustrate his potential for home runs in the future. I would expect him to be able to hit close to .300 in the majors after a normal period of adjustment. His lack of plate discipline, however, is a major cause for concern. As pitchers begin to figure him out, he will be forced to walk more or he will struggle. This particular period of adjustment may not happen until he reaches the majors, but at some point he will have to change a bit in order to continue to succeed. The lack of that skill is what keeps him as a second-tier prospect right now. In the running game, Tracy definitely has below-average speed, but isn’t a horrible base clogger. On defense, he is acquitting himself well as a converted first baseman. He may never be Matt Williams with the glove, but his hands and range could both be above average. His arm is a bit weak for third, but it should prove to be adequate for an Arizona squad that won’t have a wealth of options.
    I am not impressed with the Arizona system at all, especially after the trade of Jack Cust (for nothing!). They really do not have a position prospect that is a sure big leaguer (Tracy and Cintron are closest), and their pitchers are all relatively far off and raw. For a team that is as old as the D-Backs at the big league level, that is a very ominous sign. Many people have a tendency to ignore the severity of Arizona’s situation, but if you look closely at their roster, they have three players that could realistically be a part of a good team in five years: Byung-Hyun Kim, Junior Spivey, and Erubial Durazo. Everyone else will be north of 35, and most of the currently above-average players will be 39 or older. That should open up plenty of holes for prospects, which means that a decent one like Chad Tracy should certainly find some room to play. I do not think that he will be a member of a very good team, but he should be playing. Tracy reminds me of Sean Burroughs, except he gets the opposite end of the respect spectrum. I will go out on a limb and say that of the current crop of third base prospects and young third baseman in the game (Glaus, Crede, Henson, Chavez, Blalock, Hinske, Ensberg, Beltre, Ramirez, Pujols sort of, Burroughs, and Tracy), I would rank Tracy ninth and Burroughs tenth, with Hinske and Crede directly above and Ensberg and Henson below them. Tracy should be an above average player, and I expect he will develop enough defensively to remain at third base. Whether or not he plays on a winner in his career is another issue entirely.  


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