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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Grady Sizemore

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 8/2/82, Age: 19, Bats/Throws: L/L, Height: 6’2’’, Weight: 195. Acquired: Expos - Drafted in 3rd Round of 2000 Draft (Cascade HS, Cascade, WA). 2001 Stats: (Low-A - Clinton) .268 AVG, 451 AB, 16 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 32 SB, 81 BB, 92 K, .380 OBP, .335 SLG. 2002 Stats: (High-A - Brevard County) .278 AVG, 90 AB, 6 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 4 SB, 13 BB, 15 K, .375 OBP, .367 SLG.
    Grady Sizemore is the proud owner of the second largest signing bonus ever doled out to a Montreal Expos’ draft pick. The money that he received was basically a buyout of his U. of Washington football scholarship, giving Sizemore an extra two million reasons to choose baseball as his permanent occupation. Now nearly two full years removed from the draft, some aspects of Sizemore’s game are still raw. Although he has excellent speed, he does not look like a natural center fielder. He is not as fluid as you would expect from an athlete of his caliber cutting into the gaps, but on plays straight over his head or straight in he is very solid. His arm strength is rather poor, so I could see him being moved to left field going forward, although I think the Expos would exhaust every other option prior to that. Offensively, his best attributes are his plate discipline and his speed. Most 18 year olds do not draw anywhere near 81 walks. Granted, Grady also struck out 92 times, but when you take a lot of pitches, sometimes you end up in pitchers’ counts, and Grady doesn’t have the best bat speed. He recognizes pitches extremely well: he just can’t seem to catch up to everything quite yet. His power numbers are nearly non-existent right now, and although scouts say that he has above-average power potential, I don’t think many 30 home run hitters started out their careers with 3 homers in their first 750 ABs. Possibly a few were able to develop their power from nothing, but not many. I don’t think that Sizemore will ever hit for more than average power, not unless his bat speed improves a reasonable amount. On the basepaths, Sizemore has the ability to be one of the top five basestealers in any league. That fact, combined with his uncanny plate discipline, makes him a much better future leadoff candidate for Montreal/DC than Peter Bergeron.  
    I write my prediction for Sizemore’s career with the Expos with complete knowledge that, because of a certain used car salesman’s chicanery and deception, Grady Sizemore’s Montreal career may very well cease in the FSL. With that despicable situation duly noted….the Expos are obviously less than pleased with the development of Peter Bergeron. Interestingly enough, Sizemore has very similar skills, and has to be in the organization’s long-term plans due to the aforementioned signing bonus. Fortunately for Bergeron, Sizemore is at least 3 years away, which will be plenty of time for him to sink or swim on his own. The Expos have been known to compare Sizemore to a young Jim Edmonds. In my opinion, his actual value will lie somewhere between that of Bergeron and Kenny Lofton. At the Lofton end, it is a great investment for a franchise that is unable/afraid to spend money. At the bottom end, it would be $2 million down the drain. Personally, I think that the Expos will move to Washington after some sort of agreement is worked out with Peter Angelos, and things will move forward (from a farm system standpoint) as normally as is possible. From Sizemore’s standpoint, that probably means the rest of this year will be spent in Florida, with a promotion to AA likely occurring by next spring. If he continues to progress, his “Washington” ETA would be late 2004. Unless a better prospect comes along, Sizemore will probably get a chance to start in CF at that time, but I do expect him to end up closer to Bergeron’s career than Lofton’s.   


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