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TopProspectAlert.com Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home


Top Prospect Alert - Jason Botts

By Ben Lipson

TOP PROSPECT ALERT - Jason Botts 1B/OF/DH
 
DOB: 07/29/80, Age: 24, Height: 65, Weight: 253
Bats: R, Throws: R
Acquired: Texas Rangers - 46th Round Draft Pick 1999

2004 Stats: (Double A - Frisco Rough Riders)
133 GAMES: .293 AVG, 24 HR, 92 RBI, 141 H, 85 R,
.399 OBP, .507 SLG.

Texas Rangers farmhand Jason Botts is another one of the older prospects who could be poised for a make or break year in 2005.

At age 24, Botts, a power hitting first baseman, with Gabe Kapler like muscles, had a monster year at Double-A Frisco batting .293 with 24 HR and 92 RBI's. Botts has a developing eye at the plate as he picked up 77 walks but countered that with 126 strikeouts in 133 games.

What adds to Botts' intrigue is the fact that the slugger would be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if he is not added to the Rangers 40 man roster by mid-November.

To further boost his value, Botts has thus far dominated the Arizona Fall League batting .372 with 2 HR and 11 RBI through 13 games, while being groomed for a potential move to the outfield.

Botts road to potential stardom has been a strange one. He was originally drafted in the 28th round of the 1998 draft by the Baltimore Orioles. He did not sign and was subsequently drafted and signed by Texas in the 46th round of the 1999 draft after an All-America year at Glendale Community College. Botts has persevered through every level of the minors since then, and has improved his offensive production each year. Prior to his breakout 2004, Botts' career high for home runs had been 13 which was set in 2003 during time in Single-A Stockton and a midseason call-up to Frisco.

It will be interesting to see exactly what happens with Botts over the next couple of months and where he ends up playing in 2005.

Botts' best chance of playing time in Texas would be as a DH or in the outfield since Mark Teixeira's career year has all but eliminated any chance of an opening at first base. The Rangers may choose to give Botts at least half of a season in Triple-A to hone his ability in the outfield before giving him a shot at the big leagues later in the year.

If he is left exposed to the Rule 5 Draft however, expect Botts be among the top five picks in the major league portion of the draft, and to be given the chance to earn a starting job or at the very least a quality number of at-bats by the team that selects him.

The biggest positive on Botts is that he has improved every year and at every level, which one would assume would mean, he will be capable of making the adjustments needed to excel in the major leagues when given the opportunity. I would recommend picking up Botts in the late rounds of your fantasy draft as you'd likely be picking up a guy who could contribute Bucky Jacobsen type big league numbers over the final two to three months of the 2005 season.


 

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Ben Lipson

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