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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Scott Hairston

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 5/25/80, Age: 22, Bats/Throws: R/R, Height: 6’0’’, Weight: 190. Acquired: Diamondbacks - Drafted in the 3rd Round of the 2001 Draft (Central Arizona JC). 2001 Stats: (Rookie - Missoula) .347 AVG, 291 AB, 16 2B, 6 3B, 14 HR, 2 SB, 38 BB, 50 K, .422 OBP, .588 SLG. 2002 Stats: (Low-A - South Bend) .332 AVG, 394 AB, 35 2B, 4 3B, 16 HR, 9 SB, 58 BB, 74 K, .426 OBP, .563 SLG; (High-A - Lancaster) .405 AVG, 79 AB, 11 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 1 SB, 6 BB, 16 K, .442 OBP, .797 SLG.
    Scott Hairston must be a lower echelon minor league manager’s dream: a pedigreed player that is a year or two older than the competition with great offensive talent, and he plays in the middle infield to boot. Scott will likely become the fifth of his extended family to play in the majors at some point, and he does play like he has been around the game for quite some time. He is at his best on offense, where he is fairly close to being a complete player. He won the JC triple crown in 2001, nearly followed that up with the Pioneer League triple crown a few months later, and then led the minors in extra base hits this year. His last four batting averages have been .503, .347, .332, and .405, so it is safe to say that he has the ability to hit for a high average. He is a bit more mature than many A-ball players, so he may not develop a lot more power, but he should be above average in that category at the very least. Although he did steal ten bases last year, he is not a burner. He is a better baserunner than a base stealer, but he is at least average in both areas. His batting eye is probably the weakest part of his offensive game, but it is not to his detriment this far down in the minors. He will need to develop a bit more patience as he climbs the ladder, a task at which I expect him to succeed. With the glove, it is another story entirely. He made 30 errors between the two levels in 2002, and it is not a case where you say, “well, most of them were mental mistakes or lapses of concentration.” Hairston is simply not a good fielder at this juncture. He does not have a good arm at all, which (after 10 games or so this year) probably eliminated all thought of having him replace Williams at third in a few years. He has some range, and is a fairly athletic individual, so you might expect some improvement if he works on it. He might be able to become a league-average second baseman defensively, which with his offense would be plenty.
    The Snakes can afford to be patient with Hairston to some extent, even though he is already 22, because of the depth of prospects in their infield. Erubiel Durazo and Lyle Overbay are available at first, Junior Spivey looks like a solid player at second, and Tony Womack and Alex Cintron are around to battle for shortstop. There isn’t really a good young option at third, but that doesn’t appear to be an option for Hairston, plus Chad Tracy is on his way up as well. Opportunity is indeed important, but performance forces spots open, so if Hairston continues to hit like this he will make a spot for himself (perhaps Spivey can play third?). Whatever the D-Backs infield looks like in five years, it will probably be fairly solid. Now if they could only find a catcher and some starting pitchers younger than 38, they’d have a good foundation for future success. I know it is a large gap, but he should fall somewhere between Randy Velarde and Jeff Kent: an average to good offensive player with defensive shortcomings. I would expect him to hit AA early next year, if not at the start of the season, but be held back from the bigs until late 2004 at the soonest. I’ll leave you with an interesting thought: if you combined Scott and his brother Jerry into one player, you’d have one heck of a second baseman.


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