How Acquired: Via trade with the Diamondbacks (Dec. 2007) as a part of the Dan Haren trade.
2008 – Stockton (California League – A’s High-A) – 137 games
- 39 HR, 104 RBI, 4 stolen bases
- 77 walks, 156 strikeouts
- .296 BABIP
2009 – Midland (Texas League – A’s AA) – 125 games
- 24 HR, 101 RBI, 13 stolen bases
- 82 walks, 119 strikeouts
- .406 BABIP
2009 – Sacramento (Pacific Coast League – A’s AA) – 13 games
- 4 HR, 14 RBI, 0 stolen bases
- 3 walks, 14 strikeouts
- .278 BABIP
2009 Totals (2 levels) – 138 games
- 28 HR, 115 RBI, 13 stolen bases
- 85 walks, 133 strikeouts
Baseball America – #1 (OAK – 2010)
Baseball Prospectus – #1 (OAK – 2010) – 5 star
John Sickels – #1 (OAK – 2010) – A-
Carter was acquired in the Dan Haren trade following the 2007 season, and has been nothing short of an amazing prospect since then. He spent 2008 in the hitter-friendly California League, posting a league-leading 39 homers and 104 RBI. 2009 was no different, posting 24 HR, 101 RBI and a .337 average on his way to winning the Texas League MVP.
Carter is known for his prodigious power, posting slugging percentages over .500 at each level. He also has solid plate discipline, and is able to draw a walk at a reasonable rate. I don’t foresee him hitting for the kind of average he did at AA again, as it was inflated by an extremely high .406 BABIP. I have to imagine that the real thing lies somewhere closer to his .259 average at AAA.
The main question with Carter seems to be where he can play in the field. The Athletics played him mostly at 1B last season, although he has also seen at least a little time at 3B, LF, and DH as well since entering the A’s system. His fielding would probably considered average at best there, and profiles to have him giving way at 1B to a better fielder at the Major League level.
Carter could really use a consolidation year at AAA, where he could work on cutting down his strikeout rate a little more. He has been striking out between 25 and 30% of all plate appearances in the last 2 seasons, and will probably want to cut that down to help improve his average slightly. The only concern I would have about that is that it may affect his power by being a bit more selective. As long as it doesn’t impact that too much, I could see him becoming a 30+ HR hitter on a yearly basis in the Majors.
Carter will hopefully start the season back with AAA Sacramento, potentially leading to a mid-season callup. The A’s definitely have a use for his power bat at the Major League level, but they already have one player who really should only be used as a designated hitter (Jack Cust), and another prospect at first base (Daric Barton). If Barton struggles out of the gate again like he has in the past, I could definitely see Carter getting a much earlier callup. Regardless, I have to imagine he’s going to be playing in Oakland before 2010 is over.
Projection for 2010
.265/.350/.520, 10 HR, 52 RBI (AAA)
.255/.340/.500, 10 HR, 40 RBI (Majors)
2010. No later than July or August.
Tomorrow’s Prospect for Review – Jaff Decker (OF) of the San Diego Padres