The next prospect up for review is Zack Cox of the St. Louis Cardinals
How Acquired: Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1st round (25th pick) of the 2010 amateur draft.
Age as of 4/1/11: 21
Scouting Reports and Statistics
The Baseball Cube
Hardball Times: #2 (STL – 2011)
Deep Leagues: #54 (Overall – 2011), #4 (3B – 2011)
Bullpen Banter: #6 (3B – 2011)
MLB.COM: #8 (3B – 2011)
Baseball America: #2 (STL – 2011)
John Sickels: #3 (STL – 2011) B-
Scouting Book: #7 (3B – 2011), #73 (Overall – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #2 (STL – 2011)
Cox was the top draft pick for the Cardinals in 2010 out of the University of Arkansas. He finished off an excellent sophomore season there with a .429/.507/.609 line with 9 home runs, 48 runs batted in, and 11 stolen bases.
He signed for a $3.2 million bonus, more than the two picks before and after him combined ($2.8 M total). The contract also included being placed on the 40 man roster. However, he only appeared in 4 games with the Rookie League affiliate for the Cardinals in 2010.
I like the plate discipline he showed in college (34 walks against 37 strikeouts in his sophomore season), but the concern that keeps coming up in the scouting reports I am reading is whether or not his bat will play enough to stay at third base.
From Baseball Beginning’s scouting report on Cox:
While I agree he’s a solid draft pick, I don’t see him as a premium pick. Here’s why. If he’s going to stay at third base as a major leaguer and be a standout player, he’ll need power. There are no signs in this video that Cox is tailored for lifting the ball. He’s armsy and likes extension, but he doesn’t drive the ball. He makes contact, but not with what I would term hard contact.
From Project Prospect’s pre-draft scouting report:
Make no mistake about it, the Arkansas third baseman is a talented player. Cox has shown the ability to hit for solid power and make contact. Unfortunately, he hasn’t shown the ability to do them at the same time.
I think that at this point, Cox is a player to follow, as he could very well advance through the system quickly due to being on the 40 man roster. I will be very interested to see where he plays in 2011.
I think Cox’s outlook will vary widely depending on where he starts 2011. I think that by the end of the season, he will most likely be in AA, but I’m not sure that he’ll be there before the beginning of August.
Prediction for 2011
.280/.340/.430, 10 HR, 75 RBI, 10 SB (Split between A and AA)
2012 mid season seems likely to me. This assumes he finishes 2011 at AA.