By The Baseball Beginnings Guy
June 22, 2009
Talk about getting a head start. Three days before the 2009 MLB Draft, Baseball Beginnings rose early to go watch shortstop Angelo Gumbs of Torrance High School play in a championship game at Angel Stadium.
Few things beat this for scouting: a morning game, a big league park, a junior prospect and video taken on the top step of the dugout.
Gumbs is a high school shortstop and a center fielder at heart, the position he’d like to play as a pro. He added about three inches from his sophomore year to his junior year and started to fill out, though there is a long way to go in that body. He’s rangy and whippy with above-average athletic actions. He’s going to be a player, and we’re happy to introduce him.
Gumbs grounded out twice, getting down the line in 4.2 seconds from the right-side. He was intentionally walked earlier in the game and hit a hard line drive over second base in the seventh inning for his only hit of the game.
Defensively, Gumbs went deep to his right, diving for a ball and spearing it to keep it in the infield. It was a rangy and athletic pro-caliber type play. On the next ball, a foul pop near the third base dugout, Gumbs came all the way over, took charge, and called off his third baseman to make the play.
Gumbs should only improve with age and strength. A product of the RBI program who has also played at the MLB Urban Youth Academy, Gumbs is a 16-under Team USA invite who should be at the Area Code Games later this summer. It’ll be an important summer for him as he continues to establish himself as a 2010 national-level draft prospect.
“I like shortstop, but I see my premium position as center field,” he said. “Center field is always where I’ve played. I love being out there running down balls.”
Angel Stadium gave him a long way to run. He’s the only infielder I’ve seen this year take ground balls with the range of a pro center fielder. He could stay at short in the future, though his upper body frame indicates strength to come and a body that is better suited to the outfield.
He’ll have to prove that he can hit as he advances, which he says is a priority this summer.
“I also want to work on staying on top of the ball more when I’m throwing,” he said. “Hitting is a non-stop thing. I’m starting to stay inside the ball more and keep both hands on the bat when I’m swinging. I work on keeping my feet and my knees planted when I hit the ball.”
ANGELO GUMBS, SS-CF, Torrance HS (2010 Draft)
Bats Right, Throws Right
Games Seen 1, Innings: 7 (Spring 2009, Junior year at Angel Stadium)
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Lean athletic and muscular build, strong forearms and hands, long fingers; High athletic legs; still physically maturing, like night and day between sophomore and junior years. Natural athlete.
STRENGTHS: Way above-average athletic actions. Fast arm, feet move, good arm action and footwork. 4.25 runner to 1B from RH side, fast first step, starts and stops on bases. Instinctive fielder; possess game-awareness, soft hands on defense, plus-range as SS. Fast hands at plate.
WEAKNESSES: Still growing as a hitter. A little too armsy and long with swing right now, and a little flat at times. Needs experience regularly hitting with wood against good pitching. Will need to show he can get his hands inside the good fastball. Power is a few years down the road.
SUMMARY: An athlete. Chance to be true 5-tool player, with grades 50 or better in each tool. Whippy and strong athletic body; could play SS or CF. Should become multi-platform offensive and defensive threat.
Overall Future Potential: 58
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