By The Baseball Beginnings Guy
March 10, 2010
The best scouting is done when the player doesn’t know anyone is watching. Here’s a look at Arkansas third baseman Zack Cox in early work, showing his swing. Take a look and we’ll break him down.
Some projections have Cox going in the first round in 2010. 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.
If a guy likes to get extension but is armsy and does not lift the ball, then that is potentially a guy with a hole in his swing at the big league level. In that case, Cox will have to show adjustability and an understanding of how to work counts to his advantage. I think he’ll hit the good fastball, which is a good start, but he’ll need to prove he can drive the quality breaking balls. Cox does keep the bat head in the zone for a long time, which is a good sign.
Drafted in the 20th round out of high school by the Dodgers, I don’t mind Cox for what I think he is. He didn’t fall very far from the Blake DeWitt tree, another example of how you can tell what certain organizations like to draft for in terms of body types and how much stock a club puts in physical projection. Cox has modest height and he’s stocky and strong with a low center of gravity. But he’s just about maxed about physically, which tells me that he has limited power and his swing is not tailored for his strengths. He also lacks a standout secondary tool that would make him a premium pick. In conclusion, I don’t think this guy is a terrible hitter, but he’s not a cornerstone type. He will most certainly have organizational value and will have to hit his way to the top. He will help himself if he can play multiple positions.
Grades: Hit: 4/6 Power: 4/4 Run: 5/5 Arm: 5/5 Field: 5/5 OFP: 49