Saturday, May 19, 2012

Scouting Report: Josh Bell

Josh Bell (not to be confused with Pirates prospect Josh Bell) is a former 4th round pick who has had a disastrous MLB career. In 79 games, he has an OPS of just .485 (33 OPS +) and -.9 WAR. At the start of the 2010 season, he was ranked as the 37th best prospect in all of baseball. After a .094/.256/.250 start to 2012 in 9 AAA games, the Orioles traded him to the Diamondbacks. He has responded to the hitter friendly PCL very well in 24 games with a batting average over .400 and OPS of almost 1.100.

According to the Baseball Cube, his best attribute is power (Baseball America said he was the best power prospect in the Dodgers organizations in 2008), which is rated at a 79 out of 100. Contact has been his real problem, at 26. He has below average speed at 42, but decent patience and batting ratings.
As a switch hitter, he is hitting for a slightly better average and OBP on the right side, but is hitting for more power on the right side so far this year.
I got to watch him on May 18th 2012 (the same day I watched Bauer). His first at-bat was against Aneury Rodriquez and he started by taking a low pitch. He then got a fastball down the middle, and Bell got way under it and flew out to medium deep center field.
In his 2nd at-bat, he got in a 1-1 count before a wild low inside fastball was taken. He was then fooled on a curve in the zone with a swing and miss. It is such a violent violent swing.  He was a ground-ball hitter in his short MLB stint, but his swing does not look like a ground-ball swing. He looks like he is trying to hit a homer every time up. Rodriquez then tried to throw the same curve in the same location and Bell made him pay for it. Bell went the other way and hit the ball hard, mashing the wall for a double.
At-bat 3 started with a way outside fastball taken before Bell flew out to medium center on the next pitch.

At-bat 4 was against a lefty, so he batted right handed. He faced some hard velocity and took a low pitch for ball after a first pitch strike. He then swung and miss on a breaking ball that was low and just out of the zone. He then took a low hard fastball in the dirt, but was fooled by a breaking ball that he chased for a swinging strikeout.

I didn't get a read on him defensively, but in his short MLB stint, he saved 2 runs above average according to Baseball Reference. Baseball America rated him as the best defensive 3rd baseman in the Southern League (AA) in 2009. Fangraphs' UZR also had him as a positive fielder.

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