Last week, jq highlighted Kipp Schutz. This week, we stay in Frederick and we look at first baseman Tyler Townsend. Townsend is native to the Mid Atlantic region, hailing from Lewes, Delaware. Townsend is 6'3" and weighs 215 pounds. He bats from the left side and throws right handed. He went to college at Florida International University, where his calling card was his power, as his slugging percentage was .838 in his junior year. The Orioles picked him in the 3rd round of the 2009 draft, following the Matt Hobgood and Mychal Givens selections.
He did see a few games following the June 2009 draft, OPSing .528 in 31 games as an Ironbird. In 2010 hamstring injuries limited him to 52 minor league games across the GCL, Delmarva and Frederick. When he was healthy, he was able to slug the ball, posting a SLG of .563 (mostly at Delmarva). All things told, his OPS was .959. Encouragingly, he walked 9.1% of the time and only 17.8% of his at bats resulted in him striking out. Given the power and seeming ability to control the zone in 2010, he was definitely one to watch in 2011...
2011 has been a mixed bag, to be honest. One of the big question marks for 2011 was whether or not he could stay healthy. And yet again, he injured his hamstring, but he has since returned. The positive item so far this season is his power as his .551 slugging percentage ranks third in the league, and the two kids ahead of him are both two years older than him. Given how few power guys the organization has, this is really exciting. However, he has a grand total of 5 walks in 226 plate appearances. And as the walks have gone down, the strikeouts have gone up to 25.8% of his at bats. This is pretty discouraging and you have to wonder what's going on here. The odd thing is that his power hasn't disappeared.
Regarding other facets of his game, BA stated that Townsend was a "below average runner with average arm strength" when they previewed him for the 2009 draft.
So, what do you think of Townsend? Do you see the power and think of the 2010 plate discipline, or is he destined to see his power numbers decline as he faces better pitchers up the ladder?
Townsend's bb-ref page