Who is Xavier Avery?
Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think this has never been more true than looking at Xavier Avery. He is 21 year old CF prospect and bats and throws from the left side. There are a lot of things to like about him, but there are some things to not like. Xavier Avery was a second round pick in the 2008 draft (the Matusz draft) out of a high school in Decatur, Georgia. He is the prototypical early draft Jordan pick, a toolsy, raw OF. Coming into 2011, SB Nation's own John Sickels rated him as the 5th best prospect in the Orioles' system.
Performance wise, there is a lot to be desired, I think. In 4 minor league seasons covering 398 games, his slash line is 268/323/358/681. He has 107 SB/38 CS. His strongest season was in 2010 where he posted a 738 OPS in the Carolina League (19th in the League). In 2011 in AA, his slash line is 265/318/348/666. He has 24 walks in 391 plate appearances (6.1%). His ISO is .083, which from what I understand is, well, not good.
His OPS against righties this year is .730, as opposed to lefties which stands at a dreadful .528. One would hope that as he faces more and more lefties, he becomes more comfortable. And perhaps there is some logic to this given that he was a big football player in high school. His OPS splits last year in the Carolina League: .769/.594.
I think the real question is how much do you value age v comp? If it's possible to be undervalued, then it stands to reason that it could be overvalued as well. And frankly I see anyone with an OPS of .666 in AA and what I don't see is a prospect, rather I see a guy with a good chance of turning 22. In the Eastern League, he is 88th in OPS, and those 21 or younger include include: Anthony Gose (20), Francisco Martinez (20), LJ Hoes (21), Freddy Galvas (21), Oscar Tejada (21) and Jose Pirela (21).
Looking at his SB and proclivity to run, it seems like he has above average speed.
I don't know much about his defense, other than reading that he is still learning how to run proper routes, but his superior speed forgives a lot of miscues.
What is his future? A 4th OF? Or do you close your eyes and see him becoming a Carl Crawford lite?
Camden Chat pre-season 2011 discussion