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Prospect Preview: Tyler Goeddel

Tyler Goeddel - 3B - Rays - Among the Rays bevy of prospects drafted in 2011, I think Goeddel gets lost in the mix a bit. This is a mistake by the prospect public, as well as an opportunity for risk-taking fantasy owners. Selected 41st overall by the Rays, Goeddel is a five-tool prospect who doesn't have one standout tool. Instead he features average to above skills across the board, as well as excellent instincts. His brother Erik is in the Mets system. Despite being drafted in 2011, Goeddel didn't play, which has suppressed knowledge of his game, but also allows the enterprising fantasy owner to get him at a reduced price.

Through 32 plate at-bats Goeddel is sporting a .406/.457/.688 slash line for Lo-A Bowling Green. Now is the time to put up the Small Sample Size (SSS) alert of course, but obviously it's an encouraging part. Much of this stat line is propped up by a 4-6, 4 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI performance on April 15, during a 22-12 blowout of Lake County. It's important to note that those home runs are his only two of the year, and his future power was the major question mark on his resume before being drafted. Goeddel is also 2 of 3 in stolen bases on the year. Again, SSS aside, Goeddel is featuring a 4/1 K/BB ratio on the young season (8 K/2 BB), though his batting eye is well regarded. If you're inclined to ignore the statistics, I won't blame you as one game clearly makes a big impact in regards full season statistics when you're talking 32 at-bats. Let's throw the stats out, and look at Goeddel's tools then.

Goeddel does a great job of maintaining balance, keeping his head level throughout his swing. He has plus bat speed, generated by good hip rotation that hints at power in the future, though that tool remains average to slightly below at the moment. At 6'4 and 170 lbs, one can see him growing into some power down the line, as he continues to fill out. Goeddel profiles well defensively as well, with strong instincts, an above-average arm, and good footwork. He is a potential plus at third base, though there are questions as to whether he could outgrow the position, which would necessitate a move to the outfield. As is he has all the tools to play centerfield, though if he outgrows third, he'd have to move off center as well, and would profile well in right. Even as a right fielder, he projects to contribute on both sides of the ball, with power being the big question. I expect that to come in time, as he grows into his considerable frame and as he learns to add loft to the ball. Don't ignore the speed element to his game either, as he's an above-average runner, and projects as a low double-digit steals threat in the majors.

Goeddel's star will be considerably dimmer or brighter by season's end, as he'll either take steps towards answering the questions on his power, or fall short. Even if he does, I think he's a major leaguer in some respect, and thus a safe investment in terms of fantasy. Players with his defensive prowess and ability to barrel the ball don't come along every day. As a well-rounded player who also has significant upside, Goeddel is my favorite kind of flier to take, and if you're still eligible, I encourage you to follow suit.