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Chris Vinyard Profile

Chris Vinyard is a big 21 year old Orioles first baseman who might be one of the last serious prospects to come out of the draft and follow process, which will be eliminated starting in a few weeks. For a relative bargain price of $90k, the Birds got themselves a prospect with a nice power ceiling. They also got him with the 1143rd pick in the 2005 draft. Not a bad value.

Those 26 doubles were an Ironbirds record. He led the New York-Penn League in both doubles and homers. I'm a bit conflicted on what I see him developing into. His stats say that he's a potential three true outcomes slugger, but all of the scouting reports I've ever read say that he has a short, quick stroke. They make him sound more like a Mark Teahen at the plate rather than the Richie Sexson analog he's showing. His strikeout rate and isolated power are significant. I have no problem with three true outcome behemoths, so this isn't an issue for me. One thing that COULD be an issue is if the dip in his walk rate is real rather than a small sample size fluke. Three true outcome approaches only work well if you have walks to go with the whiffs and bombs.

Another thing that is a potential issue is Vinyard's defense. He's even less nimble than you'd expect a 6'4", 230 lb first baseman to be. He may grow up to be a butcher in the field, pushing him to prematurely DH. There are only so many of those jobs to go around. He's also not particularly quick on the basepaths, but you're smart enough to figure that one out all on your own.

Vinyard isn't an elite prospect at this point, but there are plenty of good indicators going on here so he's more than worth the effort of checking back in with him every so often. The Orioles need some thunder in their lineup at the 1B and DH spots and there isn't a whole lot in the system that's going to hold him back. If he keeps on hitting, he'll advance quickly. I'd feel a lot better about him if he made more consistent contact and developed some measure of skill with the glove.