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Tug Hulett Profile

You know, I'm surprised that Tim Hulett Jr. doesn't get more attention from scouts. He's got a decent glove, makes consistent contact, and has one of the best batting eyes in the minors. All of that combined with ML bloodlines usually at least gets a guy a token mention here and there in prospect lists. But scouts tend to greet him with nothing more than a yawn. I don't get it.

Okay, okay, I'll admit that he doesn't have much of a ceiling. He isn't going to hit for much power. And he isn't going to bat .315, which makes him a .290/.340/.350 kind of ML hitter. He even has a nominal amount of speed to offer, so that means he may be able to slide into a super utility role by learning how to play center field while backing up all of the infield spots, pinch hitting, and pinch running. There's not much risk involved, which at least makes him a prospect, even if there's no star power to be found. And look at it this way, Baseball America had Jose Vallejo ranked 29th, ahead of Hulett. I don't have a problem with ranking him outside of the top 10. But saying that he's not as good a prospect as a 21 year old second baseman who posted a .573 OPS in the Midwest League last season is insanity.

In terms of diagnostics, he's developing into a groundball/liner hitter, though that's not a bad idea as his 5'10" frame doesn't really work as a flyball hitter. There are worse things than being a slap hitter as long as you're good at it. It also bears mentioning that he's consistently been more effective against RHP than against southpaws.

So let's review, he's a good defensive second baseman who has enough smarts and footspeed that he might turn into a decent supersub kind of like an Esteban German/Chone Figgins. He doesn't have much of any kind of power. He knows the difference between balls and strikes. So how you look at him depends a lot on whether you think that the phrase "A poor man's Dustin Pedroia" is a compliment or not. The ceiling is David Eckstein at second base. The downside is that he doesn't get a chance at all and ends up cruising Durham, Tucson, Portland, and Louisville in a long AAA career.