This entry was posted in part on The Yankee Analysts.
Prospects with flashy tools and unparalleled athleticism often find themselves on the fast track into my heart. Those that are able to couple such glamor with results and other positive indicators are enough to make me swoon. Angelo Gumbs is such a prospect, and I would not be surprised to see him garnering praise this time next year a la Mason Williams … who may well be, dare I say, a slightly less athletic, less powerful version of Gumbs.
At face value, Gumbs’ 2011 production may be categorized as somewhat lacking. In prospecting, though, one must always dig deeper. The future center fielder was the youngest regular in the New York-Penn League this past season, checking in as nearly two months younger than Cito Culver (the second youngest). It’s also worth noting that he is nearly fourteen months younger than Williams – and this, at an age where physical and emotional maturity is of the utmost importance. In terms of tools, Gumbs has plus speed, plus bat speed, plus range at second (and likely plus-plus range in center), solid arm strength, and (possibly) future average power. He has a larger frame and more physicality than either Culver or Williams, and more natural loft in his swing (which often portends over-the-fence power). While he may not hit more than 10 or 15 home runs a year, he would not need to to have a ton of value.
As a little nota bene – I do think he has the tools to stay at second base, where he could likewise be a tremendous player.
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