Prospect Spotlight: Jared King Keeps Things Simple At The Plate

By Fan Shot

August 30, 2013 3 Comments

jared-kingJared King was drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 MLB Draft.  The outfielder from Kansas State is a switch hitter and currently roams the outfield of the Brooklyn Cyclones.  According to his Kansas State Player Page he carried a .346 batting average and had 46 extra base hits through 106 games in his freshman and sophomore years.

When I watch his swing I notice that there isn’t much going on.  He keeps things simple.  It’s a short, quick stroke with a slight hitch.  His mechanics are similar from both sides of the plate and he has a very upright stance.  I like that there aren’t many moving pieces to his approach.  It makes it easier to repeat consistently and shouldn’t need too much dissecting when he goes into a slump.

Here is what his scouting report on had to say about him:

“King is a solid college performer with good tools across the board. His best tool is his bat, and he has the chance to hit for both average and power. He has tremendous bat speed with a short stroke from both sides of the plate and the ball carries off his bat. He’s a solid average runner who might be better suited for a corner outfield spot and that could mean left given that his arm is his weakest tool. It’s his bat, though, that will get him drafted, and he might have enough to be taken off the board in the first few rounds.”

The one problem I can see that might become an issue is the hitch, and I don’t mean it in the normal, issues with timing sense.  I am talking about how he lands when his front foot sets back down on the ground.  When he lifts his leg, he doesn’t put much weight on the back leg.  I can see two things happening with this.  One, he loses power.  By not shifting, he can’t get his lower body into it and really drive the ball.  The second thing, he could be more susceptible to lunging at pitches, which is never good.

According to his Player Page he currently has a .268 batting average with 14 doubles in 56 games played.  He only has one home run but Brooklyn isn’t very friendly for that.  He is listed as a left fielder, but I’ve seen him in center field in some box scores I’ve checked.  The player that comes to mind when I see Jared King swing is Jim Thome.  He’s a guy who’s got a good, solid anchor in his lower half, but a quick and short swing with the bat.