Drew Stubbs, Cincinatti’s first round pick in 2006 from the University of Texas, is working towards a September call-up with the Reds. Stubbs is an athletic and skilled centerfielder with speed to burn.
This season he has stolen 42 bases in 49 tries (good for an 86 percent success rate) and his defense rates as among the best of all minor league outfielders. According to Jeff Sackmann’s recent post on TotalZone ratings for minor league prospects, Stubbs has a saved 19 runs above the average centerfielder, which is extremely impressive.
Stubbs is batting .281/.370/.375 this year in Triple-A. While his strikeout rates have remained high (27 percent in his minor league career) so too have his walk rates (12 percent over his career). Stubbs also has the potential to hit for a very high average. His career BABIP is .355, yet his batting average during that span has been just .269. If he can manage to keep his strikeouts down and but the ball in play his speed could generate plenty more hits.
The knock on Stubbs is his power, or lack there of. When he was taken 8th overall he projected to hit for some power; however, in his parts of four minor league seasons he has never hit more than 12 home runs. His career slugging percentage is just above .400 (.403). This year he has just 27 extra base hits in 360 at bats.
The Reds are currently starting Willy Taveras in center. Taveras sports a miserable .258 wOBA and has even less power than Stubbs with 13 extra base hits in 346 at bats. Taveras plays solid defense, but his bat is such a detriment to the Reds lineup that he is actually 3.8 runs below replacement level this year.
Clearly Stubbs cannot be much worse than Taveras has been this year, and unlike Taveras, Stubbs is just 25 years old has the potential to develop and improve into a productive player.