By The Baseball Beginnings Guy
July 28, 2010
I’ve had several looks at Rice outfielder Jeremy Rathjen playing for the Foresters, dating back to last season.
Now, Rathjen has an arm in right field, but I also missed it because the infield I saw in Thousand Oaks was about half-speed. I graded the arm a 45. I had guys tell me he threw better. I said that I can only grade what a guy gives me. I saw him at the All-Star game airmail a throw from right field into the third base stands. OK, now I get it. 60 conservatively. I just wish I had seen it when he thought nobody was watching.
In fairness, I can say he took something off the throw I saw for better accuracy. When you throw for scouts, they just want pure strength and don’t really care about the accuracy as much as they should. In the future, he’ll have to merge the arm strength with the accuracy, which he should be athletic enough to capture with some reps.
Physically, Rathjen is lean and lanky, and his body type is similar to Brewers outfielder Corey Hart. His offensive platform is that of a right-handed hitter who is predominantly a left-center field gap hitter when at his best. He gets some extension and will drive the ball, but he’s not what I would term a lift hitter. In the coming years, as he adds strength and physically matures, more of those gapers could become home runs, or he could be a very reliable doubles hitter with an above-average arm, serviceable range, solid average speed with probably a little more room to squeak a bit more out from time to time. At this stage, he is a very solid player with room for pro projection and will be a definite draft in 2011.