Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Meet A Prospect : Brandon Laird

With September call ups and an expanded active roster on the way I thought it would be a good time to look at the prospects that we have on the 40 man roster that may not be household names. We will continue our series with AAA affiliate Empire State Yankees 3B prospect Brandon Laird.

Brandon J Laird was born on September 11th, 1987 in Cypress California. Brandon comes from baseball bloodlines with his older brother, Gerald Laird, being a catcher in the majors for the Detroit Tigers. Brandon spent his high school years at La Quinta High School in Westminster, California. After finishing his high school career he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 27th round in 2005 but did not sign and instead decided to attend Cypress College in California. Two years Later Laird was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 27th round and later signed.

This is Laird's second season under 40 man protection from the Rule 5 draft and is playing at the hot corner for the AAA Empire State Yankees. This was after Laird was named the MVP and Rookie of the Year of the Eastern League after belting over 20 home runs in a season. He was called up to the show for a short cup of coffee in July of 2011 after a Ramiro Pena injury and is looking to make that happen again. After getting a hit and an RBI in his first game off then Atheltics pitcher Craig Breslow he came around to score his first run in that game. When he was quickly sent back down the minors he did nothing but win the 2011 Minor League Gold Glove award at 3B.  Laird, now 24 years old, is running out of time and options though if he has any dreams of being a Yankee. Laird seems like an all or nothing kind of Adam Dunn power hitter but he may have a future in the majors, albeit in a limited role, because of his defense. 

Laird has great bat speed and even has great plate discipline, which sounds weird when you see him swing out of the zone sometimes, and is never off balance at the plate. His main downfall, besides a pretty high K/BB ratio, is he is a little over aggressive sometimes and likes to go outside the strike zone trying to do too  much. Laird has very raw power that he is trying to tap into in AAA and is very streaky with his power but seems to be an excellent August hitter with a career .335 average in August. His range at 3B is considered mediocre and his footwork is considered atrocious, although his first base mechanics and foot work is really bragged on by most scouts. He is far from a defensive liability or someone you have to hide at DH but he has a lot to work on. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)