Last year, Xavier Avery was ranked third in the Orioles’ farm system. Things happened, I guess.
On April 11th, 2011, I took this photo in Harrisburg:
Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go as planned for Avery in 2011. He struggled, only compiling a triple slash of .265/.324/.355. Defensively, he’s become a wonderful outfielder, and he’s gotten center field down by now (although if he makes the Majors I’d expect him to switch positions presuming Adam Jones is still there). The problem is that his approach at the plate still has plenty of room for improvement. He has a fast, short swing that I’m a big fan of, but his pitch recognition is sloppy, which leads to a poor reaction time and therefore lots of strikeouts and weak hits. He also doesn’t hit for power very much (his arm strength is also on the lower side).
Here’s a little scouting video I shot that night in Harrisburg:
On the flip side, Avery was born on January 1st, 1990. He’s still very, very young, so he’s got time. He might just become that leadoff guy the Orioles are hoping he does.