Florida Marlins Top 50 Prospect Countdown #42

Florida Marlins Top 50 Prospect Countdown #42

OF Matt Padgett was a two sport star in college. Find out how he fits into the Marlins plans in the latest edition of the Marlins Insider's Top 50 Prospect Spotlight.

Florida Marlins Prospect Spotlight Countdown #42

Matt Padgett
Vital Stats:
Position: OF
DOB: July 22, 1977
Birth Place: Lexington, South Carolina Height: 6'2 Weight: 215 lbs.
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Acquired: Drafted in the 5th Round (162nd overall) in the 1998 amateur draft out of Clemson University

Overview: Matt Padgett was drafted by the Marlins out of Clemson University where he was a two sport star. Matt lettered in both baseball and football, where he was kicker for the Tigers.

Batting: Matt Padgett is somewhat of a novelty in the Florida Marlins system in that he is a left-handed power hitter. The Marlins organization is very dry in left-handed hitters, let alone those who can hit for power. However, despite Padgett's unique standing in the organization and his tremendous success at each level of the system, Padgett does not have the overwhelming confidence of the Marlins staff. Matt has his supporters but those within the Marlins organization either love him or hate him. The problem of those that do not see him as a serious prospect think that despite his being elected as an All-Star in the Southern League and leading the league in RBIs in 2003, that he still strikes out too much. For them, this is an indicator that his success in the minors will not translate to major league success. At various stages of his progress through the system he has led his respective teams in batting average, homeruns, and RBIs. Some hitters have a lot of success being free swingers who despite their good numbers also strike out a lot. Some scouts like these types of players, some scouts don't. Unfortunately for Matt Padgett, most in the Marlins organization don't.

Base running and Speed: Padgett has adequate speed but is not considered a base stealing threat.

Defense: Matt has played both 3B and OF during his tenure in the Marlins organization although he is more settled and comfortable in the OF. In the OF, he is a decent but not outstanding defensive player. He has an average arm and enough speed to cover the necessary ground.

Projection: At every level Padgett has played, he has not only performed very well offensively, but he has also gotten better each year. Matt is a very confident young man whose approach has not been changed by the nay-sayers within the organization. Perhaps he feels, why change what is working. Matt may never have enough supporters within the organization to make it all the way with the Marlins. But he still has his supporters and if he continues to perform he deserves the chance to show if he can do it on the big stage.

Estimated Time of Arrival: Padgett will start this year most likely at Triple A Albuquerque. If he turns in another good year offensively, he may earn an invite to Spring Training in 2005. Perhaps the Marlins should consider Padgett as the left-handed pinch hitter/utility position now occupied by Lenny Harris. Considering Harris is talking about retirement following the 2004 season. If Padgett does not get a shot with the Marlins, don't be surprised if you see another team somewhere give him the chance the Marlins may never give him.


























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